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Try To Beat The SM7b
Old 23rd October 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
Try To Beat The SM7b

It's giving me what I want but is this really it? Things I want in a mic:

No plosives
Natural sound
no bass boost on various words that are deeper
no overdrived tanky sound
no clicks from mouth noise
no "warm" sound jesus christ that stuff...
No tin top end or fizzle
No grunge
no distortion
clarity
detail

condenser or dynamics. sm7b is winning vs other dynamics and condensers ive tried. like i said im happy with the sm7b. just curious what kinds of wacky things people will say to defend their mics. ive seen a lot of people defend some really horrible mics over the course of buying them.

in b4 re20. sm7b already won that
Old 23rd October 2012
  #2
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kuasalogam's Avatar
 

Dynamic? Sennheiser MD441
Condenser? Can't think of any....
Old 23rd October 2012
  #3
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuasalogam View Post
Dynamic? Sennheiser MD441
Condenser? Can't think of any....
keep forgetting about that mic...def wanna try it. its the last on my list but avoid it because of the price lol
Old 23rd October 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

It's not a competition. If you've found a mic that works well for you, and want to be done with all the trial and error, use it. If you are worried that you could be doing better, and that worry is worth the trouble to you, that's up to you. If you don't have any specific complaint ("It's giving me what I want") then my inclination would be cool, move on to other things. Some of the problems you said you wanted fixed (plosives, mouth noise) are issues that should be addressed through technique before the air even hits the mic.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #5
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rocksure's Avatar
This is gearslutz and round here the sm7b is:
..... a magic wand.... a silver bullet...the crown jewels.
But wait, there's more! To top it off.....it can rescue damsels in distress...make coffee...beat every other mic ever made on just about any source, and cause the initiation of more new threads than any other topic.
I think I will sell all my other mics...heck, maybe even my preamps too just so I can buy more sm7b's.
Ok, yes fair enough..slap me on the hand. I shouldn't be sarcastic. I shouldn't be sick of more new sm7b praise threads. Yep I do use mine quite a bit. It's handy. But it's not the be all and end all of microphones that GS threads seem to constantly suggest.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #6
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeshoppe View Post
Some of the problems you said you wanted fixed (plosives, mouth noise) are issues that should be addressed through technique before the air even hits the mic.
oh no you didnt
Old 23rd October 2012
  #7
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adam_w's Avatar
Sm57 + 3" + pop shield = 200 bucks left over to spend on something else. There, I said it.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #8
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_w View Post
Sm57 + 3" + pop shield = 200 bucks left over to spend on something else. There, I said it.
hey i havent even bought my cloudlifter yet
Old 23rd October 2012
  #9
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I'd rather use a nady ribbon.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #10
Gear Addict
 

hm, I know the SM7B is sort of the holy grail for many, but in 4 out of 5 times I get much better results with my Beyer M88 mics (both vintage as well as the current TG versions).
better rejection, less gain-hungry, more open high end, more bass if needed.
and it is also a killer mic for bass drum, floor tom, bass cabs, and clean guitar cabs.
to put it short: I feel for the M88 what many people here feel for their SM7B.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #11
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I use my SM7b a lot because it's foolproof and I'm a fool. Singers can't overload it or pop it too badly. But I can't say I like the sound all that much on most singers, and what spill you get doesn't sound great either.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #12
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dxavier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcaseal View Post
oh no you didnt
Hahaha, another poor day at work, but this made me laugh. Thank you!!!

By the way, my vote goes to the Beyerdynamic M88. SM7b's bout to get a ass whuppin'
Old 23rd October 2012
  #13
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 

Dream,

Now you've awakened the wolves. This mic has as many haters as lovers. Just like it and stop listening to opinions on here. You'll go nuts.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motone View Post
hm, I know the SM7B is sort of the holy grail for many, but in 4 out of 5 times I get much better results with my Beyer M88 mics (both vintage as well as the current TG versions).
better rejection, less gain-hungry, more open high end, more bass if needed.
and it is also a killer mic for bass drum, floor tom, bass cabs, and clean guitar cabs.
to put it short: I feel for the M88 what many people here feel for their SM7B.
How do you feel the m88 compares to the tg version?
Old 23rd October 2012
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcaseal View Post
It's giving me what I want but is this really it? Things I want in a mic:

No plosives
Natural sound
no bass boost on various words that are deeper
no overdrived tanky sound
no clicks from mouth noise
no "warm" sound jesus christ that stuff...
No tin top end or fizzle
No grunge
no distortion
clarity
detail

condenser or dynamics. sm7b is winning vs other dynamics and condensers ive tried. like i said im happy with the sm7b. just curious what kinds of wacky things people will say to defend their mics. ive seen a lot of people defend some really horrible mics over the course of buying them.

