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Better alternatives to the Shure SM58 mic for live use?

NeilKenSingerNeilKenSinger 2.0 PRO Posts: 113
Hi all, I know the Shure SM58 is one of the industry standard vocal mics for sound quality, durability etc however like a few people here I think it lacks clarity at times. I'm therefore looking for a better alternative, for a reasonable price, which will really give my vocals that clarity and sparkle and cut through the mix with a live band. I'm an 80s melodic hard rock type singer btw. What do you recommend?

Comments

  • DannyOc3anDannyOc3an 2.0 PRO Posts: 301
    edited July 14
    Definetely check out the Telefunken M80... it shines for clarity, nuances, acoustic stuff, etc. Maybe a bit on a higher price but well worth it, especially customizing its looks in their web site. It's great for vocals

    For a budget, check out the sE Electronics V7, I haven't tried it but supposedly has more detail than the 58

    There are few mic reviews in youtube, try the "podcastage" channel

  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,590
    The Sennheiser 945 has been mentioned here before. It's supposed to capture your voice really well and clear. It is also a dynamic microphone. It's not cheap, but not a fortune either. I can get it new around 175 euros where I live.

    If there is a possibility to try it out, go with that. The 945 is definitely a microphone I would consider for my voice if I went performing.

    Hope you find something great! My experience is also pretty much limited to the SM58 right now!
  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,273
    look in to the heil pr35
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,800
    Sennheiser e 835 is a budget-friendly one, that is pretty good
  • NeilKenSingerNeilKenSinger 2.0 PRO Posts: 113
    Thanks for the replies. I've also heard good things about the Shure SM86 - it's a condenser mic designed for live use, and therefore has a higher frequency response than the SM58. Another possibility is the Shure Beta 58, which has a hotter output and a slightly brighter sound than the SM58.
  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,273
    I use a beta 58 and pretty happy with it. I thought you’re trying to get away from shure that’s why I didn’t mention it. Also take a listen to the shure beta 87
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,590
    You're going to have to order a mic or try them out somewhere. A local music store might be able to provide some more advice. Of course, research the mics very well before buying, but there are several reasonably priced options to improve on the SM58 as you have seen here.

    Let us know what you choose!
  • NeilKenSingerNeilKenSinger 2.0 PRO Posts: 113
    edited July 30

    I use a beta 58 and pretty happy with it. I thought you’re trying to get away from shure that’s why I didn’t mention it. Also take a listen to the shure beta 87


    I'm not against Shure, I was just looking for something with a brighter sound than the SM58. The Beta 58 might do it, or possibly the SM86, although I have no idea if the latter will suit singing in a rock band?
  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,273
    i love my beta58 i havent used the 86 nor looked at the specs but id bet its basically like an 87A with a little less exaggerated high end and smoother midrange and not phantom power
  • NinaSTNinaST 2.0 PRO Posts: 79
    Hi Everyone!
    I didn't feel like starting a new thread, because I have the same question more or less.. XD

    I have the Shure Beta 58A, but I am wondering if the Shure Super 55 Deluxe would be a good addition.
    I was actually just looking to rent this type of microphone somewhere for a photoshoot I'm planning soon.
    But then I found the reviews of this Shure Super 55 Deluxe microphone and I got so curious about it.
    Does anyone have experience with this microphone? Is it worth buying it if I already have the Shure Beta 58A?
  • DannyOc3anDannyOc3an 2.0 PRO Posts: 301
    edited July 31
    @NinaST I guess it depends on your intended use... Both are dynamic mics, so are built with a live use in mind, on stage. Dynamic mics have better feedback resistance so they can be used in front of stage monitors, they won't capture much ambient sound or other sounds besides your voice, and can handle some physical stress from being carried from gig to gig

    While a condenser mic will be more appropriate for recording if you have a home studio or plan to record your own vocals.. These will provide a more detailed recording, capturing all of the voice's nuances and details compared to dynamic mics, but are not suitable for a live use because they do feedback in presence of monitors and will capture every sound around them. They are meant to sit in the studio and not being carried much..

