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Why do SM7bs sound like ****? Condenser Microphones
Old 20th July 2014
  #31
Gear Head
 
Wondering Pigeon's Avatar
 

Well the ISA one has almost 100 db of gain but when I reach 75 for softer singing it starts hissing
Old 20th July 2014
  #32
Gear Addict
 

It doesn't have 100 dB of gain. I've never heard of any pre that does at any price. Probably more like 55-60 I'd guess.
Old 20th July 2014
  #33
Gear Addict
 

Yeah, I just checked, and that's your problem: your preamps max at 46dB pegged. Like I said, you need a better outboard pre or a hotter mic. Read your specs, dude. Everything has its limitations. All those features in a small box for cheap, you KNOW they have to save money somewhere to meet the price point. Hey, just a good converters at least twice the cost of that box. Now you gotta find out how to make the most of what you have.
Old 20th July 2014
  #34
Gear Head
 
Wondering Pigeon's Avatar
 

I really think it's just the mic, you know I really do believe if Micheal Jackson's thriller album wasn't recorded with the SM7b no one would be praising it the way they are, I mean granted it works beautifully for broadcasting but that's... That's really it. This mic should stay out of the studio.
Old 20th July 2014
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I really think it's just the mic, you know I really do believe if Micheal Jackson's thriller album wasn't recorded with the SM7b no one would be praising it the way they are, I mean granted it works beautifully for broadcasting but that's... That's really it. This mic should stay out of the studio.
I disagree I'm afraid.

I've done semi-blind shoot outs with neumanns you and I can only dream of owning, where the sm7b has sounded subjectively "better".

Thriller was the original sm7, not the 7b btw. I don't know what the differences are.

I agree they're not the ultimate mic - but what they are is very tolerant of poor recording spaces, and unbelievable performance versus cost. I'd much rather have a 7b instead of any cheap condenser in the same price bracket.

Google a song called "this is who we are" by the Dutch band di-rect. That's an sm7b on the vocal. Tell me that doesn't sound "good".

If your sm7b sounds worse than your sm58 in most circumstances, then something is wrong somewhere.

But it's not a mic for strings. Just like you don't tow a dog sled with chihuahuas. Wrong tool for the job!

My studio would be poorer without it, that's for sure, even if I do usually use a u67 or m149 for vocals!
Old 20th July 2014
  #36
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I really think it's just the mic, you know I really do believe if Micheal Jackson's thriller album wasn't recorded with the SM7b no one would be praising it the way they are, I mean granted it works beautifully for broadcasting but that's... That's really it. This mic should stay out of the studio.
No...

Get a cloudlifter in between it and your pre.
Old 20th July 2014
  #37
Lives for gear
 
spambot_2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I think something is wrong with it because when I go to raise the volume of my monitors it makes a white noise and when I plug a guitar into it clips with little gain
That's how a 2i2 is supposed to work.

Again, they aren't the highest quality interfaces out there.
Old 20th July 2014
  #38
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

What we have here is user error. Plain and simple. Sorry. Get yourself bits that work with that thing (like a Fethead, cloudlifter or boostbarrel for it to work better with your pre; or a more suitable pre). And perhaps a nice analog eq, to shape its sound. The thing doesn't do 'ready made' like some mics, but rather reacts very favourably to shaping into what's needed in a mix and then sits like few others with the right song/vocalist.

To plug it into a pre that can't drive it properly and then moan it doesn't sound ready made is to completely misunderstand the tool at hand.
Old 20th July 2014
  #39
Lives for gear
 
TREMORS's Avatar
Works great with Purple Audio Biz with dual switch engaged.
Old 20th July 2014
  #40
Lives for gear
 
spambot_2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
Well the ISA one has almost 100 db of gain but when I reach 75 for softer singing it starts hissing
Where in the world did you read that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRASHBOX View Post
Yeah, I just checked, and that's your problem: your preamps max at 46dB pegged. Like I said, you need a better outboard pre or a hotter mic. Read your specs, dude.
According to the focusrite specs (and the ISA one front panel) the thing has 60dB of input gain + another 20dB somewhere else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Thriller was the original sm7, not the 7b btw. I don't know what the differences are.
According to SHURE, the new ones are even better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHURE employee
"I work for Shure and here is the answer to your questions...

