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Fellow singer chums...what live mic do you use?

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Hi all,

This is slightly OT but I hope admin will forgive me.

 

What mics do you fellow singer pals use live? I've favoured SM58s for years but switched to a Lewitt a couple of years ago. The Lewitt has been good but has become susceptible to distortion under high SPLs and needs replacing. I suppose I'd be classed as having a tenor voice and I tend to sing LOUD when performing live...I'm a big guy and have a big old loud voice!

 

What is everyone else using? I'm considering a Beta 57A as I like the form factor and versatility or a Sennheiser E935 but I'm all ears for opinions.

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Shure sm58beta is what I have

 

Mics are a 'what string is best'

How would you ever pick one without spending months trying each one out either listening back or finding someone who you really trust to tell you which one you sounded best from ?

Then sure a little tweak of the mixing board or a different room and your scuppered

 

 

I have zero issues with the shure sm58beta

I too get loud when playing live

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For stage situations with monitors or problematic rooms, we just use SM58s for voice and SM57s for instruments. Most of our instruments are old and have no pickups -- so we are often doing sound reinforcement for an acoustic stage. Of course short action two element stage mics don' really capture a true acoustic sound.

 

If possible we like a single large diaphragm condenser mic. If the stage is too loud or the room too problematic, that may be tough but it is great when it works. We use AT4033a.

 

Best,

-Tom

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I used 58s forever, but I've lately found a few that seem to have a bit more clarity and response that I favor.

 

Lately I've been using a Sennheiser e835 dynamic cardioid, it seems you have to be a bit more direct in your positioning where the 58 was a bit more forgiving.

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I have two SM58s, as well as a Sennheiser e835 that sits unused.

 

I play in bars. Bars in Brooklyn mostly. Occasionally in New Jersey. There is no nuance. None. You actually get carried off for using the word nuance.

 

So I use the SM58 because its easy, and I dont have to think about it. Its just there and it works.

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I've used a Beta 58 for years but on a whim I went out and bought a Sennheiser e935 and I like it. The Shure is still a great mic but the Sennheiser is a little more hi fi for lack of a better word I like the way my voice stays clear when I get up on the mic as opposed to the Shure which tended to get a little muddy when working the mic close.

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Beta 58 for decades. Holler, whisper, sing, yodel, close in, step back, always there. Probably the biggest return on music investment you'll ever get is a few Shure mics. Same as it ever was.

 

rct

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I was fortunate enough to pick up a used Neumann KMS 105 for $250 a few years ago (they retailed new then for around $650, now they go for around $700) and love it. I couldn't justify paying the retail price then or now but when I stumbled across the used one for the $250 I jumped on it. Since it is a condenser mic you need 48v of phantom power. I've never had a feedback problem, but I'm sure if I played in a loud rock band there could be issues.

 

On the rare occasions that the House PA does not have phantom power (or if feedback could be an issue with the Neumann) I use an Audix om6.

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Since i started lead vicals 18 months ago i experimented with many mikes, including the pricey ones.

 

But i always return to the good ol' SM58 as i find it offers warmth that i cant get from other mikes.

 

The higher end are just too clear and sort of coldish, i find that with the 58beta for example, too clean.

 

Its a bit like watching porn in HD, just too much detail..

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Since i started lead vicals 18 months ago i experimented with many mikes, including the pricey ones.

 

But i always return to the good ol' SM58 as i find it offers warmth that i cant get from other mikes.

 

The higher end are just too clear and sort of coldish, i find that with the 58beta for example, too clean.

 

Its a bit like watching porn in HD, just too much detail..

 

Not sure what that means 😂

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The higher end are just too clear and sort of coldish, i find that with the 58beta for example, too clean.

 

 

 

I get what you are saying. With the Neumann I take some of the high EQ out and then it is warm yet still clear to my ears. It is unforgiving if you get "pitchy". I think (hope?) using it has made me a better singer. At the very least I concentrate more when I sing even if the results don't show it. [biggrin]

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I have two SM58s, as well as a Sennheiser e835 that sits unused.

... There is no nuance. None. You actually get carried off for using the word nuance.

...

 

LOL!

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Neumann KMS105 for vocals

ATM450 for the guitar

through a Soundcraft Signature desk into an HK Elements setup.

 

You must have an example of you using this !?!

What a great live set up

 

Please share it

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You must have an example of you using this !?!

What a great live set up

 

Please share it

 

 

So sorry, I don't. It really is just for live performances and it never gets recorded. But I can say that wherever we went there were always a few people that commented on the great sound of the setup. I can vouch for that as a few times it was used, not by us alone, but by several other performers and I was in the audience listening. Yes the setup does a great job.

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The truth about mics is what may sound good on you may sound not so good on me and the price of the mic is not always relevant to what sound best on your voice. One singer may have a bright voice and another singer have a dark voice so put a brighter mic on a bright singer and a darker mic on a dark singer and you can guess what happens so when someone says a mic sucks I take it to mean it sucks on them because there are no absolutes. I'm talking about the popular live vocal mics that most people use not junk.

