Miscellaneous Rumbles

Favorite vocal mic?

26

For live vocals I favored the Electro-Voice ND series for many years, until I discovered Heil mics. Their EQ curve works really well with my voice, and I can really use and control the dynamic proximity effect.

Studio vocal mics are an entirely different category.

27

I'm curious why you think your favorite EV mic will give up? I admit I'm only familiar with Shure SM58s for live work but mine has been through thousands of gigs with thousands of drunk audience members and the thought never entered my mind about it giving up.

– BuddyHollywood

I have a couple of ND series mics that are still going strong, and a couple that sound like crap, mainly because the suspension foam dry-rotted, and it's a royal pain to source and replace. I suppose it can be replaced, but I've gotten over 25 years of use out of them, so I moved on.

28

I've been singing through the same Beta 58 since I was 15. When my current band was starting out, the guy who has a way better ear for this stuff than me or anybody else in the band tried out a few different, and more expensive, mics on me and came to the conclusion that the Beta 58 was best suited to my voice.

29

441's, if you want to get fancy. If you're going to have to use a crappy modern sound system run by a typical soundman...it doesn't matter. It'll sound like crap no matter what you use.

30

I do care about my vocals, at least to an extent. That extent is a lot - because I don't particularly like my voice (nor does anyone else), and I want to give it all the help it can get.

And, accordingly, the extent to which I care runs out at the point where I realize the mic and sonic treatment I've given it have done all they can do to put lipstick on the pig - and beyond that point there's nothing to do but grunt and squeal knowing it's reproduced with more fidelity than it deserves.

I hate 58s. Hatem hatem hatem. Whatever presence rise they have doesn't work for me at all. If those two are my choice, I much prefer a 57 on my voice.

I have a fair number of decent vocal mics for the studio, but it's been years since I had to get serious about vocal tracks that would be keepers. And in any case, I've often found that different mics worked better in different songs.

Large-diaphragm condensers and my lone ribbon mic have been my choice for the past 10-15 years - but again, I only have confidence that they sounded better than my other choices of the moment, not that they're universally ideal for me.

And for one song, years ago, the mic that worked best - after trying everything in the closet - was a cheapcheap white Peavey mic. I think their first mic, from the 70s. It had a certain slightly overdriven ballsy desperation that suited a song called "Atom and Eve," about embracing mutant evolution in the wake of nuclear armageddon.

I do know about having an all-time favorite vocal mic, though: one you carry to all gigs and insist on. Mine is the old Audio Technica AT813 (https://reverb.com/item/193...). I've had three of them over the years - and I think all three still work. It's hard to define what's good about it for me, other than it must manage to find and slightly accentuate whatever engaging frequency ranges my voice has, while understating the others.

It's hard to say it makes me sound good, but at least it makes me sound as good as I can. To my ears, anyway.

– Proteus

I read an interview once with Leon Russell, in which he stated that he always mixed his vocals way up front because his voice was so bad, that otherwise people would think he was trying to hide something.

When I toured in the 80's and 90's I often used a Shure headset mic because I moved around a lot with a double stack keyboard rig. Since I usually sang only harmony vocals it worked fine, but I could hear the lack of low mids and shaping.

For live playing now I use a Shure SM58 (which sounds good with my voice) or whatever the house sound system has --- unless it sounds worse than my 58. Sennheiser, Audio Technica, AKG --- all good.

For recording vocals, large diaphragm condensers are the way to go.

31

I have a couple of ND series mics that are still going strong, and a couple that sound like crap, mainly because the suspension foam dry-rotted, and it's a royal pain to source and replace. I suppose it can be replaced, but I've gotten over 25 years of use out of them, so I moved on.

– Tartan Phantom

Mine has suffered the same fate. I unscrewed the top of the capsule and the thin layer of foam that was there is toast. I’m searching for replacement foam. I did find something I think might work, gonna give it a test today.

32

can't say a bad thing about the industry standard, the RE20.

OK, then I will. The foam used for plosive screening AND the mount for the capsule dry up and rot away, leaving the element rattling around inside the mic - and EV's price to "rebuild one" (ie, replace the stuff) is close to the price of a new mic.

I ordered a kit from someone else, spent a couple hours tediously teasing the sumbit apart, installing the stuff, and putting it back together - which involves soldering angel-hair wires I couldn't see to places that didn't exist. Now it not only rattles some (either the kit wasn't to spec or I wasn't) and doesn't work.

So I have a sculpture of an RE-20, with slightly dented windscreen, and a pox on EV.

I remember it as having been a fine mic, though. Fat and smooth.

