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Q: SM7 Love, why? A: Timbre-balance
Old 20th June 2009
  #1
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Q: SM7 Love, why? A: Timbre-balance

Not a day goes by without handful of gushing recommendations for the Shure SM7.

I'm always interested in asking why an opinion is so firmly and frequently expressed. In the case of the SM7, I think the answer lies partly in the timbre-balance of this mic - it is essentially flat (without the presence boost on - though more accurately, with the presence cut filter engaged) and has a significant sibilance-taming cut of 5dB or so in the troublesome 7-9 kHz region. Very different than the response of the typical un-filtered K67-type capsule condenser mic with a strong boost in those same frequencies. No wonder we're beginning to see the tide turn toward flatter response mics like the SM7 and Heil Sound dynamic mics and the KEL HM-7U condenser mic.

What other mics can you think of that deliver nearly flat response and absence of sibilance boosted frequencies?
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Q: SM7 Love, why?   A: Timbre-balance-sm7.gif  
Old 20th June 2009
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
Not a day goes by without handful of gushing recommendations for the Shure SM7.

I'm always interested in asking why an opinion is so firmly and frequently expressed. In the case of the SM7, I think the answer lies partly in the timbre-balance of this mic - it is essentially flat (without the presence boost on - though more accurately, with the presence cut filter engaged) and has a significant sibilance-taming cut of 5dB or so in the troublesome 7-9 kHz region. Very different than the response of the typical un-filtered K67-type capsule condenser mic with a strong boost in those same frequencies. No wonder we're beginning to see the tide turn toward flatter response mics like the SM7 and Heil Sound dynamic mics and the KEL HM-7U condenser mic.

What other mics can you think of that deliver nearly flat response and absence of sibilance boosted frequencies?
Most dynamics and ribbons will feature these attributes.
Old 20th June 2009
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikymike View Post
Most dynamics and ribbons will feature these attributes.
Minus 1 on that.
Old 20th June 2009
  #4
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Reiner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
What other mics can you think of that deliver nearly flat response and absence of sibilance boosted frequencies?
For me the M201 is a little like that. It doesn´t have that dump around 5k but it sounds very flat to my ears. Nice to shape it afterwards.
Old 20th June 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiner View Post
For me the M201 is a little like that. It doesn´t have that dump around 5k but it sounds very flat to my ears. Nice to shape it afterwards.
Great, thanks for the specific model number - very helpful. I've posted the frequency response chart of the $300 hypercardioid, dynamic Beyerdynamic M 201 below. Similarly, the hypercardioid EV RE-15 comes to mind as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Q: SM7 Love, why?   A: Timbre-balance-beyerdynamic_m201.jpg   Q: SM7 Love, why?   A: Timbre-balance-ev_re_15.gif  
Old 20th June 2009
  #6
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...another mic that comes to mind is the Beyer Soundstar MKII (or M400)...very similar sound to the SM7...out of production but highly thought of...great on vocals!...
Old 20th June 2009
  #7
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Stepwise Sound's Avatar
 

The SM7B frequency response curve looks just about perfect to me for vocals.

Pretty flat, slightly scooped low mids, boost at 5k to make the vocals cut nicely.

Effective but subtle enough to work on different sources.
Old 20th June 2009
  #8
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who cares what the graph looks like....plug it in and turn it up and it will rarely let you down....IF......the performance is good you will be home and hosed....but isn't that always the case though?!
Old 20th June 2009
  #9
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britdick's Avatar
 

SM7b'erll****e!

i bought one. Used it. Hated it. Used it again. Hated it less. Kept using it. Now i get it. Pretty crazy the abuse that the recorded signal will take. i think it might be the perfect "Home Studio" mic...flame away ladies.
Old 21st June 2009
  #10
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...another mic that comes to mind is the Beyer Soundstar MKII (or M400)...very similar sound to the SM7...out of production but highly thought of...great on vocals!...
Another specific recommendation, thanks! I guess my point is this: the SM7 represents a general timbre-style of mic, of which there are quite few. It would be educational if other mics were mentioned in the same breath as the SM7 more often.
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