The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
SM7B vs. RE20
Old 5th January 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

SM7B vs. RE20

Got some great help from fellow slutz on several dynamic mic suggestions for vocals on another thread. I've kind of narrowed it down to two. The male vocalist has a high, thin-ish, slightly raspy voice that is just not a good match for my AT4050 condensor. My preamp is an FMR Audio RNP.

So here are my questions:

Can anyone give me a general description comparing the similarities and the differences of the Shure SM7B and the ElectroVoice RE-20?

Also, if you were adding your first dynamic mic to your mic locker (to be used almost exclusively for vocals), which one of these mics would it be (please keep in mind the preamp I'm using)?

Other factors to consider:
This singer is inexperienced and very dynamic, so his poor mic technique can cause some proximity issues.
Old 5th January 2008
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcab17 View Post
Other factors to consider:
This singer is inexperienced and very dynamic, so his poor mic technique can cause some proximity issues.

For that alone, get the RE20. It really doesn't have much of a presence boost too it (but EQ will let you add or take out what you need). But the most remarkable thing about the RE20 is that is has almost no proximity effect.

Of course, if you have a good, fairly dead room to record in, an omni mic about 12 inches behind a windscreen might be the ticket.

In fact, the windscreen may solve the whole technique problem - it keeps mic crawlers in their place.




-tINY

Old 5th January 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 
ioanni's Avatar
I think you should add the MD441 to that list.
It has a five position switch along with a second bass roll off switch to tailorate the proximity effect. Really versatile.
Old 5th January 2008
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Spookym15's Avatar
 

Or the Heil. I am impressed with how they sound. A friend convinced me to try them and they ended up working out great.
Old 6th January 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
scrubs's Avatar
 

In my somewhat limited experience using these two mics on vocals, the differences can be summarized as follows:

1. The RE20 has virtually no proximity effect, while the SM7B has quite a bit - This may make the SM7B sound a little "warmer/woolier" on vocals while the RE20 is a little "clearer/cleaner."
2. The RE20 has a hotter output than the SM7B, requiring a little less preamp gain.
3. The RE20 has a small frequency bump at around 8k, where the SM7B has a little dip there - This can make the RE20 sound more sibilant on some voices.
4. You can adjust the SM7B midrange presence with the switch if you want a more clear vocal sound like the RE20.
5. While both have decent off-axis response, I'd give the edge to the RE20.

Overall, I think I prefer the RE20, but they are both great mics and my choice would be song/voice/situation specific.
Old 6th January 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
A LaMere's Avatar
 

I recently had this exact same choice to make... I chose sm7 for the reasons other's are saying that they prefer the re-20.

Point is, both really ARE classics at this point... I'm absolutely certain that your choice between the two would depend on the voice. I found the re-20 a bit more sibilant and the sm7 a bit more smooth for my voice. I like the "translation" of both mics to be absolutely honest.

It's interesting... there are 4 threads at the bottom of this thread with nearly the exact same title "sm7 vs Re-20". You'd probably get a bit of decent info from checking those out as well... good luck!
Old 8th January 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
GordZilla's Avatar
 

I would have to say that both these mics are pretty good... but I would have to give the edge to the RE-20 for versatility. It makes a pretty darn good kick drum mic and can sound awesome on some guitar amps.

If you are looking for a warm, detailed mic that fattens up a thin sounding voice and smoothes out sibilence... check out the Kel Audio HM-1. (or even their new HM-2d) These are actually condensers, but they have a sound/vibe very similar to a LD dynamic... but with a higher output and oodles of detail.

Have a gander at kelaudio.com

Regardz
Old 11th January 2008
  #8
Gear Nut
I would through into the mix a SM57 with the Tab-Funkenwerks output transformer. You can get the transformer or the modded mic at Mercenary Audio. It sounds great, similar to a SM7. I have used it on vocals and it works well.
It also works well on other sources. Pretty much anywhere a stock 57 or the SM7 would be used is a great place for this mic.

Heck I have even used it one kick and it sounded good.
Old 12th January 2008
  #9


I haven't played with the SM7. But I have heard that it has proximity effect (like almost all directional mics). A switch will roll off the low end, not change the physics of the mic capsule.

