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Anybody like Shure sm81 mics?
Old 30th July 2005
  #1
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turk sanchez's Avatar
Anybody like Shure sm81 mics?

Hey Guys,

I need a pair of sdc for my personal rig (g5, 002r, Great River 1nv, Distessor, AT 4040, e609, sm57). I just need a nice all around pair that sound pro but won't break the bank either. I use km184's and at4041's all the time at work so that is the standard I am used to to give you an idea. I most likley will use the pair as overheads thru the 002r for recording my band practice...and one of them thru my good channel for acoustic clients I have...and I may want to take the pair to work as well to use thru the API.

Thanks for your opinions...any other ides? I wish I could afford the Geffels!
Old 30th July 2005
  #2
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mrbowes's Avatar
 

I have a vintage sm81 and a newer at4041...

The at4041 is a brighter mic, especially in the high-end. It cuts through a mix more than the sm81. However, I generally find myelf using the sm81 more for it's nice full sound.

I think the sm81 works better in a solo acoustic guitar sitution than the at4041, because it captures more detail in the mid range and lowend. For dense mixes, though, the at4041 might prove ideal as it sparkles in the high end.
Old 30th July 2005
  #3
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SM81's were the first "real" mics I ever owned. They aren't the best out there, but they aren't the worst either. I new KSM line of Small-Dia mics I think sound a bit cleaner. If you can blow for the 141, you may prefer it to the 81.

I find that up really close, they get a little bit peaky and bright, but certainly nothing that can't be dealt with. Off axis, they aren't fantastic so when I use them I don't mic too far away. (yes, I know that sounds like a contradiction- what it comes down to is use close, but not too close).

To this day, I still use SM-81's a lot, but not for the critical work that I do. I use them a lot for sound reinforcement on acoustic shows. As with any mic, use them for what they do well and minimize the problems with them.

--Ben
Old 30th July 2005
  #4
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

They're 'OK'..... I sold my pair awhile ago. For overheads I'd suggest some Beyer ribbon mics like the 260's or 160's. SMOOOOOOOOTH (and pretty cheap). Or save up for KM84s if you have your heart set on SDCs...
Old 30th July 2005
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
allbaldo's Avatar
 

I've had the best luck with 81's on sources not ordinarily (sp?) associated with them. I did a whole record's electric guitars with one, and I've had great luck with them on toms. They're good for overheads, but not great IMNSHO.
Old 30th July 2005
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I like the 81's actually. A single SM81 on acoustic guitar around the 12th fret with a really good tube mic pre like a V76 or my manley VTL tube reference, or even an ampex 601 or EH 12AY7... Can work really , really well. The "fit" is incredible, especially if the acoustic is not a "feature" in a dense rock mix, just playing support. Just the right amount of body/pick sound to sit right against electric stuff.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the 81's for piano under the same circumstances. I have a unch of mics to chose from, and those fit sometimes. totally a valid choice. I have had great results under a snare, or even taped directly to a revox 3500 for top snare alone.

Great workhorse condenser IMHO.
Old 31st July 2005
  #7
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

sennheiser mkh40's are great mics. they're ruler flat 20-20k, and often used as reference mics. whatever you hear from them, that's what the source sounds like (except for any preamp/converter coloration). great all-around utility mics, and i love them on overheads, acoustic guitar, etc.

--jon
Old 31st July 2005
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
joelgtrnut's Avatar
 

I like my sm 81s a lot actually. My favorite is on an acoustic through a neve portico w/ the silk button on. Very nice indeed.

I use them on a lot of stuff. Hi hats, rides, percussion stuff. No complains here.
Old 31st July 2005
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Jeff S's Avatar
I've owned a pair for about 10 years and use them often with a variety of pres. They mostly get called to duty recording acoustic guitar (usually where the neck joins the body along w/ a large diaphram mic at the bridge for the stereo effect). My top three *favorite* uses:
1. snare drum (nice crack espically w/ a 512C)
2. wooden stringed instruments
3. stereo O/H or room mics
I tend to look at them like the SM57 of small diaphram condensers - they sound pretty good on a lot of things.

ps. so note that they really hate wind which is why I'd guess they used to sell them with the large add-on windscreen (sometimes I wish I had a pair of them heh )
Old 31st July 2005
  #10
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T_R_S's Avatar
I used to have one but it was stolen so it must have be good.
Old 31st July 2005
  #11
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

They work. Not great. Hi Hats, Acoustics, Shakers, Tambourines.


www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 31st July 2005
  #12
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paultools's Avatar
 

I have 3 of them... OH and HH usually...
I read somewhere long ago that they were the "Hotel California" acoustic gtr mics...
Old 31st July 2005
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
I have 3 of them... OH and HH usually...
I read somewhere long ago that they were the "Hotel California" acoustic gtr mics...
I now have to never record AC gtr with them ever again after hearing that...
Old 31st July 2005
  #14
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cdog's Avatar
Shure KSM 137 or 141 if you need omni. New design, new sound
Old 31st July 2005
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCraig
sennheiser mkh40's are great mics.
I agree, they are great mics... They are also about six or seven times the price. You're comparing apples and oranges here.

--Ben
Old 31st July 2005
  #16
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superburtm's Avatar
 

I got one and I'll use it on the hi hats sometimes that's it so far.
Old 2nd August 2005
  #17
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turk sanchez's Avatar
thanks for the opinions guys...I may keep looking...or hold out for the Geffels.
Old 2nd August 2005
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5
I love sm81's.
Me 2
Old 2nd August 2005
  #19
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kevinc's Avatar
 

Seems to be the official hi hat mic for a lot of people over the years which is where I tend to put it these days.

I bought mine in the early 90`s. It was the first step up for me from the under $100 mics I was using like 57`s at the time.

I remember it sounding fairly good on vocals compared to a 57 or 58. More detail and kind of crisp sounding.

I should try it on vox and some other stuff again one of these days.

I`ve got a small bunch of mics that are pricier and cooler looking now so I`ve forgotten about it over the years. Could be just the ticket for some stuff for all I know even though it`s not as glamorous as the other mics.
Old 3rd August 2005
  #20
Gear Head
 

I've used SM81s on string sections, and the like, with quite good results (I preferred the SM81s to my AT4041s on the violins etc). If you want a really bright sizziling sound on overheads etc consider Rode NT5.

My 2 cents worth!

You can NEVER have too many Microphones .... gimmie more gimmie more.
Old 6th August 2005
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmicguy
I've used SM81s on string sections, and the like, with quite good results (I preferred the SM81s to my AT4041s on the violins etc).

Absolutely.... One of my standards for live gigs is 20+ SM81's on the string section. Makes for a remarkably rich sound that I have yet to reproduce with other mics.


--Ben
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