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$50 vocal mic? Dynamic Microphones
Old 7th March 2011
  #1
Gear nut
 
cornpone's Avatar
 

$50 vocal mic?

Howdy All,

Buying a mic as part of a wedding gift for a girl who plays piano & sings. She has borrowed my SM58 a few times for gigs(& yes this is how she makes her living!)

Wondering if you all had any recommendations for a decent live vocal mic for females? I am not spending more than $50. In this case something will be better than nothing.

Thanks in advance,

jeff
Old 7th March 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

She's a professional musician and you want her to sing through a $50 mic? See who else is going to the wedding and team up with someone on a new 58. Maybe even with three or four people on a Beta58.
Old 7th March 2011
  #3
Gear nut
 
cornpone's Avatar
 

She's a professional musician and does not have a mic at all! I was shocked the first time she asked to borrow one of my mics. Maybe I will go with a $50 gift cert to a local music store.
Old 7th March 2011
  #4
Gear maniac
 
thejwoshow's Avatar
 

That may be the ticket! Maybe do like the other poster said and get with some friends going to the wedding (if you know any) and get her a couple of gift cards.
Old 7th March 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 
edwonbass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornpone View Post
She's a professional musician and does not have a mic at all! I was shocked the first time she asked to borrow one of my mics. Maybe I will go with a $50 gift cert to a local music store.
That's a good call. That way she can put it towards an SM58.
My son's birthday is in a couple of days and of all things he wants an SM58. He's getting into recording demos of the songs he's writing. I almost cried when he told me what he wanted.heh
Old 7th March 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

I'd say if the SM58 or some sort of equivalent or greater quality mic can't be purchased (E/V ND-767a works great on females for example). Perhaps an SM48 would be a good idea. It's pretty much the same as an SM58 for half the price. I've seen some good deals on Electro-Voice PL-44 dynamics lately, haven't tried one but I love all the E/V mics I've ever tried.

I would definitely take it over a PG58. But I think it might be a better idea if you do a gift card to a local music store that has a decent selection of mics (that will let her audition) and have her pick the right mic for her voice. If you are going to go through the trouble of getting her own mic it may as well be a perfect (or as close as possible) pairing to her voice. Otherwise it's not gonna be any different than her showing up to a venue.

Hope this helps.
Old 7th March 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Behringer XM8500.
Old 7th March 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornpone View Post
Howdy All,

Buying a mic as part of a wedding gift for a girl who plays piano & sings. She has borrowed my SM58 a few times for gigs(& yes this is how she makes her living!)

Wondering if you all had any recommendations for a decent live vocal mic for females? I am not spending more than $50. In this case something will be better than nothing.

Thanks in advance,

jeff
Sm58, used. Go craigslist, so you can make sure it's not a counterfeit (or find a reputable ebayer). You can find them for $50.
Seattle's list has got 3 for $55; http://seattle.***************/see/msg/2245182397.html, and 2 57s for $50. I didn't see any in your area for the right price, but I bet a few weeks will cure that.

If used isn't your style, then the sm48 sounds like the thing. Or the gift certificate.
Old 7th March 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
Or.. if you're not hurting for it.... give her YOUR SM58 and replace it when you get around to it. A bit more classy than buying something used if you can manage it.

JMHO
Old 7th March 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
Doing vocal sessions I will never use an SM58, there ok for a bit of live gigging because they are built like tanks but for the price there are tons of better mics out there for less.

My friend (Also a session vocalist and female) Uses nothing but Sennheisers, even I have the E835 E845 and E865 and love them all. (E835 is cheeeap)

I have just bought a Samson C05 Condensor which is fantastic for the price.

Audio Technica AT2010 also a good mic

The SM58 in my eyes (Also in the eyes of about 12 session vocalists I know) lack's warmth, clarity, body, high end and not Ideal for clean singers.. They are awsome for death metal singers though
Old 7th March 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Newcleardaze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Doing vocal sessions I will never use an SM58, there ok for a bit of live gigging because they are built like tanks but for the price there are tons of better mics out there for less.

My friend (Also a session vocalist and female) Uses nothing but Sennheisers, even I have the E835 E845 and E865 and love them all. (E835 is cheeeap)

I have just bought a Samson C05 Condensor which is fantastic for the price.

