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Why do SM7bs sound like ****? Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd July 2014
  #61
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diogo.zaccara's Avatar
 

post a little clip or your recording with it, maybe the we can get u some more accurate help... maybe ur unity its really malfunctioning and we can only help if we listen to it...

peace!
Old 22nd July 2014
  #62
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archfrenemy'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.
I don't know your voice specifically, but you could find a used Blue Mouse under $500 if you a willing to hunt. It is warm, rich and still retains presence in the high frequencies. It definitely has a transformer color and EQ signature to it. It is certainly not a choice for an all around transparent mic... It definitely has a vintage, warm, polished sound while still retaining high freq detail. It can work great on male vocalists when you want a big sounding vocal and still need to bring out enunciation.

That being said... The SM7b up close with the wind screen removed through a high gain preamp can certainly also be magic on the right male voice. That setup has delivered on a wide range of male vocalists from James Hetfield to Michael Jackson to Jeff Tweedy.

The SM7 is not the "beat all end all vocal mic" nor does it "work great on every voice". (There is no such thing by the way) It is certainly more of a specific use mic that will suit certain vocalists and mixes, not a general use mic that is transparent and equally useful on a wide variety of vocals / instruments. Look for more of a flat response LDC if you want a great all around mic like that. It my not overly flatter your specific voice, but it will deliver better quality on vocals and instruments. You can then color your vocals a bit during mixing. Maybe look at a used AT4050 or something similar.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #63
I'm here to say two things:

1: If you're not new to producing or mixing, hows come you are buying into the "hype" of any product? Most experienced mixers know that hype does nothing by sell products!

2: I own an SM7b and it IS dark and muddy, but the selling point for me isn't its extreme dark character, its its super tight polar pickup pattern that turns any room into an isolated vocal booth. It rejects almost all room flutter and echo and leaves you with just the vocal... which is ideal for people who work out of their homes and don't have proper treatment for a vocal booth.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #64
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I own an SM7B. To be honest, one day I love mine for vocals and the next day I hate it. Sometimes it works in a mix and other times I find that I can EQ the mic until the cows come home and it still doesn't sound right. Personally I find that it often doesn't take EQ as well as it is often suggested. In those cases I reach for a condenser. What I've come to realize is that the best voices for the SM7b are loud, high tenors in the Michael Jackson camp. Your voice needs to be cutting and of the non-muddy type. On songs where I'm really belting out and singing high, the mic works well. On other songs where I'm singing lower and more reserved then I reach for a condenser. Anymore I like mics that record the source with minimal EQ boosting, as I don't care for that fizzy sound you start getting once you boost over 3db of any frequency. You really need to know how to use EQ and compression to get the best out of this mic. You also need EQ that doesn't sound like crap when you start boosting. My guess is that worldclass studios are also using high end outboard EQ's, preamps and compressors to get the best out of this mic.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #65
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spambot_2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
What I've come to realize is that the best voices for the SM7b are loud, high tenors in the Michael Jackson camp.
I suggest you too took a listen to one of the three last Depeche Mode album.
Dave Gahan is a baritone or a looow tenor at most if ya ask me.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #66
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
IAnymore I like mics that record the source with minimal EQ boosting, as I don't care for that fizzy sound you start getting once you boost over 3db of any frequency.
Get a better eq, me thinks. Or boost lower down.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinderwet View Post
I agree. In most situations, it ain't worth the hassle to record stuff like acoustic guitars through an SM7, just to show it can be done. It's dark indeed, which comes as a blessing on sibilant/thin vocals, horns or "ice picky" electric guitar cabinets.
I personally don't own an SM7, but I don't think I've ever read anywhere that it was used as an instrument mic. Not that it cannot be just because it is a mic. I've mostly heard of it being used on vocals. My guess for the OP might be that the impedence isn't matched with his preamp. If you have the wrong impedance you can really mess up higher freqs.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #68
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Audient ASP880 - Keep It Moving feat. Swift 89 - YouTube

This is a nice in your face vocal with an audient ASP880 and a Shure SM 7b.

I like it but you dont have to.

Cheers
Old 23rd July 2014
  #69
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinrob View Post
I personally don't own an SM7, but I don't think I've ever read anywhere that it was used as an instrument mic. Not that it cannot be just because it is a mic. I've mostly heard of it being used on vocals.
You're right. It's not. The SM7b was designed for radio broadcast. How many other mics have a built-in yoke? Is that really even desirable on an instrument mic? The reason it's there is so you can mount it under a broadcast boom stand and quickly adjust the position for a speaker. It certainly wasn't designed for live vocals, given the size.

