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What microphone?? Help!

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by joennick, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. joennick

    joennick Active Member


    I am a vocalist in quite a successful function rock/pop band. Typical set up really. Drummer (a loud one - aren't they all?!), bass, electric guitar, and keyboards (the keyboard player swaps on to a 2nd electric guitar occasionally. I play acoustic.

    Like I have seen so many times in my research, I am like the majority and use an SM58 for voacl. I am looking at upgrading and spending around £150 (if need be) as a) I'd like a better mic for clarity and tone and b) to reduce feedback problems and other on stage noise.

    Maybe I have done too much research but I have narrowed it down to 4 and I'm just confusing myself! The 4 are....

    1) AUDIX OM-7
    2) SENNHEISER E 945
    3) ELECTRO-VOICE N/D767a

    I have like a Springsteen/Joe Cocker type of voice if that helps.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. joennick

    joennick Active Member

    I've also heard of the Lampifier mic. Any thoughts on this??
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    All of the microphones in your list are simply a lateral move from what you already have. There are differences in tonality and coloration but they are all just another microphone. I have used most of those you have listed. I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to purchase any of those. If you want something a little better with a slightly different polar pattern, I'd suggest the SHURE Beta 58. This can deal with some feed back issues a little differently than the standard cardioid pattern of the SM58. That's because it is a super cardioid polar pattern. So the cancellation lobes are slightly different. It puts out a higher output level with its neodymium magnet. It has an extra octave in the top end giving it an almost condenser like quality. You can't break it. Otherwise your choices are like which hamburger you should get from which burger joint?

    Your research is more based upon marketing hype than anything else I'm sorry to say. Placement of your stage monitors and the polar pattern and frequency response of the microphone play an important part in this equation. Better clarity would come with the Beta 58. But it's extended response might cause further feedback issues? The SM58 needs to be high pass filtered to improve the clarity. The stage monitors may have to be moved a little bit to be directly behind the microphone due to its standard cardioid polar pattern. Of course everybody has their preferences. And the placebo effect also comes into play with that. If you feel better about being on a different microphone then be on a different microphone. Microphones that don't have a broad bandwidth produce less feedback than those that do. So in the end, you don't get something for nothing. There are always compromises we have to work around.

    Don't let the advertisements fool you
    Mx Remy Ann David
  4. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    although i agree mostly with RemyRAD as to the listed mics being a lateral move from what you already have, i am a fan of both the Audix and the electro-voice, so the just get my vote, well, cause i love em: )
    So, although I have more then I need, I am not a big fan of the SM58 or the 57. The Electro-Voice N/D767a is great mic but I preferred the N/D 457b. I see them used at bargain prices. The build quality is great about the only thing they seem to ever need is new pop filters.
    The difference in the A verse the B versions is that the B is the latest generation and typically was only sold through EV dealers whereas the A'' where distributed through the general Music Industry.
    As well I am not a big Sennheiser fan although they have made some amazing mics over the years.
    Also maybe look at some of the older AKG mic, like the D 125s, again awesome build quality.
    i love shopping for use dynamics, a dynamic mic junkie: )
  5. joennick

    joennick Active Member

    Thanks for the advice. I've looked a customer reviews more than company advertising. I'm just not 100% happy with the sm58 and like other equipment in the band, I'm looking to improve sound quality and consistency etc. still not sure what to do or go for a more expensive mic which doesn't necessarily mean is better.
  6. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Personally I feel the AKG and the EV mics are better build then many other dynamics. These were not inexpensive mics in their day, I think the EV 457 and 757 where two or three time the cost of the sure. I have work on many of these and I really feel the AKG and the EV mics are much much better build. And I love the tone of the mics.
    i snagged some NOS 457b's of ebay last year supper cheap.
  7. joennick

    joennick Active Member

    Has anybody used the fairly new Lampifier mic with the built in compressor? Specifically the pro vocal??
  8. RecordingGod

    RecordingGod Active Member

    @Joenich Yes i used the on with the build in compressor on an album i was doing. The clients brought it himself so unfortunately i didnt get to keep it for my illawarra recording studio but yea, it was bloody amazing. If i could afford to get a new mic right now that is what i would be getting for sure.

