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SM7B..After almost 2 years still not impressed Condenser Microphones
Old 6th September 2011
  #121
Gear Addict
 

I was intrigued by the chatter on GS about the SM7B too about 2 years ago. I had a client by it for me and over the past two years this is my current conclusion.


It sounds great on guitar cabs.. either clean or electric.

It sounds really really good on the bottom of a grand piano. Yeah. a grand piano. seriously. I tried a number of mics on a steinway and I got a great sound with a combination of SM81's in ortif over the edge of the lid in combination with the SM7B under the grand pointed straight up at it.. about 1/2 down the length of the piano to the players left center. probably the 2nd octave strings. yeah it kinda sounds like a Shure ad too.. hehe

I use it on vocalists I don't trust. By that I'm talking about vocalists with no control, with anger issues, and a general lack of how to sing into a microphone. I have one artist who when she can't get the part right she SCREAMS obscenities, sometimes into the mic, sometimes in the other direction. I don't put nice (read expensive condenser) microphones in front of her.

:edit: and Bottom snare. gdi does it sound good on btm snare. Problem is, so does a 441, a 451, and a 421. It would be easy if one mic just did it every time. then i wouldn't have to try every mic that i know shines on something every time I track. but then I guess my recordings would get pretty boring pretty fast too. well.. for me at least.)

Is the SM7 gonna make your records that much better? I dunno.. Is a different shade of blue going to make a painting look better. nah. Just a lil different. and sometimes different works.

sometimes it doesn't.


as in all things audio, YMMV.

Last edited by BFrederick; 6th September 2011 at 07:31 PM.. Reason: Forgot that sweet sweet snare tone
Old 6th September 2011
  #122
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

sm7 is just a good working mic
it need to be polished and candyfied to meet modern recordings
but the mic is great
Old 6th September 2011
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFrederick View Post
I use it on vocalists I don't trust. By that I'm talking about vocalists with no control, with anger issues, and a general lack of how to sing into a microphone. I have one artist who when she can't get the part right she SCREAMS obscenities, sometimes into the mic, sometimes in the other direction. I don't put nice (read expensive condenser) microphones in front of her.

Like I said, this is why it gets used 99.9% of the time; if you stuck up a 57, then the vocalist might be angry because it doesn't look as official.

But a 57 (with a decent pre, the singer 1/4" away from the grill, and some EQ) will acheive the same results, and you can get 3 of them for the price of 1 sm7.

And both will still sound cheap and honky compared to a decent LDC where the vocalist has good mic technique, and is properly isolated if the band is playing at the same time.

Now on guitar cabs -- well, that's whole nother issue

Old 7th September 2011
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recorder2 View Post
Point 4 -- it was an original 1084 preamp which probably sounds better than all the preamps you tried.
Seriously? Wow how did anyone ever make a record before neve microphone preamplifiers existed.
Old 7th September 2011
  #125
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DaveUK's Avatar
Oh Rupert you created a monster!
Old 7th September 2011
  #126
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveUK View Post
Oh Rupert you created a monster!
Well, I bought an SM7b and a 1084 specifically because that's what Michael Jackson used on Thriller. I really can't explain why none of my recordings turn out that good. On the bright side, I can now dance like a motherf**ker.
Old 7th September 2011
  #127
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
Well, I bought an SM7b and a 1084 specifically because that's what Michael Jackson used on Thriller. I really can't explain why none of my recordings turn out that good. On the bright side, I can now dance like a motherf**ker.

Just as I pointed out earlier in this topic, the thousands of post elitists just have that asshole chip on their shoulder no matter what
Old 7th September 2011
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302efi View Post
Just as I pointed out earlier in this topic, the thousands of post elitists just have that asshole chip on their shoulder no matter what
Easy there, little man. Either get a sense of humor or get lost.

