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SM7b centric vocal chain help
Old 25th December 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
SM7b centric vocal chain help

looking to build a vocal chain around the SM7b (tried numerous vocal mics and for me this just works best) consisting of outboard gear for tracking vocals

Plan: SM7b->pre->eq->comp->Mr816 interface->cubase 6

So looking for pre/comp/eq suggestions

Style: jason Mraz/ John Mayer acoustic stuff/ type vocals

Budget is whatever, I'm well on my way to true gearslutzness so why turn back now...

I have been exclusively in the box so this is my first venue out. I may get better converters as well but would like to start with some actual fun stuff..

I have also thought about the 500 series format but I'm thinking since I mostly record myself I'm not really going for versatility just great gear..

Thanks
Old 25th December 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 
bassman's Avatar
 

1073 or 1081 into 1176 is a good start.

Ashley
Old 25th December 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Bassman's idea is a good one;

Personally all I would suggest is that you use a preamp that's got a lot of good clean gain, don't use a tube pre like a 2-610 or a 737. SM7s don't have a whole lot of output.

I use a Vintech 1073 or a Daking pre, into a Tube Tech CL1b. CL1b is pretty hard to mess up.
Old 26th December 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogar View Post
Bassman's idea is a good one;

Personally all I would suggest is that you use a preamp that's got a lot of good clean gain, don't use a tube pre like a 2-610 or a 737. SM7s don't have a whole lot of output.

I use a Vintech 1073 or a Daking pre, into a Tube Tech CL1b. CL1b is pretty hard to mess up.
Ya I was thinking about the CL1b now for a while. I have the plug which I am sure is no where close to the real thing but I love it so if its even close I'd be happy.

I'm still struggling with the pre. When I was thinking 500 series I was going to go with an Ma5, but now I'm not sure bc I'm have second thoughts about the 500 series for my needs. Thanks for the suggestion about grabbing a clean pre. that makes sense with the mic. Are you referring to the Vintech x73i?
Old 26th December 2011
  #5
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

I use a Daking MicPreEq and also a 2-610 with my sm7b. Great results, especially on vocals in the style you mentioned.
Old 26th December 2011
  #6
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andychamp's Avatar
If it was my money, I'go for the GreatRiver MEQ combo and the Purple MC77 compressor.
Old 26th December 2011
  #7
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
SM7B --> GTQ2 --> 1176 -- Lavry

I think having an outboard EQ w/ 10/12KHz boost is a big help with that mic.
Old 26th December 2011
  #8
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JonMiller's Avatar
SM7b, API 212 or 312 or 512 preamp, Ashley EQ, distrssor
Old 26th December 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
Oh boy. Thank you all for the advice. I guess I got the typical and expected GS response - a lot of good options, people use all kinds of gear with good results.
Does anyone have some audio using an sm7b in one of these chains just to get a rough idea what it can sound like?
Old 26th December 2011
  #10
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

For "clean" I use the Blue Robbie and Lang peq2
Old 26th December 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
API 312 -> distressor
Old 26th December 2011
  #12
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Why don't you listen to the Thriller record by MJ.. classic example of the SM7 use (not the b version but you should get the idea) and research the chain used.
Old 26th December 2011
  #13
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender4593 View Post
Oh boy. Thank you all for the advice. I guess I got the typical and expected GS response - a lot of good options, people use all kinds of gear with good results.
Does anyone have some audio using an sm7b in one of these chains just to get a rough idea what it can sound like?
If you click on my signature, then navigate to the song "The Prize" you'll hear the chain I mentioned.
Old 27th December 2011
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
If you click on my signature, then navigate to the song "The Prize" you'll hear the chain I mentioned.
Thanks! Can't listen right now bc I'm not in the studio but I certainly will
Old 27th December 2011
  #15
djp
Gear Maniac
 

Lunchbox. Avedis ma5. API 525. Wonderful chain with sm7.
Old 27th December 2011
  #16
Gear Head
 

Manley Voxbox
Old 27th December 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 
vegasking-pr.'s Avatar
 

I have tried my sm7 with ma5, 573, and daking on vocals. All which were absolutely fine. But my favorite lately as been the big sound of the la 610. That pre really gives a shot to the shure. If you like thick and wide vox.
Old 27th December 2011
  #18
Gear Head
 
vegasking-pr.'s Avatar
 

Oh and I forgot. Followed it with the mc77. Always great!!!!
Old 27th December 2011
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Why don't you listen to the Thriller record by MJ.. classic example of the SM7 use (not the b version but you should get the idea) and research the chain used.
Yup, it was a 1081 w/ sm7, not sm7b.