    Hope this helps
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The Audix OM7 was designed to be used by a raging screamer, with a bunch of Marshall stacks cranked around him/her.
    The Sennheiser 935 really needs to be in the right environment to work well, the less "live" the room, the better.
    The Lampifiers are toys, no better quality than the Shure PG series.
    The E-V's are tough, like the Shures, and tend to have a "huskier" sound to them, with more proximity effect. If you need fattening up a bit, fine, but if not, stay clear, they get muddy really fast.
    That leaves the 58. And if that isn't working for you, maybe it's not the mic...
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    There is another very popular microphone that has been around for some years made by Electro-Voice called the RE 20/PG 20. These are very popular in many applications and are one of the best dynamic microphones on the market today. They are great on everything from bass drums to instrument amplifiers to singers and announcers. They produce less proximity effect than most other cardioid directional microphones and also include a base cut filter as well. They are not cheap. They range in the low 300s dollars US. They are built like proverbial tanks and are not a light weight microphone. They are extremely smooth and very musical. If I don't have an option of a ribbon microphone, I'll grab for an RE 20 every time. And in many ways they have a cool retro look because of their enormity in size. It's one of my favorite. I'm not as impressed by some of their newer current performance dynamic microphones as I am by this beast. You can't go wrong with this microphone.

    Happy owner of only one RE 20
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. joennick

    joennick Active Member

    Thanks for the advice. I need a new mic (in case the other becomes faulty) and am happy to pay a bit more than the industry standard sm58. Problems are not cutting through the mix and sometimes we play tight stages so would like to negate feedback problems (yes I know this could be down to a number if things) and also to cut out the mic picking up the drum kit etc. The problem is trying all these mics before you buy. It don't really happen for live vocal mics. Seems there are so many opinions out there!
  12. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    I would try Beyerdynamic. I'm not a huge fan of their entry level mics, but second level and above are often great. They tend to cut through a mix and have great proximity and off-axis rejection.
    It was a mic that I used to cut through a 17 piece big band (all pros) that made a lot of sound (especially the drummer).

    Good luck

  13. glenn7623

    glenn7623 Active Member

    The SM58 is a ball mic and picks up from all sides.The SM57 might work better for your situation and be more forgiving with feedback.Another good one is an AKGC1000S....
  14. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Quoting someone who has obviously NEVER used an SM58 before:"The SM58 is a ball mic and picks up from all sides.The SM57 might work better for your situation and be more forgiving with feedback.Another good one is an AKGC1000S...."

    This is WRONG. THe 58 is a cardioid pattern just like the 57 is. The difference between the 2 models is the ball windscreen on the 58, and this results in a very SLIGHT difference in the presence rise of the mic's response. Both are good at rejecting feedback. If you're going to give out "advice", get your $*^t together. And I won't start on your lovely C1000...
  15. pan60

    pan60 Active Member


    The SM58 is a cardioid pattern just the same as the SM57.

    The ball shaped wind screen has little effect on this design.
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    And what no one has mentioned here is that the SM57 capsule is the identical capsule in the SM58. The reason why there is a small difference in presence, with the metal ball and the extra foam inside, is that it places your mouth an extra half inch from the diaphragm of the capsule.

    These minute differences when you are working a microphone closely affects the Proximity Effect low-frequency bass response. It's not that improves the presence but that it actually and ever so slightly lowers some of the low-end.

    I just love these misinformed folks that actually think they know what they're jogging about. No offense intended by that comment but you have to do some homework. There are those of us that have been using both of those microphones for almost 40 years. You've obviously used those microphones for about 40 minutes. And I guess that makes you an expert?

    In fact you can make an SM58 sound even better by utilizing an extra external foam pop filter. SHURE actually makes one intended to be utilized with the SM58. But anyone else's will also do just fine. And when you get your lips a little further away, like the foam makes possible, your SM58 will start sounding more like a + $3000 Neumann U87 phantom powered condenser microphone from Germany. No joke. I have done numerous shootouts in numerous studios to actually prove that. When we are cutting announcers for commercials, we generally use the 87. If we don't have enough for a commercial requiring more announcers than we have 87's, we utilize SM58's. And at the right distance, from the microphone, they're hard to tell apart. So put that in your microphone and smoke it.