So if the bass is right when the guy is 1/2" from the mic, it'll be thin when he backs off. I've seen a lot of good singers with poor technique - most of them are too stubborn or absent-minded to teach mic technique to in 10 minutes.....




-tINY

Old 12th January 2008
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
somedude74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post


I haven't played with the SM7. But I have heard that it has proximity effect (like almost all directional mics). A switch will roll off the low end, not change the physics of the mic capsule.

So if the bass is right when the guy is 1/2" from the mic, it'll be thin when he backs off. I've seen a lot of good singers with poor technique - most of them are too stubborn or absent-minded to teach mic technique to in 10 minutes.....

-tINY

The proximity effect is very minimal and is nothing like an SM57. I sing right up against the foam, which is the way I think it works best.

I purchased the mic because of it's low proximity effect -- here are some quotes from some retail sites off a Google search for "SM7b proximity effect":

"An all-time favorite, the Shure SM7B dynamic cardioid micophone is known for its warm sound and minimal proximity effect. The SM7B now ships with the ..."

"You can work this mic very close without suffering from noticeable proximity effect. The SM7B also has extra shielding that allows it to operate in close ..."

So, low proximity effect is definately associated with the SM7b.

Cheers,

GTR
Old 12th January 2008
  #11
eor
Gear Addict
 

proximity effect?



love,
eor

if the embed doesn't work, go here:

YouTube - Brandon boyd (INCUBUS) a Capella
Old 12th January 2008
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
somedude74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eor View Post


love,
eor
This guy is sick. I've seen him live. He works his mic like there is no tomorrow, like a human leveling amp at it's best.
Old 12th January 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
pootkao's Avatar
The RE-20 and SM7 are two sides of the same coin.
Both are versatile (vox, amps, drums). Both have more girth and smoothness than most dynamics.

There are indeed subtle differences. But my guess is you'll be satisfied with either.

(FWIW, I'm a very happy SM7 user. If you took it away and gave me an RE-20, I'm completely positive I'd still be able to make good recordings.)
Old 17th July 2008
  #14
Gear Head
 

I'm gonna revive this thread for a sec..... thanks...

So, I've been thinking about which one of those mics to buy as my first my......
(RE20 vs. SM7B)
I've used a variety of mics before (that I borrowed), and decided that a large dynamic would be what I need for now (and what I can afford).

My main uses would be-
recording bass out of an amp
doing Foleys and ADRs (sound design)

I hear they are both great for voice overs... Therefor they'll be good for ADRs (right?)
But I'm not sure about the Foley (I think condensers would be better for those, right?)
I recorded a bass track with an RE20 before and REALLY liked it!!!

Now, I looked at the frequency response graphs on both of them. And the RE20 seems flatter with some more of the low end
But then, I listened to samples on-
Electro-Voice Models RE20 and PL20 and Shure SM7
and the SM7B sounds bassier... Is this because of the proximity effect issue?
Cause I think someone here said that the SM7B has a very low proximity effect as well...



Sooo... Overall, I'm pretty confused... haha...

Considering my main 3 needs (bass guitar, ADR, Foley), which of them do you guys think would be better?



Thank you very much!
Shachar
Old 17th July 2008
  #15
Gear Addict
 
jaz49's Avatar
 

I was considering these two mics also, because I'm not getting great results on vox with my condensers or my cheap dynamic. I finally decided to go with the Heil PR 35, not just because it's a lot cheaper than the RE20(cheapham(dot)com), but because I read lots of good reports from users on this and other forums. I'll have it in a couple of days and will post my $.02 on it. My e835 sounds just O.K.(probably good enough for hard rock or punk)...and my condensers leave a lot to be desired. I'm hoping this will be a big improvement.
MySpace.com - Le Jaz - LONG BRANCH, New Jersey - Folk Rock / Country / Alternative - www.myspace.com/lejaz

Last edited by jaz49; 17th July 2008 at 03:37 PM.. Reason: omitted something
Old 17th July 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Cody's Avatar
 

Hey Boussani, these are both great mics... and there is no one "do everything for the price of a good dynamic" mic...

I'd say rent both from a good dealer and test 'em! You're going to like both of them regardless, but your ears can decide where your money goes to.
Old 17th July 2008
  #17
Gear Addict
 

I find it hard to believe the SM7b has no proximity effect. Unless it has a pressure compensation chamber like the RE-20 (highly unlikely), there's no way it's not going to have proximity effect. One of the SM7's desired properties (for radio work, anyway) has always been it's proximity effect. It gave radio jocks, who desired it, that "voice of God" effect. Shure would have to be shooting itself in the foot if it dramatically changed the mic's characteristics so drastically.

