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Vocal Preamp Suggestions under $500?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Vocal Preamp Suggestions under $500?

I'm getting more into preamps and would like to make an investment in one for vocals. I'm a rock singer. Mostly use an SM57, maybe a 7b with the foam taken off. I usually throw an 1176 emulation on there and call it a day (maybe some LA2A at the end just taking off a few db's??)... I've got an old ADK A51s mic that I like as well. Don't know if that helps... I do some acoustic stuff, as well. This is all studio recording, of course.

I used an M Audio DMP3 for a while there and honestly, that thing did a FANTASTIC job.

Open to all suggestions -budget, or not...

Thanks
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
xhavepatiencex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzler ➡️
I'm getting more into preamps and would like to make an investment in one for vocals. I'm a rock singer. Mostly use an SM57, maybe a 7b with the foam taken off. I usually throw an 1176 emulation on there and call it a day (maybe some LA2A at the end just taking off a few db's??)... I've got an old ADK A51s mic that I like as well. Don't know if that helps... I do some acoustic stuff, as well. This is all studio recording, of course.

I used an M Audio DMP3 for a while there and honestly, that thing did a FANTASTIC job.

Open to all suggestions -budget, or not...

Thanks
If you can solder I’d build a capi vp26 and find an inexpensive 500 rack and you’ll be groovin.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by xhavepatiencex ➡️
If you can solder I’d build a capi vp26 and find an inexpensive 500 rack and you’ll be groovin.
Oh, snap! I actually am very comfortable with soldering -I'm not the best, but I do all my guitar electronics and that's not much of a bother, anymore. The only thing is I don't really know capacitors and such very well. Like, I don't know what holds a charge and whatnot -Would not be comfortable working on amplifiers AT ALL...

Where could i find the kit for one of these units?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm a bit reluctant to give you the following advice, because there's an existing thread on this topic that has gone completely off the rails. Before I continue, please reassure me that you care about recording vocals, not processing a DX7 or something. <7-second delay> OK, thanks for that; let's continue.

Since you want to record rock vocals, you should know that two out of every three rock songs you grew up with had lead vocals recorded with a U87. I imagine that comes to several thousand different songs. Perhaps 5% of your favorite songs were tracked with a SM57 (or more likely a SM58, which is worse), not because that was the best choice, because they were recorded live on stage. Finally, exactly one of your favorite songs was recorded with a SM7b, which is basically a SM57 capsule in drag. I can pretty much guarantee that if Bruce Swedien were still alive and you hired him to track your vocals, he'd pick something else. Bruce had a simply astonishing mic collection.

There is no $500 microphone preamp that will make a SM57 sound like a U87. There is no $5000 microphone preamp that will do that. On the other hand, you can plug a U87 into just about anything that supplies phantom power and it will still sound like a U87. My advice is to forget buying a $500 preamp and spend that money on a microphone that sounds a lot like a U87. There are several good candidates for not much more money than you were planning to spend on a preamp.

BeesNeez BU87i $900
Serrano Vintage 87 $700
United Studio Technologies UT87 $600

BTW, it's difficult to find a current-generation audio interface whose built-in mic preamps don't outperform a DMP3. Still want an outboard mic preamp? Start by buying a great mic and use it for 3 months, then we'll talk about which preamp to buy to make it sound 5% better.

David
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you soIder you couId aIso do an amI 1081-500 and prosper for very IittIe cash. Or the 1073. But I Iike the 1081 better.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
I'm a bit reluctant to give you the following advice, because there's an existing thread on this topic that has gone completely off the rails. Before I continue, please reassure me that you care about recording vocals, not processing a DX7 or something. <7-second delay> OK, thanks for that; let's continue.

Since you want to record rock vocals, you should know that two out of every three rock songs you grew up with had lead vocals recorded with a U87. I imagine that comes to several thousand different songs. Perhaps 5% of your favorite songs were tracked with a SM57 (or more likely a SM58, which is worse), not because that was the best choice, because they were recorded live on stage. Finally, exactly one of your favorite songs was recorded with a SM7b, which is basically a SM57 capsule in drag. I can pretty much guarantee that if Bruce Swedien were still alive and you hired him to track your vocals, he'd pick something else. Bruce had a simply astonishing mic collection.

