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#2781997 - 05/31/16 05:21 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Hi guys,

Long time since I checked in sorry (PS just read the announcement at the top talking about the different forum - have I been posting in the wrong place all this time? Idiot!)

My studio setup is now basically complete other than the monitors. I'm pretty certain I'll get the Neumann KH310s but it's just a matter of saving up (and getting my mixing skills to a point where I feel I'm worthy of expensive monitors).

Just a quick question - since buying the Shure SM7B I've only tested it out a few times and have only started recording vocals with it recently. I'm running it straight into my Edirol UA-25. I expected to be blown away by the sound (considering the hype surrounding this mic) but was left feeling a bit flat. The vocals sound ok, but not nearly as impressive as I'd expected. Some say that the SM7B sounds average to below average until you pair it with a good preamp which is capable of giving a lot of clean gain. Apparently many preamps can't provide the gain required. The other alternative is a cloudlifter (which Shure recommend if using the mic for voiceover work).

I sing/scream/yell pretty loudly, so I haven't had a problem getting decent sized waveforms into my DAW (loud parts peak at about -3dB.) This is with the preamp sensitivity on the UA-25 turned to about 12:30pm. Admittedly I am very close to the mic and am yelling really loudly. I'm not noticing any preamp hiss (or maybe my ears aren't trained enough to hear small amounts of preamp noise).

The question is, would a cloudlifter or a better preamp (with lots of clean gain) make the SM7B sound better? Everyone seems to suggest this, but I thought this would only be for situations where you're singing quieter. It's strange - people suggest the cloudlifter/preamp thing even for loud vocalists who aren't struggling to get a decent signal. Surely the preamp and cloudlifter don't make the mic 'work' harder, but simply boost what is already there. Can't this just be done in my DAW for the same result? I'd love to be able to make this mic sound better if possible, but I'm pretty confused by the advice that's around.

Thanks in advance.

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#2782069 - 05/31/16 10:21 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
My other forum is fairly recent, and questions like this are perfect for posting in the Audio Central section. So please join us there! thu

Microphone hype is very strong, as I'm sure you know. For studio use (not necessarily live) I'd always choose a large diaphragm condenser mic over almost any dynamic. I love my audio technica 4033 (which isn't even that large), and I've heard nothing but good things about their 2020 model which costs only $100. Even top pros praise the 2020, so if I needed another LDC that's probably what I'd get.

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Moderator:  Ethan Winer