You can check my prior post to this thread if you want my experience with the SM7b. But if reading and understanding your own thread just isn't your bag, then you should probably take your trolling elsewhere.
Old 7th September 2011
  #129
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janjaal's Avatar
sm7b is a great mic...
i can get it work with ANY VOCAL, ANY VOCAL, ANY VOCAL

all the preamps the OP mentioned are not for sm7b, or i would better say, the sm7b doesn't sound good on those preamps...

get a greatriver and try the sm7b on it, then come and tell me if it doesn't sound good, then i'll shoot myself...

i track ANY VOCAL, with SM7B>GR> compressor (either a little devil, bac 500, or fmr pbc) and never heard a complain about the vocals so far....
keep that in mind that the BACK VOCALS that u record are VERY important. i personally use an akg c414 bxls to track my back vocals and use the sm7b as my lead vocal mic, and the result sounds like micheal jackson :D
Old 7th September 2011
  #130
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The SM7b is a great mic. I took the windscreen off and used it for vocals at first. Loved it. Coming from the live music world it totally kicked as over the 58 sound that I was used to. Now I use it mostly on guitar cab with a Peluso ribbon.

It totally depends upon the voice man. I started a post about the md421 and how much I love it on my own voice. So, before this I always used the sm7b, because I do the whole power vocal thing.

One day I said f'ck it and went thru a bunch of mics. Tried my re20 and I didn't like it. Tried 414 and meh. Tried at4050 not so. Tried Peluso ribbon for a laugh and that was actually interesting. In the end I loved the sound of the md421.

I don't own any uber expensive mics today. Don't need them often enough to justify owning them. I can usually go to my buddy's studio or just rent them. I travel a lot for biz and the dynamic mics travel well : D

These dynamics and condensers are plenty plenty good to make great recordings that should then be properly mixed and mastered. You'll be fine.

My point is just keep it hanging around. It's a great mic and who knows when it'll fit in. It only cost $300. It's kinda like the FMR RNC of mics. When used properly it completely kicks ass. That RNC on a clean bus is pretty amazing. But people trying to get an 1176 outta it will be disappointed.
Old 7th September 2011
  #131
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
Easy there, little man. Either get a sense of humor or get lost.

You can check my prior post to this thread if you want my experience with the SM7b. But if reading and understanding your own thread just isn't your bag, then you should probably take your trolling elsewhere.
Your post was not in humor, but nothing but a condesendaling,"better then you" attuide, which totally the norm on here when someone questions the resident gear.
Old 7th September 2011
  #132
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by janjaal View Post

all the preamps the OP mentioned are not for sm7b, or i would better say, the sm7b doesn't sound good on those preamps...

I'm starting to consider this as all my pres are tube except the Grace...

Wonder how the SM7B would sound through a 512c ?
Old 7th September 2011
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I agree, had a 421 and it sounded just like it looked, boxy. Having had 441's and reading all the GS hype heh I thought it would sound great, didn't like it at all.
Boxy? I have a U5 so maybe it sounds different from the one that you used. Maybe your room is boxy and you're picking that up. I find the md421 to sound kinda buttery on the top. It seems to emphasize, in a very pleasing way, something in the upper mids or lower top. I'm going to do some extreme cuts to see where it is.

So when I'm doing some ballsy male vocals (Alice in Chains, Dokken, Ozzy, Tool, queensryche and The Cult for example) it really beefs up the freqs in a clean male voice.

When I was singing punk and metal the sm7b was definitely better. Like a minor threat vocal or morbid angel would be too much with a 421. I'd grab the sm7b.

I use the re20 on all things bass. A pair of at4050 for m/s room -- mostly electro drums out of loudspeakers.

Are you guys using any filters and compressors? Makes a difference.