    You could record with a dynamic mic too, there's no issue, only that a condenser will always provide much detail a dynamic can't capture

    So I guess it depends on what you plan to do....
  • NeilKenSingerNeilKenSinger 2.0 PRO Posts: 113
    edited July 31



    While a condenser mic will be more appropriate for recording if you have a home studio or plan to record your own vocals.. These will provide a more detailed recording, capturing all of the voice's nuances and details compared to dynamic mics, but are not suitable for a live use because they do feedback in presence of monitors and will capture every sound around them. They are meant to sit in the studio and not being carried much..

    This isn't strictly true as there are some condenser mics which are designed for live use, such as the Shure SM86, however for studio condenser mics what you say is true. What I like about condenser mics is that they have a brighter and more detailed sound than dynamic mics, however I dislike the fact that they require phantom power as that is not always convenient.

    Another option I'm considering is the Sennheiser e945 - a dynamic mic with a brighter sound than the SM58, which has very good reviews.

  • DannyOc3anDannyOc3an 2.0 PRO Posts: 301
    I agree about some condensers being designed for stage, however very few are... KMS 105 is the king of that category in my opinion...

    Although those stage condensers are small diaphragm, and for studio, usually vocals are better suited with large diaphragms to capture more detail and some of that "air" ..

    The e945 is a pretty good dynamic. Have you watched and listened to shootouts on YT? There are some good ones to listen to with headphones.... Sweetwater page has some shootouts too and you can download a DAW version of those to hear the raw recording

    As for @NinaST question, I think it depends much on her intended purpose and budget... If recording in studio I'll save some $$ for a large diaphragm condenser instead of having 2 dynamics... If not recording or if already has a LDC, then the Super 55 is as cool as it gets for live use, and can record some casual takes too B)
  • NinaSTNinaST 2.0 PRO Posts: 79
    Thanks for your advice!
    And you're totally right. At this moment there isn't a lot of use for me for 2 dynamic microphones, as I don't do many lives now. As for the photoshoot, I already found one I can rent. So I'm just gonna sit this one out, until I REALLY need it.
    Currently I'm mostly recording at home. But since I think it's about time to try to become a professional vocalist/vocal coach, I'm going to record all of my samples in a professional studio, because I'm not happy with the results at home.
    I have a Rode NT1-A, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and I use Ableton to edit the audio. I don't know if it's because I suck at mixing, or if I'm lacking some equipment (like a compressor perhaps?), but my vocals just don't sit well in the mix. I'm actually considering deleting all of my home recordings on youtube, cuz the recordings sound so amateuristic and I know I can sing better.
  • DannyOc3anDannyOc3an 2.0 PRO Posts: 301
    @NinaST With the Rode NT1A, the Scarlett and Ableton, you should be capable of doing a very pro mix.... No need for extra equipment in my opinion.. Having some decent plugins such as a compressor, an EQ, maybe some delay and reverb and you can do an impressive recording. I fancy the "CLA VOCALS" plugin for doing all the stuff for me when I'm not into editing each and every effect and just want a decent All in One solution. It provides a very nice sit-in-the-mix effect with barely any tweaking. It has everything in one plugin. Maybe check it out!
    Anyway, glad to help!!
  • NinaSTNinaST 2.0 PRO Posts: 79
    edited August 1
    Oh thanks a lot! I will check it out! :)
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,800
    @NinaST can you post a link to an example of your YT mixes? then it would be easier to figure out what the problem is with the mix. Ableton comes with some good plugins, so i don't even think you need to get any additional plugins, at least not until you tried the ones you already have). although the Waves stuff is pretty cool (like the CLA @DannyOc3an mentioned), and there are some really good other brands too. but remember, engineering and mixing are complex skills in themselves. especially compressors are not that easy to use. it might be less about buying more gear and more about looking into the craft. i suggest you check out Warren Huart's YT channel for some really good info.

    also, if you have a YT pro account (not sure if this is the correct name), you can hot-swap audio tracks, so you don't lose the views. just saying, before you delete anything and then regret it later