The fact that there are other uses for the SM7b is really incidental.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #70
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This sounds great, but it would fall in the higher, thinner camp.

Lucy Rose - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) - YouTube

Chris
Old 23rd July 2014
  #71
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris93 View Post
This sounds great, but it would fall in the higher, thinner camp.

Lucy Rose - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) - YouTube

Chris
Yup. Look how close she is to that mic, and how quietly she's singing. The SM7b works well on up-close vocals, because it suppresses spit, mouth noises, and gravel.
Old 25th July 2014
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogo.zaccara View Post
post a little clip or your recording with it, maybe the we can get u some more accurate help... maybe ur unity its really malfunctioning and we can only help if we listen to it...

peace!
This. Post something.
Old 4th August 2014
  #73
SM7b featured heavily on my latest track...

I just finished my latest project which featured SM7bs very heavily! Guitars were Fender Telecaster going through a Vox AC15, being mic'd by a SM7b into a Warm Audio TB12.

The lead vocal and harmony vocals were tracked also with an SM7b into a GAP Pre73DLX. My usual vocal mic is a Mojave MA200 but as this is a very aggressive rock song with a somewhat sibilant singer, the SM7b/Pre73 fit perfectly!!

Have a listen, let me know what you think.....sound like **** or not too bad?!

Adam
Attached Files
Old 10th August 2014
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigadd0 View Post
I just finished my latest project which featured SM7bs very heavily! Guitars were Fender Telecaster going through a Vox AC15, being mic'd by a SM7b into a Warm Audio TB12.

The lead vocal and harmony vocals were tracked also with an SM7b into a GAP Pre73DLX. My usual vocal mic is a Mojave MA200 but as this is a very aggressive rock song with a somewhat sibilant singer, the SM7b/Pre73 fit perfectly!!

Have a listen, let me know what you think.....sound like **** or not too bad?!

Adam
I hear some clipping going on. Be careful with that.

The lead guitar riff also sounds a lot like Story of the Year - "Until the day I die". It's also a bit harder to catch the tone of the true vocal behind that autotune. But I hear some SM7 characteristics for sure.


Now, for some positive reinforcement. I can get some emotion behind the performance which is great, and the song is catchy too. Reminds me of AFI.

Hopefully, if that clipping is in the mixing and NOT the recordings, just go back and do some gain staging.

SM7 is a great choice in my boat. Anyone with good technique and voicing can make a killer track with the Sm7 or SM7b. Even crappy ones can (Anthony Kiedis...shhh don't tell em I said that!)

BTW I'm digging the drum sounds and guitars. Fader up dat bass though!

Last edited by D34d_Ledger; 12th August 2014 at 04:18 AM.. Reason: additional info.
Old 10th August 2014
  #75
I remember when I first listened to my vocals into a sm7b and I was very pleased. Just give it some pre gain and some eq air and done. As for any instrument/mic, I don't really listen to it when solo'ed but in the mix and I like what I hear.

I think this mic is good enough, even on some ballads (RHCP, Paramore -misguided ghost-, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigadd0 View Post
I just finished my latest project which featured SM7bs very heavily! Guitars were Fender Telecaster going through a Vox AC15, being mic'd by a SM7b into a Warm Audio TB12.

The lead vocal and harmony vocals were tracked also with an SM7b into a GAP Pre73DLX. My usual vocal mic is a Mojave MA200 but as this is a very aggressive rock song with a somewhat sibilant singer, the SM7b/Pre73 fit perfectly!!

Have a listen, let me know what you think.....sound like **** or not too bad?!

Adam
Not in front of my monitors but the vocals sound good on my laptop. Some more compression, eq and automation maybe.

Oh. And I agree with the previous comment about the intro being very SOTY. Just skip the intro with the solo guitar and you're fine. It doesn't sound so SOTY when everything else is playing. Just my 2c.
Old 10th August 2014
  #76
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
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.
The RE-20 I have came from a studio sale and at a rather low price - it took me a while to clean/get rid of the incredibly intense cigarette smell......

So I don't know if my RE-20 really performs as it should but the only place where I had some success was on acoustic guitar as an additional mic to a KM 84 or C451. On vocals it always turned out to be too 'silvery' sounding, too much sparkle but not in a good way.

My SM7s on the other hand always work great especially on vocals. After a recent 'dialogue' sessions with 5 speakers that perfromed live and without headphones I realized I need a third SM7b. I used my two SM7bs on two speakers each and a MD-441 for the fifth performer. It worked rather well but I would have prefered an all-SM7b setup.

