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Author Topic: Vocal microphones  (Read 82532 times)

Ray Aberle

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2015, 09:52:48 am »

I hear ya. I'm not completely bullheaded about it. If I start to get demands for them, (I haven't yet,) or I sense that it is costing me jobs, then of course, I'll break down and buy some.

I would be a bit worried about the red flag that could send out. "Oh... this guy doesn't even have any SM58s in his kit? I wonder what ELSE he's missing..." And it's not as though someone will consciously think that, but a small part of their brain will, once registering surprise that you don't own any SM58s, start tracking what else is "missing" from your inventory.

And that could cost you jobs down the road.

-Ray
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2015, 10:16:50 am »

are you in the business of getting and providing a sound system, or are you in the band (or the "regular" mix tech of the band)
if the first, you stock 58, 57, b52, plus optionally anything else you might actually like.
if the 2nd, you start trying on shoes till you get a good fit.

I'm just speculating on the 1st, I'm in the 2nd category.
However, if a "real" sound person of the 1st category suggests I try something different, I listen.
I have Heil PR35s for "special" mics.  When they work, they sound significantly better than a '58; however they don't always work.  I have pulled them in favor of an SM58 several times over the last year because of funny tonality issues due to the characteristics of a particular voice, and I haven't been able to come up with a rule about who they may or may not work well with.

The SM58 is not the standard because sound folks are lazy or because Shure pays them to use their gear.  SM58s are the standard because they always work, period.  Also, [nearly] every soundco has them, so in addition to consistent function, they are consistently available, which is a double win.

If you have time to swap out a bunch of mics and the artist will put up with it, or if you as a vocalist have done this and found something that you think works better with your voice, then great.  In my experience, I've got the time and artist patience for maybe one swap out.  If the PR35 doesn't immediately work well, it comes off and a 58 goes on.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2015, 10:19:06 am »

I would be a bit worried about the red flag that could send out. "Oh... this guy doesn't even have any SM58s in his kit? I wonder what ELSE he's missing..." And it's not as though someone will consciously think that, but a small part of their brain will, once registering surprise that you don't own any SM58s, start tracking what else is "missing" from your inventory.

And that could cost you jobs down the road.

-Ray

If you're working for local bands the SM58 is your defense against the Rat Shack and other suspicious microphones brought by the band.

If you're working for "Bands We've Heard Of" you provide what they ask for.  End of story.

In the previous century I did my first gig with Asleep At The Wheel and met Jim Finney (FOH guy and PM).  I had some nice, new AKG mics for the drum kit.  Jim saw me putting them in place and asked why.  I explained the tech stuff and went on for a bit.  He listened to me and then said "sonny, I'm sure those are very nice mics but I don't have time to learn how they sound, so just put up the SM57s I asked for".

That humbling experience has stuck with me 30 years and to this day I teach our new crew that our personal opinions about gear in general means absolutely nothing when at the gig.  But we're not doing local bar bands most of the time, and when we do we put out SM58 for vocalists unless they bring something equal to or nicer than the 58 or require their own mic for an artistic effect.

Over the years of being a BE, I've traveled with specialty mics for a number of inputs and only rarely was there anything for the singers unless they had an endorsement deal or had such an "interesting" voice that it required a very different mic.

TJ's post above this one is spot on.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Jay Barracato

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2015, 12:04:02 pm »

If you're working for local bands the SM58 is your defense against the Rat Shack and other suspicious microphones brought by the band.

If you're working for "Bands We've Heard Of" you provide what they ask for.  End of story.

In the previous century I did my first gig with Asleep At The Wheel and met Jim Finney (FOH guy and PM).  I had some nice, new AKG mics for the drum kit.  Jim saw me putting them in place and asked why.  I explained the tech stuff and went on for a bit.  He listened to me and then said "sonny, I'm sure those are very nice mics but I don't have time to learn how they sound, so just put up the SM57s I asked for".

