Old 04-01-2017, 08:29 PM   #1
RDBOIS
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Default [solved] Need a vocal mic - SM57 AKGD7 Senn e854 , or ...

I'm interested in getting a vocal microphone.

I've been using a USB- Blue Yeti (3 capsule condenser) but not having good results.The Blue Yeti is giving me some very harsh sounds with super mega high freqs that I need to deal with major EQ surgery

I tend to sing vocals where I exhale the sounds out, often need to sing close to the mic, because I'm almost whisper-singing, have a bit of a nasal tone, don't do many live gigs, and don't have a good recording room (i.e. my living room with some background noise).


What else?

I may be using it to sing in bars or other venue, but that's not the main purpose. I just want to record vocals at home.

I may want to record an acoustic guitar (unplugged).

I'll be plugging in Samson GT active monitors: 16-bit 44.1kHz/48kHz
Stereo RCA and 1/8-inch aux input, two mic and instrument/line inputs along with gain control, clip LED, and two 1/8-inch stereo headphone outputs with independent level controls. Plus, Samson includes a 2-position switch for no-latency directs mono and stereo monitoring.

In my price range I'm thinking of something like:

SM57
AKGD7
Senn e854

.
.
.

Perhaps another?

What say you?

Thanks.

Last edited by RDBOIS; 04-02-2017 at 01:36 PM. Reason: solved
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:59 PM   #2
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Sennheiser is the least bad option from your list.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:15 PM   #3
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Sennheiser is the least bad option from your list.

Ahh.... Hmmm...

So, is the Sennheiser the least bad at that price range? Any other I should consider? What if I added, say 50$ more and we were talking about 200$ US?
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:10 AM   #4
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do you need it only for recording, right? No stage, no live..just to record at home?

you should look for a nice large diaphragm condenser mic, with a nice sensibility as you say you use to whisper while singing.
Cheap and very good mic could be the NT1A by Rode, I think it should be around 200$ (I'm in Europe so I really don't know american prices).
They make a bundle for 200€ (that should be a little bit more of 200$) with mic, shockmount and anti-pop filter.


EDIT: ok, on amazon.com this bundle it's at 229$
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:00 AM   #5
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+1 for the Rode NT1a - great condenser.

Just want to say, don't overlook the Behringer XM8500 if you want a dynamic - knocks spots off the SM 58 at quarter the price. I have both.

Check out comparisons here
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:56 AM   #6
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I would suggest the Audio Technica AT2020. It's really great and to me it's waaaay better than the Rode NT1A. It also has less background noise. For 100 bucks you really can't go wrong. I've also compared it to the SM58 and, still, the AT2020 wins without a doubt.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:28 AM   #7
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Heil PR22. A million times better than those you mentioned, and can still be used live without breaking the bank
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:31 AM   #8
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Using a condenser like those suggested in live situations is also not a good idea. Mr B has a good suggestion. A sort of poor man's sm7 if I recall. I use a beyerdynamic m88 live but a couple of sennheiser dynamics as backup. Good live mics and better than sm58 for live and recording. Fwiw I would hold off on cheap condensers till you get a better idea of what suits your voice. I started with Rodent1 and it was too sibilant. Bought a midrange ldc and was happy with it . I sold the Rode but eventually bought a Rode Classic valve mic which is still my go to. But always the dynamics for live. Oh I also have several sm58 a SM57 and some sdc mics that I use for drum overhead and acoustic guitar. Sdc from bringer Samson and Karma are very cheap and might be worth buying used. Mine were all used apart from a pair of Karma silver bullets.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:08 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the input.

Until I get more money and can try them out first I'm going to stay away from the condenser mics. The Blue Yeti was a big let down for me... Too sibilant to much high freqs, etc. It's likes singing in an hot electrified metal container.

I'm done with USB microphones. I need to be able to plug it in any regular xlr/combo jacks. I'm sure there is a way to work around plugging two mics in two USB slots and get them both to record at the same time, but I'm not up for that kind of learning curve at this point. The classic microphone for the good old xlr/combo jack will do me fine.

I want to try a dynamic.

The Heil PR22 seems interesting.

From what I saw on the internet the SM's seem to lack highs/crispiness. Many seem to say the AKGD7 (and D5) beat the SM57 because it has more highs.

Has any bad things to say in regards to the AKG's?
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:38 AM   #10
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+1 on the AT 2020 or 2035
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:34 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your help. I'm going to keep your recommendations in mind when it comes to buying a condenser microphone, but I made my choice.

I need to try a dynamic mic and it's going to be the Heil PR22.

They sell it at Guitar Center here in New Orleans, and I can get a deal with a stand, pop filter and cable.

I'll report on the sound when I get it.

