Are you looking for a mic upgrade or are you brand new to recording? No matter how seasoned you are at recording, our Shure SM7B Review will help you decide if it’s the right mic for you!
Throughout this review, we’ll be covering a microphone called the Shure SM7B. It’s a condenser mic that has been used by many of the greats in the music business. It’s the same mic that Michael Jackson used to record Thriller. If that’s not a good enough cosign, I don’t know what is.
Shure SM7B Review – Vocal Dynamic Gold?
I’m not sure if you’re into watching podcasts on YouTube but if you are, the next time you turn on JRE or the Brilliant Idiots, take note of the mics they use on camera. Yup, it’s the Shure SM7B.
Now, as we know, depending on the type of vocals you’re looking to record, the performance of the mic will vary.
Everything ranging from the volume of the voice – to being able to capture subtle tone inflexions is a key part of creating a listenable track. Rather than ramble on about the actual process of recording, let’s get into why the SM7B is the best of the best.
This mic is in the Top 50 of Amazon’s best-seller list for microphones. That clearly means that those of us who own this mic have gotten REAL RESULTS. I would look at this purchase as an investment. An investment in quality, time-tested results.
Whether you record singing, rap, screamed, or just speaking vocals, you can’t go wrong here.
Basic Technical Specs:
- Type: Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 50-20,000 Hz
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
- Output Level: Open Circuit Voltage *: -59.0 dB (1.12 mV) *0 dB = 1 volt per Pascal
The Technical Specs Explained
A dynamic microphone (in general) will be able to handle louder sound levels than a condenser. They also typically hold up under more adverse conditions such as humidity or cold temperatures.
Frequency response is the term used to describe the performance of a device over a range of frequencies. 20 Hz is accepted as the low end of frequency that human ear can pick up.
The polar patterns vary between microphones and it’s basically the term used to describe where the most sensitive area of the mic is. In this case, a unidirectional mic means that the area directly in front of the mic is the best place to aim your vocals to get the most accurate recording.
Is It Easy To Use?
It comes ready to attach to your average microphone stand. All you have to do once you unbox your new gift is to plug it into your mic cord then screw it onto your stand and you’re ready to go.
Built In Pop Filter
Another great feature is that it comes with a built-in pop filter called an A7WS detachable windscreen. This is to ensure that your s’s, p’s, and t’s don’t pop so much that it hurts the ears of whoever gets to mix the vocals. Two separate detachable windscreens are included. One is a more rounded filter and the other is more form-fitting in order to allow you to tailor your recording process according to personal taste.
One reason this is such a nice feature is that most mics do not include a pop filter. In other words, you would have to purchase one of those separately. Once again even though you’re paying a little more upfront it’s not without GOOD REASON.
On either side of the microphone, there are unscrew-able adjustment caps so you can get it in JUST THE RIGHT PLACE for your particular style or comfort spot.
The WARMTH is the KEY
If you’ve used other mics before trying this one, you’ll know that sometimes when you playback the vocals the sounds you hear on your studio monitors sound dry and empty. This is definitely not the case with the SM7B. When you playback your recording you’ll be amazed at how little mixing you have to do to make it sound listenable.
Granted, a little mixing never hurt a track but over-mixing can take away from the authenticity, depending on your style.
Understanding The Frequency Response
The frequency response for this recording device is pretty wide-ranging. This comes into play is when you actually pick up the mic and start recording.
Below is a brief description of how different types of vocals (across a wide range of frequencies) perform.
For Singing Vocals
Usually, the goal of getting a solid recording of singing is to capture a solid, angelic representation of whoever’s voice you’re recording. Rest assured that this is VERY POSSIBLE as long as the talent’s vocals are up to par.
For Screamed Vocals
Recording screamed vocals is a different animal entirely. Some try to capture a more gritty, brutal feel while others who use a screamed/shouting technique are looking for a cleaner sounding tone while still remaining heavy enough to induce that feeling.
In either case, you will be able to achieve your recording goal with the SM7B, although some vocalists prefer a condenser over a dynamic mic for this type of vocal performance.
For Rap Vocals
Rapped vocals these days vary pretty widely. Some artists go for the singing rap style while the purists stick to a more traditional style. Since we covered the singing above the same applies to the sing/rap style.
For the traditional vocal style, this mic will capture the slightest rasps in your voice for maximum authenticity and vocal reproduction.
For Speaking Vocals
If you record a podcast or YouTube videos, etc don’t think that Shure left you out of the loop. Whether you start going off on a passionate tirade about politics or have to take your voice down to the tiniest whisper YOU WILL BE HEARD.
Keep in mind that if you’re trying to record a quieter vocal part over loud music in the background you will have to find the right balance to make it audible, yet quiet enough to capture the feeling you want to get across.
If You’re Completely New To Recording…
Keep in mind that if you’re a newbie like we all were at one point, you’ll need other equipment in order to use this microphone.
To see our full review of the Presonus Audiobox USB DAW, click here.
To see our full review of the M-Audio BX5 studio monitors, click here.
If you’re more of a veteran then you most likely already have the additional gear needed. If not, feel free to explore the links above.
Back To the Mic at Hand…
As I mentioned above, the SM7B has been used by countless revered artists.
Michael Jackson used it to record his Thriller album which has since sold an estimated 66 MILLION copies worldwide! We can recognize the fact that without talent, dedication, and countless hours of practice, the microphone used to record really wouldn’t matter.
Apply Yourself and Your Talents
But if you apply yourself and work hard the mic you use can take your songs to the NEXT LEVEL.
Once again, one of my favorite features is that this mic is so versatile that it can be used for whatever purpose you see fit. Anything from recording a whisper to recording the flick of a lighter for sound effect purposes.
There’s not much competition out there that can perform at such a varied level while still maintaining the quality we’re looking for.
What’s The Bottom Line?
The bottom line here is that once you muster up the courage to take the next step towards capturing greatness you know where to go. Even if you’re not a dancer, you’ll feel like you’re moon-walking across the stage after using the SM7B.
Where To Buy?
Thanks for stopping by to read our Shure SM7B Review! Hopefully, most of your questions were answered, and were able to find it helpful in making your decision!
If you’re interested in purchasing this microphone, you can see it on Amazon by clicking the link here. I feel confident in recommending this AWESOME piece of gear to add to your collection and I know you’ll be happy with the mic!
Thanks for stopping by and tuning in! Feel free to ask any questions you have below or leave a comment. I will be sure to respond in a timely manner.
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