#1
I'm looking for a mic to record vocals ranging from 100% clean to growling/screaming.

Right now the mic's I have are an SM58 and a MXL770.

The SM58 sounds good through an amp, sounds like shit for recording.
The MXL770... sounds like shit. It takes the life out of vocals and everything recorded is flat (pitch-wise).

I legitimately get a better tone of voice through my webcam mic than the MXL. Even when reverbed/compressed/EQ'd, the MXL tone doesn't match my webcam mic. The only reason why i don't use the webcam mic is cause it peaks 24/7 and is extremely sensitive to vocals.

So I'm basically looking for a Condenser mic below $500 that will give me acceptable recording quality. If anyone can give me some suggestions that would be great.
#3
if your doing a higher growl/scream i would also look at some dynamics, i don't know why but when recording people screamer at a higher pitch i have really liked a slightly clipped dynamic mic.

i would look at some of the blue stuff i don't know how well they do on the types of vocals you want but i love them on clean vocals
#4
Click

Seen that one in a lot of studios....
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#5
Quote by ultimate-rocker
Click

Seen that one in a lot of studios....

+1, SM7b rocks.

That being said, I still like my Sterling ST-79 for cleans better than the SM7b most of the time, but I'm sure it'll do better for both than either of the mics you have already.
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#6
SE Electronics SE2200A
Blue Baby Bottle
MXL Genesis
Studio Projects TB1
Rode NT-1000

I think a valve mic would work in adding a bit of midrange colour to bright screaming vocals. The whole 'ultra crisp and clean' approach used in modern heavy metal/rock is lifeless and horrible.
#7
Quote by kyle62
SE Electronics SE2200A
Blue Baby Bottle
MXL Genesis
Studio Projects TB1
Rode NT-1000

I think a valve mic would work in adding a bit of midrange colour to bright screaming vocals. The whole 'ultra crisp and clean' approach used in modern heavy metal/rock is lifeless and horrible.

Eh, it really depends on the vocalist.

I prefer to use a condenser when I can on screaming, because I feel like it really gives a lot of "air" to the recording, but for some vocalists, they just flat out don't work well.
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#8
Quote by MatrixClaw
Eh, it really depends on the vocalist.

I prefer to use a condenser when I can on screaming, because I feel like it really gives a lot of "air" to the recording, but for some vocalists, they just flat out don't work well.
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#10
Using a Zoom R16. 8 inputs, two phantom power inputs, usb 2.0 connection. Works really well.

As for screaming, my range is roughly the same as Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder for screams. I love screaming his stuff. But remember guys, I really want something that will work for cleans as well.

I've looked at the Blue Bable Bottle but i couldn't find anything about how it handles with metal vocals. I've heard good things about the NT-1000 though.

As for the SM7B, isn't it a dynamic mic? I've been under the impression that dynamics, although they work well for screaming, don't quite do singing as well for recording situations.
#11
Quote by BloodReverence
As for the SM7B, isn't it a dynamic mic? I've been under the impression that dynamics, although they work well for screaming, don't quite do singing as well for recording situations.
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#12
I've recorded Death Vocals with an old Stage Mice, It's a Audio Technica Pro4L I think. For some reason I feel that you don't want such a "full" sound for harsh vocals. Either way I like the sound I get.
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#13
Quote by BloodReverence
Using a Zoom R16. 8 inputs, two phantom power inputs, usb 2.0 connection. Works really well..

What's the verdict on the R16? Was talking about these in another thread, I'm very tempted.
#14
Quote by kyle62
What's the verdict on the R16? Was talking about these in another thread, I'm very tempted.
My dad's got one and it works well for demo/live/scratch recording. Soon enough I will get to use at as a USB multitrack interface but for now I can't say about that.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
#16
Quote by kyle62
What's the verdict on the R16? Was talking about these in another thread, I'm very tempted.


R16 is a good unit. Lots of inputs to work with and many features.

I have ONLY used it as an interface. As an interface, realize that even if plugging it into the computer makes it work, always plug in the power cable and turn the thing on THEN set it to interface, or else everything will sound like shit.

BEWARE that it doesn't have any MIDI inputs. I got kinda pissed at that about a year after I bought it when I THOUGHT it had them and I went to use them... Yeah.


Anyway, I'm COMPLETELY sold on the Shure SM7B now that I've heard Hevy Devy's godlike vocals through it.


@Eggmond If you're seriously Devin, I'm probably going to shit myself.
#17
Quote by BloodReverence
@Eggmond If you're seriously Devin, I'm probably going to shit myself.

He's not, don't get too excited.


Anyway, bit late to join the party now so all I'll add is that, generally speaking, you'll find the most popular choices for metal vocals are large broadcast-style dynamics (where the SM7B fits in) and LDC's with a warm low end (like the U47/67/87), as they exaggerate the power behind the voice when the singer is close. They also help reduce some of the nasal quality many younger people (read: most successful trend-based bands) have when they scream and shift the focus to a richer, fuller sound.

