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Live vocal mics, LOUD DRUMMER!
Old 20th September 2012
  #1
Deleted 0936969
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Live vocal mics, LOUD DRUMMER!

Hey dudes.

Looking for suggestions of nice vocal mics to try for improving clarity and hopefully reducing drum spill. The band are a pop punk / epic pop outfit with a fantastic lead singer and a dense mix of guitar and synths and really loud (travis barker style) drummer. The lead vocalist has a beautiful, loud voice with a few falsetto sections and ok mic technique. He's on IEMs. Backing vocal is from a quieter dude, with a single wedge, not so great mic technique.

Ive been looking at dynamics, mainly hypercardioids under £200:
Shure beta 57 or 58
Heil PR20, 22 or 35 (35 probably a bit expensive)
Audix OM6 or 7
Audio Technica AE6100
Beyerdynamic TG V70
Sennheiser e945

Any help would be amazing! Live vocal mics are about the one type of mic I've not had the chance to experiment as much as I'd like with.
Thanks,
Neil
Old 20th September 2012
  #2
Deleted 0936969
Guest
Please don't just say "get them all and try 'em". This is to make a short list as I don't have much time or many places to test mics from.
Old 20th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I like the sound of the PR20 but the mic with the best live isolation I've heard is a Beyer M88
Old 21st September 2012
  #4
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's hard to beat a plain old Shure SM58 for getting gain before feedback in a live situation. You can find better sounding mics but few that will give you more gain before feedback on a vocal. The Beta 58 is great too, but I have not noticed much difference between it and a regular 58 as far as isolation goes. I've used the Audix mics and they are fine, but not better than the old SM58. If your dummer is too loud there are things you can do about that if the dummer will cooperate. Playing smaller and fewer drums might be one possible solution. I've seen a lot of bands where the dummer is just too loud for the club they are playing in which then forces everyone else to turn up and then the volume can get out of hand.
Old 21st September 2012
  #5
Gear Addict
 
trompetfreak's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1 on the SM58. Aspecially when the mic-technique isn't great. The SM's are cardioid, the betas superc, as far as I know. Supercardioids require a better mic-technique from your singer.
If the SM58 doesn't give you enough "clarity" I'd not look at the mic, maybe there's something else in the chain.

Beyer M88 is nice aswell. I'm pretty fond of the Shure ksm9 when it comes to singers that need a bit more "love" than just "throwing a 58 in their face". It has a switch between the two patterns, nice feature.
Old 21st September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
It might be easier replacing the drummer with one that can play with more dynamics instead of a full out basher. It's similar to electric guitar players that have an "11" on their amps.

Maybe switch his sticks with 7As, lol.

I agree, the SM58 is a great vocal microphone and they're inexpensive to boot.

Dennis
Old 21st September 2012
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Nice short list of vocal mics there. None are bad choices.

OM-7 is probably the best for rejection although your singer has to be right on it to get the most out of it, OM-5 is a little more forgiving with mic technique.
I quite like the Sennheiser e935 too, can be good for your BV who you said isn't as strong singer.

Also never hurts to plead with your drummer to tone down the right hand stuff, everything sits better when they're not trying to destroy cymbals.

Good luck
C
Old 21st September 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
For a singer with poor technique, most of these mics won't work as you need to be right on them; the SM58 is the most forgiving for people with bad vocal technique. I'd avoid the Audix - they're great, but you have to be eating the mic.

What kind of mixer and speakers are you using, and are you getting feedback issues in mains, monitors, or just a lot of cymbals in the vocal channels?

If it's just cymbals in the vocals, unless you move way up, it doesn't get much better. If you have parametric EQ on your mixer, you can stick a lo-pass filter around 10K; male vocals center around 6-7K so you can cut out a lot of the cymbal "sizzle" and still have strong vocals.

And yes, make the drummer buy different sticks. He may be using 2B tree branches when he could use 5As or 7As, but he has to learn to control his dynamics. Is he also a new player?
Old 21st September 2012
  #9
Deleted 0936969
Guest
Hey guys.

Thanks for the replys. Maybe I should have explained a bit more, I'm an experienced live engineer, just never got much chance to experiment with vocal mics. I totally agree that quieter drummer = happier everyone. This has already been worked on plenty. 58's are fine, they wouldn't be so popular if they weren't! Im not a new gear addict or hoarder, I just know that there are better mics out there that if we choose the right one can help us raise the overall definition, separation and tonality of the whole band. They are mainly working on the club circuit across the UK.
Old 21st September 2012
  #10
Deleted 0936969
Guest
Dangerous C - what is it about the sennheiser that makes you suggest it for the BV?

