Recommend a mic

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by DrVenkman, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. DrVenkman


    Jan 22, 2010
    Pacific NW
    I sing lead on a couple of songs and backup on a few more, so it's time to get a mic. I'm looking for good but not the greatest ever. I'm a male, voice is in the bass/baritone range for what it's worth. My voice can sound a bit thin at times-not terrible, but if some mics might help with that its a consideration.

    My 10 year old daughter will use it sometimes too.

    Should I just get an SM58 and call it good? Are there better for the same price/just as good but cheaper options?
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I really like the EV PL80a for that type of voice - I bit more ballsy than the N/D767a's I also have that can sound thin but either can be EQ'd to sound great on any voice :) . SM58's usually sound boxy set flat but with proper EQ are fine - I usually start with a 3 dB cut at 350 Hz and a 3 dB boost on the high shelf. All cardioid mics need a pretty healthy HPF to not be muddy in the mix - 120Hz or even 160Hz <eek!>.
  3. Hi,

    I like the "regular" SM58 as an all-around workhorse. It's the industry standard. You can't go wrong with them. I don't care for the Beta series, a little too brittle/shrill for my tastes. That being said, if you have a chance, listen to all of the SM58 mics in the store and choose the best sounding one. There are slight variances due to component tolerances and manufacturing anomalies.

    Personally I like the Audix products. I have an OM3 and an OM5. These mics sound great, are durable, and have never had a feedback problem. Some voices sound better with certain microphones. You might want to try out a few different makes/models in your budget range.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  4. Fxpmusic


    Jul 5, 2013
    AKG D5... Lifetime warranty so it is tough. But must important, test it next to a 58 and it is like somebody takes their hand away from your mouth when you talk on the D5.
  5. Yango

    Yango Inactive

    Apr 14, 2008
    Shure SM58 (from $99.00) or Beta 58A (from $149.00). You can't go wrong with either, they sound great, and they're pretty much indestructible!
  6. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    To me the SM sounds muddy and the Beta is just right;) I have a Sennheiser e838 too - that one is bordering on "brittle/shrill" and the output is very hot.
    BassCliff likes this.
  7. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I'd go with a Shure 58 or Beta 58, but the big difference in that the SM58 is a cardioid pattern and the Beta 58 is a super-cardioid pattern. That means that the SM58 will have a slightly wider pattern than the Beta 58. Where this will matter mostly is how many wedges you use, if any at all..

    An SM58 works well with a single wedge. Now, while this is the theory, an SM58 can be dealt with when using a pair of wedges. It will be a little more feedback-prone, but only if you need stupid-loud vocals in your monitor.

    The Beta 58 works well with a pair of wedges set-up because of the narrower polar pattern. One thing about a super-cardioid mic is that if you look at the published polars (that's the illustration that looks like a circle with a few squiggly lines showing the mic's sensitivity at certain points around the mic's pick-up pattern. There's usually several lines, each one showing a particular frequency's sensitivity), you'll see what looks like a "finger" or a narrow lobe coming off the back of the mic 180 degrees from the front. This "can" give you problems when using a single wedge with a super-cardioid vocal mic like the Beta 58 at really loud vocal levels.

    Have a headache yet? I do, just recalling this from memory and typing it...:D

    This is the stuff on paper that sound guys always work around and get the job done when it's all said and done.

    Since I'm almost always on IEMs, I prefer an SM58. It's just smoother-sounding to my ear. Some guys like the Beta 58 exactly for its more-aggressive nature since it will cut through a rock and roll mix pretty easily. In my mixing days, I didn't even ask what vocal mic was being used on a throw and go, I just dialed it up and went with it, regardless of mixing house or monitors. I couldn't sit there and say "yuk, I wish they would get rid of that Beta 58 and get an SM!". I just mixed...:thumbsup:

    Honestly, I'd start with an SM58. The price is right and they work well enough (I never worried about choosing from several, I can always deal with whatever a 58 is giving me). And later, if you want, you can always easily sell an SM58 and get another vocal mic of your choosing. There's several good ones out there, but the SM58, for better or worse, is still the standard by which the others are measured.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Only mic I really like to use is the SM-58. I've used others that sound better but there's always some problem with them that stops me and I go back to the 58...mostly it's that the 58 is more forgiving of sloppy mic technique than others.
    Munjibunga likes this.
  9. DrVenkman


    Jan 22, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Sounds like the SM58 is the way to go. Thanks all.
    Munjibunga likes this.
  10. ZenG

    ZenG Guest

    I use a Beta58A quite a bit..........gotta watch the 'proximity' effect........gets woofy and muddy when you're really up close.

    Just ordered a Blue Microphone 100i ( NOT the 100)...........see how that one goes.....
    The 300 is supposed to be pretty good too...but that is a dynamic mike that requires phantom power.