Audio Technica AT2010 also a good mic

The SM58 in my eyes (Also in the eyes of about 12 session vocalists I know) lack's warmth, clarity, body, high end and not Ideal for clean singers.. They are awsome for death metal singers though
My experience has been that even at this level of mic, every mic is different on every voice -- I had the SM58, Senn e835 and the EV ND/767a --- the EV sounds great on my voice, the SM58 was the best for my ex and a few other band mates, and the e835 was the best fit on my last singer. For those that the SM58 worked great on the EV sounded wrong. For my voice the e835 was only a smidge better than the SM58 but still not great. I think all 3 are quality mics.
Old 7th March 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Newcleardaze's Avatar
 

Funny to find this thread on gifting the SM58 -- my best friend (who is no longer playing) just gave his nephew his SM58, stand and chord for his graduation... passing on his legacy heh.
Old 7th March 2011
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I would say the gift cert would be the best idea. For a dynamic vocal mic i would NEVER buy used. I like to put my mouth pretty much on the grille...If this girl likes to, you don't want her to be sharing spit with someone random. SM58 is always a great choice. If you can upgrade the budget a bit, go for the Beta58a. Alot warmer mic. If you do find a good 58 used, buy another grille for it. Theyre like 5 bucks, and your not sharing spit with someone
Old 7th March 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcleardaze View Post
My experience has been that even at this level of mic, every mic is different on every voice -- I had the SM58, Senn e835 and the EV ND/767a --- the EV sounds great on my voice, the SM58 was the best for my ex and a few other band mates, and the e835 was the best fit on my last singer. For those that the SM58 worked great on the EV sounded wrong. For my voice the e835 was only a smidge better than the SM58 but still not great. I think all 3 are quality mics.
When you do sessions you get trained to make the best on any mic or you don't get paid, so you start to realise that there is no such thing in the proffessional market nowadays as a bad mic but some are better than others and it's generally not shure leading the way, I like Shure Mic's but at there price level they are beaten by cheaper Mic's in the same range.

Let's just put it this way, whenever I suggest Sennheiser to people and let them try it they rarely ever go back to an SM58.

Also the e835 is a third of the price on the SM58 and on alot of people tried and tested it gives more warmth, it lacks slight presence but is better than the SM58 with many characteristics. The E835 is a great Mic if you have a great singer with a a good pre to compliment it, I use the one above the E845 and the E865 in the studio and there is no comparison.

I have used Manley Gold Ref's and AKG C12's and all sorts and to be honest you can get excellent results with a £50 - 100 pound Mic.

I don't know why people say different Mic's Don't work on different voices... I don't get the choice alot of time I sing with whatever I'm given and it sounds fine regardless the problem is usually with the vocalist, I have had more issues with pre-amps there is different characteristics and clarity in mic's that make them sound better but as a singer you should not struggle with any Proffesional mic.
Old 7th March 2011
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwonbass View Post
[B]
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornpone[/B
] She's a professional musician and does not have a mic at all! I was shocked the first time she asked to borrow one of my mics. Maybe I will go with a $50 gift cert to a local music store.

That's a good call. That way she can put it towards an SM58.
My son's birthday is in a couple of days and of all things he wants an SM58. He's getting into recording demos of the songs he's writing. I almost cried when he told me what he wanted.heh
+3

I got a Telefunken M80 for my 8 year old daughter on Ebay for $100 like new and she looks and sounds like a rock star in her little hanna montana studio.

She even let's me borrow it as another back up for my gigs! so far haven't had to use it as long as my Shure wireless system stays solid and/or the Sennheisers don't crap out at the same time wont have to...fingers crossed.

One problem you run into with lower budget dynamic mics is feedback, not so much in studio but in these little hole in the wall bars with complimentary PA's....eek. you DO want her to be able to be invited back right? heh

keep shinin

jerm
Old 7th March 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
I have to agree the e845 is better for feedback rejection.
Old 7th March 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

can I just say again I don't think there are bad mics but if it's gonna be her mic make sure it gives you guys the best starting point

you really should try to get her the best mic for her voice

I agree a 58 or 48 will work but at the same time an ND767a might work better from the start.

I definitely wouldn't do less than an SM48 or as others have mentioned feedback will be awful live.

If you have the option of picking the best tool for the job I'd strongly suggest doing it.

