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A little help from the experts SM7B or other
Old 14th July 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

A little help from the experts SM7B or other

Good day peoples. I am just getting into recording from a long musical hiatus and would like to record my first album ASAP. But.... I cannot decide which mic is best. I am just learning to scream and growl and have work to do on my clean singing vocals as well. For this particular project I am aiming to do vocals similar to say Scar Symmetry or Soilwork: Half harsh vocals and they other half melodic cleans.

I just picked up a new SM7B as it seems it comes highly recommend for metal. Ive only had it for like 3 days and have only used it twice and ive learned a few things since then. One, I need a cloudlifter lol and Two, I don't know if I should keep it.

Since I haven't developed my voice as of yet I don't know if this mic will truly suit me and I am now worried of being stuck with a mic that cost me $425 hard earned Canadian dollars.

So my question is, if I wanted to record an album with the style of vocals listed above, should I return the SM7B for now and get something for half the price? until a later date where my singing and screaming voice is unleashed and then buy a better mic like the SM7B if it happens to work with my voice?
What are your suggestions for a mic that's around half the price that is:
A) Worth keeping if my voice pairs well with it or
B) Works well with what I will be using it for but wont lose my arse on if I have to upgrade a year down the road.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 14th July 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
G-Sun's Avatar
Try to borrow some other mics,
and try them out.
Old 14th July 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Try to borrow some other mics,
and try them out.
^^^ This! +1!

Plus I'd say that "usually" the sm7 is a great mic for that style of music (I know a local band called Dream Shade use it for cutting their vocals). Of course it needs to "match" YOUR vocals.. which is very subjective also because of the production goals that you might have.

I'd also say that you don't need a cloudlifter.. I'd say that you need a proper preamp that is able to get the gain needed without hiss/noise. (Like an Avedis MA5, Avalon 737, BAE, Forssell, Hardy M1, etc). Even if with screamo vocals some interfaces could do it just fine.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 14th July 2015
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks very much for the replies. I live in a small town of about 3000 people so unfortunately, borrowing mics is a not going to work although it is a fantastic idea.

The reason I mentioned the cloudlifter is because im trying to run it through a Scarlett 2i4 and it can only push 55db so I thought I would just add it and be ok. These other pre amps are great options but I am only going to be using 1 or 2 mics at best and would kind of like to keep things at a decent budget. Although spending a bit more on a pre amp probably wouldn't hurt as I would end up keeping it for a long time but would still like to start off with a little bit of a cheaper mic until I find out exactly what mid priced mics fit my voice down the road.
Old 14th July 2015
  #5
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
You're only going to regret letting go of the SM7b, even if it turns out not to be your main mic. Never part with quality mics. Ever.
Old 15th July 2015
  #6
Gear Head
Money spent on a lesser quality mic will definitely be money wasted. As kafka says even if this doesn't stay your main mic in the future it's a quality workhorse mic that has many uses beyond vocals. Since you have it in hand I suggest hanging on to it and using it as your first respectable vocal mic.

You don't mention where the music tracks come from that you'll be singing along to but if you or someone in your group are doing the recording you'll likely find good uses for the SM7B along the way.
Old 15th July 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
For that style the SM7 is a pretty safe bet, I track those kind of vocals often
and is my go-to, 8 times out of 10 it works but,
some, rare, times it just doesn't go along with some voices,
and when it doesn't you better have something else to grab.

Another thing to consider is that some vocalist really change
their timbre A LOT when going from growl to clean or even scream,
and again, sometimes the SM7 can sound good on all parts but
at least 5 times out of 10 i setup a second mic for the clean parts
(in my case a U87)
But this also depends on the feeling/arrangement of the songs,
sometimes i don't use the other mic because the SM7 sounds bad on the
clean/scream parts but is more an engineering/artistic decision,
because i want a diff feeling for those parts, more detail, a lil more
air an open sound (did this with the last project I've tracked in this genre).

But again, it's safe to say the SM7 is a standard, hard to go wrong.
I usually go with it into API 512running pretty hot into an1176 with
an hefty amount of GR and don't have to touch the vocals (growls and scream)
almost at all in mixing
Old 15th July 2015
  #8
Gear Addict
 

If you need more gain cloudlifters are an option, but they do change the sound a bit, they tend to bring in a bit more top-end to my ears. This isn't intrinsically good or bad, but should be taken into account. If you're considering outboard pres for the 7b I cannot highly enough recommend the Daking Mic Pre One. I picked one up to replace my WA12 (which isn't a slouchy pre) I've been extremely happy. The sound is neither clinical nor overly coloured, it rides a nice sweet middle-ground. I can pretty much dime the gain without inducing any meaningful noise from the pre (It usually sits at +65dB and the noise floor is below -43dB, the lowest my Dorrough can register). The built in HPF is nice for keeping scummy crap out, 40Hz keeps things cleaner without doing any damage to the bottom end.

Plenty of other great pre's out there, this one has become my got-to.
Old 17th July 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
AllBread's Avatar
 

I find that the magic of the SM7 is in getting the vocal really present and in your face. Also takes high SPLs really well. It's the only dynamic that I use on vocals with any regularity.
Old 17th July 2015
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post

I'd also say that you don't need a cloudlifter.. I'd say that you need a proper preamp that is able to get the gain needed without hiss/noise.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
I'd add that you should sure your room is dead quiet if you plan on diming the preamp for any mic , otherwise you're going to pickup computer and room noise and your recordings will sound terrible regardless.

If you can't make an sm7 sound decent than you need to work on your vocal technique - mic shopping is the last thing you need to be doing - trust me on this. It's not what you want to hear, but it will save you money and improve your recordings exponentially if you learn how to push air from your diaphragm properly.
Old 17th July 2015
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
I'd add that you should sure your room is dead quiet if you plan on diming the preamp for any mic , otherwise you're going to pickup computer and room noise and your recordings will sound terrible regardless.
Yep! The SM7b's deafness is not rejection. Bring it up to a good level and it's just another cardiod.
Old 17th July 2015
  #12
Gear Head
The SM7B is a great mic for male vocals and for your style I would recommend keeping it.

As far as needing a Cloudlifter, that depends on your preamps. The SM7B is a very low output mic, and should ideally be used with a preamp that has at least 65 or 70dB of clean gain. If you plan on only using the Scarlett's pres you will most likely need one, but upgrading to better pres would give you a much more noticeable difference.
Old 18th July 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
VO Guy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
You're only going to regret letting go of the SM7b, even if it turns out not to be your main mic. Never part with quality mics. Ever.
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