in b4 re20. sm7b already won that
Totally depends on the source. On a female singer friend of mine even a cheap AT2020 is clearly superior to the SM7b. On other occasions I wouldn't set my SM7b aside. What kind of question is that anyway, there is no such thing as the "one and only mic that beats all the others". It's a nice allrounder suitable for many situations, but if you want a detailed clear and sparkling top end it's definitly not the first choice.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksure View Post
This is gearslutz and round here the sm7b is:
..... a magic wand.... a silver bullet...the crown jewels.
But wait, there's more! To top it off.....it can rescue damsels in distress...make coffee...beat every other mic ever made on just about any source, and cause the initiation of more new threads than any other topic.
I think I will sell all my other mics...heck, maybe even my preamps too just so I can buy more sm7b's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksure View Post
Ok, yes fair enough..slap me on the hand. I shouldn't be sarcastic. I shouldn't be sick of more new sm7b praise threads. Yep I do use mine quite a bit. It's handy. But it's not the be all and end all of microphones that GS threads seem to constantly suggest.
exactly.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #17
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DanGo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Dream,

Now you've awakened the wolves. This mic has as many haters as lovers. Just like it and stop listening to opinions on here. You'll go nuts.
This is good advice for much of Gearslutz.

I think asking questions here is like being a pollster. You have to know what answer you want and frame your questions to get it or you end up
overwhelmed with tons of responses (only some of which are relevant)!

If you like the mic, then it's good (for
you).
Old 23rd October 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcaseal View Post
No plosives
Natural sound
no bass boost on various words that are deeper
no overdrived tanky sound
no clicks from mouth noise
no "warm" sound jesus christ that stuff...
No tin top end or fizzle
No grunge
no distortion
clarity
detail
In order:

Pop filter.
SDC omni in a good room, but I suspect that this is not really the sound you're looking for.
Omni, or work on delivery.
Not sure what this means but turn your pre down or step back an inch or 2, and leave the military.
Not the mic's fault at all.
"Warm" can mean so many things, and it's not always attributable to the mic.
Many dynamic, condensor and ribbon mics can help avoid this. Try them out.
Don't put grunge in front of it.
Don't put distortion in front of it, or turn the gain down.
Put clarity in front of it, or adjust mic position.
Put detail in front of it, or adjust mic position.

FYI, many of your points have to do with the performance. Many of your points can be addressed by proper technique by either the performer or in terms of mic placement. "Grunge" and "distortion", well, you're doing something wrong.

IMO, it sounds like you're looking for a smooth LDC, preferably with variable polar patterns, but you'd better have a well-treated tracking environment.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #19
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 

I need to also add that preamps can drastically affect clarity on a mic as well. I was running my SM7b through a fully modded Gap pre73. Since the Gap tends to have a warm, rounded, almost smeared top end, it was making my vocal takes with the SM7b a bit muddy and dull.

However, when I switched to an Isa ONE, presto! Amazing clarity.

This is a matter of opinion, but a lot of folks on here rave about running the SM7b through colored, Neve type preamps. The more I tried that route, the more I didn't like the muddy, overly rounded sound that combo produced on my vocals. I think the SM7b really excels through a clean preamp with a sparkly top end. The ISA ONE is really nice for that, and also adds a bit of transformer fullness to pull the vocals forward in the mix without overwhelming the source with too much transformer color like the Gap.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #20
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kennybro's Avatar
There's a certain way a lot of people mix rock & pop, spurred on by mixes like Thriller, or think Anthony Kiedis' vocals in a RHCP mix. The vocal rides over the music on a midrangy bump, with sparkling highs and booming lows rolled down.

The SM7 delivers that charge all by itself with a smooth, finished edge that other mics don't offer, so it fits into a popular style of production that works across a wide range. It's not the ticket when you want a lot of body and full-range dimension in the vocal, but that's why quality condensors exist.

Use your production gear to it's best advantage, and you'll be pushing/turning fewer buttons and knobs during post.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #21
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 

Exactly. I wouldn't be using the SM7b on a delicate R&B type vocal in a sparse mix. I think the SM7b sounds fantastic in big pop/rock mixes. The SM7b just has this perfect thickness and fullness that meshes really well in a big mix. However, it starts sounding like it's missing something in sparse mixes. I prefer condensers in sparse mixes, where more focus is placed on the intimate details of the vocal. On the flip-side, I tend to really struggle getting vocals tracked on condensers to sit in big mixes. It's sort of like the details caught by the condenser starts competing with the details of the mix, if that makes sense. A good engineer can make it work. However, since I'm not the greatest engineer in the world, I prefer to let my tools do the work for me.