There is no $500 microphone preamp that will make a SM57 sound like a U87. There is no $5000 microphone preamp that will do that. On the other hand, you can plug a U87 into just about anything that supplies phantom power and it will still sound like a U87. My advice is to forget buying a $500 preamp and spend that money on a microphone that sounds a lot like a U87. There are several good candidates for not much more money than you were planning to spend on a preamp.

BeesNeez BU87i $900
Serrano Vintage 87 $700
United Studio Technologies UT87 $600

BTW, it's difficult to find a current-generation audio interface whose built-in mic preamps don't outperform a DMP3. Still want an outboard mic preamp? Start by buying a great mic and use it for 3 months, then we'll talk about which preamp to buy to make it sound 5% better.

David
Killer. Thank you so much for this advice.

Now that you mention it -I've never really been happy with any of my vocal mics. SM57 is nice because the EQ just shoots right through the mix. The SM7b I never jived with -Just used it cuz... it's what people do?? I dunno... The ADK is a very nice mic, and I think their mics are fairly underrated in general, but it's pretty dark -Not nearly as crisp as i would like... Regarding the U 67, which I know you didn't mention -I remember singing through it a few years back at Albini's studio and that did not fit my voice at all, but I'm sure the U 87 is a totally different beast...

I think I'm gonna take your advice. I'm gonna look into some of these mics.

Thanks for the perspective!

Something about the M-Audio pres: I recently got a few M Audio Octanes and those pres pretty much smoke the ones on my Tascam US 2000. I do however like the Tascam pres on snare. I bought the octanes because I wanted some "real" pres to experiment with for drums, rather than the onboard pres on the Tascam. It's been a good experiment. I felt that the M Audio DMP3 pres were a bit better than the ones in my Roland Quad capture, as well. I'm kind of of the opinion that most interface pres are just utilitarian -no charachter, really. But you never know what's gonna work for what, I guess...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➡️
If you soIder you couId aIso do an amI 1081-500 and prosper for very IittIe cash. Or the 1073. But I Iike the 1081 better.
Appreciate it! Gonna look into it!

Thanks!

"AMI" stand for Audio Maintenance, correct?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Gruner's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
...There is no $500 microphone preamp that will make a SM57 sound like a U87. There is no $5000 microphone preamp that will do that. On the other hand, you can plug a U87 into just about anything that supplies phantom power and it will still sound like a U87.
To the OP, this above is the juice.

I have the DMP3 as well, and use it for remote work. It's fine, and there are some simple mods you can do to liven it up, but ultimately a decent mic will move you further down the road.

Maybe get the mic and then test record with different pres (borrowed, etc.) to see what the difference is. Then you will know. There are the Hairball/Capi types that can be had pretty cheap used, or built, for well under your budget.

Cheers.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 
Focusrite ISA one

FMR Really Nice Preamp

Grace 101

Pairing the right mic with your voice, coupled with a great preamp is an art, really.

What vocalist can you sing a convincing karaoke of?

Do you have harsh sibilants like “ch” “s”?

Are you a LOUD singer? Maynard from Tool tends not to be loud Baz from Skid Row is. Sinead O’Conner is a loud singer. Suzanne Vega is not.

Some mics handle sibilance (sibilants like ch and s) well, some do not. Some mics have high SPL (can handle loud sounds) and some do not. Some mics are dark in tone and some bright.

You did say you like how it cuts through. U87 are famous for this. But you do need a room that is noise free. And doesn’t have a crappy sound
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by iflyprivate ➡️
Focusrite ISA one

FMR Really Nice Preamp

Grace 101

Pairing the right mic with your voice, coupled with a great preamp is an art, really.

What vocalist can you sing a convincing karaoke of?

Do you have harsh sibilants like “ch” “s”?

Are you a LOUD singer? Maynard from Tool tends not to be loud Baz from Skid Row is. Sinead O’Conner is a loud singer. Suzanne Vega is not.

Some mics handle sibilance (sibilants like ch and s) well, some do not. Some mics have high SPL (can handle loud sounds) and some do not. Some mics are dark in tone and some bright.

