Shure SM7B
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Shure SM7B

SM7B, Dynamic Microphone from Shure in the SM series.

06/27/2011

Shure SM7B : Anonymous 's user review

"Forgiving. Solid. Not very flattering."
5

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The reason that the Shure SM7B is so well loved in recording studios and live applications all over the planet is because the microphone is unbelievably smooth sounding. It imparts this odd pre-compressed sound. It tames harshness. It tames the sibilance of any singer and anything else, really. That's why it will always find a home anywhere it goes. The Shure SM7B lends itself well to lead vocals, especially, because this smooth response and small natural presence boost (you can boost it more with a switch on the bottom on the microphone, as well as a high pass/low cut filter) allows lead vocals to cut incredibly well through a dense mix. The Shure SM7B's frequency response, in tandem with its taming nature, makes it incredibly ideal for raspy and shrill vocals. This is why Michael Jackson so legendarily recorded "Thriller" on this very microphone. This is why it is so well-reputed for metal; the taming cuts down the harshness of growls and screams.

With this versatility, however, (it also excels on guitar cabs and kick drum.) the Shure SM7B has one flaw: because of the cutting nature of the SM7B's frequency response, it is very mid-heavy, making it slightly honky. In conjuncture with said honkiness, there is a distinct narrowness to the sound; the microphone, despite it's ability to sound incredibly BIG, (it is, after all, a broadcast microphone.) it still manages to sound very small at the same time. I can't really describe it; you have to find clips of the SM7B to understand what I'm saying.

However, that's all subjective, and if there were to be an objective gripe I have with the SM7B, it is the low gain of the microphone. You need a POWERFUL preamp to drive it; I would say that you would need at LEAST 60dB of quiet gain.

OVERALL OPINION

This microphone will always find its way into studios because it just WORKS on everything.

However, keep in mind that if you're a project musician, you shouldn't listen to a bunch of gearheads talking about this microphone. They are enamored with the ease of its use and its versatility, but understand that there is probably a microphone far more flattering on YOUR voice, and you should shop around.

But I will tell you that you won't ever go "wrong." You could certainly do more RIGHT though. Especially at $350.