By the way, the SM7 is based on the same guts as the SM57 and SM58. Same diaphragm, voice coil, magnet, etc. Only the acoustic baffle (the outer shell) is different.

By contrast, the RE-20 was designed from the ground up to diffuse proximity effect. The long, ported baffle behind the diaphragm continuously equalizes the LF barometric pressure on the rear SPL radiation reaching the back of the diaphragm.

Ideally of course it would be nice to have both mics, as different singers would benefit from the two mics different characteristics. Incidentally, when the RE-20 first came out, engineers discovered it sounded good on tenors. Probably the two most famous singers to use it was Paul McCartntney and Stevie Wonder:

http://www.kalamu.com/bol/wp-content...onder%2013.jpg

If you look on the inside of McCartney's RAM album, you'll see him singing into and RE-20:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/WestSideforSale...o/IMG_0122.JPG

So if you're a tenor, you may want to consider testing out an RE-20.
Old 17th July 2008
  #18
Gear Addict
 
jaz49's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by videoracer View Post
Incidentally, when the RE-20 first came out, engineers discovered it sounded good on tenors. Probably the two most famous singers to use it was Paul McCartntney and Stevie Wonder:
Also a pretty fair blues singer by the name of Bonnie Raitt!
Old 17th July 2008
  #19


For bass cabinets and Foley work, I'd be looking at the Heil PR40.

And, yes, the SM7b has proximity effect - regardless of what you read on the internet. The RE20 was designed not to have it. The PR40 has reduced proximity effect due to it's porting.



-tINY

Old 17th July 2008
  #20
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

n/a

War
Old 17th July 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 
3rd&4thT's Avatar
 

I'm not crazy about either one, but the SM-7b is more versatile and a lot more flattering to a thin voice, and has bass and midrange switches to help you set the sound you want. It is also very resistant to EMR, which can help a lot.

The RE-20 has one sound, to my ears pretty thin, and if that's not what you want, you'll be trying to EQ something that isn't there. I used it for a while and hated it. Don't miss it at all.

Personally, I might consider buying an SM-7b for my own use, but never an RE-20.

3rd&4thT
Old 17th July 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boussani View Post
Now, I looked at the frequency response graphs on both of them. And the RE20 seems flatter with some more of the low end
But then, I listened to samples on-
Electro-Voice Models RE20 and PL20 and Shure SM7
and the SM7B sounds bassier... Is this because of the proximity effect issue?
Cause I think someone here said that the SM7B has a very low proximity effect as well...
A lot of what happens with proximity effect is in the last inch or two of minimum working distance to the diaphragm. Comparing the SM7 57'? The 57 let's you get right up on the diaphragm.
The SM7 doesn't give the measuring distance for the graph but it looks like cap is set back a good inch and a half. For both of those you have to ask at what distance? The 57 even more so.

One of the most most striking features of the RE20 is it won't allow the tailoring of tone or size' by working the distance. This makes for a mic that can feel completely weird on lead vocal- or just be the problem solver it is.
Old 17th July 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd&4thT View Post
The RE-20 has one sound..
+ Plus one.
Just to toss this in- The Heil's were mentioned above. We're really liking both the 20 and 35 big time here (for live primarily) for the nice balance they have found between 'consistent' and 'working tone. Experimenting with the 35 for tracking vocal..
Old 17th July 2008
  #24
Gear Nut
 
Jaguar Dreams's Avatar
 

FWIW

FYI the latest Chili Peppers album "Stadium Arcadium" has an RE20 + SM57 on bass cab on most tracks and an RE20 on kick (according to a recent interview with one of the main engineers).

I recently got an SM7B for voiceover and it works great in that application for both male and female voices.

-Jaguar
Old 17th July 2008
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Bubbagump's Avatar
 

This is Coke or Pepsi. Do this... call up your music supplier, have him send you both mics. Return the one you don't like. Just tell the dude up front what you are doing and they are usually cool with getting one returned. I am an SM7 fan myself... but I have heard plenty of great tracks on an RE20 too. (I should probably get an RE20 someday just to have around in case.)

