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Shure SM7B - Vocals - Pres that work best?
Old 8th October 2009
  #1
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Shure SM7B - Vocals - Pres that work best?

I just got this SM7B a few weeks ago and it works GREAT on guitar cabs!

I am having a little trouble getting to know it as a vocal mic. First the low gain makes it tough to get the sound that I want (round and present) with my tube pres, cause I have to set the gain stages all the way up to get the desired volume for recording.

Here are my pres (no compression or EQ added yet to vocals) :

API 512C , Manley duel mono, Universal 2-610 (nos tubes) , RNP.

* Getting two Great rivers soon!

Comps: Manley MU, EL-8 (2), ART VLA (original)
EQ: Manley Massive Passive

What would use out of this equipment to get a vocal on the SM7B?

What pre would you suggest for the Shure that I do not have?

Thanks,
JT
Old 9th October 2009
  #2
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MicSlut666's Avatar
 

The API will be an awesome combination with the SM7B! Just set all switches flat and take of the windscreen and use a normal pop filter.

Adding one of your Distressors in the chain will give you smoking rock vocals.

In my opinion your are settled with all your stuff. But if you feel to spend some money i can also recommend the A-Designs Pacifica. Also a great match with the Sm7B.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Thank you for the reply! I will try the API again and experiment with the Distressor! I did not spend allot of time with the API when I was originally testing all the pres!
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Webb's Avatar
 

Just wait until you get the Great River. That and the SM7b is a match made in heaven.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Avening's Avatar
 

The main thing to know about tracking vocals with the SM7b, is that the mic thrives off of proximity effect. You're not going to get the "full" sound you're after distancing the mic from the vocalist with that mic, regardless of pre. The SM7b stays incredibly detailed when pushed, so don't be afraid to.

Try keeping the windscreen on (the small one), and put a pop filter right up close, practically touching the windscreen. Get your vocalist to put their lips right on the pop filter, and really project. As soon as you get the proximity effect going on that mic, you'll like what you hear.

As for hardware, the SM7b likes a heavy solid state pre like a 1073 or GR. For now, the 512c would be a great choice, but any of your pre's will do the job ... just use your ears. As far as compression, FWIW I'm a huge Vari-Mu fan as I find it to keep the highs from a sound source more detailed than comparable comps. Your mass-pass will do a great job of any needed EQ.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #6
To be honest, I used the SM7B with a Presonus Bluetube and it sounded really good. It's a bit noisy, but thats any dynamic mic for you. I found that the stock Digi gate set right gets rid of ALL the slight hiss and it sounds like a beautifully detailed condenser.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Hate to be the one to say it, Sam, but I'm willing to bet that noise you hear is coming from the Bluetube, not the mic.

What's probably happening is that the mic, being a low output mic, needs more gain than you normally expect out of the Bluetube. So, when you use the SM7b, you have to crank the gain up into the range where the Bluetube gets a bit noisy.

That's why, when the SM7b is mentioned, people recommend getting a pre that will kick in a bit more clean gain. It doesn't need more gain than most pres give; it just needs more of the pre's gain range to be quiet and useful.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Audio Enginerd's Avatar
 

SM7b > 512c > Distressor is a great combination! This is my preference for recording my voice. I also have had good results with the SM7 and the GR.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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NWSooner's Avatar
 

The A-Designs Pacifica plays very nice with the SM7B.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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I'm with everyone on the 512/Distressor combo. I've used the SM7 a lot and had the best luck with a 512 and/or 1073/1272 type pre's. The SM7 is a great rock vocal mic but it's amazing for subtle smooth sounding performances as well. I know Sarah McLachlan has used an SM7 on several of her recordings and she always has a great, smooth vocal sound IMO. Good stuff
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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redrue's Avatar
 

One of my favorite features of the SCA N72 I
use with my SM7 is that the N72 can be built with
a 'fader option'. Meaning that you can crank
the preamp to get that full, saturated goodness
out of the transformer and attenuate all that
sweetness down to a point that won't blow
your ADCs all to hell.

I love those things.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Another option could be the Magneto Audio Labs' Variohm, a transformer-based device that can be used to vary the impedance relationship between a microphone and the pre-amplifier it's being fed into.
Old 9th October 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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superburtm's Avatar
 

512C AND AN SM7 IS A GREAT DEPENDABLE VOCAL CHAIN thumbsup
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
Hate to be the one to say it, Sam, but I'm willing to bet that noise you hear is coming from the Bluetube, not the mic.

What's probably happening is that the mic, being a low output mic, needs more gain than you normally expect out of the Bluetube. So, when you use the SM7b, you have to crank the gain up into the range where the Bluetube gets a bit noisy.

That's why, when the SM7b is mentioned, people recommend getting a pre that will kick in a bit more clean gain. It doesn't need more gain than most pres give; it just needs more of the pre's gain range to be quiet and useful.
Thanks for the tip. Come to think of it, even when I use my TLM through the Blue, its noisy. I have this crazy wishlist of gear and it has much better pres on it than the Bluetube. God I need 10 grand...