33

I guess a lot of it is budget? I've checked out the prices on a few of the mics mentioned, I couldn't spend $800 on a mic, ain't got those funds. There's some good cheap models around, I've been making use of Tbone mics here in Europe from thomman. Plus Rode, SE Electronics all have good models at affordable prices.

34

Shure SM7B hands down, wish I'd started using it yrs ago for my deep nasally stupid voice.

35

can't say a bad thing about the industry standard, the RE20.

OK, then I will. The foam used for plosive screening AND the mount for the capsule dry up and rot away, leaving the element rattling around inside the mic - and EV's price to "rebuild one" (ie, replace the stuff) is close to the price of a new mic.

I ordered a kit from someone else, spent a couple hours tediously teasing the sumbit apart, installing the stuff, and putting it back together - which involves soldering angel-hair wires I couldn't see to places that didn't exist. Now it not only rattles some (either the kit wasn't to spec or I wasn't) and doesn't work.

So I have a sculpture of an RE-20, with slightly dented windscreen, and a pox on EV.

I remember it as having been a fine mic, though. Fat and smooth.

– Proteus

I went through that same ordeal, EV used to fix those mics for a flat fee of $50. Mine now lines the bottom of some landfill, which sucks, 'cause I liked it on my voice, and it was excellent on a kick drum! It was the only repair on any piece of musical equipment in my life that I didn't see through to working! I was in over my head on that one.

36

Shure SM7B hands down, wish I'd started using it yrs ago for my deep nasally stupid voice.

– TheNocturneBrain

You use that mic live????

37

You use that mic live????

– Daniel Weldon

why cant you? I had a big honkin Shure 55super in front of me before.

38

I guess a lot of it is budget? I've checked out the prices on a few of the mics mentioned, I couldn't spend $800 on a mic, ain't got those funds. There's some good cheap models around, I've been making use of Tbone mics here in Europe from thomman. Plus Rode, SE Electronics all have good models at affordable prices.

– Vince_Ray

My beloved Shure Beta 87a cost $250, and it replaced a $700 Neumann, which my girlfriend gave me for Christmas. But if you like to sing off the mics axis, it is not the mic for you, as Beta 87a has a ridiculously tight pattern.

39

It's weird that I'm the only Audix guy here? I've got an OM-3 and an OM-7. Both are great in their own way. USA made, too.

40

why cant you? I had a big honkin Shure 55super in front of me before.

– TheNocturneBrain

Because it takes a lot of gain to get it in the sweet spot! And yes, I own one, and I like itAnd I also own the Super 55!

41

I spoke with a tech guy at Electro Voice today about the deteriorating pop screen inside the microphone. He said if you just use it with an external wind screen it does the same thing. Gonna give that a go.

42

It's weird that I'm the only Audix guy here? I've got an OM-3 and an OM-7. Both are great in their own way. USA made, too.

– JBGretschGuy

I love my audix mics!! I use an SCX25a (large condenser) and an SCX1-HC(short boom) as well as an i5 But.. my eff'd up vocal talents are best serviced by nice flat mics sans any rising peaks.

43

Shure SM7B hands down, wish I'd started using it yrs ago for my deep nasally stupid voice.

– TheNocturneBrain

I get the stupid part, but deep nasally?

How's that work?

44

Well my first impression of the EV RE520...... is pretty dang good. I compared it side by side with 2 other mics and it has a clarity and frequency range that the others don’t have.

I look forward to not having to push quite so hard with live vocals.

Looking forward to the next gig.

45

Any recommendations for mics below 100 bucks? Dynamics or condensers.

46

Any recommendations for mics below 100 bucks? Dynamics or condensers.

– Vince_Ray

I’d recommend the EV nd86 I’m told it is the replacement for the EV nd767a which I love. It’s $129

47

Also the Blue encore mics are nice and below $100

49

TLM103's are good for recording. I used to always use a 57 for live, but they're too fussy about preamp impedances when it has to be plugged into someone else's sound gear. Since everything went to IC opamps in the 70's, there are no specific impedances anymore. A lot of people are just taking the transformers out of their 57's, and going straight into the board. That sounds better with a lot of modern gear, but 57's really need their own dedicated preamp these days to make them work for vocal mics.

50

I like my Shure Super 55 Deluxe - It sounds much better than my SM58 and makes me feel cool while singing (lol). Actually that kind of inspiration really does help me sing out more. It's a solid mic, nothing fancy and it feels bulletproof. The only things I don't like about it, no ON/OFF switch and no quick release for handheld use.


Register Sign in to join the conversation