You did say you like how it cuts through. U87 are famous for this. But you do need a room that is noise free. And doesn’t have a crappy sound
The non-crappy sounding room thing would be a bit of a problem (i was thinking of buying one of those foam/ plastic "U" shaped things that kind of wraps around the mic??). I would consider myself a loud singer (but, I also go to whisper quiet A LOT. Sometimes, when I'm playing acoustic guitar you can't even hear me -which is why I have to compress the shit out of my vocals and then automate the quiet parts, still. Anyway...) with fairly controlled siblances. I do scream sometimes... The best vocal sound I've gotten is actually an SM57 with a foam cover over it pushed right up against my face going into a DMP3. i don't even put it on a stand -Just hold it and practically eat it... BUT -That's pretty shy of my ideal vocal sound. If I could somehow combine that closeness with some more "crispy-clarity" (a la an LDC), then I'd be golden... Might try taking the cap off the SM57. Maybe that's the key??
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruner ➡️
To the OP, this above is the juice.

I have the DMP3 as well, and use it for remote work. It's fine, and there are some simple mods you can do to liven it up, but ultimately a decent mic will move you further down the road.

Maybe get the mic and then test record with different pres (borrowed, etc.) to see what the difference is. Then you will know. There are the Hairball/Capi types that can be had pretty cheap used, or built, for well under your budget.

Cheers.
I'm starting to agree with ya'll about the mic over the pre -Thanks for this...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzler ➡️
The non-crappy sounding room thing would be a bit of a problem (i was thinking of buying one of those foam/ plastic "U" shaped things that kind of wraps around the mic??).
Don't bother. Here's a comparison with the cheapest thing that will actually work. RealTraps PVB



If you want to do it right, get a pair of these: GIK PIB's *



Of course, if you're handy, you can build your own.

David

* This is what I use in untreated rooms.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
Don't bother. Here's a comparison with the cheapest thing that will actually work. RealTraps PVB



If you want to do it right, get a pair of these: GIK PIB's *



Of course, if you're handy, you can build your own.

David

* This is what I use in untreated rooms.
Hmm... Well, alright!

Thank you so much for this!

I think I'll skip the DIY part and just shell out the cash. I do enough already...

Lol
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you are going for a U87 clone you should check out the Dachmann I reckon.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➡️
If you are going for a U87 clone you should check out the Dachmann I reckon.
Dude, sweet!

Thanks!!

What model??
Old 1 week ago
  #16
ZEF
Lives for gear
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I went through preamps for the home and low end, and that DMP3 was a great little IC preamp and worked well and its a dual.
go try some expensive used preamps from a store, most stores dont mind if you return USED out of box stuff...compare.
your singing rock, you dont have the room, a 7b is on a lot of recordings.

Ill imagine you will be ok with your DMP3 after comparing...and think something else, LDC or ROOM.

LDC with a bad room is worse than the SM57 imo...you'll hear your attic fan and the neighbors dog barking with a 28mv/pa LDC with long reach. ..
so get a "vocal booth" going first...then an LDC if you want to try that.

SM7...good screamer rock mic...in a less than perfect room, seems to be the "norm"
DMP3 is fine... try a used ISA One or a used LA610 etc...I was underwhelmed with preamps vs cost. my 2 cents. I tired a lot of pre's from $100 to $2k. Even that ART MP $50 rated well here on some old blindfold test vs a "pro" preamp. SOS has a Preamp Shootout that has a bunch of good comparisons if you dont want to do the tests yourself.


then a Better Room
then last a LDC...LDC will make the room sound worse if its already crap you'll just hear more crap.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEF ➡️
I went through preamps for the home and low end, and that DMP3 was a great little IC preamp and worked well and its a dual.
go try some expensive used preamps from a store, most stores dont mind if you return USED out of box stuff...compare.
your singing rock, you dont have the room, a 7b is on a lot of recordings.

Ill imagine you will be ok with your DMP3 after comparing...and think something else, LDC or ROOM.

LDC with a bad room is worse than the SM57 imo...you'll hear your attic fan and the neighbors dog barking with a 28mv/pa LDC with long reach. ..
so get a "vocal booth" going first...then an LDC if you want to try that.

