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Sm7 the legend
Old 15th March 2010
  #1
Sm7 the legend

I just broke down I put a SM7 on layaway at GC, after hearing so much about it here on gear sluts. It seemed like the most suggested mic for under a grand in particular for a low-end home studio with minimal treatment. I do plan on beefing up the treatment once I get the mic home in two weeks.

In general though what should I expect from it sound and behavior wise?
Old 15th March 2010
  #2
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superburtm's Avatar
 

good move..expect it to perform well

Quote:
Originally Posted by drethe5th View Post
I just broke down I put a SM7 on layaway at GC, after hearing so much about it here on gear sluts. It seemed like the most suggested mic for under a grand in particular for a low-end home studio with minimal treatment. I do plan on beefing up the treatment once I get the mic home in two weeks.

In general though what should I expect from it sound and behavior wise?
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

It's a great mic! You can't go wrong with it, but make shure you have a good preamp with enough gain! You need at least 65 - 70 db!
Old 15th March 2010
  #4
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drethe5th View Post
I just broke down I put a SM7 on layaway at GC, after hearing so much about it here on gear sluts. It seemed like the most suggested mic for under a grand in particular for a low-end home studio with minimal treatment. I do plan on beefing up the treatment once I get the mic home in two weeks.

In general though what should I expect from it sound and behavior wise?
Why did you put it on layaway?
It should only cost about $350.00 at a reputable dealer.
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #5
I agree, I usually need 65 db of gain on my MA5 to make it work. Sounds great though. I can add a bit of air in the mix, a bit of 12-13k, snip snip at 120 hz (roll off) and it's good to go.
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
I agree, I usually need 65 db of gain on my MA5 to make it work. Sounds great though. I can add a bit of air in the mix, a bit of 12-13k, snip snip at 120 hz (roll off) and it's good to go.
I need 55 db gain , but you need some headroom, because preamps make noise if they are on there limit!
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osten Powers View Post
I need 55 db gain , but you need some headroom, because preamps make noise if they are on there limit!
I probably have the other gain knob to -5db just to add more juice to the main gain knob
Old 16th March 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

sounds nice off my 003 no external preamps its a good mic


- took a while to get used to it though (imo leave the mic setting on flat) that is: dont engage the rolloff and no presence boost eq it in your daw for best sound quality
Old 16th March 2010
  #9
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drethe5th View Post
I just broke down I put a SM7 on layaway at GC, after hearing so much about it here on gear sluts. It seemed like the most suggested mic for under a grand in particular for a low-end home studio with minimal treatment. I do plan on beefing up the treatment once I get the mic home in two weeks.

In general though what should I expect from it sound and behavior wise?
It sounds very solid/articulate in the mids (with presence filter on), very deep lows, but non-existent air frequencies (around 14-18 khz) that can be brought out with an EQ.

Easiest mic I have ever mixed. (EQ/compression wise)

The mic doesn't pick up transients as good as a condenser, so for a quick vocals I would go with a fast Solid State preamp whatever you pick is your choice (I used SSL Alpha Channel for fast rap vocals/fast rock vocals), and tube preamp for a smooth natural sound, but much more flat.

Got a rapper who likes to scream, this mic is your best friend.

Experiment and enjoy. This mic is the shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!
Old 16th March 2010 | Show parent
  #10
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rokuez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osten Powers View Post
It's a great mic! You can't go wrong with it, but make shure you have a good preamp with enough gain! You need at least 65 - 70 db!
would the j99 from sca be suitable cause of it's massive amount of gain?
New to mica and pres so excuse me if Im incorrect
Old 17th March 2010 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
flex's Avatar
 

The sm7 is like a chameleon in that it can blend into any environment!
Old 17th March 2010 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

I only just got this in yesterday, and i've only spoken into it,..... but wow!,.. just wow!

I can be one of those annoying "low talkers", but with my humble motu ultralite that has i think 60dbs of (noisy) gain max, i actually didnt have to turn the trim up so high to get a decent signal.

Yes the volume was low, but if i got a good clean signal then pushing it up in-DAW was fine cos of the mic's tight pickup,... on the other hand if i pushed the ultralite for a hotter signal it was just horrid obviously ( damn you motu for making me believe your marketing! ).

i have yet to track anything with it, but i'm thinking that i can make up the lack of clean gain in the ultralite by really close micing, like lips on the mic close. that and by whipping the talent to sing/rap a tad louder than they're used to.

with the LF rolled off i dont think the proximity effect will be that detrimental. kinda like tracking with omnis and yet going for isolation,.... not the best mics to avoid bleed with but if you get close enough it can be done.

I gotta admit, I was worried about the whole gain issue, but i think with a few adjustments, and experimenting with mic technique, its not really going to be a massive problem.