That humbling experience has stuck with me 30 years and to this day I teach our new crew that our personal opinions about gear in general means absolutely nothing when at the gig.  But we're not doing local bar bands most of the time, and when we do we put out SM58 for vocalists unless they bring something equal to or nicer than the 58 or require their own mic for an artistic effect.

Over the years of being a BE, I've traveled with specialty mics for a number of inputs and only rarely was there anything for the singers unless they had an endorsement deal or had such an "interesting" voice that it required a very different mic.

TJ's post above this one is spot on.

I used to be in the "I hate 57/58" camp but then I learned how to tune and voice a system and the more I learned the less important the model of mic became.

So now I prefer to spend the time tuning then futzing around a/bing vocal mics. Once tuned then every source sounds Better. And when a singer shows up with their own personal mic that is different it takes maybe 30 seconds on the channel to adapt.

To paraphrase something I said about speakers, the end result is 30% the system, 30% the interaction with the space,  30% the skill of the operator, 5% the singers voice, and finally 5% the model of the mic. I put my preshow efforts where I get significant improvement.

I would bet that in most situations where someone insists on a better mic they are the only one to hear a difference and most of that is placebo effect.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 12:22:17 pm by Mac Kerr »
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Jay Barracato

John Chiara

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2015, 12:24:26 pm »

I would be a bit worried about the red flag that could send out. "Oh... this guy doesn't even have any SM58s in his kit? I wonder what ELSE he's missing..." And it's not as though someone will consciously think that, but a small part of their brain will, once registering surprise that you don't own any SM58s, start tracking what else is "missing" from your inventory.

And that could cost you jobs down the road.

-Ray

I understand all this, but it amazes me that ANY singing my musician is singing into sound company mics at all! Why would you not own your own $99 mic is it was of any importance to you...either artistically or health wise? I don't wanna buy 10 58's that I never use when I have 70 other microphones, because an artist doesn't have their own mic. Just sayin! I don't do a lot of providers by these days so I understand my perspective is different. I think to assume that a newer sound company in 2015 is eagerly buying a vocal mic designed a few generations ago might be a bit of a symptom in the larger scenario of so many bad sounding shows. If my vocal sounds were based around needing an SM 58 on the lead vocal, what else might I not be caring about? Just giving a different perspective....and I understand the situations. Truth is, most sound mixers never get to experiment and want a standard go to. Band I am mixing tonight tried a bunch of my vocal mics...liked the M80...and the singer bought his own. All good, I just don't like being 'judged' by the fact that I actually try different mics and have a preference...as to me...if singers have the same concern...they would own their own mic!
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frank kayser

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #75 on: August 14, 2015, 02:25:50 pm »

If your vocalist or mix sounds bad because you used a 58, you've got far more problems than a better microphone could fix...

I'd rather fill my box with Heil PR22 and Senn 935, but it is not about me - but what the performer feel comfortable with.

frank
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #76 on: August 14, 2015, 04:18:01 pm »

Kind of on subject as several people have mentioned health.

I have a steam machine and I am experimenting with steam sanitizing mics.

Either that or a UV sterilizer.

We are going to bag them in sterilized bags and list it as part of our service.  Seems like a good gimmick.


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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Scott Wagner

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #77 on: August 14, 2015, 04:30:49 pm »

I have a steam machine and I am experimenting with steam sanitizing mics.
I've been doing that for years (just the ball, not the entire mic). I don't charge extra, because it seems like good business to not infect my clients with each other's germs.
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Scott Wagner
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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #78 on: August 14, 2015, 04:38:07 pm »

Kind of on subject as several people have mentioned health.

I have a steam machine and I am experimenting with steam sanitizing mics.

Either that or a UV sterilizer.

We are going to bag them in sterilized bags and list it as part of our service.  Seems like a good gimmick.

Always handy...
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Scott Slater

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Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2015, 05:05:43 pm »

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Vocal microphones
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2015, 05:05:43 pm »


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