SM7 -> SM7a = improved RF protection

SM7a -> SM7b = larger windscreen included & even further improved RF protection

There is NOT any discernable sound difference between any of the revisions. I've talked to people who swear they can hear it, but it isn't due to the revisions. Listen to any two of the same mic side-by-side and I'm sure you'll hear or think you hear a difference.

This isn't 'Shure biased mumbo jumbo.' I love lots of mics and I'd be the first to say if there was a difference. Shure as a whole doesn't try to hide information or use deceptive marketing tactics. The product is delivered as what it is and the price it is listed at..."
Old 20th July 2014
  #41
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I've done semi-blind shoot outs with neumanns you and I can only dream of owning, where the sm7b has sounded subjectively "better".
The SM7b is rarely my favorite mic. It's definitely not a first-reach for me. But there was that one female singer with a light willowy voice who was just perfect through the SM7b. I was sure I was going to pick a condenser for her, but no, the SM7b was the best.

There were also some background vocals I cut with an SM7b through a 610 that were just dead-on perfect. My favorite mic? No. My favorite preamp? No. Together on that material? Perfect. Go figure.

We talk a lot about Thriller, but frankly, few people have a voice as edgy as Michael Jackson's. The SM7b's real talent is for controlling harshness. The SM7b would be perfect for taming a voice like his, whereas a mic with more upper-end detail would just have made him sound harsh.

It's a tool. It sounds like it sounds. There's no such thing as a totally unusable mic, or one that works for everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Thriller was the original sm7, not the 7b btw. I don't know what the differences are.
The SM7 had a single coil transducer. The SM7B has a humbucking coil transducer. Shure says the difference is just in EMI pickup. I find that a little hard to believe.

And who knows. Maybe the difference between the SM7 and the SM7b was essential to the Thriller sound. The next time I record a vocalist who sounds like Michael Jackson, I'll be sure to report back to GS, first thing.
Old 20th July 2014
  #42
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
So I'm not new to audio engineering and I know a thing or two but I recently bought the SM7b after I bought into the hype and was so displeased with it, I ****ing hate how muddy and dark it sounds, and it's worthless on stringed instruments, why is this? I know it's not a condenser but not even my sm58 sounds that dark and muddy on strings or vocals, my vocal chain is SM7b > Isa one > focusrite 2i2 and I use waves gold plugs, I know how to EQ, de es, compress, add slight reverb and tape delay, so am I missing something? I thought this mic was supposed to be the be all end all vocal mic, good on any vocal period, but it's the most over hyped mic in the industry imo, I should have ****ing got the blue baby bottle, I knew a dynamic mic for vocals was a stupid mistake.
Because you're using it wrong and approaching things with baseless preconceptions.
Old 20th July 2014
  #43
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
What we have here is user error. Plain and simple. Sorry. Get yourself bits that work with that thing (like a Fethead, cloudlifter or boostbarrel for it to work better with your pre; or a more suitable pre). And perhaps a nice analog eq, to shape its sound. The thing doesn't do 'ready made' like some mics, but rather reacts very favourably to shaping into what's needed in a mix and then sits like few others with the right song/vocalist.

To plug it into a pre that can't drive it properly and then moan it doesn't sound ready made is to completely misunderstand the tool at hand.
This. It's a good mic, not always the best tool for the job but a good tool none the less. If you can't get a usable sound out of it, it is not the mics fault.
Old 21st July 2014
  #44
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I really think it's just the mic, you know I really do believe if Micheal Jackson's thriller album wasn't recorded with the SM7b no one would be praising it the way they are, I mean granted it works beautifully for broadcasting but that's... That's really it. This mic should stay out of the studio.
It should stay out of the studio? Why? Because you don't like it on your voice? Because it's not good on strings?

it's amazing to me how you can be so knowledgeable as to second-guess the choice of the vocal mic on an album as influential as "Thriller", and yet be so clueless as to buy a '****ty' sounding mic in the first place - solely based on its Internet Reputation - without, you know, trying it first.


you started out the thread with a question:
Quote:
so am I missing something?
but apparently the posts pointing out specifically the things you might be missing are insufficient.

