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SM7B set-up
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #61
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➡️
I'm not taking it as rude.

Here's what you wrote:



I read that as you already have the other pieces and you wanted to add the SM7b. So I thought that was the variable so that's what I commented on.

My apologies if I misunderstood.

I'd still recommend trying a few others in the same price range.
lol thanks and cool. Yeah im actually looking at some other mics now including condensers. The nearest guitar center is quite a drive from where i live and i drive an SUV so gas isnt exactly gonna be cheap to go that route of demo'ing mics.

I have a blue spark and maybe its the fact that i use only a usb interface with 48db of gain, but it absolutely sucks to me. As you were saying trying things on your voice is much more reliable than other people's opinion.

So now im at a crossroads lol. I'm sure you have already stated a few but if there are any mics in the $400< range that you think would work for Hip-Hop Pop vocals, shoot them at me.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #62
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Most companies won't advertise this but many of them will let you put a bunch on your credit card and send back the ones you don't want before your billing cycle. Just let them know what you're doing.

Keep us posted.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #63
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker ➡️
Assuming that MJ really did use a SM7 on 'Thriller' well, according to Kenny and others here he (along with his engineer) would have made an uninformed choice.

Since the SM7b will make it so hard to mix a vocal, then I would certainly assume that an engineer who's also mixing what he recorded (remember those?) would be a masochist.
Kenny has said that it makes his mixing job 20X harder. ok, but does that really make the SM7b a bad mic? Does everybody have the same difficulty mixing an SM7b vocal? If Kenny's not mixing your vocals what's the problem?
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #64
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🎧 5 years
I have zero problems mixing this mic. It's purely relative to the source and the preference/skills of the person doing the mixing.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
I have zero problems mixing this mic. It's purely relative to the source and the preference/skills of the person doing the mixing.
I'd love to know how you'd get it sounding as good as a U87 or Manley..

I honestly want to know.
Old 19th September 2012
  #66
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🎧 15 years
It's a great mic, ask Bruce Swedien. You don't throw a crappy mic on Michael and say I'll just work 20 times harder to mix it. You throw on your best mic for the job because no one was bigger than Michael. You don't f it up with mic selection with Michael. If it costs less than 500, who cares??? The sound is golden and timeless. Results= Billie Jean baby. Mega Hit.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman ➡️
It's a great mic, ask Bruce Swedien. You don't throw a crappy mic on Michael and say I'll just work 20 times harder to mix it. You throw on your best mic for the job because no one was bigger than Michael. You don't f it up with mic selection with Michael. If it costs less than 500, who cares??? The sound is golden and timeless. Results= Billie Jean baby. Mega Hit.
So it worked for one fantastic singer, I could have another fantastic singer and it have the opposite effect.

Shure SM58 works for Bono, sounds shocking on others..

I've even used Samson Mic's to some degree of result.. Means nothing unless your only recording yourself and know what works for you.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #68
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heyman's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
A mic taken EQ well depends on so many factors. The singer, the environment and of course the type of eq. When the Sm7 works, it just works. Not right for everything.

Other day I had a guy come in and we tried my Neumann and my Sm7 on his voice. Neither mic sounded flattering. Ended up using a Sennheiser 421.

Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #69
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilDW ➡️
Kenny has said that it makes his mixing job 20X harder. ok, but does that really make the SM7b a bad mic? Does everybody have the same difficulty mixing an SM7b vocal? If Kenny's not mixing your vocals what's the problem?
I can't understand this at all. I certainly got good feedback the few times somebody else mixed vocals I recorded with an SM7b.

Maybe I'm missing something here but if a tracking engineer uses a SM7 for a singer I guess it's because he WANTS to use that mic and not because of any Michael Jackson mystique or GS love rants. And why should the mixer change the vocal sound? Does he know better than the tracking engineer/producer/artist? Or are we talking 'rescue basement tracking mixing jobs' here?

That was my point earlier in this thread: Don't you think that a dedicated engineer is actually LISTENING to the mic choices he makes? I do think so. And the fact that many great engineers might choose the SM7 over an U47 or ELAM 251 in SOME situations speaks for itself I think.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #70
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilDW ➡️
Kenny has said that it makes his mixing job 20X harder. ok, but does that really make the SM7b a bad mic? Does everybody have the same difficulty mixing an SM7b vocal? If Kenny's not mixing your vocals what's the problem?


Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
I have zero problems mixing this mic. It's purely relative to the source and the preference/skills of the person doing the mixing.


I've been producing and mixing for over 20 years using just about every mic on the planet. If it's a "skills" problem than I have certainly found a way around it. I don't use this mic. Works every time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman ➡️
It's a great mic, ask Bruce Swedien. You don't throw a crappy mic on Michael and say I'll just work 20 times harder to mix it. You throw on your best mic for the job because no one was bigger than Michael. You don't f it up with mic selection with Michael. If it costs less than 500, who cares??? The sound is golden and timeless. Results= Billie Jean baby. Mega Hit.
I didn't say that Bruce has to work 20X harder to mix when he uses this mic. I do. I want every detail to come thru and this mic seems to want to fight that approach.

I'm guessing we just have different sensibilities.

And let us not forget. How many of us record singers that sing like Michael Jackson. I'm not talking about he good he is. His approach and vocal style is pretty unique. Maybe it's perfect for him. Maybe I would agree.

But thinking what works for Michael Jackson is going to work for you is a bit short sighted. I can't think of any other singer that sings the way he does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker ➡️
I can't understand this at all. I certainly got good feedback the few times somebody else mixed vocals I recorded with an SM7b.

Maybe I'm missing something here but if a tracking engineer uses a SM7 for a singer I guess it's because he WANTS to use that mic and not because of any Michael Jackson mystique or GS love rants. And why should the mixer change the vocal sound? Does he know better than the tracking engineer/producer/artist? Or are we talking 'rescue basement tracking mixing jobs' here?

That was my point earlier in this thread: Don't you think that a dedicated engineer is actually LISTENING to the mic choices he makes? I do think so. And the fact that many great engineers might choose the SM7 over an U47 or ELAM 251 in SOME situations speaks for itself I think.
Being that we're talking about a $300 mic, I'm assuming the original poster doesn't have the dozen or so microphones that guys like me have at our disposal. That's why I offer my opinion. If he already had plenty of mics to choose from, he should certainly choose them himself. Which is what I suggested.

When you have a small budget getting advice is a bit more important.

My apologies for not liking one microphone.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #71
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doorknocker's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➡️
But thinking what works for Michael Jackson is going to work for you is a bit short sighted.
As is thinking what works for Kenny Gioia is going to work for you.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #72
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker ➡️
As is thinking what works for Kenny Gioia is going to work for you.
As is thinking what works for Bruce Swedien is going to work for you.

Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #73
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➡️
I didn't say that Bruce has to work 20X harder to mix when he uses this mic. I do. I want every detail to come thru and this mic seems to want to fight that approach.
Although I like this mic I know what you mean - I have condensers in the same price range that do definitely give more detail. I'm far from having 20 years of mixing experience though...
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #74
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chk23 ➡️
Although I like this mic I know what you mean - I have condensers in the same price range that do definitely give more detail. I'm far from having 20 years of mixing experience though...


You don't to have 20 years in.

The problem for newbies is that they don't have anything to compare it to.

My fear is that they'll think that they're doing something wrong. They're not. It's not a flattering detailed mic.

If it's the first vocal mic you own, you may be horribly disappointed.

It's like when I first bought my NS10s. I thought they were going to sound incredible. Here are the speakers that everyone mixes on. They're gonna sound amazing. I was very let down. They were awful.

Now I understand what they do and I won't mix without them but you need to understand that going in.

If you're looking for that bright, in your face, sensitive, hear every breath experience, this isn't the mic.

YMMV
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #75
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NEWTON IN ORBIT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➡️
Who was dissing "people"?

Thanks to Mitt Romney I know that corporations are people but was unaware that microphones were as well.

YMMV has been used many times in this thread.
He may have been talking about my post, as it is fairly negative towards the sm7.

I don't mean to offend anybody, and my apologies if it came across that way.

My point is a little similar to Kenny's I guess. Notice I say maybe try some other mics too before settling on the sm7.

If you are just starting out, and you think that the sm7 is the end all of mics and cannot be beat, you will never know any differently if you don't try. No mic is perfect. That said, if somebody were to take the internet hype as face value, and put out of their minds the possibility that another mic may sound better, then they could possibly lose a good portion of their recording days tracking with a mic that is good but not great and not even realize it.

I guess in short I am saying SM7= good mic. The best on your particular voice? Who freaking knows, but there is a high possibility it isn't.