I think the isolation alone is worth trying one,.... you can always return it if you really dont like its "sound" as opposed to its output level.
Old 17th March 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ysmgj View Post
I only just got this in yesterday, and i've only spoken into it,..... but wow!,.. just wow!

I can be one of those annoying "low talkers", but with my humble motu ultralite that has i think 60dbs of (noisy) gain max, i actually didnt have to turn the trim up so high to get a decent signal.

Yes the volume was low, but if i got a good clean signal then pushing it up in-DAW was fine cos of the mic's tight pickup,... on the other hand if i pushed the ultralite for a hotter signal it was just horrid obviously ( damn you motu for making me believe your marketing! ).

i have yet to track anything with it, but i'm thinking that i can make up the lack of clean gain in the ultralite by really close micing, like lips on the mic close. that and by whipping the talent to sing/rap a tad louder than they're used to.

with the LF rolled off i dont think the proximity effect will be that detrimental. kinda like tracking with omnis and yet going for isolation,.... not the best mics to avoid bleed with but if you get close enough it can be done.

I gotta admit, I was worried about the whole gain issue, but i think with a few adjustments, and experimenting with mic technique, its not really going to be a massive problem.

I think the isolation alone is worth trying one,.... you can always return it if you really dont like its "sound" as opposed to its output level.
I have an Apogee Ensemble and a motu 8pre - I would not want to use the SM7 with the Motu pres on anything other than a very loud source - the Motu pres are fine for some things, but they really suck for being noisy near the top of their gain. You should try to get some kind of decent high gain pre to really see what this mic is all about. (Lots of gain = awesome tone)
Old 17th March 2010 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
but they really suck for being noisy near the top of their gain. You should try to get some kind of decent high gain pre to really see what this mic is all about. (Lots of gain = awesome tone)
man, they suck for being noisy no where near the top! haha!

i still dont get how i never stumbled onto gearslutz before buying it

but to be fair i have gotten some pretty good mileage out of the little ultralite-but-noisy.
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
Those clips sound pretty nice to me. I've been thinking of picking up an SM7b for my vocals. My stuff is modern Pop/R&B and I've always been a little nervous that this mic might not sound 'big and airy' enough for more modern 'slick' sounding vocals. I DO however like the idea of it's isolation, as I tend to record in random, less than perfect spaces. I've been recording with a Bluebird and it sounds pretty good on my voice, but I'd love to be able to have a more 'hassle free' mic like everyone describes the SM7b to be.

Will an Apogee Duet have enough gain for me to drive the SM7b into a sufficiently sweet spot?
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyo View Post
Will an Apogee Duet have enough gain for me to drive the SM7b into a sufficiently sweet spot?
Yeah it definitely will. Remember though, the Neve vibe that the MA5 bring helps a lot too. My voice sounds bigger with this pre.
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Yeah it definitely will. Remember though, the Neve vibe that the MA5 bring helps a lot too. My voice sounds bigger with this pre.
Dammit, now you're gonna have me wantin' to go pick buy one!

The other thing that seems so attractive about the SM7b is that it is not a 'vibe killer' like a condensor on a shockmount can be. How does hit hold up when handheld? Sometimes singers just lose the magic when we are payin' too much attention to a condensor mic's fickle sensitivity, don't ya think?
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyo View Post
Dammit, now you're gonna have me wantin' to go pick buy one!

The other thing that seems so attractive about the SM7b is that it is not a 'vibe killer' like a condensor on a shockmount can be. How does hit hold up when handheld? Sometimes singers just lose the magic when we are payin' too much attention to a condensor mic's fickle sensitivity, don't ya think?
Hey I agree, I use it in many situations, especially when I can tell that the singer is choking up in front of a condenser mic. I was holding the mic on those examples. No pop filter on top, singing to the grill. I do know how to hold it properly to not make too much mic rumble, but you can remove those with an FFT filter.
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

this might be of interest for those with less than decent pre's,.... like me

last night i tracked a rapper friend, SM7b straight through my lil ultralite,...

this was recorded in his shop last night, so no treatment, no carpet, all timber. guerilla recording

this take was with the foam off and the track was playing on one of those club speaker type things, the cone was about 18 inches. it played loud enough to have to raise your voice a bit if you wanted to have a conversation.

i think this was the handheld take, i just told him to point the back to the speaker, and we killed the other one which was at the other end of the shop.

as for the gain on the ultralite, i turned the trim up +5dbs, thats what it says on the screen so not sure what the total dbs was, but i had another 20dbs before maxing out.

he's not an overly loud shouty rapper, but he's not quiet either, about average i would say. the metal cage was about 2-3 inches away from his mouth. and he had only just written the lyrics which is why the delivery sucks.