I don't need to "defend" the SM7. Here is my suggestion: if you don't like the mic, sell it and buy something else. That's what I would do if I wasn't really looking to learn "what I was missing" to make it work. But then again, I like my SM7s.

Next time, maybe borrow the mic in question first, or rent an hour in a studio that has a few mics you are considering. Or buy from a place that has a decent return policy.
Old 21st July 2014
  #45
Gear Addict
 

Think we're wasting our breath here. From his prior posting history, his statement of 'knowing a thing of two about recording' may be literal. +1 on the Cloudlifter CL-1, but the best things probably for him to sell the SM7b to someone appreciative and end up with some nice $99 Chinese mic Guitar Center says is the bomb.
Old 21st July 2014
  #46
Lives for gear
 
Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I really think it's just the mic, you know I really do believe if Micheal Jackson's thriller album wasn't recorded with the SM7b no one would be praising it the way they are, I mean granted it works beautifully for broadcasting but that's... That's really it. This mic should stay out of the studio.
Thanks for that brilliant insight. Now go back to YouTube and watch some videos. Ignorance isn't bliss around here.
L.
Old 21st July 2014
  #47
Funny. I love this mic on vocals. And guitar, bass, talkback, extra trashy room. For the price I feel like it's well worth it. I never needed a million dollar pre to get that gain staging going either. Different strokes for different folks
Old 21st July 2014
  #48
Lives for gear
 
Tinderwet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
Thanks for that brilliant insight. Now go back to YouTube and watch some videos.
With all due respect, YouTube is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of sound quality reference.
Old 21st July 2014
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by D34d_Ledger View Post
... I never needed a million dollar pre to get that gain staging going either. Different strokes for different folks
Just in case anyone wants a "million dollar mic pre" that WILL work exceptionally well with a SM7B, just let be know. I can repaint the front panel of a vintage** Grace M-101, and will hand sign it, for only $9999.50. (Gearslutz members only discount applies). This is a limited time offer! For an extra $89.50 I'll throw in a genuine hand-soldered with 20 year-old vintage lead solder, 10 meter XLR cable made with Radio Shack wire and no-name Chinese XLR connectors that look real pretty. The cable will be tested to conduct audio signals from DC to 384 kHz. A NIST traceable frequency response certification will be supplied on demand (for a nominal extra fee).

**It's at least 4-months old so has that "vintage platina".
Old 21st July 2014
  #50
Lives for gear
 
spambot_2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinderwet View Post
With all due respect, YouTube is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of sound quality reference.
I reckon that might have been sarcastic.
You know, considering the fact that TS has gotten himself a mic basing himself on internet reviews...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 View Post
Just in case anyone wants a "million dollar mic pre" that WILL work exceptionally well with a SM7B, just let be know. I can repaint the front panel of a vintage** Grace M-101, and will hand sign it, for only $9999.50. (Gearslutz members only discount applies). This is a limited time offer! For an extra $89.50 I'll throw in a genuine hand-soldered with 20 year-old vintage lead solder, 10 meter XLR cable made with Radio Shack wire and no-name Chinese XLR connectors that look real pretty. The cable will be tested to conduct audio signals from DC to 384 kHz. A NIST traceable frequency response certification will be supplied on demand (for a nominal extra fee)..


Though no name chinese XLR connectors may as well be made by switchcraft.

Still,
Old 21st July 2014
  #51
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
What's a "Thriller"? Is that anything like a "Shocker"?
Old 21st July 2014
  #52
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
Does anyone think My 2i2 could be causing this problem? I think something is wrong with it because when I go to raise the volume of my monitors it makes a white noise and when I plug a guitar into it clips with little gain
I would guess so. It's 'The' mic for screams. It sounds excellent with a 1073 unless your mic is defective.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gracejames View Post
I would guess so. It's 'The' mic for screams. It sounds excellent with a 1073 unless your mic is defective.
Also sounds excellent with many other pres unless your voice is defective.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #54
Gear Head
 