    Some say the Samson Q7 is good (for the price).......but all the reviews I read seem to point toward it not being as good as the Beta58A.

    Sure SM7B is supposed to very good........
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Audix OM-6 simply slays. Yes it is more expensive. It sounds like it too... And for those with sloppy mic technique... It is incredibly forgiving... One reason that it is my personal vocal mic as well.

    I have 3 58's, 3 OM -6's and 3 OM-5's as my front line vocal mics (along with a few others that are kinda specialty vocal mics...) I keep hearing that there are voices that sound better on 58's than with other mic's but I have yet to hear one. My 58's simply don't come out of the case unless someone specifies they have to have one.

    I feel that I end up having to spend a lot of my board's EQ to get a 58 to sound decent where the OM- 6 needs a lot less sweetening. I use the OM-5 on husky voices where the extra presence helps cut through.

    All I can say about price... It's like having really good pickups in your bass or not... There is no making up for the quality of a signal. Start with the best you can... Be glad that you aren't buying multiples...
    jimfist and Geri O like this.
  12. I'm a fan of the Beta 58.

    I used SM 58s, various AKG and Sennheiser models for years, and didn't really care what I used. Then I sang through a (borrowed) Beta 58 and my girlfriend (now wife) said "Wow, your voice sounded great tonight." I bought a Beta 58 and never looked back.

    Everybody in two of the bands that I'm in also switched to Beta 58s after I did.
  13. paparoof


    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    the 58 is as popular as it is for a good reason. sure there's lots of better sounding mics out there, but the 58 just fits well and is virtually indestructible.

    that said, for live use I use these very cheap 58 knock-offs from here:

    I was in a 7-piece band so I bought the 10-pack and got em for like $28 each. I also have a couple real 58s and to my ears these knock offs sound just like a 58 and they've held up fantastically well so far. not a single failure in the bunch and they've been dropped and abused plenty.

    this is also where I buy my mic cables and I'm very pleased with them as well.
  14. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    The advantage of the 58 is that everyone tends to use them, and if you have a soundman he will be familiar with it.

    As far as cardoid or super cardoid, if you are worried about monitor feedback, everything on your stage is FAR too loud, and you are not using eq properly in your monitors.
    BassCliff and JimmyM like this.
  15. How many contenders are there at the same price point as the SM58? Electrovoice PL80, AKG D5 and Sennheiser e835? Are there more?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  16. In the cheap SM58 knockoffs that rock category, Behringer XM8500. A singer with no personal mic gets one of mine, no complaints! My mixer has minimal EQ too.
  17. ZenG

    ZenG Guest

    Just got my Blue 100i ....

    Isolates feedback pretty voice sounds very "natural". Much more natural than the 58A.

    Still has proximity effect...if you get too close you can distort it.......but just about every dynamic mike has "proximity" effect.

    Not the world's most expensive mike..........bought it to use in the room where all my instruments and electronic gear is located.......wanted a mike that sounded good and isolated background noise as much as possible...........100% vocal use.

    Seems to fill the bill very nicely for that...and the sound quality is good.
  18. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I've never seen anyone loud enough to distort a typical live sound vocal mic. Maybe you were overdriving the mixer? As far as the proximity effect, it takes a pretty ballsy HPF to tame - I usually run mine at 160Hz and it's 18 dB/octave.
  19. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    For singing I use either a Shure SM-58 or Nady SP-5. For spoken vocals (Podcasting, spoken word etc...) I use a Behringer C-1.

    I honestly haven't tried singing / recording or performing through the C-1 yet. Haven't needed to...

    I find the Nady SP-5 is a good low budget mic, but if you have the money to spend on them, go with the SM58. It's really quite good particularly for bass / baritone voices...

    I have some relatives that sing as well, and they like to borrow my Nadys... Go figure.
  20. I'm going to have to recommend a good condenser mic.
    The clarity of the consonants and richness of the vowels with both problem singers and true artists will turn heads, and if you use a lot of different sound companies or have a less-than-excellent engineer, a good condenser will help you sound better every show.

    Don't buy the BS about them being too fragile for live use--there have been real improvements in materials and construction since they got a bad rep 40 years ago.
    Treat your mic as well as you treat your bass and it'll be fine.

    And the "more feedback" myth is BS, too. They often have a hotter output and a different response curve compared to dynamics like the SM58, so you have to adjust EQ and input trim accordingly. Turn a few knobs, don't be scared.

    If your voice is one of the instruments in your band, spend the money to showcase it.
    Buy ONE less bass.
    If I sang even a little, I wouldn't hesitate to spend $300+.

    As a second choice if phantom power isn't guaranteed every night, a better dynamic like the Shure Beta 87A is a great choice.