settings on the back were flat. and no processing whatsoever, i didnt even push the faders up for rendering, channel at 0, master at 0.

i'm quite happy with the way it turned out, the beat hardly came out, and it sounds like i wont have much to do to get his vocals to sit in the mix when we do the final take, but some thoughts for next time,...

he liked holding it, and it did produce a better performance, so i'm thinking maybe a stocking on the end to kill the occasional "p!". i tried the thin pop filter, but it did darken the sound alot.

and i think i'll set the trim to +0dbs next time.

i cant wait to see what a decent pre will do.

so yeah, there you go, hopefully the clip will be educational for someone.....
Attached Files

SdubA SM7b test.wav (3.60 MB, 437 views)

Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
sung vocals.
IHHO,the mike sounds "cheap" and does not have any balls.
At least in these examples it does not.
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #21
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piotr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
If anyone is interested:

vox unprocessed, processed, rap unprocessed and processed.

Sm7a into MA5 into CL1b (2-3 gain reduction),

For processed, I added a bit of air (6 to 7db) around 12,5k and a HPF at 110hz, and added 1.5db at 3hz. Also, de-esser after that.
Hi,

Thanks for posting this.

Is that annoying constant buzz not bothering you?
It would drive me crazy!

I noticed that my SM57s are very quick to pick up some interference, and it looks that the same is true for SM7a...?

p.
Old 19th March 2010
  #22
Here for the gear
 
Joeycheez's Avatar
 

Bob Dylan and SM7

All I can tell you is that I had the pleasure of cutting vocals with Bob Dylan and the SM7 was the only mike he would let ne use
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
IHHO,the mike sounds "cheap" and does not have any balls.
At least in these examples it does not.
That's why I wouldn't use the sm7 for my voice, it doesn't fit at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
Hi,

Thanks for posting this.

Is that annoying constant buzz not bothering you?
It would drive me crazy!

I noticed that my SM57s are very quick to pick up some interference, and it looks that the same is true for SM7a...?

p.
Hey which buzz? I'll have to relisten to it.
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #24
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piotr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Hey which buzz? I'll have to relisten to it.
If you listen to the first sample you posted: "sm7a (rap unprocessed).mp3" you can hear a very pronounced continuous buzzing...

Unless i am hearing things that aren't there, in which case I might be having a serious problem... ;-)

p.
Old 19th March 2010 | Show parent
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
If you listen to the first sample you posted: "sm7a (rap unprocessed).mp3" you can hear a very pronounced continuous buzzing...

Unless i am hearing things that aren't there, in which case I might be having a serious problem... ;-)

p.
Hey I get what you're hearing, I think it's my pre, I'll see what the problem is.
Old 20th March 2010
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
ONE LUV's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drethe5th View Post
I just broke down I put a SM7 on layaway at GC, after hearing so much about it here on gear sluts. It seemed like the most suggested mic for under a grand in particular for a low-end home studio with minimal treatment. I do plan on beefing up the treatment once I get the mic home in two weeks.

In general though what should I expect from it sound and behavior wise?
sm 7 is just great!! most vocals just WORK with it.

yo dre, nice music on your player! sensational is a very nice song and i know the original!!! damn i had it on vinyl somewhere in my record collection

i can´t sleep before i find it just gimme a hint man
Old 2nd April 2010 | Show parent
  #27
UldntCOUldn't tell you. I didn't do the music on that. I can try & remember and ask the guy who did it. Should talk to him over the weekend.
Old 3rd April 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
antoniosolo's Avatar
 

sm7b

I believe the sm7b is favored by musicians who are accustomed to live performances where dynamics are always used. If you get used to that live sound, then that may be what you gravitate toward in your recordings, just like the live, gobo'ed recordings in studios for most rock bands. If you notice for r and b at live performances the emphasis is usually on snapping drummers that keep some mad rhythm and awesome synths with great orchestration and you rarely can get a wonderful vocal outside. The sm7b just doesn't do it for me when looking for a wonderful capture of a great soul singer, but it may suffice on some voices. I am 100% condenser for what I am after. Now can we please get back to learning how to USE condensers!
Old 3rd April 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
BurnStudios's Avatar
 

Not everything sounds good going through a condenser mic.. Especially screaming rock metal vocals , the sm7 is also great on kick drums guitar cabs and bass cabs. The sm7 is a favorite for a reason, it sounds good.
Old 3rd April 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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antoniosolo's Avatar
 

sm7b

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnStudios View Post
Not everything sounds good going through a condenser mic.. Especially screaming rock metal vocals , the sm7 is also great on kick drums guitar cabs and bass cabs. The sm7 is a favorite for a reason, it sounds good.

To some ears it will do the trick....
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