Live mic

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by JoeJoeMan, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    I've always used SM57 and SM58 for live vocal mics. Good mics no doubt, but I've begun to consider gettting something different.
    My main gripe with the 57/58 is its tight pattern, I feel like I have to eat the mic, plus I play guitar while singing, which makes working the mic even hard, since I can't hold it.
    Anyway I'm looking for some other options, a mic with a more open pattern, but not so open that I have feed back problems.
    I play in a bar blues/rock group, small clubs, so our volume is about par for that kinda venue.
    Any suggestions.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm not convinced that your gripe is with the polar pattern of the 57/58s. It sounds to me more that you have got used to working the proximity effect of these mics and that you want to hear your voice with the low end lift that you get when really close up.

    You could try other dynamics that have a less pronounced proximity effect such as the Sennheiser e835 or (famously) the EV RE20. Alternatively, I have had good results in club situations like those you describe from a Rode S1 condenser, which behaves more like a dynamic than a studio condenser.

    If you can spend more money, there are numerous high-quality stage microphones from all the main microphone manufacturers. It may be a matter of trying a few out and seeing what you are happy with.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Why are you having to eat the mic? Is it for tone (lots of blues/rockers want that "fatness" from the proximity effect) or is your voice "dropping out" when you get a bit off-axis? A personal question: how strong,i.e. "ballsy" is your voice?
    To be honest, I haven't found a mic much more forgiving than the 58 for EITHER of these conditions. I haven't used the Rode S1 that Bos suggested, but if he says it's a good mic, that'd be
    something to look at especially if you need more working distance. I won't comment on the 835- I piss the European guys off when I do (!), but many swear by it.
    Frankly, most live sound mics are designed for a much tighter pattern than the 58. Even other Shures-especially the Betas- are more "hypercardioid" to minimize feedback. I have used the Audix OM6 for many acts, it in fact does have a tighter pattern, but it also seems to give a stronger proximity boost you might like.
  4. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    I mostly use the 58 on live vocal..........

    But I have used the Shure SM86. I think its another great shure vocal mic. It really reduces alot of the heavy breath noise that some vocal's make.

  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Seems to me he's looking for less of a proximity boost (rather than more of one) so that he can play guitar without keeping his head so steady. I really have to work at this when I'm playing keys (not my main instrument) and singing. If eating the mic all the time sounds good for your voice (it does on a lot of voices) I'd work on that. Get a foam windscreen so you feel comfortable making contact. Your sound guy will love you. Basically, this is a problem you can solve by improving your technique. Spending money on another mic might help, but it won't really solve the problem. If you are singing and playing you have to practice using the mic while playing. Do it alone - not just at band rehearsals. (Gotta go take my own advice. We have a whole bunch of people missing from the band on Sunday, so I'm going to have to sing more.) Good luck.
  6. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Thanks for all the replies, it's got me thinking.

    Moonbaby Wrote:
    By eating the mic I mean staying right on it, within a few inches. To me it seems there is a very small tight zone I have to sing in, moving slightly out of that zone and it immediatly drops off, my voice that is. And as someone brought up, it is probably the bass of the proximity affect that I'm hearing. I have a fairly pronounced voice, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "ballsy"......I don't scream in the mic, all night but I do raise my voice beyond a talking level,
    I do have a dynamic range to my singing voice that I find really difficult to do on stage, think of a voice like Kenny Logins or Daryl Hall, where there is a softness to maybe hit a high note for an effect, a moderate kind of talking level, but also a place in a song where you raise your voice, scream or belt it out........if you get me point. I find that very difficult with a 57/58 while standing there in lock position with a guitar hanging off my shoulder. I think of late my voice and style is becoming more dynamic and expressive and I'm having to come to terms with the 57/58 style mics. I've used them at home for recording vocals and I stay out of the proximity effect zone and they seem to do alright, but on stage is another story.
    If that's the way it is, well I guess I'll deal with it, but if I have some other mic options so much the better.
    And any advice is sure welcome. I will try and find, if I can, some of the already mentioned mics and give them a try.

  7. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Your complaint is everyone elses dream.
  8. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Try a Beyer M69 or M88. They don't suit every voice, but try one if you can.
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I've owned both of those mics, still have a M69. It's relegated to being a talkback mic these days because it was dropped by a diva ONE TIME on a carpeted stage and fell apart! Now it sounds like crap for singing, but its' tight pattern makes it useable for FOH talkback duties.
    Both of those mics are HYPERCARDIOID, and require that you stay on them constantly. The M88 has a bass roll-off that minimizes proximity effects, but they are both far less forgiving than a 57/58 in terms of working distance and pattern width.
  10. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I think you must be confused: the M88 has enough bass to be used as a kick mic!

    I know they are both hypercardioid, that's why I suggested them: he may be able to get the sound he wants an inch or two further back than with a '58. Or perhaps not, but it doesn't hurt to try!

    I think you must have been unlucky with your M69: mine was purchased S/H (as was my M88) and has been gigged extensively since, but still sounds perfect.
  11. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    OK.Yes, I realize that the M88 is used for kick drum mic'ing by many out there. I also realize that the manufacturer states on their website that the mic has a "built-in bass roll-off" and clearly illustrates this on the published chart. This doesn't mean that the mic can't pick up low end, it just doesn't boost it as much with proximity. That is a GOOD thing, in this application. The original post was complaining that he had to stay right on the mic , and the M88 is no exception to this. Show me a hypercardioid that doesn't require that. And over the 30 years of owning, loving, and subsequently getting my heart broken by: Beyer M69s, M88s, M130/160s,
    M260s, M400s, M500s, and my personal VO M99, I have to take issue with the fact that I was merely "unlucky". Their design of the windscreen and the metal mesh they use for it is very poor, especially when compared to Shure, Audix, E-V, and A-T. All of them I've seen used the band around the middle of the "ball" to hold the thing together, and structurally, this just isn't very strong. Personally, my days of using these mics in a live situation are over. I baby them in the studio and watch them like a hawk!!!!
  12. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I use my M201's pretty much every gig: no problems yet! My M88 stays in the studio, but that's mostly because it has an old Tuchel connector and I don't want that kind of hassle on stage... to be fair I rarely use them for vocals (thats what the house '58s are for) but if I'm working for a band that I trust not to trash the gear I will happily put up the M69. One female singer I work with doesn't sound right with anything else...

    You used M160/130's on stage? What were you thinking?
  13. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The M130/160 are used strictly to record live choral/brass events in a local cathedral. And I can definitely sympathize with your appreciation for the smoothness of the M69 on a female vocalist. That's why I get so frustrated with the Beyers. I simply believe that they are needlessly less than robust, especially at the price point that they sell for here in the States.
    Many years ago, I met a British gentleman, Keith Monks, at an audio retailers' convention in Atlanta. He was the genius who marketed Beyer mics to the rest of the world outside Germany. For many reasons, he made an indelible imprint on me, and his mic stands and Beyer microphones have always been an integral part of my arsenal. When I was in the UK in the late 80's, I shopped mics in London and was astounded how much cheaper Beyer and Sennheiser mics were there compared to the States, and how much more the US mics ( Shure and E-V) were over there. Anyway, I think that it's safe to say that we both appreciate the fine performance of Beyers. The M99 is the ONLY mic I use on my voice for the ocassional VO's I do.
  14. malika

    malika Guest

    Microwave Integrated Circuit, an entire microwave circuit on a single planar dielectric substrate (that looks like a small, flat chocolate chip) with various components connected to each other (usually by soldering) in a continuous integrated fashion.SM57 is not so much good
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    [please see youtube for video of spam which bent posted not too long ago]

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