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Just Another Poor Soul In Need Of Microphone Advice

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by aktonyo, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. aktonyo

    aktonyo Guest

    hello my fellow audio engineers! :cool: I am having quite a dilemma on choosing a microphone . I have been doing much research the last couple of days on microphones and have learned a thing or two but i really need some suggestions and help on picking by first serious microphone. im currently using a digital reference condenser mic i bought in guitar center for 90 bucks . I plan on buying the apogee duet ( i don't know if this has anything to do with the mic but i thought i should just let you know) and going to use it with logic. so about 80 percent of the time i am recording rap vocals and the other time im working with r&b singers​

    okay so these microphones have caught my eye so far feel free to point out different mics. the m-audio solaris , the bluebird ,the baby bottle and the shure sm7b.​

    okay heres the thing i cant find any decent reviews on the m audio solaris except for on microphonereviews .com . and they gave it 5 stars its $350.(what do you guys think) they gave the bluebird 4 and a half stars , but i see that the mic use to cost $700 . its the bluebird a $700 quality mic ?and last but not least i hear a lot of good things about the shure sm7b but im kinda skeptical about it because its a dynamic mic and all i hear is people saying the best mics to record with are condensers . had anyone hear have experience with these mics ? what do you think would be the best mic for my needs and the music i record on a 300 to 500 budget ? ​

    thank you for taking the time to read this and god bless!​
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Moderator Resource Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Hi aktonyo,

    Welcome to RO.

    There are plenty of folks here who would argue with "the best mics to record with are condensers". Condensers, ribbons, and dynamics all excell at certain things. But there's only one of those that will take very kindly to being 'eaten' like I hear in a lot of rap vocals - and that's a dynamic. If I were doing rap, I'd think hard about the SM7, a Sennheiser 421, or a good old SM58 (all dynamics). I know a 58 doesn't have any visual-appeal, but it's got a classic sound that's hard to duplicate. The SM7 is just a super-deluxe SM57. The Sennheiser is useful on a wide variety of things. And everybody should own a couple SM58s, in my opinion.

    These two user comparisons by our friend soapfloats, (with recorded samples) might be useful to you. Alot of the mics are in your price range. And there are all types represented. Don't forget to read the feedback to see who preferred which mics and why. It will be well worth your time.



    Good luck.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The SM7 is a great mic for vocals of all kinds but it really shines on 'spoken word' and vocals that have a LOT of dynamic range. It has one small drawback ....it needs a preamp with the ability to put out a lot of gain without noise. The SM7 just doesnt have a lot of gain in its mic amp. Other than that, you cant go wrong with choosing it for your first serious mic for vocals and for the styles you work with.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    I would concur with Hawk and The Dog and suggest a dynamic for rap vocal. The SM58 does a really good job, and I have used it or even an EV RE20 when I have been faced with that type of source material. Both the RE20 and especially the SM7 that Dave mentioned need good clean gain from the pre-amp, which is unfortunately not what you get with the Duet. So I would choose the mic first and then consider what pre-amp is going to work well with that mic to give you the sound you want for both your rap and R&B vocals.
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    This is piling on, I know. Dynamic mics are an inherently cheaper technology than condensers, but that doesn't mean they are worse. I particular, they are often better for the high spl, wide dynamics, hard consonants of rap and modern R&B. (They also work well on drums and guitar cabinets.) Because they are cheaper you can buy top of the line dynamics for the same price as budget condensers. So they are a great choice for a first mic. All the dynamics listed above would stay in your mic locker even if you had a bunch of condensers costing several thousand dollars.
  6. aktonyo

    aktonyo Guest

    thank You all very much for your help guys . i guess im going to go for a dynamic then . im leaning towards the sm7b , they seem more professional than the 58s ..... okay so now i guess im going to have to start looking for a mic preamp then right ? any suggestions ? i cant afford anything to expensive and i dont want anything cheap nietheir . i found my self spending alot of money last year when i first started on my studio just to be replacing everything now because now that i have more knowledge on this stuff i realized that the gear i have is trash . so i need a preamp that i can use years to come .
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    You might think this way if you are trying to impress clients, but if your only client is yourself it is pretty foolish. A 57 or 58 is a perfectly good professional mic. Go to the web sites of big studios and look at their equipment lists. You will find them on plenty of lists. Going with a 57 or 58 means about $250 more toward your interface.

    You need to be more specific about what you are doing now and what your plans are for the future to get a well informed recommendation on an interface.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You asked me to respond and so this is my response.

    I am in the same camp with everyone else. The SM 7b has the ability to tailor the sound slightly since it has a bass cut off switch along with a presence boost or flat selection switches. The 58 doesn't have those switches, always has the presence boost with no bass roll off. The biggest problem I see for rappers is that the 57/58 series makes it very convenient to hold onto. Hold onto just like you see on television. Holding the microphone incorrectly i.e. cupping the ball. That is just the worst thing you can do. Any dynamic directional microphone needs those air holes for its directional pattern. Cover those up and you have affected the entire frequency response and tonality of what used to be a good sounding microphone. You don't cup the microphone ball, it's HANDS OFF THE BALLS! And that maybe the advantage of the SM 7. The SM 7 capsule is midway down the foam condom. You can't get too close to a SM 7 but you can with a SM58. So my suggestion is to purchase a SM58 and install an extra large foam pop filter. This will keep you the right distance from the capsule and make it less likely to cup a 58.

    I don't buy the crap about needing more clean gain for those microphones. When you are eating those microphones you don't need lots of gain. In fact you need less gain and you might quite possibly need to engage the pad -10 or -20 DB switch on your preamp so as to keep the front end of the preamp from being overloaded. So I'm not quite sure what everybody is talking about? You might need that extra gain if you are trying to record an oboe solo while the microphone is flown 30 feet away. You ain't doing that. So clean gain? Bah humbug! Anything will work perfectly and wonderfully adequate for your purposes. You see, inexpensive preamps, like what is found in Mackie mixers utilize a fixed 20 DB microphone preamp. Now that's not much. But the concept behind that is, no pad switch is necessary since the preamp is always running at low gain. Your gain trim adjustment does not adjust the gain of the microphone preamp. It adjusts the gain with a secondary buffer amplifier after the microphone preamp. This generally insurers goof proof operation on no need for pad switches. This gives one a more consistent overall result. Old-school microphone preamps, that have lots of clean gain frequently have the ability to tailor the sound somewhat by actually adjusting the negative feed back loop within the microphone preamp gain structure. That in combination with the pad switch allows one to tailor the sound of the preamp since its character changes with gain. But that's another issue for a different thread.

    Plethora of useless information
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. aktonyo

    aktonyo Guest

    hey thanks alot for the information . i just made a new thread on the pro audio gear section can u guys take a look at please and let me know what you think . thank yoU

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