Just trying to inject some kinda something along the lines of balance, as all I see anymore are long sm7 fan club posts, and long posts recommending to buy one and "Be done with it."

It should never be like this. The OP should try everything he /she can get their hands on, and not follow internet forums as a blueprint to success. It becomes even more important to test and audition as much as you can when you have a meager budget to work with.

One last point too though. Let's say the sm7 does sound incredible on the OP. Does that mean using that mic and only that mic for the next 20 years is a good idea? Maybe. At the same time though change is good. Change keeps things fresh. Sometimes a change in character is needed from song to song for certain. Certainly from album to album no? Sometimes between verse and chorus even. A mic is a good way to get that difference without relying on tons of processing.

Again, my apologies, did not mean to offend anybody.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #76
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kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia ➡️
Good point. My issue was using it for vocals but if you're going to use it to record an untreated room, it might be great.
Thank you. You just made me realize that my next band's name will be Untreated Sewage.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #77
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Okay...so last night I tried to track vocals with my sm7b through a Rane ms1b preamp, which is a super clean preamp. Sounded dull, thin and just plain terrible!

I put that baby back into my fully modded GAP Pre73, which I usually track vocals through.... BINGO! It brought the SM7b back to life and added the presence that it needs to cut through a mix.

So I guess character pres really work well with the SM7b?
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #78
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT ➡️

That said, if somebody were to take the internet hype as face value, and put out of their minds the possibility that another mic may sound better, then they could possibly lose a good portion of their recording days tracking with a mic that is good but not great and not even realize it.
Absolutely!!!!

The thing is, people who know their sh*t, aren't going to listen to me (or NEWTON) anyway. They know what they like. It's the people who do proper research, buy one mic and call it a day that need to hear a differing opinion.

Some people like this mic. Some don't. I hate it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT ➡️
Again, my apologies, did not mean to offend anybody.
The SM7 is a big boy. It can handle the abuse.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #79
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
Okay...so last night I tried to track vocals with my sm7b through a Rane ms1b preamp, which is a super clean preamp. Sounded dull, thin and just plain terrible!

I put that baby back into my fully modded GAP Pre73, which I usually track vocals through.... BINGO! It brought the SM7b back to life and added the presence that it needs to cut through a mix.

So I guess character pres really work well with the SM7b?
If you mean a "character preamp that adds 8dB of top end and compresses that top end to sound even while also removing low end mud (200Hz) and evening that out as well" then yes. That character preamp might be perfect for this mic. Although not very good for much else.

In all seriousness, what other mics have you tried and didn't like as much as the SM7? Not trying to have a "see you haven't tried expensive mics" contest with you here but if you have tried more detail oriented condensers I'm (honestly) curious what you didn't like about them for your voice.

Thanks
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #80
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
Okay...so last night I tried to track vocals with my sm7b through a Rane ms1b preamp, which is a super clean preamp. Sounded dull, thin and just plain terrible!
BTW - That Rane preamp is of very low quality. I have trouble believing it's "super clean". It might not impart any "character" (per se) but it's lack of sonic clarity will definitely impart something non-flattering.

I only own "character" preamps but I would think the SM7 might benefit from cleaner ones like Grace, Martech or True Precision. Those are clean and crystal clear. Avalon might be a nice one as well.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #81
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
You win, Kenny. the SM7b sucks. But maybe it wouldn't suck so bad if singers learned a little better techique in not overpowering the proximity effect of the mic. Step back about 2 inches, and wow, the mud disappears. At least in my experience. I own an Audio Techica 4040. It's crisp and nice, but doesn't capture the thick mids the SM7b does.


Doesn't the Rane MS1B have the Burr Brown chip in it? It can't suck that bad.
Old 20th September 2012
  #82
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SMARTGUY's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I for one think the sm7b is a decent mic. I understand that at this price point the field is full of mics that cover a NARROW spectrum of sounds nicely.
So my advice to the Op is no, don't get this mic just yet. Get a cheaper mic and learn it. Match it to the art and then to the GAP, record it mix, beat it. If you can find a good used and cheap one then cop it and compare it to what you already know about your FIRST mic. I came across this mic used and cheap which was the only reason I got it. I then started working with a male singer with a fairly unique and deep voice. After going through a AKG C414 xlii and a tlm, the sm7b and a great river mp500 (that huge transformer makes the mic sing) were a match made in heaven. I also worked with a rapper with a thunderous Jamaican delivery, again the sm7b/mv500/mc77 combination came through. Needless to say, I now have the mic permanently set up just for them. Experiment, change it up. Buy and sell as much mic's as you can (especially used if you have to) to find what works for you.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #83
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
You win, Kenny. the SM7b sucks.
Nah. There's no winning. We have a difference of opinion.