SM7...good screamer rock mic...in a less than perfect room, seems to be the "norm"
DMP3 is fine... try a used ISA One or a used LA610 etc...I was underwhelmed with preamps vs cost. my 2 cents. I tired a lot of pre's from $100 to $2k. Even that ART MP $50 rated well here on some old blindfold test vs a "pro" preamp. SOS has a Preamp Shootout that has a bunch of good comparisons if you dont want to do the tests yourself.


then a Better Room
then last a LDC...LDC will make the room sound worse if its already crap you'll just hear more crap.
Appreciate all this! Gonna check out all the pieces you mentioned...

Main reason I stuck with the 57 is because somehow the eq curve fit my voice perfectly -A 7b sounds alright too, but I have to take the foam cover off, and even then it's not as suiting as the 57...

I think the DMP3 is a FANTASTIC little unit -I've got a few M Audio Octanes and I LOVE them on drums -Great, punchy toms!! Kick, too! Nice on cymbals... All of it, really! M Audio did something right with that whole era of pres, in my opinion. Very edgy, "rockerish", accessible sound...
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Guru
 
chessparov2.0's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
FWIW I have the PVB and like it.
But of course... David's advice is spot on.

I agree $500 towards another mic, makes more of a difference.
EV RE20 is another fine mic.
Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #19
B88
Here for the gear
 
Check out this article about comparisons of microphone preamps running from a very inexpensive one to those costing thousands. You can also download the files and listen to them yourself.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...ake-difference

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/preamp-post-mortem

Spoiler, listeners not knowing which was which only judging by the files of recordings done with three different microphones gave highest ratings to the cheapest preamp. In short ratings were all over the board vs price.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 ➡️
FWIW I have the PVB and like it.
But of course... David's advice is spot on.

I agree $500 towards another mic, makes more of a difference.
EV RE20 is another fine mic.
Chris
Appreciate the advice and experience!

Tried the electrovoice a few years back (re20) and it really just didn't fit my voice well. Few mics do, unfortunately. My fav vocal mic ever was some old Sony broadcasters mic I tried at Albinis studio a while back. Couldn't for the life of me find one online, though!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by B88 ➡️
Check out this article about comparisons of microphone preamps running from a very inexpensive one to those costing thousands. You can also download the files and listen to them yourself.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...ake-difference

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/preamp-post-mortem

Spoiler, listeners not knowing which was which only judging by the files of recordings done with three different microphones gave highest ratings to the cheapest preamp. In short ratings were all over the board vs price.
Hey, I appreciate it!

Thank you!

Crazy how that stuff works out sometimes, huh?!
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
For your initial $500 - get yourself a Midas 6 slot 500 series rack and a Cranborne Camden - tonnes of ultra clean gain and a mojo switch if you like that sort of thing.

Then when you have a further $200 spare add a Midas V502 as a colour option. These are cracking pre-amps a 500 series version of the XL4.

Adding more channels as you need them becomes better and better value as you've already bought the housing and power supply.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend ➡️
For your initial $500 - get yourself a Midas 6 slot 500 series rack and a Cranborne Camden - tonnes of ultra clean gain and a mojo switch if you like that sort of thing.

Then when you have a further $200 spare add a Midas V502 as a colour option. These are cracking pre-amps a 500 series version of the XL4.

Adding more channels as you need them becomes better and better value as you've already bought the housing and power supply.
Snap! What a great idea!

How are you getting the pres to your interface? A motu?
What model of the Cranbourne are you suggesting?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzler ➡️
Appreciate the advice and experience!

Tried the electrovoice a few years back (re20) and it really just didn't fit my voice well. Few mics do, unfortunately. My fav vocal mic ever was some old Sony broadcasters mic I tried at Albinis studio a while back. Couldn't for the life of me find one online, though!
Have you tried a nice Unidyne III 545 or old Unidyne 57 (USA made) on your voice? Unless that is what you have already. Those things are indeed cooI sounding for a rock/bluesy vocal. Or even a 565.