Audix, Sennheiser, Electro-Voice, Audio-Technica, etc all make imho as good of or better mics than the SM58. However they will be easier or harder for a singer to work with depending on how they sing and the venue they are at. About the only benefit to an SM58 or SM48 would be engineer familiarity. Just about everyone has worked with an SM48 or SM58 before. Sometimes when you pull out the AT, Audix, Sennheiser, and EV mics the soundguys don't know how to make the most of them (hole in the walls don't always have great sound guys).

The used route is honestly just fine if you are worried about sanitation either replace the grill or even cheaper take the grill off and clean/disinfect it. simple lysol can get that job done and they actually make specific products for that purpose. You will often see lie engineers disinfect mic grills between acts and such. Honestly a lot of the mic sharing thing is perception. Think about living with other people, sharing phones, etc. That stuff is probably just as unsanitary.
Old 7th March 2011
  #18
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Wink

+1 SM48.

Smoother/clearer than a 58, although that means it won't cut through a noisy crowd quite as well. It's an "in production" sleeper vocal mic otherwise.

Chris
Old 7th March 2011
  #19
Gear interested
 

Take into account that the live engineer will most likely his fav vocal mic and will tune the system with that, so feedback rejection will be best with the same kind of mic that the mon's were tuned with!! I use beta 58a's live all the time an love them!!
Old 8th March 2011
  #20
Gear nut
 
cornpone's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the great feedback! The majority of her gigs will not have sound guys. Probably a cheap PA to plug into. Most of the places we play around here (mid-Michigan) are restraunts & bars w/owners who think that having someone playing music will make them a few extra bucks and do not at all care about buying decent equipment that might actually sound nice.

I honestly might just do the gift certificate thing though. Then she can maybe throw a few bucks in & get something decent....although the 48 is still an option.

Thanks again all!
Old 8th March 2011
  #21
Gear Head
 

in all honesty, like most people have suggested here, it would be better to give her a $50 gift card to put towards a decent mic. because lets face it, u get what you pay for (atleast to some degree) and if shes a professional musician... she should ATLEAST have semi-pro gear. you can never go wrong with an SM58 for $100 but if you really want to get her something special, team up with some friends and pitch in on an AUDIX OM7 for $230. ive read pages upon pages of user reviews from several high-profile engineers that all give their praises to this mic as a true performer. a lot of people here on GS even say its worth picking over $500+ mics for live use.
Old 8th March 2011
  #22
Gear nut
 
NYM1985's Avatar
 

I for one use an OM5 almost bought an OM7 it was a very close one but I liked the slightly wider pickup pattern of the OM5 just in case I strayed the slightest bit too far from the mic which doesn't typically happen as I usually sing while drumming or playing guitar.

Honestly I like my OM5 so much I'm tempted to try their VX10 handheld condenser and using that for coffee house/acoustic gigs where I want the added detail of a condenser on my voice.

But I've also had a lot of good results with a lot of other mics from various companies.

I think if all else fails the SM48 is a great option for the females I've worked with I've preferred it to the SM58 because it's a smoother sound the peaks in the 58 sometimes don't work well with certain females and voices in general.
Old 8th March 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
GZsound's Avatar
Buy her a GLS ES58 mic. Sounds better than an SM58 and costs $27.

Official Speaker Repair Site - Orange County Speaker Repair and Sales - SpeakerRepair.com - Home of GLS Audio has them and they are an amazing mic for the money.

I have replaced all my SM58's with GLS ES58's..years ago.
Old 8th March 2011
  #24
Gear interested
 

I think I'd go with SM48 over a GLS Audio. It looks like GLS Audio is a house brand for Orange County Speaker. They really don't provide much in the way of specs, but the sensitivity of only -72 db @ 1kHZ suggests you would need a lot of gain with those.
Old 8th March 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
Or.. if you're not hurting for it.... give her YOUR SM58 and replace it when you get around to it. A bit more classy than buying something used if you can manage it.

JMHO
I like this idea......a true gift from you.
Old 8th March 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
GZsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Balbari View Post
I think I'd go with SM48 over a GLS Audio. It looks like GLS Audio is a house brand for Orange County Speaker. They really don't provide much in the way of specs, but the sensitivity of only -72 db @ 1kHZ suggests you would need a lot of gain with those.
The GLS mics don't require any more gain than my SM58's. And they sound a lot better than the SM48 mics. They are cleaner sounding than the Shure 58.