Amazing side rejection, unhyped and well-balanced sonics, just the right amount of presence, takes EQ very well but often does not need it. Definitely the best investment I ever made because I use SM7bs on practically every session.
Old 18th August 2014
  #77
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Wondering Pigeon's Avatar
 

I'd like to let everyone know I was horribly wrong about this mic, after getting a 6i6 and hooking my Isa one up tp it, the sound of this mic blows me away, this sounds better than most 500+ dollar mics I've rented, this doesn't sound muddy or dark anymore now that I've bypassed the pres on my interface. This mic gets A 10/10 from me
Old 18th August 2014
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I'd like to let everyone know I was horribly wrong about this mic, after getting a 6i6 and hooking my Isa one up tp it, the sound of this mic blows me away, this sounds better than most 500+ dollar mics I've rented, this doesn't sound muddy or dark anymore now that I've bypassed the pres on my interface. This mic gets A 10/10 from me
Haha
Old 18th August 2014
  #79
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You sure you didn't change anything else?
'cause the 2i2 and the 6i6 sound very much alike y' know.

Also why didn't you bypass the pre's before?
Old 18th August 2014
  #80
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I'd like to let everyone know I was horribly wrong about this mic, after getting a 6i6 and hooking my Isa one up tp it, the sound of this mic blows me away, this sounds better than most 500+ dollar mics I've rented, this doesn't sound muddy or dark anymore now that I've bypassed the pres on my interface. This mic gets A 10/10 from me
You might want to add that paragraph under your original post. That way people researching the SM7 don't read 4 pages to find out you actually loved it with an outboard pre.
Old 18th August 2014
  #81
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I'd like to let everyone know I was horribly wrong about this mic, after getting a 6i6 and hooking my Isa one up tp it...
Good for you, and I really appreciate the post. Because you got your problem solved, certainly, but mostly because you came back and copped to what the problem really was. Too many people around here wouldn't have the courage to do that.
Old 19th August 2014
  #82
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
You might want to add that paragraph under your original post. That way people researching the SM7 don't read 4 pages to find out you actually loved it with an outboard pre.
Nah, they still won't read it.
Old 19th August 2014
  #83
Gear Maniac
Case closed.. haha
Old 19th August 2014
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
Why do SM7bs sound like ****?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question
Old 20th August 2014
  #85
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TS-12's Avatar
Ok umm.. In post#1 The op was using sm7b thru isa one nd wasn't liking the sound and than in post#77 he's using same signal chain but likes the sound ?
Old 20th August 2014
  #86
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He switched to a 6i6 and said he's now bypassing the pre's.

This sounds pretty strange to me too...
Old 20th August 2014
  #87
Gear Head
 
Anvil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wondering Pigeon View Post
I thought this mic was supposed to be the be all end all vocal mic
There is no such thing as a "be all end all" anything mic. Different instruments or voices and different musicians will all sound different. There are some mics that have been known to be one of the best for a specific thing, but there isn't one mic that you can buy that will perfect the sound, otherwise nobody would buy any other mics. I have used the SM7b a few times. The first time I was recording a high tenor male vocal and it sounded great. I was running it through a high end tube pre (which I can't remember the name of at the moment). The second time I used it was for another high tenor male vocal through the same tube pre, but this time it didn't sound great at all. I ended up switching it out for a c414 which sounded significantly better. The third time I used it was for a deep, johnny cash sytle voice, so I thought the SM7b would be perfect. It ended up sounding okay, but when I recored the guy's second song I changed it out for an RE20 and it sounded better. It mostly comes down to the musician's skill and sound. Dynamic mics aren't a waste for vocals, just look at Bon Iver's first album, For Emma Forever Ago. Justin Vernon (lead singer) recorded the entire album with just an SM57 into a preamp he made and an entry level pro tools interface. It's how you use it. Just because you know how to compress and add reverb and tape delay doesn't mean you genuinely know what you are doing. That's what separates the greats from the rest of us. Knowing your subject, knowing your microphone, and knowing how they correlate.
Old 21st August 2014
  #88
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Hi Pigeon,

Check this, see if it's still available, I sold mine for about $500. It's perfect for what you are looking for.


Why do SM7bs sound like ****?Groove Tubes Model MD1A Tube Microphone with Accessories Never Used | eBay
Old 21st August 2014
  #89
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slammy80's Avatar
 

to the OP,

check this video -- this is how you should always use the SM7b - (at about 5:18 in this video, Jeff Tweedy is singing this song live with the band tracking in the same room. He's taken the windscreen off and is basically chewing on the microphone. Works like a charm, as usual. )

Old 21st August 2014
  #90
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great song, well rehearsed with good players and nice vocal technique.

He knew when to give it and to back off.

Thanks for sharing.

All the more reason to have a Shure SM7b in your microphone arsenal.

Cheers
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