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Author Topic: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me  (Read 1702 times)

Alex Cheng

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2020, 04:21:12 pm »

The one thing I really donít like about the SM58 is if you have a singer that then talks (a Lot) and swallows it like they did when they sing the proximity effect that works so great for them when singing now is working against them for speaking clarity. It gets muddy sounding. And most people sing a lot louder then they talk so that compounds the issue.


One singer I worked with lately absolutely loves to do this - but at the same time, his slightly nasal voice doesn't work quite so well with something like an e835 or e935. I end up just gently riding the HPF a tad.


I need to give my sE V3 another try on him sometime...haven't played around with it enough to know its proximity effect vs. a 58
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doug johnson2

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2020, 06:06:49 pm »

The results you get from a microphone is the result of the relationship of the frequency response, pattern, and proximity effect of the microphone and the frequency content and microphone technique of the singer.  As said some microphones just work better with some singers.  As far as using eq, I for one am much happier if I can gain up a mic, set the high pass, and have a nice day vs having to doing a bunch of eq.  But, I do mostly one offs so, my go to mic is a 58.  I know what they sound like and react and so do most singers.  This lets me get to a more then passible point quickly and I can also tell if there is an issue with the mic directly.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2020, 06:41:17 pm »

On another forum, someone asked a similar question. The answer is this: there's more to a microphone than its on-axis response.

{snip}

The rest of the polar pattern (the rejection zone) is also important. Over those angles, I'd want the sound levels to drop away quickly and evenly (with regards to the frequency response). Aiming for outright "maximum rejection" can come at the cost of "even" rejection. ie, you might end up with a mic where unintended sources sound very coloured and un-natural.

{another snip}

With apologies to Tim, the phase response of a microphone is directly tied to its frequency response. Microphones are minimum phase devices, so by definition a frequency response wriggle will show up in the phase curve. {snipped again}
There's probably more, but I think that's enough to be getting on with.

Chris

PS - From the above, it should be easy to see why EQing one mic won't always make it sound like another.
Your minimum phase comment kind of stole my "follow up" thunder, but that's okay because it helps explain how one can "see" it in polar responses.  What we look for is uniformity of magnitude at a given frequency at sample location (say, +20įh, -40įv).  Do the frequencies have similar magnitude response?  It that response radically different (+/- 10dB) the adjacent sample locations?  Smoother is gooder.

Mics that meet the criteria above tend to sound very open and often get complaints that they "pick up the whole damn stage".  Guess what?  Mics with more erratic polars (and therefore phase response) are still picking up the same sound pressure but it's not coming across as coherent audio (see comment below from Kevin).  This leads back to the story about Robert Scovill mixing Tom Petty, and getting Petty to use the Neumann instead of his beloved SM-57.  Petty sang for nearly 3 hours a night and it's fair to say he tried to not exert himself, and doing it 20 feet downstage of the 2nd loudest drummer in rock and a wall of priceless musical antiquities for backline.  Scovill's reasoning was 2 fold - first, "if I've gotta hear the whole band in Tom's mic, the band needs to sound good in it" and second, "if the band sounds good on stage where Tom stands, then I can use that rather than fight it."  For one-offs and bar gigs this probably won't work, and it won't work if your singer moves the mic... but Scovill delayed the instrument mics and direct inputs so they "lined up" in time with their sounds at Tom's microphone.  All other input EQ decisions were made based on how the input combined with the stage sound at the Star Mic.


The absolute minimum quality mic I would use on a singer would be an SM58. I used to use cardioid condenser mics on singer more often until a time I worked with a group that I realized I really didnít want to hear the vocals that clearly. So I have switched back to using the SM58 more lately.

The one thing I really donít like about the SM58 is if you have a singer that then talks (a Lot) and swallows it like they did when they sing the proximity effect that works so great for them when singing now is working against them for speaking clarity. It gets muddy sounding. And most people sing a lot louder then they talk so that compounds the issue. I never use an SM58 as a podium or announce mic if I can help it. If I am using a dynamic mic for those purposes I usually use a Shure Beta 57. Because it doesnít have the extreme proximity effect like the SM58.

When I've had "close talker/far singer" or the reverse... I've been known to use 2 input strips, one for singing and the other for talking.

If I can notch out some 8kHz, I like the AKG C-535eb for lectern.  I've also had good luck with the now-discontinued A-T 873R.