  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 4,226
    @NinaST I have the NT-1, shure super 55 deluxe, shure beta 87c, shure sm58 and sennheiser e935 at my disposal although only the rode is mine. All my experience is with them for either karaoke or recording but I would recommend the 55 deluxe if you are considering another mic. Ive recorded with it and use it for karaoke and it does give a modern old school tone. Its different enough from what you have and is good for live performance. The sm58 and e935 both sound fairly similar to me, the 87c is a condenser that my girlfriend has used live and the voice cuts through much better than the sm58, but from memory the levels needed closer monitoring so that there was no feed back. Here are links to assignments where you can hear me on the 87c, nt-1 and 55 deluxe.

    https://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/15644/assignment-61-demos-human-nature-michael-jackson-sailing-ships-whitesnake-due-may-10-2021#latest

    https://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/11737/assignment-24-budapest-delilah-due-22th-july-2019-23-59-us-est-posts-and-comment#latest

    https://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/15063/christmas-songs#latest
  • NinaSTNinaST 2.0 PRO Posts: 79
    @Klaus_T
    Here is an example:
    I think I just used some reverb and compression actually, and perhaps an equalizer too. That's pretty much all I know about "mixing". I will check out Warren Huart's channel, thanks! :)
    Thanks for your Youtube pro account tip! I actually only have like 50 to 100 views, though. So it won't be a big loss anyway. :p (Actually it's more than I thought. :D )

    @Wigs Thanks a lot for your examples! I like the sound of the 55 deluxe and the nt-1 the most. However, I also noticed a big improvement in your singing skills and that might also be the reason why I like those examples better. But I felt that the 87c version sounded more "distant", or I don't know how you would describe it.

    Actually there is another microphone I'm interested in: The Shure SM7B. Apparently many rock singers use it, including Anthony Vincent for example.
    I've been experimenting with distortion and fry, so it might be interesting for me. However, I heard it's not ideal for female vocals? I don't know if it's because of the volume or the range difference. But I usually sing quite loud and I'm an alto, so it might be ok. I'm also looking into becoming an online vocal coach, so I would like to have a good mic for that, I don't know if the Shure SM7B would be better than the other mics for that purpose. Perhaps I should just buy both the 55 deluxe and the SM7B, try them out and return one of them. :p Actually the NT1-A isn't even mine, so I should look for an alternative anyway.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,800
    edited August 4
    it doesn't sound as bad as i imagined from your description :) i think you did a good job recording and mixing the vocals. if anything maybe the vocals are a bit loud. bring them down a bit and maybe use some sort of master buss compression to glue it together. in ableton, just put a compressor on the master track, maybe it helps
  • NinaSTNinaST 2.0 PRO Posts: 79
    @Klaus_T
    Thanks! :) I tend to be overly perfectionistic when it comes to my own vocals. :D
    I will try to make the track better, following your advice. :)
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 4,226
    Mixing is hard to do right as Im discovering my self. It takes alot of practice and trial and error if you dont have a mentor. I found having proper speakers and a bit of room treatment helps to hear things properly. Although my singing has improved, so has my equipment and production knowledge between those videos so that has something to do with it as well.
  • TDeaneTDeane 3.0 Streaming Posts: 14
    Been using AKG D5 for most gigs for years now replaced all my SM58's with em built like tank as is the SM58, produces more of your natural voice and clarity, works great at rejecting background noise especially onstage, really easy to mix and is around the same price as SM58.
  • DannyOc3anDannyOc3an 2.0 PRO Posts: 301
    edited August 8
    @NeilKenSinger
    for your consideration... also check out other videos on his channel where he compares sennheisers and others to the 58. Grab your headphones



  • NeilKenSingerNeilKenSinger 2.0 PRO Posts: 113

    @NeilKenSinger
    for your consideration... also check out other videos on his channel where he compares sennheisers and others to the 58. Grab your headphones

    Many thanks for these. I think watching these 'shootouts' on Youtube is a great idea. It's really useful to watch reviews of other musical equipment you're thinking of buying too!

  • Stricky73Stricky73 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5
    Id hate to throw a wrench in here but I love my Audix OM5 and 7's
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