Conversely, you'll often see people choosing a thinner mic, with more presence, for death metal stuff when they have more of a problem getting the extreme lows to stand out and have definition - though some prefer to capture those lows more profoundly with a larger mic, and then EQ the presence in.


As for Zoom in general, I like the value of their products and the amount of features they throw in for a low price, though their build quality and ergonomics of their designs sometimes leave a lot to be desired - the R16/24 have pretty small, fiddly controls and aren't too easy to navigate around in a hurry as Zoom have tried to fit a lot into a small, affordable unit. Still, can't fault them for value-for-money and they at least care a bit more about workmanship than some of the older Behringer products I've encountered (their range of stereo graphic eq's seem to be made with faders that like to fall off in sequence, and the less said about the crosstalk on the Eurodesks, the better!).
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Sep 29, 2011,
#18
Enough people have already said it, but the SM7b is pretty much THE mic to get if you want to record screamed/growled vocals, and it sounds pretty immense for clean vocals as well. I read that you can perform a mod on a 57 to remove the transformer and give a much closer frequency response to a 7b, but I haven't tried it myself so I can't 100% vouch for it.
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#19
Quote by BloodReverence
I'm looking for a mic to record vocals ranging from 100% clean to growling/screaming.

Right now the mic's I have are an SM58 and a MXL770.

The SM58 sounds good through an amp, sounds like shit for recording.
The MXL770... sounds like shit. It takes the life out of vocals and everything recorded is flat (pitch-wise).

I legitimately get a better tone of voice through my webcam mic than the MXL. Even when reverbed/compressed/EQ'd, the MXL tone doesn't match my webcam mic. The only reason why i don't use the webcam mic is cause it peaks 24/7 and is extremely sensitive to vocals.

So I'm basically looking for a Condenser mic below $500 that will give me acceptable recording quality. If anyone can give me some suggestions that would be great.


Not to be a dick but it's really theoretically impossible for a microphone to record vocals in a flat pitch, I don't know if you got your terminology mixed up there and just mean the vocals sound sonically dull, but if your vocals are flat in pitch then the only thing I can suggest is to work on your singing.

On to microphones if that is not your problem, the SM7B is a nice mic for both sings and screams because it has the windshield and you can get right into it without worrying too much about pop filters, but sonically it shares a lot of characteristics with the SM58 - I'm not joking, they sound very similar, the 7 has a bit more shimmer to it in the high end but it's not really an airy mic like your average condenser would be.

If you want something that's fairly bright then try a Rode - they have a good bit of high end hype and brightness at least on their lower models.

Also one final tip, I don't know what your compression staging is like but don't be intimidated, most people smash vocals and with good reason - the dynamic range is massive and you can't get vocals to sit through without usually sitting a compressor and a limiter on the vocal channel, seriously, hit them hard and fast until they are sitting right up in your face - it does wonders.
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#20
Alright, so my final question is, if I put up a raw sample of my vocals, could anyone tell me whether or not I could benefit from getting a new mic? That's if the SM7B is really that similar to the SM58.
#21
Quote by BloodReverence
Alright, so my final question is, if I put up a raw sample of my vocals, could anyone tell me whether or not I could benefit from getting a new mic? That's if the SM7B is really that similar to the SM58.

Not really, because we have no way of knowing what impact the mic you recorded with had on your voice, and no real benchmark for how your voice sounds naturally in a room. I'd say there are people here who could probably get your vocal to sound better simply by processing it with their methods as opposed to yours, so really it's more a question of your budget and how serious you currently are with singing/screaming... are you practising regularly and, more importantly, properly and making noticeable improvements, or better still are you a good enough singer (in other people's voiced opinion) to perform at a high level as a vocalist? Because if you're buying a mic for your own voice, it really ought to be a good/improving voice if you're willing to blow serious cash on one - otherwise it's better to buy mics that compliment a varied and balanced collection, if you're going to use them on other people.
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#22
Disagree to a point, I'd like to hear a sample just to judge singing quality and make sure you're not falling down at that all important first hurdle which is the source, it would also give me a chance to look for the implications or imperfections of your setup and if not how the microphone would effect upon your voice then how the final result could be judged on its own merit.
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#23
Quote by Beefmo
Disagree to a point, I'd like to hear a sample just to judge singing quality and make sure you're not falling down at that all important first hurdle which is the source, it would also give me a chance to look for the implications or imperfections of your setup and if not how the microphone would effect upon your voice then how the final result could be judged on its own merit.

True, but I generally meant that hearing it wouldn't really let us recommend one mic over another rather than hearing it wouldn't tell us anything Of course, we'd notice if he's a bad singer and that would be one big factor - though I tried to cover that in my essay above
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#24
there's a sample on my profile already for an online band. yeah i'm not the BEST singer but i don't sound as bad in person as i do on those recordings, plus I've heard WAYYY worse singers sound soo much better than me just because of recording quality