Peace,
john
Old 27th December 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by djp View Post
Lunchbox. Avedis ma5. API 525. Wonderful chain with sm7.
This is where i was originally when I was fixated on getting a lunchbox. Its seems hard to beat for the price and quality. I may just go this route
Old 27th December 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegasking-pr. View Post
I have tried my sm7 with ma5, 573, and daking on vocals. All which were absolutely fine. But my favorite lately as been the big sound of the la 610. That pre really gives a shot to the shure. If you like thick and wide vox.
Wow the La 610 looks pretty sweat. reasonable price. Might I ask why you add the additional compressor at the end of the chain? This unit appears to have one in the strip, does the built in compressor do a reasonable job of taming the vocals a bit?
Old 27th December 2011
  #22
Gear Addict
 
David Watts's Avatar
 

I'd probably have a look at the Focusrite ISA430 mkII - mic pre, compressor, eq, expander/gate, de-esser & A/D conversion all in one box.

it might not be the most exciting piece of kit in terms of 'vintage-cred', but it's a really great pre & hugely versatile unit.
Old 27th December 2011
  #23
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paul999's Avatar
 

There are a lot of good signal chains here. I don't find the LA-610 or ISA's to be quite as flattering to dynamic mics like the API, daking type stuff is. A super solid chain that I have loved is. AN API 512c, 550b, 525. Their is also the API channel strip that has the 527 comp. I am sure it is lovely as well. The la-610 though great often needs a little help in the compression department. If it does too much of the heavy lifting it gets unpleasant IMO.
Old 27th December 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul999 View Post
There are a lot of good signal chains here. I don't find the LA-610 or ISA's to be quite as flattering to dynamic mics like the API, daking type stuff is. A super solid chain that I have loved is. AN API 512c, 550b, 525. Their is also the API channel strip that has the 527 comp. I am sure it is lovely as well. The la-610 though great often needs a little help in the compression department. If it does too much of the heavy lifting it gets unpleasant IMO.
Thank you everyone for the advice. After months of thought (and with some final help from this thread) I'm going with

Lunchbox -> MA5 -> API 525

Seems like a well liked chain and good starting point. Given my general lack Outboard gear knowledge it may be better to start a little smaller/cheaper. It is so tempting to get some of the big boys mentioned above but maybe not yet for me.

I'm not 100% set on the API 525 as my comp of choice but I havent heard anything bad about it. Any other 500 series comps folks have had success with using an SM7b? I havent really heard many bad things about any of them in my search..
Old 27th December 2011
  #25
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paul999's Avatar
 

The API 525 is one of the most colored compressors available in a great way. I have access to almost any compressor a guy could want and it is what I use on lead vocal 99% of the time. It is a little tricky to get the hang of but when you do it is way cool. If you follow this protocol you'll have no trouble. Set the ceiling knob on only one notch. Then set the input so that the needle barely moves. After this adjust the ceiling up until you have the desired compression as you audition various release times and compression ratios. BTW both ratio's in can sound really cool but can land you in heaps of trouble:-) Ma5 should be great for you.
Old 27th December 2011
  #26
Gear Head
 
vegasking-pr.'s Avatar
 

Well you can't go wrong with API! 525 will be fine for vocals...

Enjoy making music!
Old 28th December 2011
  #27
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul999 View Post
The API 525 is one of the most colored compressors available in a great way. I have access to almost any compressor a guy could want and it is what I use on lead vocal 99% of the time. It is a little tricky to get the hang of but when you do it is way cool. If you follow this protocol you'll have no trouble. Set the ceiling knob on only one notch. Then set the input so that the needle barely moves. After this adjust the ceiling up until you have the desired compression as you audition various release times and compression ratios. BTW both ratio's in can sound really cool but can land you in heaps of trouble:-) Ma5 should be great for you.
Alright. Im all in. Thanks everyone for the help! And thanks for the starting point above
Old 28th December 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Sofa King's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fender4593 View Post
looking to build a vocal chain around the SM7b (tried numerous vocal mics and for me this just works best) consisting of outboard gear for tracking vocals

Plan: SM7b->pre->eq->comp->Mr816 interface->cubase 6

So looking for pre/comp/eq suggestions

Style: jason Mraz/ John Mayer acoustic stuff/ type vocals

Budget is whatever, I'm well on my way to true gearslutzness so why turn back now...

I have been exclusively in the box so this is my first venue out. I may get better converters as well but would like to start with some actual fun stuff..

I have also thought about the 500 series format but I'm thinking since I mostly record myself I'm not really going for versatility just great gear..

Thanks

I like the V72 followed by either a distressor, or DBX 160x.

best,
Sean
Old 28th December 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 
monsieur x's Avatar
The Rooster would be a very good choice. It does not have boosted highs, but phase shift above 10k that makes it sound quite magical!

I've used it with SM7 and MD421 mk2. Works VERY well with these mics. Also, everything else these nice folks have told you is true as well!
Old 2nd January 2012
  #30
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

I'd use a clean preamp and do all the color and compression ITB. The SM7b needs lots of clean gain so a Grace 101 or any other transparent hi-gain preamp would work well.
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