#1
So I'm in the market for a microphone and aside from reputation and sound samples heard on sites selling them, I don't really know much about them.

I've recently attended two shows of a tour and gotten to see differences with certain bands and different mics, and I've made some observations that lead me to believe some mics are better for some voice types, and worse for others.

Here's what I noticed: the opening band at this tour on the very first show was screwed out of their sound check, they were pretty much forced to use the set up of the band that played after them as it was. The singer is a soubrette soprano with a very bright voice. I am rather sure the mic she was using a shure sm 58 a beta (one I considered purchasing). She was very difficult to hear and the mic didn't seem to compliment her voice.

The singer of the band that played after was either a mezzo or a soprano ( I can not confirm, and this is just my estimation) with a dark voice. The mic worked very well for her.

Next show of this tour the opening band had proper sound check and the singer had her own mic (no idea what it was). It was a HUGE improvement. So this is why I feel choosing a mic that works for your voice is important.

In my own personal case I am a vocalist in a metal band (therefore things are loud, and drums would more than likely be behind me), who would sing somewhat lyric at most times. I am a soprano (I can't elaborate further as my teacher hasn't told me more than this) with what I've been told to be a "warm" voice (I'm not objective enough to describe my voice).

Sadly, I don't have videos of the best quality and most are of me playing the game rock band (I haven't yet recorded anything with my band). But here are some videos where I am singing (http://www.youtube.com/user/PMSAnex) The ones at the top are probably enough of a vocal variation or style etc to get the general idea of what my voice is like.

The Gist: Basically I'm looking for recommendations on equipment based on vocal type. If you can give some well-known brands/models along with what voice type (not just range) it compliments that would be great. Please keep in mind I'm a female, so don't leave out female voice types please!

Thanks for any advice/recommendations etc in advance!
#2
I think you would be fine with a Sm58......I have seen every type of singer use this mic, but obviously some mics boost different things. But the SM58 is pretty much the go to live dynamic mic. Just like the 57 is the go to Guitar cab mic.

With live shows sometimes it's just the guy who mixes it that screws up (I took over mixing for one of my friends bands after they got screwed over many times by the mixing guy)
#3
I've seen people who want to emphasize high frequencies use a Beta 57 or Beta 87, but just about any Shure mic can take EQ pretty well. For high male vocals I would use the EV 767a, but you're a gal, so that's not really important.

Edit: You could also go into Guitar Center and ask to a/b test some mics.
#4
No Guitar Center in France sadly (went to one while in Texas this summer and it looked like heaven).. no major music store either. I will be forced to make an online purchase, so that is why any info is really important to me.
#5
Quote by Anexa
No Guitar Center in France sadly (went to one while in Texas this summer and it looked like heaven).. no major music store either. I will be forced to make an online purchase, so that is why any info is really important to me.


Oh, well, hmmm.

Any other women on these vocal forums wanna chime in?
#6
You're very correct that different mics suit different voices better than others. One mic on one singer sounds terrible, yet the same mic on another singer is nothing short of perfect.

I recorded a female singer - an alto with a very bright voice - and an SM58 was just perfect for her. Anything else that I tried recording her with just sounded strident.

As a soprano with a warm voice... I'm just kinda drawing at straws here.

First, it needs to be mentioned that there really is no substitute for trying some and comparing.

For live work, you probably don't want to go with a condensor. Feedback is often a problem, and if you show up to a gig, there are no guarantees that their live mixer will run phantom power, and that the person running sound will be happy to do so, even if there is.

If you want to brighten your voice, I would stay away from anything like a 58.

Consider instead maybe an SM57. My personal favourite mic for live vocals is the Sennheiser e835. Side-by-side against an SM58, it makes the 58 sound like you're singing through moving blankets. For me. But not for that other singer I was recording.

Are you just singing or singing and playing an instrument? This matters. If you are singing and playing an instrument, you want a cardiod mic (ie. directional), but not TOO cardiod, because you can't guarantee that you'll be able to consistently be RIGHT in the face of the mic. The more cardiod the mic, though, the better the feedback rejection. If you're just singing, you could go with the Senn e845 instead, which is a little more cardiod. Better feedback rejection, but more "picky" about whether or not you're RIGHT in front of it.

How is this sounding?

CT

Edit: There is also the Sennheiser e935/945 mics as well. I think they might be the same mic, just a newer incarnation, but I'm not sure.
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Thanks axeman, your post helps a lot. I always appreciate your knowledge in this section as well.

I don't play an instrument, so I'll just be singing (the whole cardiod etc issue was one I was curious about as well, so thanks for mentioning it).

I know the mic the band currently has is a Sennheiser (what exactly, I'm not sure.. useless I know), but I've had so many issues with it. We also think it might be sort of broken. With that one I practically have to EAT the mic to be heard.

I poked around at mics on the site, and the 58 A beta gave a nice recording sample, however it might have just better suited that vocalist. (which is why it's a not a very reliable method regarding mics :/)

I will look into the mics you mentioned, I know testing it would be ideal.. but I just don't have that option. Apparently the place where I will order from has a 30 day return/refund policy "for any reason".. so I guess if it seems to not work out that is a possibility at least.

Thanks again for the info, and if you think of anything else to add I'm all ears.

EDIT:

I looked a bit at what you suggested and narrowed it down a bit.

These mics sound more or less the same to my ears (given the sample). While both are recommended for vocals, one also says brass instruments as well and the other percussion (don't know if this could give some nuances into the characteristics of the mic or not)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/sennheiser_e845_evolution.htm

http://www.thomann.de/gb/sennheiser_e935_dynamisches_mikrofon.htm

Which would be better for live performances/practices in close quarters with the band do you think?
Last edited by Anexa at Oct 9, 2011,
#8
I'm not sure what the difference is between the 800 and 900 series mics are, but the difference between the 35 and 45 mics is that the 45's are more cardiod - better feedback rejection, but more picky about singing right into it. Since you're just singing, I would go with the 45, but it would be worth looking into the difference between the 845 and the 945.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
Found out the mic we had was a Sennheiser e845 S (s just means switch I think)... I can't be heard AT ALL with it above the guitars and I have to practically eat the mic to be heard at all. Not sure if it is intentionally that way, or a bit on the faulty side.

We also have another Sennheiser, I think it was a 700 something series (I only remember the blue font on it). This one didn't require me eating the mic to be heard, but it still was even less good than the e845.

I'm starting to think I have the problem. My mic's volume is increased to the max on the board, we even got a REAL PA system and turned down all the guitars, but STILL.

I swear I know how to project (it is actually something my classical singing teacher says I'm really good at), but I'm failing so hard at being heard. I don't know if it is because I STILL can't hear myself or what.

I decided to order the SM 58 beta, I read some reviews from people who had used it and the plain SM58.. and apparently the differences are by and large with the beta being the way to go. I have the e845 currently in my possession so I will compare them both.. but I'm still thinking that I am the one with the problem.

Any ideas? >.>
#10
Let us know what you think when you get a chance.

Mics generally aren't that much "louder" than one another, but that is a bit of an over-generalization.

I'm guessing that the PA you have just isn't enough to deal with the rest of the instruments in the room.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Tested the Sennhesier at home with a guitar amp (all I have around). My husband's voice can be heard on it fine.. but mine takes a stupid amount of gain to even be heard.

I swear I'm talking straight into the mic, I'm practically EATING it. I'm starting to wonder if it is defective.

Hoping the mic I ordered gets here today so I can see.