I roll of lows with on board 421 filter and then a little more on the channel strip. Compressor is jacked and holy ****.
Old 7th September 2011
  #134
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wreckordist's Avatar
 

I've been using an SM7 for 20 years. It works for me. There was one in the mic locker when I was an intern and I've used one ever since. It takes a lot of gain to get it rocking and there are mic pres out there that are better to pair it with than others but I almost always get what I want with it. I've used all kinds of pres and compressors with SM7s and I've always been able to get a usable sound for vocals, guitars (electric AND ACOUSTIC!!!), bass, hi-hats, drums, horns... you name it. When people say they don't like 'em it just blows my mind.
I use the SM7 because it puts a vocal in front of the stereo image. It's forward and punchy. It's not a 47. It's not a ribbon. It's the first mic from a world class mic locker I could afford myself so I bought one, used it a bunch and learned how it worked in a bunch of situations.
Old 7th September 2011
  #135
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post

Are you guys using any filters and compressors? Makes a difference.
Depending on the pre, I always engage the high pass.

Same with the outboard compression, on the 737 I'll maybe do a 2:1 just to knock off a tad bit. When it hits the box, I'll usually use a 1176 or FET style comp.

Even spoken words on this sounds like ****. I seriously think the mic might be screwed. I've only ever used mine in person so I can't compare with the "pros" that say they used 100 of them and all were great

I'm gonna do a little shootout/test with the mic and all the pres I mentioned and post the clips for yall. This mic might be junk. I mean I should get a similar tone to a 57 correct ?...with a little more midrange , correct?
Old 7th September 2011
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
You should go find yourself a sense of humor.
Is that a GS Elite recommendation ?

Where can I purchase this ?


No humor to be found when the point is in a patronizing fashion
Old 7th September 2011
  #137
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by janjaal View Post
get a greatriver and try the sm7b on it, then come and tell me if it doesn't sound good, then i'll shoot myself...

... and the result sounds like micheal jackson :D
There's the gearslut buzzwords we've all come to expect!
Old 7th September 2011
  #138
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DeyBwah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by janjaal View Post
sm7b is a great mic...
i can get it work with ANY VOCAL, ANY VOCAL, ANY VOCAL

all the preamps the OP mentioned are not for sm7b, or i would better say, the sm7b doesn't sound good on those preamps...

get a greatriver and try the sm7b on it, then come and tell me if it doesn't sound good, then i'll shoot myself...

i track ANY VOCAL, with SM7B>GR> compressor (either a little devil, bac 500, or fmr pbc) and never heard a complain about the vocals so far....
keep that in mind that the BACK VOCALS that u record are VERY important. i personally use an akg c414 bxls to track my back vocals and use the sm7b as my lead vocal mic, and the result sounds like micheal jackson :D
I purchased the SM7B about 1.5 years ago. I preferred it over my Rode NT1A which was my main go-to LDC at the time.(please refrain from the flamage!)

My signal chain was SM7B>Great River.

In the last 6 months, I modded my Rode NT1A through Michael Joly and wow, very impressed with the Rode now. I haven't touched the SM7B since a/b testing with my own vocals.

My current signal chain is NT1A Joly Mod>Great River>Buzz Essence comp and it rocks my socks!

However, I may have to pull the SM7B out again and give it a whirl. I think it has been long enough for me to give it another go. I just remember that I had to really CRANK the gain on my Great River to get a good signal through the SM7B, and by the time I had enough gain, I also had a good amount of 'noise'.

BTW, for those who are wondering how a Joly modded Rode NT1A sounds... have a listen to my soundcloud tunes. All vocals are recorded with the signal chain I described above.

Cheers!
DeyBwah

DeyBwah's sounds on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

PS: Never really understood why people get so bent out of shape about gear, just use what you like and who gives a rats ass if someone despises what works for you?
Old 7th September 2011
  #139
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I haven't used a 57 on vocals in a long time. I'll a/b them later today. I don't remember the sm7b sounding like a 57, but my memory isn't what it used to be. Where am I?

Maybe your mic is damaged or has a defect. I just cannot recall anyone hating it on every source as much as you do. But then again, nearly everyone hates the Neumann tlm103 and I actually really liked it on many projects when I owned it. So who the f'ck knows ; P But then again, I once had long hair to my waist and now I shave my head. Lol

These days I'm really rocking the md421.

I have my fights here on gearslutz too. Seriously tho, some of the guys you are bashing ad hominem deserve a higher quality fight from you. It is apparent that you can make higher quality arguments than attacking post counts etc

I'm not sure what the debate is. I think the sm7b supporters (in perhaps less delicate tone) just want to help you find the magic in the mic. In some ways posting that gearslutz is hype, when so many pour their hearts into this site, is kind of a hard for regulars to swallow.

In the end, and be honest with yourself, would any of us be better off without gearslutz? No way. All the people here are golden in my book. Even the bastards that trashed my FMR summing mixer idea lol

Let some of these long time users help you find what so many have heard in this mic over the years. It's in there, it's just not a plug and play magic piece like an la2a or neve mic amp etc
Old 7th September 2011
  #140
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
I haven't used a 57 on vocals in a long time. I'll a/b them later today. I don't remember the sm7b sounding like a 57, but my memory isn't what it used to be. Where am I?

Maybe your mic is damaged or has a defect. I just cannot recall anyone hating it on every source as much as you do. But then again, nearly everyone hates the Neumann tlm103 and I actually really liked it on many projects when I owned it. So who the f'ck knows ; P

These days I'm really rocking the md421.

But then again, I once had long hair to my waist and now I shave my head. Lol

I have my fights here on gearslutz too. Seriously tho, some of the guys you are bashing ad hominem deserve a higher quality fight from you. It is apparent that you can make higher quality arguments than attacking post counts etc

I'm not sure what the debate is. I think the sm7b supporters (in perhaps less delicate tone) just want to help you find the magic in the mic. In some ways posting that gearslutz is hype, when so many pour their hearts into this site, is kind of a hard for regulars to swallow.

In the end, and be honest with yourself, would any of us be better off without gearslutz? No way. All the people here are golden in my book. Even the bastards that trashed my FMR summing mixer idea lol

Let some of these long time users help you find what so many have heard in this mic over the years. It's in there, it's just not a plug and play magic piece like an la2a or neve mic amp etc

Very well said and points taken
Old 7th September 2011
  #141
Gear Maniac
 

the sm7b is a good workhorse. If you think it totally sucks on every source, you probably have other issues that needs to be fixed.

I have two, and they sound good on most things to my ears.
/J
Old 7th September 2011
  #142
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camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 302efi View Post
I should get a similar tone to a 57 correct ?...with a little more midrange , correct?
No. Unless you take the transformer out of the 57, then it starts to exhibit similar characteristics, which is basically less of that nasally midrange honk the cheap transfo imparts. The SM7 sounds flatter and more extended because of this.
Old 7th September 2011
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
No. Unless you take the transformer out of the 57, then it starts to exhibit similar characteristics, which is basically less of that nasally midrange honk the cheap transfo imparts. The SM7 sounds flatter and more extended because of this.

How do you feel about Barthes characterizing The Stranger as the definitive example of a writing degree zero?
Old 7th September 2011
  #144
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302efi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
No. Unless you take the transformer out of the 57, then it starts to exhibit similar characteristics, which is basically less of that nasally midrange honk the cheap transfo imparts. The SM7 sounds flatter and more extended because of this.

Thanks for the input...I'm certainly not getting anywhere near that sound at all, that's why I asked if it should sound more mid rangy/nasal then the 57, because that's what I'v always got from it !

I'm going to try to take it back to the local shop I got it at today or tomorrow and see if they will A/B it with another one.

All the clips I've ever heard on the net of it sound way different then mine as well, you know how that is with the net files and compression of youtube and MP3's ect...

Sure would suck if this was bad from the jump...LOL

This thread has been a journey from the start

(Just waiting for the "great" guys to drop their 2 cents: " The mic is fine, you just suck at recording"...)
Old 7th September 2011
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302efi View Post
Thanks for the input...I'm certainly not getting anywhere near that sound at all, that's why I asked if it should sound more mid rangy/nasal then the 57, because that's what I'v always got from it !