One of those into a good transformer preamp to me sounds rather cooler than some cheap condenser into some chip preamp, but I am in the minority here. lol

My mind is : once you have a sweet pre, that milks goodness out of all manner of cheap but cool dynamics and ribbons with more vibe and solidity than plugging an ok condenser clone into a chip amp.

Do you know what the old Sony was called?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzler ➡️
Snap! What a great idea!

How are you getting the pres to your interface? A motu?
What model of the Cranbourne are you suggesting?
Cranborne audio Camden 500, from a technical point of view hard to beat In terms of noisefloor and lack of distortion under $1000.

I use whatever channels I'm plugged into - I don't think converters make enough difference to matter! In my case I have a choice of line-ins via my RME 802, Focusrite Octopre Dynamic (over ADAT) and Behringer ADA8200 (over ADAT), UAD Volt 276 or UAD Apollo 8P depending what rig I'm using.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➡️
Have you tried a nice Unidyne III 545 or old Unidyne 57 (USA made) on your voice? Unless that is what you have already. Those things are indeed cooI sounding for a rock/bluesy vocal. Or even a 565.

One of those into a good transformer preamp to me sounds rather cooler than some cheap condenser into some chip preamp, but I am in the minority here. lol

My mind is : once you have a sweet pre, that milks goodness out of all manner of cheap but cool dynamics and ribbons with more vibe and solidity than plugging an ok condenser clone into a chip amp.

Do you know what the old Sony was called?
I have not tried any of those mics to my recollection, but I'd like to! -I've just been singing through a straight up, guitar center, out of the box 57 -What would some of the differences be between the Unidyne and the standard new era 57?

I *think it was this one:

https://www.electricalaudio.com/micr...1/p/sony-c-48p

But, now that I'm looking at his collection, it could've been one of these two. I remember it had that classic silver square head and it was a little old and beat up. Probably not the third one. I remember the engineer that was doing the session did not like the sound of the SM7b on my voice, so I think he tried to go with something sort of the opposite, if that in any way helps narrow it down:

https://www.electricalaudio.com/micr...s-1/p/rca-44dx

https://www.electricalaudio.com/micr...-1/p/rca-bk-11
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend ➡️
Cranborne audio Camden 500, from a technical point of view hard to beat In terms of noisefloor and lack of distortion under $1000.

I use whatever channels I'm plugged into - I don't think converters make enough difference to matter! In my case I have a choice of line-ins via my RME 802, Focusrite Octopre Dynamic (over ADAT) and Behringer ADA8200 (over ADAT), UAD Volt 276 or UAD Apollo 8P depending what rig I'm using.
Alright, interesting!

Thank you, Scragend!
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Huge +1 on the Camden. Also as much as I agree the mic fitting is more of a valuable pursuit than the preamp side, I also agree that a good mid-high end pre (as opposed to converter pres) will make many mics (including some very cheap ones) sound much better.

But the u87 on your voice vs the sm57 will likely drastically improve and fit the rock sound (or really most sounds) you're going for in a studio environment even on a $200 interface pre.

That said, the thing some peeps get caught up in is the semi-myth that the more expensive the mic, the better the sound, more pro, quality etc. I recently read a great post on a GS thread that mentioned something like how like 75 percent of the time high end / vintage mics will sound great on many things... But for a good number of things, certain less expensive mics work even better. Couldn't agree more. Love my Tonelux JC37 on about 60 percent of the stuff I track on my vox 3 x more than my vintage 87 that costs twice the price. Love my sm57 or date I say $20 Behringer mic on several of the songs I've written where for some reason it just KILLS on it for the live / raw / simple feel ... That said, I don't think I would agree if I didn't have a treated vocal booth / nice converters / high end pre to track it with.

But then I pop on my 87 and it's like that tried and true studio sound, which for some songs works well
Others waaaay too punchy, mid forward and alive sounding. This is what I've been starting to love about audio the more I learn and experiment... It's half a science , half an art. A fun rabbit hole to fall down... Doing things the wrong way can be so much fun too. Like I just realized the other day my low end Nady CM100 measurement mic (can buy for $30 used) SLAYS on classical guitar when tracked into the Camden and no compressor on the right gain setting / mic placement. I used to think man I gotta save up for a high end SDC like classical engineers use to even go near recording my classical ... But that Nady omg. It's lacking some low end (where u87 sounds much fuller on) but for that certain type of nylon string sound, it's just the ticket fory ears.