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Old 04-03-2017, 08:04 AM   #12
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T'es un coonass?!?!? I love Louisiana.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:06 AM   #13
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The thing about SM57s (real ones, that is) is that they have a resonance disc which imparts their characteristic mid thwonk which either helps or hurts. You throw it near a snare and you get "that" sound, which a lot of people like but eqing it out isn't as good a solution as just using another mic. For vocals it can be great but it's very much a one and a half trick pony. Good for aggressive vocals but otherwise not the best choice for a cheap dynamic vocal mic. It's actually a pretty versatile drum and instrument mic but while you can get good rock vocals out of it I wouldn't use it for the purpose you describe, especially if you don't don't want to put a surgical eq on it every time, and forget about singing close to it, it's a pop machine if you're singing right up on it : )

I don't have hands on experience with the D7 or e854 but a Beta 58 is a very good all around vocal mic for around $150 that you can use live or at home with good results.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdubreeze View Post
The thing about SM57s (real ones, that is) is that they have a resonance disc which imparts their characteristic mid thwonk which either helps or hurts. You throw it near a snare and you get "that" sound, which a lot of people like but eqing it out isn't as good a solution as just using another mic. For vocals it can be great but it's very much a one and a half trick pony. Good for aggressive vocals but otherwise not the best choice for a cheap dynamic vocal mic. It's actually a pretty versatile drum and instrument mic but while you can get good rock vocals out of it I wouldn't use it for the purpose you describe, especially if you don't don't want to put a surgical eq on it every time, and forget about singing close to it, it's a pop machine if you're singing right up on it : )

I don't have hands on experience with the D7 or e854 but a Beta 58 is a very good all around vocal mic for around $150 that you can use live or at home with good results.
I've found that a bit if distance really tames the honk of a '57.

They are also "forgiving upstream", to paraphrase Slipperman, meaning you can process the crap out of them without the signal facing apart.

Not arguing against your advice, just chucking my 2c in
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdubreeze View Post
The thing about SM57s (real ones, that is) is that they have a resonance disc which imparts their characteristic mid thwonk which either helps or hurts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judders View Post
I've found that a bit if distance really tames the honk of a '57.
Humm, I've used SM57s, both in my studio and on stage for over 40 years, and I not only don't know of, but have never heard of anything called a "resonance disc"? Heh heh, really I'm not trying to be funny, but what is a "resonance disc", I've never heard of it before, and if it's true, I've some how missed it?

The mic that's probably been used more than any other mic on stage for vocals is the SM58. The only difference between a SM58 and SM57, is that the SM58 has a pop filter/screen.

On stage, a vocalist will almost always sing right on top of the mic. The SM57 works great for this, but the vocalist has to know how to use it and sing into it. The most important thing is to use your gut/diaphragm muscles and not your throat to sing or talk into it. The thing about the SM57, is that up close, it has a presence that I've never been able to get with another mic. And it's true, almost any dynamic mic will add presence up close, but in my experience, not quite like the 57, it has a certain intimacy all of it's own.

On the other hand, in my studio, I primarily use a large diaphragm condenser for vocals , they work pretty well at any distance as long as the room is set up for sound.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Humm, I've used SM57s, both in my studio and on stage for over 40 years, and I not only don't know of, but have never heard of anything called a "resonance disc"? Heh heh, really I'm not trying to be funny, but what is a "resonance disc", I've never heard of it before, and if it's true, I've some how missed it?

The mic that's probably been used more than any other mic on stage for vocals is the SM58. The only difference between a SM58 and SM57, is that the SM58 has a pop filter/screen.

On stage, a vocalist will almost always sing right on top of the mic. The SM57 works great for this, but the vocalist has to know how to use it and sing into it. The most important thing is to use your gut/diaphragm muscles and not your throat to sing or talk into it. The thing about the SM57, is that up close, it has a presence that I've never been able to get with another mic. And it's true, almost any dynamic mic will add presence up close, but in my experience, not quite like the 57, it has a certain intimacy all of it's own.

On the other hand, in my studio, I primarily use a large diaphragm condenser for vocals , they work pretty well at any distance as long as the room is set up for sound.
Yeah, I have no idea what a "resonance disc" is either

But '57's definitely have a distinctive nasal quality to them, to my ears. It's part of what makes them great for bringing out that obnoxious midrange on electric guitar. But that does smooth out with more distance from the source, I've found.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:45 PM   #17
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That's pretty much my experience Tod. Albeit I do use a Beta 58 for my vocal mic in the band which I love. Someone mentioned not long ago they think 57s are crap and quoted Steve Albini supporting that point but that's the thing about Steve, cool guy, but he is so opinionated on subjective things, you should ignore 50% of his advice by default.

To the bigger point, I never really use them for recording vocals, usually an LDC with a little distance but that doesn't mean I wouldn't use a 57/58 if it fit the track. I do still use them on drums and some guitar stuff and so on.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:48 PM   #18
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That's pretty much my experience Tod. Albeit I do use a Beta 58 for my vocal mic in the band which I love. Someone mentioned not long ago they think 57s are crap and quoted Steve Albini supporting that point but that's the thing about Steve, cool guy, but he is so opinionated on subjective things, you should ignore 50% of his advice by default.

To the bigger point, I never really use them for recording vocals, usually a LDC with a little distance but that doesn't mean I wouldn't use a 57/58 if it fit the track. I do still use them on drums and some guitar stuff and so on.
There are just as many engineers who say that they could record a whole album with '57's... probably more (though none of them have, which might say something about those statements ).

I don't have any problem with using them for vocals, or horns or anything really...
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:52 PM   #19
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I don't have any problem with using them for vocals, or horns or anything really...
Oh me either. That's why I have four of five of them. I don't tend to use them on studio vocals but that's just because I have roughly 30 other choices to choose from. I did pick up some Warm Audio WA-87s a few weeks back, excellent mics though I haven't had time to test them much.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:59 PM   #20
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Oh me either. That's why I have four of five of them. I don't tend to use them on studio vocals but that's just because I have roughly 30 other choices to choose from. I did pick up some Warm Audio WA-87s a few weeks back, excellent mics though I haven't had time to test them much.
Cool, I've heard good things about them!
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