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Shure Sm7B microphone: is it possible to get close to its quality by using good post production ?

Quasar

Senior Member
Anyone got a comment on this. Fascinating.

"SM57 combined with A81WS, sounds like the SM7B"
the SM57 combined with the enormous A81WSwindscreen from Shure sonically transforms the SM57 and makes it sound virtually the same as the much more costly SM7B, at a fraction of the cost, and without demanding a preamplifier...
...part of the sonic transformation is due to the sound waves being affected by the A81WS’s unique material, and that the other detail is —like the cage in the SM7B—, the extremely thick material in the A81WS forces the person speaking to maintain an ideal minimum distance...

halfway down:
https://www.provideocoalition.com/shures-545-palindromic-mic-beats-sm57-nowadays/
I ran into this a while back, when I bumped into this video:


So I bought an A81WS and used it for a woman who was recording some spoken word stuff... It worked well IMHO, but since I have zero experience with the SM7B I can't compare.
 

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
Since a few people have mentioned the Sennheiser 416, I'll add a couple specifics about it, since although it's a standard for VO work (in L.A., at least), it isn't used in the way people might expect.

In VO sessions, it typically gets used almost like a dynamic, where the talent is just inches from the mic. There's an ultra-heightened proximity effect (even more so than with U87s or other mics we would typically use) and there's even a little natural compression. That combination is a lot of what gives it the "Hollywood sound." If that's the sound you're going for, it's magic, really.

Then again, a lot of applications nowadays are a little less hyped, where it might be a little much to sound like Hollywood Voice of God as you're doing a podcast on knitting. Although in that case, you could always just move back a little and use it more like it was intended to be used. (It's supposed to be a boom mic for location recording.)

Obviously this is way more than most people would want to spend, and I'm definitely not saying you should go this route. But if that's the sound you're going for (that's a big "if", of course), then maybe check out the RODE's NTG3 alternative that S.M. Hassani mentioned.
 
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S.M Hassani

CodeUltra Sounds
What's its advantage? I didn't watch much of the video, just as I try and escape those pitches live at trade shows. :)
Make an exception this time. :sneaky:

Spoiler: This could potentially become the equivalent of Camera RAW or Vector Graphics for the audio space.;)
 

S.M Hassani

CodeUltra Sounds
Since a few people have mentioned the Sennheiser 416, I'll add a couple specifics about it, since although it's a standard for VO work (in L.A., at least), it isn't used in the way people might expect.

In VO sessions, it typically gets used almost like a dynamic, where the talent is just inches from the mic. There's an ultra-heightened proximity effect (even more so than with U87s or other mics we would typically use) and there's even a little natural compression. That combination is a lot of what gives it the "Hollywood sound." If that's the sound you're going for, it's magic, really.

Then again, a lot of applications nowadays are a little less hyped, where it might be a little much to sound like Hollywood Voice of God as you're doing a podcast on knitting. Although in that case, you could always just move back a little and use it more like it was intended to be used. (It's supposed to be a boom mic for location recording.)

Obviously this is way more than most people would want to spend, and I'm definitely not saying you should go this route. But if that's the sound you're going for (that's a big "if", of course), then maybe check out the RODE's NTG3 alternative that S.M. Hassani mentioned.
Thank you Mike, that's a fine way to complete what was said about the MKH-416 and the NTG-3.

Beyond that Hollywood mic sound, I like the amazing clarity you can pull out of them in a multitude of placements and proximities. I find that quality very useful when conveying "critical" information, such as training material and audiobooks, where every word must be intelligible even against other audio.

Here's a neat three way comparison SHURE SM7B vs Neumann u87 vs Sennheiser MKH-416:


You can hear that smooth clarity you can pull out of the MKH-416.

I'm not sure if a foam cover is applied to the SM7B, but I think it always sounds even better without one.

Here's another comparison: Sennheiser MKH-416 vs Neumann u87: (Although I have small reservations about placement)

 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Make an exception this time. :sneaky:

Spoiler: This could potentially become the equivalent of Camera RAW or Vector Graphics for the audio space.;)
Okay, I found a text blurb (videos drive me crazy for this kind of thing - they take ten minutes to give you the same information you can get in literally :30 when reading).

Well, it has 32-bit recording, and the article I read said that gives you more dynamic range.

No, it gives you the same dynamic range as an 8-bit recorder would. :) This is the same zombie claim you heard when 24-bit audio came along 20+ years ago.

You can record at a lower level with plenty of bits and not worry about going over. But 24 is more than enough too.

Sorry to be such a cynic, but a $600 device isn't going to game-change audio.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
...which is not to say that it's a bad piece of gear by any stretch, just that I'm not micturating all over myself with excitement because it has 32-bit recording.
 

TimCox

Active Member
Forget the cloudlifter, get The Durham by Cathedral Pipes instead. Way cheaper and works great. Also make sure you remove the cover and use a pop filter, the mic has a lot more bite and clarity without the foam over it!

EDIT

I see I beat a dead horse about the cover, consider this an apology
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Wait. Did I get the MKH70 and MKH416 confused?

Now I'll have to find out which one it was they were using...

And after looking up the difference, it could also have been a MKH60, a shorter one like the MKH416. I was too focused on my copy reading to pay attention to the mic, but I do know that they had it in one position for the whole class and that we weren't close to it.
 
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