They're both valid. I just find it unacceptable to have a thread exist with multiple pages and no descension when I find this mic "less than" stellar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
But maybe it wouldn't suck so bad if singers learned a little better techique in not overpowering the proximity effect of the mic. Step back about 2 inches, and wow, the mud disappears. At least in my experience.
Probably. But those same singers sound fine with other mics. And I like proximity effect. I just need it to be even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
I own an Audio Techica 4040. It's crisp and nice, but doesn't capture the thick mids the SM7b does.
I'm not surprised. I tried a few of those AT mics and hated them as well. So the SM7 might be better.

Maybe I'm just a snob but I think some of these LDC mics coming from other countries have to be better for the money than the SM7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
Doesn't the Rane MS1B have the Burr Brown chip in it? It can't suck that bad.
Not sure that that chip would fix the other issues with it. I just don't see how a $199 mic preamp could be called "clean" as those cheaper components are definitely affecting the clarity.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #84
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
So what are your fav. condensers under 350 bucks, Kenny? You seem to hate everything! LOL

You hate Audio Technicas, really? Come on, man. Really? HATE? Those are known to be decent, nuetral quality condensers used by pro studios everywhere. I prefer my sm7b over my at4040 because of the beefy mids on the sm7b, but I definitely don't hate it.
Old 20th September 2012
  #85
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jrod9900's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kenny,

What are your vocal mics of choice these days? Obviously not the 7b.

JROD
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #86
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrod9900 ➡️
Kenny,

What are your vocal mics of choice these days? Obviously not the 7b.

JROD
Good question.

I actually think Kenny's doing a valuable job in making people think about the choices they make. Somebody has to be Devil's Advocate The SM7B isn't for every situation, that's for sure, and yes I have one.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #87
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
So what are your fav. condensers under 350 bucks, Kenny? You seem to hate everything! LOL
I don't hate the SM57.

I was really impressed with the Sterling Audio mic that was $199 recently.

Sterling Audio ST77 - deal $199

Listen:

Rolling In The Deep (Adele) - jayme dee cover - YouTube

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 ➡️
You hate Audio Technicas, really? Come on, man. Really? HATE? Those are known to be decent, nuetral quality condensers used by pro studios everywhere. I prefer my sm7b over my at4040 because of the beefy mids on the sm7b, but I definitely don't hate it.
Tried it once because all of the hype and was unimpressed.

If I want decent and cheap I'd use an SM57.

When I say I hate it, I don't mean that I actually wish it harm. It's just so far from the sound I'm going for that I would never even put it up.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #88
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrod9900 ➡️
Kenny,

What are your vocal mics of choice these days? Obviously not the 7b.

JROD
Not really fair in this sub-forum but I love my Brauner Valvet.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #89
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As far as this Michael Jackson uses an SM7 thing, let me tell you a story.

Many years back I was producing a song for a pretty famous "Diva".

We were in the process of moving our studio to a bigger location and it wasn't built yet so we had to cut the vocal at an outside spot. I forget if it was Quad, Sony, or Battery but they had a Sony Oxford in the place.

Anyway, I decided to bring a TLM 103 with me just in case I wasn't happy with what they had there. I forget what happened (maybe we were rushed for time) but we ended up using the TLM and when the label president showed up to watch, he was blown away by the vocal sound. He told the A&R guy that he wanted all the producers (there were many) on this record to use that mic for the singer. I was kind of giggling inside thinking that a TLM 103 is nothing special. He was probably reacting to where and how the vocal was placed in the mix and effects etc. Who knows. But suddenly the TLM was the "go to" mic on this record.

My point. Don't choose a mic because someone famous uses it. Many of them sound pretty good with a TLM 103.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #90
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prizebeatz1's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Even though they are both great mics, IMO the KSM 32 slays the SM7b for around the same price. But again, it's all based on opinion. However, if you put 100 average people in a room and blind test a KSM 32 and a SM7b, I'm willing to place a wager that one of them will be chosen more often over the other. Does that make it a fact that one is better than the other?

And how come we don't see very many people going crazy over the microphones Elvis used?
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