Wondering Pigeon's Avatar
 

I've been singing for 15 years and had lessons for 8, it's not my voice, I will say I have thought long and hard and have came to the realization that the SM7b was never intended for vocals, it was originally designed for broadcast, but it has made it's way into every studio as a multipurpose workhorse, if how ever it is used for vocals it's only good for Harsh vocals and bright vocals, my voice is mellow along the lines of Thom yorke only deeper, so I guess I was expecting to much from the mic I believe. If anyone could recommend any condenser in the 300-500 range that would suite warm, mellow vocals that would be awesome because I think a condenser will suite my voice best. Thank you.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I've been singing for 15 years and had lessons for 8, it's not my voice, I will say I have thought long and hard and have came to the realization that the SM7b was never intended for vocals, it was originally designed for broadcast, but it has made it's way into every studio as a multipurpose workhorse, if how ever it is used for vocals it's only good for Harsh vocals and bright vocals, my voice is mellow along the lines of Thom yorke only deeper, so I guess I was expecting to much from the mic I believe. If anyone could recommend any condenser in the 300-500 range that would suite warm, mellow vocals that would be awesome because I think a condenser will suite my voice best. Thank you.
Instant answers thanks to google!

best condenser mic under 500 - Google Search
Old 22nd July 2014
  #56
Lives for gear
 
code green's Avatar
For the record, the ISA pres have more than enough gain for the SM7B. I use Mine with the channels in my ISA Two all the time. Those who suggested a different pre of course meant well, but that could not have been his problem.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #57
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I've been singing for 15 years and had lessons for 8, it's not my voice...
How long have you been recording? Any "lessons?"
Old 22nd July 2014
  #58
What a weird thread. If you can't get a great sound with what you have there's either broken gear, or broken user.

Someone else also asked whether you're plugging into the XLR on the 2i2. Bad idea indeed. However, if you're plugging into a hi-z instrument input instead of line in then you'll also have issues.

SM7 is darker than a super bright condenser like Blue, and does require a bit of gain, but does definitely not sound like what you're describing.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #59
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I've been singing for 15 years and had lessons for 8, it's not my voice, I will say I have thought long and hard and have came to the realization that the SM7b was never intended for vocals, it was originally designed for broadcast, but it has made it's way into every studio as a multipurpose workhorse, if how ever it is used for vocals it's only good for Harsh vocals and bright vocals, my voice is mellow along the lines of Thom yorke only deeper, so I guess I was expecting to much from the mic I believe. If anyone could recommend any condenser in the 300-500 range that would suite warm, mellow vocals that would be awesome because I think a condenser will suite my voice best. Thank you.
Thom Yorke's voice can do pretty un-mellow high up.......but if you reckon your sonics are like that, try an EV RE-20 then. Works on him.

Still, fact is if you can't get a result with the SM7 there's something wrong. It isn't only good for harsh vocals. View it as an unfinished tool. It needs finishing/opening a little with eq, which it takes very well. And it sits in a mix like a pro surfer on a wave. If you want a cheap, decent condenser, get a Shure KSM32.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #60
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spambot_2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I will say I have thought long and hard and have came to the realization that the SM7b was never intended for vocals, it was originally designed for broadcast [...] because I think a condenser will suite my voice best.
Though you bought the thing in the beginning believing it would have suited your voice.

How do you know a relatively cheap condenser will suit your voice better than a mic that everyone say would suit your voice if you were capable of using it?

I mean, you may well be right and maybe your voice and SM7Bs hate each other, though it seems to me that you're still basing yourself on stuff read on the internet in a couple of spare evenings, and that may lead you to other pointless expenses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
if how ever it is used for vocals it's only good for Harsh vocals and bright vocals
I respectfully disagree.

Listen to whatever interview to Dave Gahan and then listen to whatever of the last three Depeche Mode albums.

Also John Paul White from The Civil Words sounds amazing through both SM7s and the Manley Reference Cardiod mic, a cardioid condenser voiced more or less similarly to the U47.

A good mic will make a good performance shine, but a good performance will not sound like **** through any mic, let alone through an SM7.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
And it sits in a mix like a pro surfer on a wave.


Now this is a hell of a beautiful image.

Thank you very much indeed sir.
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