Also, for Foley... well, you might want to look at some lower cost SDCs. Heck, for Foley work, you can really do a heck of a lot with a pair on cheapish SDCs. Check out the Naiant omnis, especially the X-Q.

http://www.naiant.com/studiostore/microphones.html
Old 17th July 2008
  #26
Gear Head
 

wow.. Much more comments than I expected... Thanks!

Warhead, the comparison is great!

I compared the SM7B, RE20 and Heil PR40... On most of the things, I did like the RE20 the best. But not on the guitar... And I'm not sure about the snare (makes it sound extremely dry)

3rd&4thT said that the RE20 sounds thin... And sometimes, I know what you're talking about.... But then placed on a bass cab, it sounds the fattest out of the three (same as on the kick). Even though the bass playing on Waread comparison doesn't sound anything like mine, it was enough to tell I liked the RE20.
That's pretty much what confuses me right now... Maybe the proximity effect is good to have..? On voice, it sound like it's lacking this some lows (no proximity effect), but then, on other stuff, the lows sounds amazing to me...
Now, I wont be recording my own vocals, that's for sure (I don't sing), but maybe VO/ADRs... Which for those I'm gonna need mostly a flat sound, and having no proximity effect sound be good....
ARGH..!

About the PR40-
Thanks for the recommendation, tINY, but I'm not really digging it...
It sounds very high-mid rangy... A lot of presence, which I don't see (or hear) how it'll be good for Bass or Foley... I'd like to hear your thoughts on that... Why do you think it'll be good for bass and Foley?


And by the way... That same day I recorded bass with the RE20, I also had an SM57 on the cab... I didn't know the Chili Peppers did this combo (and they're one of my favorite bands)...
It's a killer combo...
RE20 in charge (mostly) of the warm lows, while SM57 in charge (mostly) of the punch around the mids...
Old 17th July 2008
  #27


The PR40 is very articulate. For a lot of bass styles (maybe not yours) articulation in the 800-2k range really brings out a lot of the sound of the instrument.

For Foley work, having this very articulate mid-range really helps make sounds identifiable without havein to raise the levels so much - and step on the music or dialog. Also, the PR40 has more high frequency extension - which can be critical for some sounds.





-tINY

Old 18th July 2008
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

For Foley work, having this very articulate mid-range really helps make sounds identifiable without havein to raise the levels so much - and step on the music or dialog. Also, the PR40 has more high frequency extension - which can be critical for some sounds.

That's interesting......
Do you do some Foley work yourself, or is it all theory you're talking about? (or have some friends that do?)


As far as the bass...
I'm more of a 100-500Hz kinda guy... I like the smoothness of the tone, you know..?
Only for slap-bass I'd turn up the high-mids/highs...



Oh, and, Bubbagump... what's up with those tiny microphones?? haha...
Are they really good? Never heard of them or saw them.
And they are so cheep...
Does anyone here have experience with one of these?
Plus... they are all Omni.... Do I really want that for Foley?? I'm not sure... But yeah, I'm a beginner.... What do you think?
Old 18th July 2008
  #29


No folley work per se - but I do run theatrical stuff where small sounds somewhere backstage need to be amplified for effect.

It's probably not exactly the same, but similar...




-tINY

Old 18th July 2008
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Bubbagump's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boussani View Post
That's interesting......
Oh, and, Bubbagump... what's up with those tiny microphones?? haha...
Are they really good? Never heard of them or saw them.
And they are so cheep...
Does anyone here have experience with one of these?
Plus... they are all Omni.... Do I really want that for Foley?? I'm not sure... But yeah, I'm a beginner.... What do you think?
I am dead serious. They are cheap, but hand built and the quality for the price is incredible. Being SDC omnis, they are very accurate and have no proximity effect so you can put them right up on a quiet source. Great for stereo recording too as a spaced pair or with a Jecklyn disk. Really, it is $30 well spent.

http://www.naiant.com/studiostore/audiosamples.html
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 5626 views: 1792528
Avatar for jamnxtdoor
jamnxtdoor 1 week ago
replies: 1112 views: 228960
Avatar for excelcruz
excelcruz 20 hours ago
replies: 53 views: 7897
Avatar for EMMST
EMMST 18th July 2016
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump