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SM7B for voice overs?
Old 13th September 2011
  #1
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Sotsirc's Avatar
SM7B for voice overs?

I'm putting the final touches (I wish ...) on my new studio
and I'm thinking about which mics to start out with.

I've been doing a lot of voice overs and audio books in a different studio (not mine, hence the lack of mics) and I've been using U87's for most of my work. I'm not too crazy about U87's, especially because of all the noise they pick up (people moving about in their chair, the other voice actor breathing heavily etc).

I'm thinking about trying a SM7B, I know it's nothing like a U87 but it would probably be so much easier to deal with (and cheaper ...), at least if my recording room turns out to be less than perfect in the end.

I would like to hear a few words from professionals out there doing this sort of work. Will I get away with using this mic or are we too used to hearing high end condensers nowadays?

I do have a decent set of preamps to choose from BTW.

Cheers
Old 13th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Just bought a sm7b and love it. Im sure 95% of Sm7 owners will agree that even if its not your main squeeze, you won't regret owning it.
Old 13th September 2011
  #3
SM7bs have been radio mainstays for years. They can absolutely work as VO mics for picture. A good pre is very helpful as they need a lot of gain, but as you mention, they will reject a lot of a lousy room.
Old 13th September 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
mistervenable's Avatar
 

Get the SM7b, you can use it on tons of things, not just vocals. I use it on hihats all the time!
Old 13th September 2011
  #5
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portishead's Avatar
 

Also love my SM7b, but also give the RE-20 a try (or the RE-27 if you want higher output and a bit brighter).

All are industry standard broadcast mics.
Old 13th September 2011
  #6
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
imho too noisy for softspoken sources (especially when heavily compressed and exposed as in many voiceover jobs like radio ads). I would reach for any good LDC or SDC (using two popfilters in series for sdc mics) with a tight pickup pattern. many choices...brauner phantom, 414xl2, c451, blue mouse...hundreds more..
Old 13th September 2011
  #7
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Paired with a great pre the SM7B will be one of the best mics you'll own
Old 13th September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 
Jmoon79's Avatar
+1 for SM7B on VO. By "a lot of gain" as mentioed above, it's important you know that you need 60+ DB of CLEAN gain. No hiss, etc from the pre.

Also mentioned, if you compress and expose like he said, and that gain isn't clean, gotta do some noise reduction in post.

I'm currently working on a project where the talent tracked with a SM7B and a DMP3. Hissy hissy hissy.

But my SM7B is my go to for VO.
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
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Daniel Antix's Avatar
S7B is my main vocal and voice over mic for Male voices in my studio.

When I worked at a radio station i had a tlm103, i prefer the sm7.
Old 14th September 2011
  #10
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Sotsirc's Avatar
Thanks for the replies! Does anyone know how the RE-20 compare to the SM7? Sometimes the voice actors move around a bit, compared to a condenser mic, does the sound change a lot when you go slightly off-axis?
Old 20th September 2011
  #11
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mowmow's Avatar
U87 used to be my favorite for recording speaking voice in the studio. It has clean and natural sound and you might be so used to hearing that 87 sound like I am.

SM7b has totally different sounds but it has certain charactor that I really like. It is definitely one of my best choice for using it in the home studio situation. It is easy to use with lots of effects. Other good dynamic mic is RE20 which I don't have to explain since it is still a standard in broadcast area.

There are a lots of LCDs that are affordable if you want condenser sounds.
I bought AT4033, HM2D, TLM102 and they are all good for voiceovers.
They are not so versatile as 87 but they all have different charactors and they work in certain situations. In some case with certain voice it might be better than 87.
Old 20th September 2011
  #12
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mowmow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc View Post
Thanks for the replies! Does anyone know how the RE-20 compare to the SM7? Sometimes the voice actors move around a bit, compared to a condenser mic, does the sound change a lot when you go slightly off-axis?
SM7b compare to RE20, it has meatier sounds. It has less edge since SM7b has dip in 8k area and it is boosted in RE20.

IMHO Re20 has bigger sweat spot. The off axis area is big with this mic and off axis sounds good and even. So as long as you are in that area you sound even and good. And as long as you have even sound, it is easier to compress and use exciter and boost big bottom like broadcast style.
Plus most radio guy don't use pop screen because re20 doesn't pick up so much pop sounds which is good.

Re20 is suited for broadcast style but I'm not sure if it will be great for story reading. It depends on your taste.
Old 20th September 2011
  #13
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Rotaholic's Avatar
 

Sm7b and Focusrite Isa one, cheap as combo that will more than do the job for you
Old 20th September 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by portishead View Post
Also love my SM7b, but also give the RE-20 a try (or the RE-27 if you want higher output and a bit brighter).

All are industry standard broadcast mics.
+1. Brother said exactly what I was going to.
Old 30th October 2013
  #15
Gear Nut
 

I am wondering if this is a good mic for voiceovers as well. I have seen a couple voice actors use this but I have also heard that since it is not a condensor mic it doesnt pick up as much detail and therefore isnt the best for voiceovers.
Old 30th October 2013
  #16
Gear Maniac
You should really look at a senheiser 416, pretty much the VO standard for much of the industry.

Sent from my SCH-I535
Old 30th October 2013
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by invert48 View Post
I am wondering if this is a good mic for voiceovers as well. I have seen a couple voice actors use this but I have also heard that since it is not a condensor mic it doesnt pick up as much detail and therefore isnt the best for voiceovers.
I have extensive use with the SM7 from YEARS of working in radio. Is it the "best" for voiceovers?...prob not, but it is an amazing mic. It takes EQ well, and can pick up plenty of detail. The *bad* thing about it, is that it is so freaking gain hungry. The more you crank up the gain, the more you have to worry about noise, although some people say the Cloudlifter is very useful with it.
Old 30th October 2013
  #18
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rocksure's Avatar
With a good preamp that has lots of clean gain an sm7 is fine for voice over paired with the right voice. Adding a transparent compressor like the Symetrix 525 or 501 can add a little bit more gain if you need it...and those comps surface fairly cheaply on the used market.

Electrovoice RE20 is the other old standard dynamic broadcast mic. They have less proximity effect than the sm7.

Don't know why some people don't like the U87....except maybe for the hefty price. They have been industry standard for years. More articulation than either sm7 or RE20. This may or may not be what you want.

AKG C414 is another different flavor that can work well here too.

Sennheiser 416 was mentioned in a post above. Industry standard as well. But any shotgun mic used indoors needs a really well treated room otherwise they can sound really odd in the way they pick up reflections. Rode NTG-3 would be a good cheaper alternative if a shotgun mic is wanted. Good Room treatment is still a must though.
Old 31st October 2013
  #19
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

SM7B is the king of male voice v/o mics for situations where background noise rejection is a priority, i.e. most home studios.

I like LDC's as much as the next slut (Gefell M930 & Brauner Phantom here too), but in anything less than a properly soundproofed vocal booth there's a risk that extraneous sound can make its way onto the take.

Bottom line: having used an SM7B for years now, no client of mine has ever sent work back asking me to redo it with a U87.

As others have said - you need a decent preamp to get the most out of it.

Spend more if you want, but you definitely don't need to in a small/project studio situation.
Old 31st October 2013
  #20
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doom64's Avatar
Slap one of these: Amazon.com: Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1: Musical Instruments

in front of your preamp with the SM7 and you're gold. 25 dB of clean gain is just what the mic doctor ordered, LOL! That way even NPR (National Public Radio for those not in the States) soft voiced announcers will sound great on it.
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