I'm going to try to take it back to the local shop I got it at today or tomorrow and see if they will A/B it with another one.

All the clips I've ever heard on the net of it sound way different then mine as well, you know how that is with the net files and compression of youtube and MP3's ect...

Sure would suck if this was bad from the jump...LOL

This thread has been a journey from the start

(Just waiting for the "great" guys to drop their 2 cents: " The mic is fine, you just suck at recording"...)
Anyone that says that to you isn't worth it bro.

Check the mic out.

It could be that you just don't like it it. I hated eating fish when I was a kid and loved root beer hard candy. Now I love fish and live on beer and a girl named candy lol Things change ; P

I'm going to a/b in a few minutes. Sort of took the day off bcuz of a late gig. Still kinda partying. Heh
Old 7th September 2011
  #146
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isham's Avatar
Sold after 3 or 4 weeks, end of story. Maybe some shure stakeholders on GS ? - just kidding...
Old 7th September 2011
  #147
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I don’t know that there’s ever been so much chatter over a microphone as there’s been with the SM7b, and the funny thing is it’s an old mic, which has only recently (within the past 5 years or so) come up on people’s radars. And I happen to know where all that internet chatter started too (thanks Popman/Jamey, Dot, and the like).

Look, I like the SM7b a lot. It’s a great all around mic, but it doesn’t bother me if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea….to each his own…live and let live…whatever!....Given all the internet buzz and noise over the years I think there’s this perception that when you plug in a SM7b some sort of “magic” is going to happen….It’s almost like this mic’s reputation precedes it, and all that hype will inevitably lead to disappointment if folks don’t have realistic expectations.

The SM7b is worth every penny and then some IMO, BUT it is not a “magic bullet” either, so-to-speak. It’s a great utility mic that can do a lot of things well and some things very well. There are better vocal mics for many applications, and there are better guitar cab, bass cab, snare, and kick mics for those particular applications. But here’s where it shines: I don’t know of a better mic that covers all those things as well as a SM7b at that particular price point or anywhere close to it…..That’s the difference.

So, it’s not going knock your socks off like a U87 or U47 might at first listen, but what has always impressed me about the SM7b is how well it sits in the mix, how easy it is to manipulate and EQ, and how versatile it is all the way around.

That said, if you don’t like it the beautiful thing about that mic is it has great resale value. So, you’re not really out that much money if you decide to sell it. However, I don’t ever plan on selling mine. In fact, I’d like another one.

Chris
Old 8th September 2011
  #148
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This file is the 57. I recorded using my little live rig because it's simplest. Yamaha mg10c mixer using a couple of hardwire pedals on the send/return. Two takes. The double was simply dry.
No eq and a little compression from the board.
The back track is a karaoke version of a Perfect Circle song.
Attached Files

sm57.wav (3.63 MB, 290 views)

Old 8th September 2011
  #149
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Here's a picture of said mics.

By the by, I didn't use an ITB processing. No mix bus comp or channel comps etc. This is just me singing in my space with a little Yamaha mg channel compression. Flat EQ.

I flattened the curves on the sm7b as well.

so it was flat to flat.

I did hand hold the 57 though.

No windscreen on the sm7b.

I found the 57 to be more subdued with less low end mush, but less vibrant sounding.

The sm7b had more information in the lower end and also more detail.

I still prefer the md421 on my voice....

Hope this helps. And no making fun of my attempt at this song!

I dont' even know what date it is ..... that should read 9/7 ... going back on the night train. lol
Attached Thumbnails
SM7B..After almost 2 years still not impressed-dsc03923.jpg  
Old 8th September 2011
  #150
Deleted User
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Really?

No one?

So, I put myself "out there", cut some vocals hungover on a cheese bag rig, post it! And no one has anything to say about the timbre?

Don't worry about performance dudes. I never claimed to be Geoff Tate. Can u hear the differences?

The sm7b ain't bad. I prefer the md421 for my voice though.

YMMV
TTYS
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