So for me on my voice, my formula is this:
Sparse mixes=condenser on vocals
Big mixes=SM7b all the way baby!

QUOTE=kennybro;8380522]There's a certain way a lot of people mix rock & pop, spurred on by mixes like Thriller, or think Anthony Kiedis' vocals in a RHCP mix. The vocal rides over the music on a midrangy bump, with sparkling highs and booming lows rolled down.

The SM7 delivers that charge all by itself with a smooth, finished edge that other mics don't offer, so it fits into a popular style of production that works across a wide range. It's not the ticket when you want a lot of body and full-range dimension in the vocal, but that's why quality condensors exist.

Use your production gear to it's best advantage, and you'll be pushing/turning fewer buttons and knobs during post.[/QUOTE]
Old 23rd October 2012
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcaseal View Post
It's giving me what I want but is this really it? Things I want in a mic:

No plosives performance issue - use a pop shield/sing slightly across the mic
Natural sound
no bass boost on various words that are deeper peformance issue - don't sing deeper! pull away to lose proximity effect
no overdrived tanky sound performance issue - don't overdrive the mic! see distortion
no clicks from mouth noise don't produce mouth clicks! or fix them afterwards with pencil tool
no "warm" sound jesus christ that stuff...
No tin top end or fizzle
No grunge
no distortion performance issue - don't distort the mic (or choose a mic that has a high enough SPL rating that you don't distort it. These last 3 points are kind of the same thing
clarity
detail

condenser or dynamics. sm7b is winning vs other dynamics and condensers ive tried. like i said im happy with the sm7b. just curious what kinds of wacky things people will say to defend their mics. ive seen a lot of people defend some really horrible mics over the course of buying them.

in b4 re20. sm7b already won that
See above. If it works for you, it works for you. Lots of mics work on some voices, not on others. Keep using the SM7, and try every other mic you can to see if it works any better. In the meantime, record some music
Old 23rd October 2012
  #23
These sm7 threads are pretty funny to read. Like its been said so many times before, this mic will work great for some vocals and possibly horrible for others. And you'd probably be hard pressed to find any mic that is perfect for any vocals, a la the original post and the list of things that could be better about the sm7. Those seem like pretty petty things to worry about. If the mic is pleasing you overall, those qualms seem to me to be pretty easily overcome.

Personally, I find that the singer in my band has an unusually middy type voice with some unwanted higher end harmonics. This mic does not seem to pick up those higher end harmonics like my AT4040, and also recreates the mids very smoothly and accurately. Now for a lot of higher ranged female vocalists for example, I would suspect the sm7 may not work so well, and an LDC would do a much better job. That being said I have found the sm7 to be a really good and fairly inexpensive mic for a lot of different sources. I really like it on guitar amps, clean and overdriven, better than the 57 in my opinion. Also sounded great on toms.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #24
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thepilgrimsdream's Avatar
 

Vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate! JK, but really!

A group of engineers did a mic shootout with Stevie Wonder singing. Much to their surprise, each take sounded like Stevie Wonder.

With that being said, the sm7 is a wonderful mic for the money and I hope to pick one up soon to run into my LA610.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #25
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thepilgrimsdream's Avatar
 

The Sm7 is the U87 of the dynamic world
Old 23rd October 2012
  #26
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For me, the Beyer M-88 and Sennheiser MD-441 both sound better. But I lump all of those mics together as a similar sounding group which includes the 421 and the EV RE-20.
Old 24th October 2012
  #27
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prizebeatz1's Avatar
Does anybody to take into consideration the form factor of the SM7b? Surely this has to come into play. Suppose I want to use this microphone for recording in the field? How then can the SM7b not be beat by say a EV635?
Old 24th October 2012
  #28
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepilgrimsdream View Post
The Sm7 is the U87 of the dynamic world
When was the last time you saw someone use a pair of SM7b's used as overheads? I'll keep my M88's, because they're the magic wands that can rescue damsels in distress.
Old 24th October 2012
  #29
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thepilgrimsdream's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
When was the last time you saw someone use a pair of SM7b's used as overheads? I'll keep my M88's, because they're the magic wands that can rescue damsels in distress.
Wasn't comparing them as OH's, dynamics are rarely OHs. Just saying its the most popular love/hate mic that everyone loves or bashes.
Old 24th October 2012
  #30
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rocksure's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I'll keep my M88's, because they're the magic wands that can rescue damsels in distress.
Maybe...maybe. But, legend has it that it was an Electro Voice RE20 that King Arthur pulled out of the rock ( or maybe it was the one he pulled out when he wanted to record rock?..something like that ...I forget exactly).
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