Have you ever wondered what sort of microphones the godfathers of rock & roll used? Their recorded albums always made you feel like you were sitting right there in front of them. You can be sure the best microphone for rock vocals would be in their studio selection.
Although the rock legends had powerful vocal abilities they needed microphones brilliant enough to project their rock & roll melodies to the entire world.
The Shure SM7B has been used by many great rock vocalists, like Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day and Serj Tankian from System of a Down. You should consider whether this is what your studio is missing. Equipment can be as important as putting in hours of practice.
Here’s what you’ve been missing out on.
The Shure SM7B Microphone
The Shure SM7B is an industry standard dynamic vocal microphone used to record vocals in the studio. It’s also commonly used for radio broadcasting. The SM7B can also be used to mic bass cabinets and to do live or recorded podcasts.
Shure is an American audio productions company founded by Sidney N Shure in 1925. The company has become one of the world’s biggest and well-known manufacturers of microphones, mixers, phonograph cartridges, and wireless microphones. They also produce headphones and earphones.
The Shure SM series was developed in 1965; however, the SM7B made its debut in 1978 and was originally used as a broadcasting microphone. Various artists started using this mic to record studio vocals but most notably it was used a lot by Quincy Jones in the 1980s to record much of his vocal on the albums he produced.
The Shure SM7 has since been upgraded to the SM7A and the SM7B. The SM7B comes with a larger foam windscreen and has now been manufactured with a double coil to reduce the sound of computers and other nearby electronic devices.
Who is This Product For?
If you’re an upcoming rock artist or even a pro-podcaster on YouTube, this product is an excellent choice for you. With its dynamic output abilities, the SM7B is designed to eliminate any kind of background noise making it perfect for recording in a home studio.
Try as you may, the SM7B is not made for all types of singing vocals. In particular, this mic is ideal for heavier vocals, as dynamic mics are best suited for the rock genre. They have a pronounced midrange and can handle a high SPL (sound pressure level) making it ideal for transmitting distorted, aggressive rock vocals.
It might be difficult for beginners or singers who use cleaner vocals to use the SM7B as they’re quite tricky to get used to. These microphones are best for those that have been singing in the music industry for quite some time. It would be better to start out with a Shure SM57 or SM58 microphone and then work your way up to the SM7B, especially since the latter is quite expensive.
The SM7B now comes with a bigger windscreen to eliminate background noise and frequencies. This is ideal if you’re recording with computers or other high frequency electronic devices. The mic also comes with a stand adaptor and a cover for the back panel of the mic, and you’ll receive some nice little extras like a Shure sticker.
In this video it shows you exactly what you’re paying for complete with mic tests.
Remember that knowing everything you can about your equipment can be just as important as having exceptional talent.
The Best Microphone for Rock Vocals – Overview and Features
The Shure SM7B gives you the ability to adjust the tone of your microphone, assisting you with range and complimenting your type of vocals. Its versatile and durable exterior allows you to travel with your microphone without it getting damaged.
It’s not suited to being a handheld mic as it’s physically quite broad, but it can easily be mounted on a stand. Unfortunately this mic doesn’t come with an additional stand so these will need to be purchased separately.
This is a dynamic microphone so it doesn’t need to be phantom powered and it has excellent off-axis rejection. There are two switches at the bottom of the microphone that adjust the tone, so you can adjust it to suit what you’re recording (vocals or an instrument for example).
It has a built-in pop filter to reduce the sound of breathing or any popping noises when recording vocals. This is excellent for newbies who are still getting used to all the different studio techniques especially when recording vocals.
It also has an adjustable bracket so you can move the mic around to find the best position for recording in your studio.
- Durable rugged exterior
- Boost control
- Wide range frequency response
- Internal air suspension and shock isolation
- Heavy in weight
- All metal construction
- Black exterior
- Dynamic microphone type
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Frequency response of 50-20,000 Hz
- Output impedance of 150 ohms
- XLR port connection
- Weight of 1.69 lbs.
How to Use the SM7B
If you’re a beginning sound engineer or a rookie roadie, you will need to know how to set up a microphone.
The SM7B installation may be easy to set up but the sound aspect can be quite involved for a beginner. You can check out this short YouTube video on how to set up the sound for the Shure SM7B.
The SM7B is a versatile microphone capable of being used for many sound projects, however it’s not meant for everyone. In the rock industry they use many different types of microphones for various sounds on different types of instruments.
The SM7B might be amazing for an aggressive vocal range or an overloaded guitar amp, but it may not be that great for softer sounds or live shows.
If you want to experiment with different sounds and applications you could try a wide range of Shure microphones. The Shure SM57 and SM58 are a great start as they’re designed to record electric guitars, drums, bass guitars and even pianos and keyboards.
This mic is basically the powerhouse of all rock & roll microphones. Although it is quite pricey, it’s definitely worth it as you can easily use it for a number of recording projects and different instruments.
Selecting the correct mic to suit your vocals can be a bit tricky; however, there have been so many great artists from different alternative genres that have made the Shure SM7B microphone work for them – from Anthony Kiedis from Red Hot Chili Peppers to James Hetfield from Metallica, two completely different sounds, and yet the same microphone. You can guarantee that singers like these will only choose the best microphone for rock vocals.
If you dream about making your own incredible music and you want to record that great album, make sure you’re able to capture some solid sounds in your home studio and simply get this mic. It’s a great way to optimize your recordings and your audience’s experience of your productions.