Anybody??
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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popmann's Avatar
I love it with my LA610. One notch of 10k into it...done.

i think the tube softens it a bit...and that's needed, IMO. Great River has a softening effect, too...but, I never had the two in the same room. But, I get why that would work well.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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I've also had great results with my LA-610 and the sm7. They seem to compliment each other very well.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Wonderful comments guys and so very helpful..thank you!! I will work with the SM7B and API 512C with the EL-8 and see how that performs.

I really appreciate all of your knowledge and experience!

Cheers,
JT
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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turk sanchez's Avatar
API not my favorite for vocals (used it many, many times anyway cause that's all there was around). They work, I just don't like the sound of them when you start to run them at all hot.

If your getting a Great River I would try that. I used to own a GR and loved it w/my sm7. Now I am using an ma5 and it's also great w/the sm7.

I totally agree w/you about the sm7 on guitar cabs! One of my favorites for sure.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #19
JES
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JES's Avatar
 

I use an SM7B and a GR 550NV. Voice. Of. God.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #20
DNR
Gear Nut
 

I've had good results with my 6176 and P1. It has been my experience, and I do believe I have read on other posts here, that the sm7 can be noisy. I still use it frequently but I have noticed hiss from the mic through a variey of pres.

Generally speaking though, once properly gated and whatnot, it is indecernible inside a mix.

my 2 cents...

oh, and +1 for the taking the windscreen off.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Keith Moore's Avatar
 

Anyone use the SM7B with the Avedis MA5? Any good?
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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turk sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moore View Post
Anyone use the SM7B with the Avedis MA5? Any good?
It's really nice.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DNR View Post
...and I do believe I have read on other posts here, that the sm7 can be noisy. I still use it frequently but I have noticed hiss from the mic through a variey of pres.
Dynamic microphones, such as the SM7B, are very quiet. However, they have a much lower output than condenser microphones. The hiss you hear is coming from the microphone preamplifiers. You have to crank the gain on dynamic microphones to get the level higher. This is where a quiet mic pre can help with the hiss.
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moore View Post
Anyone use the SM7B with the Avedis MA5? Any good?
This does not seem to be a combo of choice by those who have alternatives.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Addict
 

I've read a lot about the low output of the SM7B so purhaps this shouldn't be a surprise. I recently acquired one and a great river pre. I'm recording into the GR with the output all the way up and the gain at 45. I'm also running out of that through an RNC. The RNC is on supernice.

Surprisingly, I have to crank the RNC output all the way up, along with the GR all the way up to get a medium signal recorded.

I'm going into input 5 on a Digi 002r and the singer is fairly powerful.

Is that normal? I'm getting a great sound, it's just a bit weak and I've already got the Great River up to 45 which is beyond transparent at that point. (I like it but I worry if I ever want a more transparent, lower gain setting in the future)

I'd expect a modest signal but I would think cranking the Great River AND the compressor would get me much hotter.

Any comments? Should I simply expect that as normal and deal with it?
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

The API would probably sound best.

I have a Shadow Hills Mono Gama, Avedis MA5, Five Fish SC-1mk500, and Chandler Germanium.

While I love the other pres for other things, the Five Fish is my favorite on my voice with the SM7b. It seems a tad more open and it sits in the mix better for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman View Post
This does not seem to be a combo of choice by those who have alternatives.
*Raises hand*

The Sm7 and MA5 don't work well together, at least on my voice.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #27
D K
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D K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebaron View Post
I've read a lot about the low output of the SM7B so purhaps this shouldn't be a surprise. I recently acquired one and a great river pre. I'm recording into the GR with the output all the way up and the gain at 45. I'm also running out of that through an RNC. The RNC is on supernice.

Surprisingly, I have to crank the RNC output all the way up, along with the GR all the way up to get a medium signal recorded.

I'm going into input 5 on a Digi 002r and the singer is fairly powerful.

Is that normal? I'm getting a great sound, it's just a bit weak and I've already got the Great River up to 45 which is beyond transparent at that point. (I like it but I worry if I ever want a more transparent, lower gain setting in the future)

I'd expect a modest signal but I would think cranking the Great River AND the compressor would get me much hotter.

Any comments? Should I simply expect that as normal and deal with it?

Something sounds wrong to me here.. I use my SM7b with either a Daking MP1 or UA Solo 610 - and while I drive the inputs pretty hard on them the outputs give me more then enough to hit my ADC @ -10 db or better with no compressor or makeup gain from a compressor at all ...
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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peat's Avatar
did two sessions using SM7b - JLM dual 99v - EL-8 - Arsenal audio R-24.

great detailed, thick deep tight sound
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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I posted a new thread and received some great advice. I'll check it all out and, hopefully, get it all set correctly. Regardless, I was getting a sweet sound...just a little weak.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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DerlinStiles's Avatar
yeah- doesn't sound right to me either. I usually have the opposite problem- when the gain going into my RNP is good, it's too hot for my daw (EMU 1212 set at +4).

To address the original topic- using the RNP with the SM7B may not be ideal because the the RNP isn't very quiet and I need to crank it on quieter sources... but in my experience, the combo sounds:

-good on quieter female vox
-less than desireable on loud female vox
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