    That is the worst tasting toke I've ever had. I'm gagging cough cough. Sorry. I guess I took too big a toke?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The proverbial "Better Widget" question.
    I do understand the need for a better rejection on smaller tighter stages. Its true that there are better mics for this than the SM57/58. But sometimes this doesnt translate into a better sound, just less feedback. But this can be a comforting thing to lean on in those situations you need it.
    I own or have owned most of the mics related to this thread. Of the selections offered, the SM58 is the most basic and most usable on a day to day basis. That being said, I have switched from the 58 to an Audix OM5 for my personal use. Classic rock, kinda loud, weekly gigs, and I tend to salivate a bit. The Audix mics are made in America, built like tanks, and are voiced for different applications throughout their model range. The OM5 is the closest to a 58 with a bit less proximity effect, a tighter pattern and a bit more top-end.
    I like the neodynium mics but I'll tell you something not talked about a lot. They wear out. A lot of use and the magnetic flux density dissapates a bit. I have two very nice neo Audio Technica mics that the factory has replaced the caps on out of warranty for free because of this. But initially, the neo mics sound GREAT. Nice and crisp, really well defined patterns and tonality. But six months of heavy use and they start squealing and the output goes down dramatically. The Beta 57 I bought last year did the same thing so I sold it.

    The AKG stage mics are very good as are all the suggestions and at some point it becomes a matter of personal taste. Suffice to say that a vocalist could go through a dozen mics with matching credentials and price range before finding one that really floats their boat. So dont expect a miracle cure with the very first choice. Dont sell the 58 short though. I keep one on hand because even after all the mics I do own and have a choice of on a given night, the 58 usually never fails to surprise when I put it back up after a long absence of use. A vocalist should have more than one mic anyways for the different stages and situations that will occur.

    Try the Audix OM5. A great mic on a level with the 58. But NOT a replacement. Nothing will ever be as complete as the 57/58 and especially at that price.
  18. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    yep: )

    I thought I had mention my love for the Audix mic ( and I have a nice number of vintage dynamics ), Audix always get love here!
    I think one of the best bargains to be had, is the OM2 supper affordable see them all the time used at a bargain and great mics as mentioned.
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I've used the wireless AKG vocal mics live and found them to have more top-end than the sennhiesser/shure(58) wireless mics in the same room (500capacity club). i did a gig for a member of the wu tang clan there, and he refused to use wireless. fearing that the brand new 9V/AA's i put in minutes before his set would run out, he opted to use my personal 'backup' peavey (pm9 i think..), even tho it wasn't the best sounding mic of the bunch.
    That said, it sounds like some more judicious EQ could go further than a new mic. in my band I've used pretty low end graphic eq's (alesis/dod) to help filter Lead vox (58), mains and monitors, on a basic mackie board, to control feedback. Since each room/stage's frequency response is different, it's impossible to get a mic that will have the maximum feedback rejection everywhere. until they put some notch filtering on a mic anyway.
    Your board likely has a basic 2or3 band dynamic eq, w/ the low being around 75-80hz. Just cut it until the vocal pops out. Then boost some mids, or highs, wherever the voice sits, to taste before feedback.
    Monitor positioning is huge like remy said. as is their level.
    I'd really address what your working w/ to make sure your using it the best, then find a mic better tailored to your voice, if needed. I bet springsteen/cocker have had their time w/ the 58. Maybe a 421 would work, i only suggest it cuz nobody else has, and i 've seen them used on televised concerts for vox.
    I use the board eq to help define the sound, and the graphic, to cut feedback frequencies, successfully on our barroom gigs.
  20. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    i am not familiar with the newer AKG mics or the new sennhiesser's but the older AKGs are pretty nice. they are not ( IMHO ), heavy handed in the to-end. maybe I'll get a chance to check some out someday: )
    The older one are pretty nice.

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