It it's got to be a mini goose neck there are so many better than an SM-58...
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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

Mike Caldwell

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2020, 10:18:27 pm »


If I can notch out some 8kHz, I like the AKG C-535eb for lectern.  I've also had good luck with the now-discontinued A-T 873R.

I have some of each and they do make great lectern mics. Put them on a Neutrik gooseneck and it makes a great mic package.
The 873 is listed as a hypercardioid but I feel it's more of a tighter cardioid.
They also work well on acoustic instruments.

Steve M Smith

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2020, 03:28:04 am »

I need to give my sE V3 another try on him sometime...haven't played around with it enough to know its proximity effect vs. a 58

Try a V7. I hardly ever use anything else now.


Steve.
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Les Kanekuni

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2020, 03:53:06 am »

If you're saying as long as a mic picks up a certain range you can fix it with eq, you're mistaken.  If that were true you could make a 58 (a $100 mic) sound like a KSM9 ($700).  If a mic isn't sensitive enough to pick up the sound, no amount of eq can add it back.
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2020, 08:14:57 am »

If you're saying as long as a mic picks up a certain range you can fix it with eq, you're mistaken.  If that were true you could make a 58 (a $100 mic) sound like a KSM9 ($700).  If a mic isn't sensitive enough to pick up the sound, no amount of eq can add it back.
It helps to keep things in perspective......
If I'm in a studio recording vocals, bet your ass I'm going to want the mic that matches the vocalist, and gets me the most detail possible, at any cost.
Live on-stage R&R?
Nothing wrong with a good old 58.
Not everyone's favorite, but it's an "industry standard" for a reason.
If you can't get a decent sound out of it, you have way bigger problems to deal with.
Chris.
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Ya, Whatever. Just throw a '57 on it, and get off my stage.

Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2020, 08:50:34 am »

While true, I'd suggest it's like using a blunt knife or saw.
Yes, a decent operator can use it and get pretty decent results. However, even an amateur will notice that the better tool makes it quicker and easier to get good/better results.

For me, the Sennheiser e935 is a good sweet spot between the very expensive mics (I'd love to have a dozen of Beyer's V96), and the SM58. Yes, it's more expensive than an SM58. However, it sounds a bit nicer and the polar pattern seems to hold up better. I'd say that's worth the extra cash. YMMV.

Chris
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Ed Taylor

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2020, 09:49:29 am »

It helps to keep things in perspective......
If I'm in a studio recording vocals, bet your ass I'm going to want the mic that matches the vocalist, and gets me the most detail possible, at any cost.
Live on-stage R&R?
Nothing wrong with a good old 58.
Not everyone's favorite, but it's an "industry standard" for a reason.
If you can't get a decent sound out of it, you have way bigger problems to deal with.
Chris.

agreed...and Chris makes the point that I think is most appropriate to the OP.
started out asking about cheap youtube comparisons...same youtubers are doing videos with everything from cameras to chain saws.

As a backline guy, I've long watched "pros" on most expensive boards with best mics...just get it wrong on the gain, let alone how they want to mix based on their ears.

more often than not, in my semi-pro world, the problem is a singer (wannabee)  that has no pipes, or a person making a speech that thinks her small thin soft voice is somehow appropriate.

in the old days a good bar band made it cause they had chops...and given both the limited PA as well as playing into a noisy dancefloor, pool hall...yeah...you made it work with a 58 and everybody understood how to "mix" it.
I had to lift the lid on my primary mic box just to remember since we've been dark for so long..there's 8 sm58s in there..yes I have a fist full of betas, and the 935s and lesser Senns mentioned earlier. I honestly keep those in part cause we are all gear heads, but mostly cause I don't want a singer to use me as an excuse ("he doesn't have my microphone so that's why I sound like crap")
the old guy that wants to read a note at a wedding and tucks his chin down in his chest so far that his lips are behind his shirt collar and then mumbles... I can't help him no matter the mic..and I don't worry about it.
but give me a good bar band that has miles on them... they'll grab anything that even looks like a mic and make the night happen.
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2020, 11:14:40 am »

... or a person making a speech that thinks her small thin soft voice is somehow appropriate.

You just triggered a flashback, Ed!  One of the Elders at a HoW I was at had such a wispy voice I could never get the Senn Wireless Lav placed or EQ'd to the point where I could bring up her volume.  It was as if she had no fundamental tone in her voice - only harmonics.

As to lectern mics, the EV PolarChoice have performed well for me.

Dave
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Re: Shed a little microphone knowledge on me
¬ę Reply #29 on: September 18, 2020, 11:14:40 am ¬Ľ


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