They are Chinese clones of the Shure mics and the only real complaint I have with them is that they should not be used as hand held mics because the Shure mics have a lot better isolation. The Shure 57/58 mics are all made in Mexico and I would presume that's true of the SM48 too.

I have ten each of the GLS 58 and GLS 57 and they get used regularly when I run live sound. Excellent sounding mics and so far after two years of pretty heavy use, they have been very reliable.
Old 9th March 2011
  #27
cork sniffer
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

MCA/SP1.../thread
Old 9th March 2011
  #28
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KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZsound View Post
The GLS mics don't require any more gain than my SM58's. And they sound a lot better than the SM48 mics. They are cleaner sounding than the Shure 58.

They are Chinese clones of the Shure mics and the only real complaint I have with them is that they should not be used as hand held mics because the Shure mics have a lot better isolation. The Shure 57/58 mics are all made in Mexico and I would presume that's true of the SM48 too.

I have ten each of the GLS 58 and GLS 57 and they get used regularly when I run live sound. Excellent sounding mics and so far after two years of pretty heavy use, they have been very reliable.
Depending on this singer I wouldn't suggest anything with poor handling noise. What if she likes to walk around without her mic on the stand 24/7?

I've used the GLS mics they are ok for the price that's about it.

SM48 is a superior mic. Until you can spend about $100 you really won't do better I've used just about everything on the market.

The only thing I prefer for between $50-$100 is when E/V has refurb/b-stock/factory repackaged N/D767a for $80.
Old 9th March 2011
  #29
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GZsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe View Post
Depending on this singer I wouldn't suggest anything with poor handling noise. What if she likes to walk around without her mic on the stand 24/7?

I've used the GLS mics they are ok for the price that's about it.

SM48 is a superior mic. Until you can spend about $100 you really won't do better I've used just about everything on the market.

The only thing I prefer for between $50-$100 is when E/V has refurb/b-stock/factory repackaged N/D767a for $80.
As I said, the one drawback is the handling noise with the GLS mics, although it isn't bad, it simply isn't as good as the Shure SM58. They can be hand held by most "normal" singers.

I actually have a bunch of sub $100 mics I use for my rental PA systems and some of them sound pretty darn good. As good or better than their Shure counterparts.

Samson R11, AKG D8000, CAD D90, AT Pro 40 and Sennheiser 822's. They all will work but the GLS mics still sound better and as far as I am concerned they sound better than SM58's.

57's and 58's are hard to beat for reliability. I have several 57's I bought new in 1973 that still work just fine.
Old 9th March 2011
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
When you do sessions you get trained to make the best on any mic or you don't get paid, so you start to realise that there is no such thing in the proffessional market nowadays as a bad mic but some are better than others and it's generally not shure leading the way, I like Shure Mic's but at there price level they are beaten by cheaper Mic's in the same range.

Let's just put it this way, whenever I suggest Sennheiser to people and let them try it they rarely ever go back to an SM58.

Also the e835 is a third of the price on the SM58 and on alot of people tried and tested it gives more warmth, it lacks slight presence but is better than the SM58 with many characteristics. The E835 is a great Mic if you have a great singer with a a good pre to compliment it, I use the one above the E845 and the E865 in the studio and there is no comparison.

I have used Manley Gold Ref's and AKG C12's and all sorts and to be honest you can get excellent results with a £50 - 100 pound Mic.

I don't know why people say different Mic's Don't work on different voices... I don't get the choice alot of time I sing with whatever I'm given and it sounds fine regardless the problem is usually with the vocalist, I have had more issues with pre-amps there is different characteristics and clarity in mic's that make them sound better but as a singer you should not struggle with any Proffesional mic.
The reason you "don't see why" is probably because of a lack of experience.

In my professional, paid, working engineer experience, not to mention my colleagues' work, there's a massive difference between a good mic for the source, and an ok one. That's the reason the u87 is so common - it's not always the best mic for a job, but it's rarely bad. Preamps on the other hand, I find the difference is way more subtle. Differences in quality preamps tend to be flavours, not necessarily good or bad.

If you're seriously implying that you can get as good a result from a budget condenser as you can from a vintage c12 or similar...well, you've either got a singer who's voice just suits that mic (and thus disproved your own argument), or the mic is not the limiting factor - it's the room, or the engineering expertise.

I find this talk all a little out of place when the guy just wants to buy someone a cheap mic for live use, at any rate!
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