You have no doubt heard this microphone time and time again. It truly is THE multipurpose microphone of choice, with everyone from broadcasters to Michael Jackson having used the SM7B. The flat, 50Hz-20kHz frequency response is designed to accommodate a wide variety of vocal applications, from spoken word to screaming rock vocals. Shure has played it smart by not messing with a good thing. Their latest update is only a minor change – an improved bracket design that offers greater stability on the mic stand. Out of the box, it comes with 2 windscreens. A thinner one is provided on the mic, which is well adapted for most vocal uses. Shure also provides a second, thicker windscreen designed for close proximity to protect against plosives and breath sounds.
I’m starting year two as saxophonist and vocalist for the Michael Jackson “Immortal” World Tour, which includes legendary members of MJ’s touring/recording bands. The SM7B is famously known for being Bruce Swedien’s vocal mic of choice on the legendary Thriller album. My friend and iconic MJ bassist Don Boyette suggested the SM7B, as he has one in his touring recording rig and was raving about it. He couldn’t have been more spot-on. This piece withstands all that is thrown its way. I tested it out with aggressive sax and trumpet runs and the SM7B did not distort on tape or in the mix. It also completely captured every subtle nuance of lead and backing vocals. The acoustic guitar, mic’d from 6 to 8 inches between the body and neck, was a beautiful buttery sound. I also like the ergonomic design of the SM7B, as I’m usually recording backstage in an arena or at my hotel room desk, not using a mic stand. I actually mount it on a foldable clarinet stand and it is the perfect height. Positioning is always key and with a little experimentation, anyone can get the sounds they are after with the SM7B.
The SM7B is able to handle a wide dynamic range of differences, from blaring full horn sections and an array of vocalists recording in both arenas and hotel rooms alike. It’s incredibly balanced, never distorts, built to last and requires low maintenance – just a few tweaks of the EQ and you’ll be on your way. This truly is a “secret” weapon that every performer should keep close.
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Mark Brown Studio Manager 07778 295555