Sorry for the rant... Anyway, I love my 87 and can't recommend it any higher... The cheap clones of it nowadays , Serrano etc. are amazing and such a minor difference, many are selling their vintage ones. Cheers!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePremiere ➡️
Huge +1 on the Camden. Also as much as I agree the mic fitting is more of a valuable pursuit than the preamp side, I also agree that a good mid-high end pre (as opposed to converter pres) will make many mics (including some very cheap ones) sound much better.

But the u87 on your voice vs the sm57 will likely drastically improve and fit the rock sound (or really most sounds) you're going for in a studio environment even on a $200 interface pre.

That said, the thing some peeps get caught up in is the semi-myth that the more expensive the mic, the better the sound, more pro, quality etc. I recently read a great post on a GS thread that mentioned something like how like 75 percent of the time high end / vintage mics will sound great on many things... But for a good number of things, certain less expensive mics work even better. Couldn't agree more. Love my Tonelux JC37 on about 60 percent of the stuff I track on my vox 3 x more than my vintage 87 that costs twice the price. Love my sm57 or date I say $20 Behringer mic on several of the songs I've written where for some reason it just KILLS on it for the live / raw / simple feel ... That said, I don't think I would agree if I didn't have a treated vocal booth / nice converters / high end pre to track it with.

But then I pop on my 87 and it's like that tried and true studio sound, which for some songs works well
Others waaaay too punchy, mid forward and alive sounding. This is what I've been starting to love about audio the more I learn and experiment... It's half a science , half an art. A fun rabbit hole to fall down... Doing things the wrong way can be so much fun too. Like I just realized the other day my low end Nady CM100 measurement mic (can buy for $30 used) SLAYS on classical guitar when tracked into the Camden and no compressor on the right gain setting / mic placement. I used to think man I gotta save up for a high end SDC like classical engineers use to even go near recording my classical ... But that Nady omg. It's lacking some low end (where u87 sounds much fuller on) but for that certain type of nylon string sound, it's just the ticket fory ears.

Sorry for the rant... Anyway, I love my 87 and can't recommend it any higher... The cheap clones of it nowadays , Serrano etc. are amazing and such a minor difference, many are selling their vintage ones. Cheers!
Yeah -i'm really considering one of these "knock off" options, a la Serrano etc.

Thanks for the input...

A little story of my own: I've got this old Kodak mic that I found in a bag of trash a few years back -It's actually a microphone that came from an old film projector -Nothing sounds like it going through my Roland Quad capture pres! Total mojo machine! I use it on guitars...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
Perhaps 5% of your favorite songs were tracked with a SM57 (or more likely a SM58, which is worse), not because that was the best choice, because they were recorded live on stage.
Good point—I'll add that a few singers became so used to them that they used them in the studio, when there were better mics available. Brandon Flowers (The Killers), SM58, Paul Rogers SM57. I'm not promoting the use of them on vocals in the studio, just giving other reasons they ended up on a lot of records.

Quote:
Finally, exactly one of your favorite songs was recorded with a SM7b, which is basically a SM57 capsule in drag. I can pretty much guarantee that if Bruce Swedien were still alive and you hired him to track your vocals, he'd pick something else. Bruce had a simply astonishing mic collection.
Hard to pick out what lore from that recording is true, but maybe the most plausible thing I read was that Michael had a habit of tapping his feet, so Bruce chose the SM7 over a condenser...

To be fair, other people have used them on songs people have heard and like. And one good reason is that they work out better than most in less than perfect environments. Chris Martin (Coldplay) was married to AKG C414 for years, but sang some in the control room on SM7B later on.

Your points are spot on, just adding a little color. I think the SM7B is serviceable, especially for rock, and doesn't impart anything bad. [Oh, that reminds me of a video mic shootout in a studio with a well-known producer, a female singer picks the SM7B after listening; he says, "You chose the 'do no harm' mic..."] If you want the vocal to shine with detail, there are better choices, especially considering the price tag.
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