I'm liking the sound of this Audix OM7 - I'll definitely be demoing this for the lead.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys! Much appreciated :-)
Old 21st September 2012
  #11
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edva's Avatar
 
26 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
+1 on M88. Another thing you might try is an "optigate" type device, which shuts off the signal from the mic unless the singer is on it.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
The 935 has a good amount of body for a vocal mic without being muddy in the low mids, and it has a nice amount of presence. It can sound a bit peaky on certain voices but you can get it to cut through easily.
My biggest gripe with the Sennheiser 900 series vocal mics is the capsules are pretty susceptible moisture and unless you look after them well they'll wear out faster than the Shures.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
On the OM7, you'll find it needs more input gain than a 58; you need to be eating the mic for it to really work it's best. Definitely would need to work with any band members with poor vocal technique.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #14
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Plexiglass drum shield? The only thing I hate more than loud drummers is loud guitarists and bassists. That's what the freakin' PA system is for.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I can't remember the model, but the handheld Neumann is good. It was used on the Silverstein "Decade" DVD, and I was there during some vocal editing. For such a small stage, it isolated pretty well, but their vocalist has good Mic technique. It was ran through a black Avalon 737SP
Old 23rd September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
EV N/D 967.

Great stage mic regardless and your best bet in this case IMO.

It's a supercardioid. This won't imply much for the lead singer, especially if he's moving around (although keeping his back to the drummer will help, of course). But for that quiet dude, don't put his single wedge right behind the mic like you would with a pure cardioid.

BTW good drummers can keep time without beating the $#!t out of the kit.
Plexiglass if everything else fails.




Henk
Old 23rd September 2012
  #17
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jetboatguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know of one particular band that uses 3 x SM57's on vocals live.. It's basically a 58.. but it allows you to get closer to the diaphragm.. they rehearse with this setup all the time.. it does allow for more gain before feedback, and you have to use a HPF to reduce proximity effect
Old 24th September 2012
  #18
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RightOnRome's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➡️
Plexiglass drum shield? The only thing I hate more than loud drummers is loud guitarists and bassists. That's what the freakin' PA system is for.
drum shield is what your looking for
Old 24th September 2012
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
ForgottenG's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would totally disagree with the SM58. They are not the tightest pick up pattern out there and for a loud singer will not hold up as well as some of the other mics The Audix OM7's will handle much louder signals in the real world than the shure. Again who cares if you need more gain on the mic. If this is a loud vocalist the situation corrects itself. Stop being a puppet and use the right tool for the right job.(That was not directed at anyone specific I am saying in general, think about your application.)

Oh yeah, most importantly, save everyone the time and heart-ache and get rid of the drummer. Nothing good comes out of a drummer that plays too hard.
Old 24th September 2012
  #20
XJR
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Drum spill in the vocal mics is the bane of my life when mixing live recordings. I get much less spill when the singer uses a Senn E945, nice sounding mic too
Old 24th September 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
BillSimpkins's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Can you put the drummer on the side of the stage? Like this:
Old 24th September 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I have tried several of the mics you mentioned. I am not a fan of the SM58, after having used it for decades on my own band and running live sound for others.

A basic question is whether to go cardioid or super cardioid. The latter will of course be better at rejecting spill, but many lead singers find the pattern too tight and restrictive. For this reason I am more inclined to use supercardioids for backup singers and stick with cardioids for most leads.

The Sennheiser e935 or e945 are great mics. Have what I would call a modern sound - somewhat scooped and with a presence bump but in a very nice way. I would definitely audition one or both.

For a cheap option it is worth trying an SM57. It can sound great on many voices - better that the SM58 IMHO. Just be sure to use the foam wind screen attachment as it is not designed to handle plosives otherwise. I found the Sennheiser e838 to have a similar vibe, but with built in pop filter.

We ended up with the Heil PR35 for our lead singer. It is the best sounding live vocal mic I have ever heard. Clear while remaining natural and warm. I would definitely try one. It is not perfect however. It more prone to plosives than other mics, and it has a high handling noise.

Good luck.
Old 25th September 2012
  #23
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edva's Avatar
 
26 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
If you can, try a Beyer M88, or cheaper, a Shure beta 57.
A classic mic from the past, Senni 441, would also be excellent.
I wouldn't worry about the vocalist being "restricted" - they can hear themselves in the monitors and figure it out.
Old 25th September 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Did I mention the EV N/D 967?

Anyway, here's a link:
http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=87




Henk
Old 25th September 2012
  #25
Gear Addict
 
T.V. Eye's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I know this is gearslutz, not musicslutz or bandslutz, and I know that musicians that are not top notch can be problematic soundwise. I´m not that great of a drummer myself, and nearly all the guitarplayers I ever played with tend to crank their amps up to high.

But as a recording- or livemixer, my understanding is that one should try to get the best out of the performance of a given situation - including the musicians.

I don´t know the band we are talking about here, but if we are talking about a rock, punk, whatever group and not about some solo performer who got a backing band of session musicians, than I guess the band is quite happy with their drummer (otherwise they would have split until know, I guess), and chance is, that this band functions the way they are and want to be, because of that constellation of musicians, the way they play, the way they interact etc.