 

I would narrow it down to three mics and research the reviews and discussions about the mics and assess it into your situation. When I bought my e935 I made sure there was some kind of return policy because if I didn't like the way it sounded on my voice I certainly didn't want to eat that investment. Better yet if you you have the means buy a few mics test them out side by side for a couple days and return the two you don't like that will give you your answer. Just make sure the dealer agrees to that.

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I'm liking the Telefunken M80. This mic has pretty much no proximity effect......the low, muddy tone that mics like the SM58 have when worked close. The M80 is very clear, natural and doesn't get woofy when you get on the grill.

 

I've recently purchased a new gadget that is amazing for live vocals: TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2. While I do like gadgets I don't like to have to fiddle with a bunch of knobs to get good results. Most in-line vocal processors have so many adjustable parameters they can be difficult to dial. The Mic Mechanic is beautifully simple and delivers worthwhile enhancement to live vocals. It's tone button kicks in mild compression, gating and EQ that clarifies the voice in spectacular fashion. There are one-knob echoes and reverbs with independent adjustments for each. And it can be battery powered, a real plus for those that don't use a pedal board and don't want to have to drag wall wart power to the front of the stage.

 

The improvement in vocals is amazing and a perfect piece of gear for a solo/duo act. Simple, very effective and reasonably priced. Maybe I'll try to do a demo video.......this thing has to be heard to be believed!

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I'm liking the Telefunken M80. This mic has pretty much no proximity effect......the low, muddy tone that mics like the SM58 have when worked close. The M80 is very clear, natural and doesn't get woofy when you get on the grill.

 

I've recently purchased a new gadget that is amazing for live vocals: TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2. While I do like gadgets I don't like to have to fiddle with a bunch of knobs to get good results. Most in-line vocal processors have so many adjustable parameters they can be difficult to dial. The Mic Mechanic is beautifully simple and delivers worthwhile enhancement to live vocals. It's tone button kicks in mild compression, gating and EQ that clarifies the voice in spectacular fashion. There are one-knob echoes and reverbs with independent adjustments for each. And it can be battery powered, a real plus for those that don't use a pedal board and don't want to have to drag wall wart power to the front of the stage.

 

The improvement in vocals is amazing and a perfect piece of gear for a solo/duo act. Simple, very effective and reasonably priced. Maybe I'll try to do a demo video.......this thing has to be heard to be believed!

 

 

Good to see you're still here buc

 

I'd be super interested in a video because it's my 19th birthday in a weeks time and I'm seriously considering a tc helicon acoustic play as my treat

So sing away please

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I don't do much live work anymore, but did do a "reunion" deal last weekend with what turned out to be a larger crowd than expected.

 

SM58.

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Best live acoustic sound I ever had was through a considerer mike. Words fail.

 

Ive played through Sms and Betas; cant tell the difference. Of course Im not on a proper stage with a PA, Im usually in a coffee house with some portable Fishman thing My crate acoustic amp sounds better than those rigs.

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I went along to my local music emporium today and auditioned a ton of mics, mainly Shures, Sennheisers and AKGs.

 

Some conclusions:

 

The Shure Beta 57A is better suited to a light tenor male vocal than the Beta 58. In fact, the Beta 58 is behind the SM58 to my ears.

 

Sennheiser dynamic mics are superb and remarkable value for money. The E845 was my favourite, stunning mic and amazing value at £65! Really nicely made, heavy and toneful, but due to the extended lower frequency sensitivity, probably better suited to a baritone singer than a light tenor like myself.

 

The AKG D7 smoked them all. This is the mic I brought home with me and it KILLS everything else in the price range. I clicked with it straight away and the shop staff who were running the rig I was demoing it through audibly drew breath when I sang through it for the first time and said "wow, the D7 sounds like it was made for your vocal tone, the sensitivity and proximity effect play perfectly with your technique". I couldn't stop singing through it in the shop, brought it home and have just got in from my first gig with it tonight. I'm a VERY happy owner. Tonight was the best live vocal tone I've had in several years and drew some very complimentary comments and questions about my rig and mic. It's smooth but HUGE sounding, wonderful off-axis rejection and very resistant to plosives and breath noise.

 

I'm really looking forward to getting to know it better!

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The AKG D7 smoked them all. This is the mic I brought home with me and it KILLS everything else in the price range. I clicked with it straight away and the shop staff who were running the rig I was demoing it through audibly drew breath when I sang through it for the first time and said "wow, the D7 sounds like it was made for your vocal tone, the sensitivity and proximity effect play perfectly with your technique". I couldn't stop singing through it in the shop, brought it home and have just got in from my first gig with it tonight. I'm a VERY happy owner. Tonight was the best live vocal tone I've had in several years and drew some very complimentary comments and questions about my rig and mic. It's smooth but HUGE sounding, wonderful off-axis rejection and very resistant to plosives and breath noise.

 

I'm really looking forward to getting to know it better!

 

Thanks for sharing man, it seems like you really hit a homerun with it .. will need to check it out.

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Thanks for sharing man, it seems like you really hit a homerun with it .. will need to check it out.

 

I think the issue with mics is that one thing that works brilliantly for one singer is no dice for another. I can't get on with Beta 58s at all, but plenty of people love them. I really like the Beta 57A for vocals but it's essentially an instrument mic...it's a total roll of the dice.

 

I'm mega impressed with the D7 though, absolutely lovely mic!

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