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Which is the best mic for vocals?

  • Sennheiser E835

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  • Audix OM-2

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SM58.

I'm actually using this as a guitar mic for now, but my step dad has used it for vocals 100's of times, owns quite a few mics and swears by the 58.
 

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SM58. The workhorse of microphones.

btw, I noticed these are assembled in Mexico, I think it was, now. Any difference from the old ones?
 

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Of those three the Sennheiser sounds best to my ears, but the Shure may be more durable.

I haven't tried that particular Audix, buit I've tried higher end models and didn't like them at all. I can't say why, but I had to wrestle with the graph a lot more than normal with them.

Personally I like AKG these days. Again, not as tough as Shure, but a better sounding vocal mic in my opinion.
 

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I generally use a Sennheiser e865 on stage and in practice and have been very happy with it. As for durability, I wouldn't know as it has never been dropped or otherwise abused. I do think it sounds better than the various Shure SM57 and SM58 mics I've used over the years. I'm very farsighted so I don't like bashing my mouth on microphones, condensers let me sing off the mic a bit more and gives the sound some "air", which suits my voice.

For rough bluesy vocals I sometimes use a cheap Apex 127 harmonica mic and it sounds pretty cool with the right EQ. If I have to move around (eg, doubling on keys, someone else using my mic) I'll use a headset mic from Apex (275, condenser) which I might upgrade if I stumble on a better one for cheap, but it actually performs very well.

Btw, Long & McQuade often has inexpensive Sennheiser mic/clip/cable/stand packages at sale time, though it's not where I got mine.

Peace, Mooh.
 
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Why use a microphone at all! I find the best way it to record vocals direct...

(Sorry, couldn't help myself. Hopefully JRoberts at least finds that funny... :tongue: )
 

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I voted for the SM58 because if you are going to buy your own microphone and show up at a gig with it, it is in your best interest to have something that matches the other supplied mics, which will likely be 58's.

The 58 is the industry standard, and it's a good mic. But there are better mics out there.

I like the Beyer Dynamic M88, allthough you don't see them much anymore:

http://www.beyerdynamic.com/cms/Vocals_speech.49.0.html?&L=1&tx_sbproductdatabase_pi1[showUid][showUID]=4&tx_sbproductdatabase_pi1[showUid][backPID]=49&cHash=95aeea8c4b

It is rich and velvety, the top end is super smooth and the low stuff will give you ear-gasims.
 

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Hamm Guitars said:
I like the Beyer Dynamic M88, allthough you don't see them much anymore:
I also voted for the SM58....great all around mic and I have used that model for years.

The M88 as mentioned. is also a favorite of mine...a great vocal mic and one hell of a Kick Drum mic.:rockon:

:food-smiley-004:
 

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Hamm Guitars, you stated "if you are going to buy your own microphone and show up at a gig with it, it is in your best interest to have something that matches the other supplied mics".

I'm curious, why are matching mics in anyone's best interest? Hope I'm not missing anything here, but live and in the studio I've never noticed a requirement for matching mics. In fact I've always used what musicians and sound folks thought sounded best.

Peace, Mooh.
 

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Hi Mooh,

Vocal mics are usually matched because the monitoring system is tuned using whatever mic the tech is suplying. If you do not have the luxury of seperate monitor mixes, then there is going to have to be some compromises made to deal with the response of the odd ball mic, or the odd ball simply won't get as much monitor as the rest of the 'matched' mics do. By matched, I simply mean the same type of mic, in this case a 58. The pickup pattern and the handling noise of a mic are also important factors to consider.

You probably won't know from gig to gig if the monitors are being mixed from FOH and if they are does the EQ on the rail affect the monitor send. If your mic sounds drastically differnt from all of the other mics, then it will probably end up being doctored on the strip and if the monitor send is post EQ, this can wreek havoc on the mix all night long as the FOH guy makes changes based on what he is hearing out front.

We don't match all mics (and I don't use 58s for guitars and drums), but gennerally if there are not individual monitor mixes using all of the same vocal mics, or at least mics with a similar frequency response is standard practice. You can get by with a different mic, but if you are dealing with different systems and different techs all the time it is to your advantage to use the standard 58.

If you are playing gigs with the same FOH tech all the time, then it shouldn't be an issue. Same goes for if you have your own PA or if you have seperate monitor mixes or a seperate monitor rig. The advantage to using the standard is that it keeps things simple, and it won't create problems for you.

I would suggest that if you sing, you should buy your own mic. I find very few sound company guys are cleaning their mics these days, so if it doesn't smell like listerine, it's probably full of snot.



Mooh said:
Hamm Guitars, you stated "if you are going to buy your own microphone and show up at a gig with it, it is in your best interest to have something that matches the other supplied mics".

I'm curious, why are matching mics in anyone's best interest? Hope I'm not missing anything here, but live and in the studio I've never noticed a requirement for matching mics. In fact I've always used what musicians and sound folks thought sounded best.

Peace, Mooh.
 

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I wondered after I posted if that was what you were referring to. I guess it's been a long time since I used a PA that wasn't our own and it lets us EQ everything seperately. The one place I've played a lot with a small PA doesn't matter much as the room is so small and we're so close to the mains. But, normally it's not an issue.

Oh yeah, I completely agree with owning your own mic! In lots of bands the singers use whatever is around and don't have their own...drives me crazy! They should at least have their own mic, cord, stand, windscreen, just like guitarists have their guitars.

Peace, Mooh.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for the information guys! the SM58 it is then. I will check out the 58A beta too since that sounds good. thanks again! :) you all have made my life a lot easier
 
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