I don´t want to be offensive to anyone here, but suggesting to change the drummer - or even his playing style - because of drum spill on the vocal mic at some live club gigs would be the last thing that would come to my mind.
Maybe I´m a little too romantic here, but to me music is not a "product" that has to be as clean an perfect as possible in the first place.
Sure you can talk to the band, explain why there could be some problems soundwise, suggest if it´s possible to play the drums a little softer or turn down the guitar amps a little. If the band can do it an still feel comfortable, great. But otherwise I - as in the audience - would take a little drawback soundwise antime for a great live performance where the band does what the do best, energetic, raw, exciting, without with on foot on the break.

Sorry, this was a little off topic...
Old 25th September 2012
  #26
Gear Addict
 
jayson_p's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I went through this dilemma 25 years ago when I was a contract sound-grunt: A different vocal mic will not do a damn thing to help overcome loud stage volumes - particularly as far as drummers are concerned.
You really have to give some thought to what hyper-cardioid polar patterns do to the frequency response. An SM-58 already has a pretty hyped proximity effect - that's only going to get worse as the cardioid pattern gets tighter on other mics. At the end of the day that will just push you further into the mud. Toss in some standing waves generated by some nice parallel walls in the room and you'll make more mud than the Mississippi river in full flood.

Judging by your description you'll get much better results by decreasing the amount of stage volume so the vocals can be more clearly heard. Drum shields like this are really going to be far more effective at increasing the intelligibility of vocals far more than a different mic and the cost is about the same.
You might also want to try putting the guitar amps on the side of the stage facing across, rather than at the rear of the stage facing the audience. Musicians may complain because it doesn't look as bad-ass, but it'll control the wash of noise coming off the stage and give the PA a better shot at properly doing it's job. Plus it will allow you to actually mix the show without deafening yourself and the audience.
Old 25th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Boschen's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Get a vintage senny md416u mic.
Beat the drummer about the face and head with the senny until he learns dynamics.

Seriously, why are you looking at microphones? Treat the problem at the source- the drummer. Some even choose to listen.
Old 25th September 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I beat another drummer out of a position one time because he bashed the drums and I didn't.

This discussion reminds me of a choir problem I had back in the Spring with one vocalist in particular who just stuck out like a sore thumb. At some point, the offender needs to come to the realization that he has to adjust to the group-not that the group has to adjust to him.
Old 25th September 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I know you're going to hate this, but you really do have to try these things. We had a shootout at church using Audix, EV, Shure, Sennheiser and a few others and we ended up with 3 different mics for the 3 different singers. Each sounded best thru a different one. None of the mics you suggested are bad, and used, none are expensive. If you can't take the band to a store that sells them, I'd buy one of each on Ebay, try em and sell the ones that don't work (or keep them for other projects). I can't imagine the investment being much more than a new Beta 58 or two.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
ForgottenG's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.V. Eye ➡️
I know this is gearslutz, not musicslutz or bandslutz, and I know that musicians that are not top notch can be problematic soundwise. I´m not that great of a drummer myself, and nearly all the guitarplayers I ever played with tend to crank their amps up to high.

But as a recording- or livemixer, my understanding is that one should try to get the best out of the performance of a given situation - including the musicians.

I don´t know the band we are talking about here, but if we are talking about a rock, punk, whatever group and not about some solo performer who got a backing band of session musicians, than I guess the band is quite happy with their drummer (otherwise they would have split until know, I guess), and chance is, that this band functions the way they are and want to be, because of that constellation of musicians, the way they play, the way they interact etc.

I don´t want to be offensive to anyone here, but suggesting to change the drummer - or even his playing style - because of drum spill on the vocal mic at some live club gigs would be the last thing that would come to my mind.
Maybe I´m a little too romantic here, but to me music is not a "product" that has to be as clean an perfect as possible in the first place.
Sure you can talk to the band, explain why there could be some problems soundwise, suggest if it´s possible to play the drums a little softer or turn down the guitar amps a little. If the band can do it an still feel comfortable, great. But otherwise I - as in the audience - would take a little drawback soundwise antime for a great live performance where the band does what the do best, energetic, raw, exciting, without with on foot on the break.

Sorry, this was a little off topic...
No need to be sorry, you make some excellent points. I think the biggest problem with an obnoxious drummer or guitar player for that matter is an underlying problem that eventually becomes obvious. If you think that loudness is the most important part that you bring to your band and the band can't succeed without it you are setting your sights way low. If your not willing to serve the song and the music itself It usually means that you feel that you are the most important part of your band, which doesn't seem very bandlike. There are very few people that can make the loud thing work for them. Certainly a guy like Dave Grohl was and is a heavy hitter but he also has an amazing sense of the song. This tends to be the exception rather than the rule though, based on my 20 years of observing the music industry and specifically music production. Far be it for me to tell any band what they should do. I am just at the point in my tired life that if I see this loudness problem creeping in I leave, or kindly say no thank you. There's 20 studios within 2 blocks of me that don't care as much as I do. I'm ok with you going there. The loudest people are the highest maintenance, period!! I have no exception to this rule that I can give you from my personal experience.
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