Anyone hear knowledgable about microphones? I have a couple questions

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Sean775, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    I'm looking for a new microphone for band practice and for eventual gigs. I'm currently using a 1970s entry level Shure mic, which is not in great condition. This leaves me singing louder than I normally would, which affects the overall sound negatively.
    I assume a newer, higher quality mic would pick up my voice and sound louder than this old one right? Also, how much should I spend for a decent mic? I want thinking like $60, but I'm not sure whether or not I should spend more.
  2. Michael Schreiber and DirtDog like this.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    that's your only good choice at that price point.
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Spend up. Audix om-5 or 6. The 5 is more present. Pick it if you have a dark husky voice. The 6 is smoother. Pick it if your voice (like mine) needs more body. Either one is head, hands and feet above the sm-58 in sound quality.

    Shoot the moon with an Audix Vx-5. This is what I sing on. It has everything - in spades. It is a mic you can work. I love it. Yes it is $230 but - it sounds awesome and let's you do stuff you might find impossible on even a good dynamic like the om-5 or 6.

    IMO - cheaping out on a mic is kinda like accepting dead strings...
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
    eriky4003, justjake and s0c9 like this.
  5. I doubt it is a lack of mic sensitivity that causes your problems.

    If you need a new mic to prove me wrong you can't go wrong with the sm58. If the budget doesn't stretch there then my B'ringer version XM8500 have only been well accepted.
  6. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    suggesting a new mic will make you louder is a bit like getting a new bass cause your old bass isn't loud enough. Using a 50 year old entry level mic probably isn't great, but maybe you need a nicer PA system?
    Michael Schreiber, lz4005 and s0c9 like this.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Note: entry level, 1970's shure mic... could be anything from a Unishpere to a 545 to ? Seemed of the low end stuff from back there was pretty bad... some of the mid range stuff was awesome. So it would be helpful to know which...

    Being heard is about sensitivity and frequency response and matching that to the voice at hand. If the OP has a dark, husky, breathy voice, the OM-5 will get him heard in the mix, a 58 might not. If his voice is thin, the om-6 has more body and that could be the answer.
    Either way the VX-5 will absolutely be louder, more detailed and much, much more forgiving of placement.

    That last is why I love it. I can sing full voice 5 " back, falsetto or breathy close up with no proximity muddyness, or I can go full voice up and on the mix and sing lead. Being a condenser, it requires phantom and it is fairy bright so I roll some of that off. My band is basically a rhythm section with vocals. We do a lot of close 3 part harmony, the three of us all sing lead. We all sing on the VX-5 as it is a such a step up from even our previous om-5's and 6's

    For a group that obsesses over the difference from GHS to Rotosound to TI Super Alloys or LaBella Deep Talkin to D'Addario Chrome to TI flats - it always surprises me that folks are willing to settle for just a vocal mic...
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
    Michael Schreiber and justjake like this.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I just checked the Jersey area CL listings. Pretty much everything is garbage or out of your price range unfortunately.
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    "Decent" starts about $100 and the sky is the limit. I still use my trusty ole SM58's and SM57's. They require a little more gain than some offerings from Audio-Technica, AKG, Audio and others, but it's not a problem. I like that they are bullet-proof, are an industry standard (any decent sound guy has used SM's for years). Not knowing what you use now, I might wonder about the impedance of your 40 year old Shure ... some were high impedance, and not what most modern gear is looking for.
  10. deluxejusa

    deluxejusa Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I use a Sennheiser e835. Great mic! Should be able to find one used for $60.
  11. It sounds like you need to turn your gain or volume up, not get a new mic.
    jam.majors likes this.
  12. I agree with everything that @4Mal has to say on the subject. I use a audix om6 and I wish I could get my bandmates to up grade to the audix from there current beta 58's. great vocals is a very big selling point in the competitive gigging world and the audix offerings help facilitate that. well worth the extra expense imho.
    eriky4003 likes this.
  13. sharp8874


    Jan 10, 2011
    +1 for the sennheiser. My guitarist uses one and it is considerably hotter than my sm58. Sounds great also!
    Joe Ty and musicman7722 like this.
  14. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Can't go wrong with a 58 or a 57. Industry standards, pretty darn indestructible. I have a 58 that must be 25 years old that I carry in my gig bag. Still works like a charm.
    Dbassmon and musicman7722 like this.
  15. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Sennheiser e835
    Shure SM58
    Shure SM57 (actually prefer it for vocals)
    AKG D5

    Any of the mics that sell for $99 new, if you find a used one for $60, are good. If you can get someone to go halfsies with you, Blue is running a promotion on their enCORE 100 mic where it’s two mics for the price of $99.99.
    BurnOut likes this.
  16. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    check out some used EV ND series mics ... ND757 ... if i remember correctly .?!
    eriky4003 likes this.
  17. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I like using SM-57 also, I can work it better than a 58. If you see em pop up on CL you gotta jump cause they go fast.
    I wouldn't be opposed to try new designs though, if it makes my job easier.
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  18. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    I'd never buy a used mic for myself. Frankly, I bought them when I was strapped for cash, but I'm very happy with my Digital Reference (GC brand) mics. They were 9.99 on clearance once. Right now, they are around 30 bucks, but I'd go back to buy these again over a Behringer or Audio Technica.
  19. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Guest

    Oct 1, 2011
    Question: How far do you sing from the mic? There can be a dramatic increase of volume, bass and presence by getting right up on it, so your lips are almost touching it. "Eat the mic" as the soundmen say :) If you're not already.

    Other things to try

    • Move your vocal monitor closer/higher. Make sure it's pointed at your ears if possible
    • Use your PA's equalizer to bump up some high mids, to help vocal frequencies pop out
    • Try to get the band to turn down/play a little quieter. Good luck with this lol. But this is almost always a good idea anyway :)

    Good luck!
    jam.majors and eriky4003 like this.
  20. Shure Beta 58 (not the SM58), Electrovoice have new microphones model numbers - ND76 will sound great and not break the bank, the Audix as mentioned above will be good models 5 and up. These mics have a tight pattern around the microphone so you won't get as much feedback. The issue with the regular 58 is you need to increase the volume to be heard better which also starts the feedback.
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