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Shure 58 or Sennhieser E835?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by VipermanGTX, May 4, 2004.

  1. VipermanGTX

    VipermanGTX Member

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    Speak your mind. I'm interested in what people think about these two awsome vocal Mics. Its a heated arguement at our school.
     
  2. DMXtools

    DMXtools Active Member

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    Both are excellent live vocal mics... but I wouldn't go as far as calling either one awesome, just good, solid, reliable instruments. I'm more familiar with (and therefore a little more comfortable with) the SM58... I have 9 in my collection. Occasionally a vocalist will prefer to use his or her own mic. In a couple of those cases their own mic. was an E835. I needed to make very minor changes to the gain and EQ - very little difference in the sound. As for durability in a live situation, I can only vouch for the Shures - mine have been through hell and just keep on chugging. My newest is on its third windscreen - for the rest, I've lost count... why do so many singers want to be Roger Daltrey? I don't have enough experience with the Sennheiser to say whether it would stand up as well under the same physical punishment.

    John
     
  3. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ok..here's my mind..you asked for it. ;).

    The SM or Beta 58 has been around forever...its one of the more durable mic's for taking a beating and thensome while still sounding predictable and working without a hitch. You CAN pound it as a tent stake into the ground and the thing won't die..it just may dent. You can put it thru HELL in the WORSE conditions or outdoor rainstorm, and it will never ever fail you. BUT...Its popularity has to do with the fact that nearly everyone in Sound KNOWS what the thing sounds like, knows what it does and knows HOW to EQ and use it to get what they want out of it to get by. Its fairly simple for mic's. EQing feedback out of a 58 is basic sound 101--at high gain it screams at 4khz, and 640-800hz...and for general all-purpose EQ for nearly ANY application, you tweek a bit around 2k and 8k to level it out--and you are done. You can pre-set an EQ on a channel that has a 58 or 57, without even sound checking--its THAT predictable. BUT---here is where things overall differ and what is more important to consider: You could be a sound guy who likes to use what "works"--like a 58--cause its popular & durable, and every muso knows what one is and every sound guy knows how to make it do what they want to get by, OR..you can be a sound guy who likes to use mic's that are clear, transparent and do a good job on picking up and reproducing accurately (and with less or no coloring of the sound) what goes into it... So then IF you have to EQ you are EQing the INSTRUMENT or VOCAL or input sound, and NOT compensating for the POS Mic. If you chose to be the latter--a guy who likes stuff to sound good, then check out the other mic's that are out there or specialty mic's, use them and LISTEN to how they reproduce what is put into them and how it sounds different-it sounds like the instrument...and you will find the 58 may still be a "standard" to have around for those "whatever" purposes, but will not be a favorite or a first-choice for you anymore. A 58 on a guitar sounds the same as a 58 on a vocal and sounds the same as it does on a piano or over a conga...no real change in sound quality whatsoever and anyone with ears can tell the difference between a 58 or a GOOD mic. But if you use mic's designed for a wide range of uses, and has a nice transparent response, like an M88, or Audix OM7 or D4, or some of the Senn or Audio Technica toys, and suddenly WOW--you suddenly HEAR the instrument and its nuances and sound as it should be, and you don't hear the mic...and THEN you become a sound guy. Your choice on what you wanna be... One last thing to consider--if the 58 is "so good" for sound quality..then WHY do nearly all vocals on recordings NOT even use them??? Cause they are recording the VOCAL or the INSTRUMENT and want it done accurately--and not record the mic coloring...

    thats it...
    -wolf
     
  4. seanb

    seanb Member

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    I hope for the sanity of all people who must sit through your mix that you are actually mixing. There is more to soundchecks than just doing rough work on individual channels. A little bit of EQ to correct for mic response is fine (very little if proper mic placement is used) but most of your EQ should be concentrated on how this input will fit into the mix. Maybe your backup vocalist is fighting with the lead - drop some of the 3k and 600hz (YMMV) from the backup to give them some distance.

    Although I understand you are saying that you can do some EQ without hearing the source, we should't give beginning soundpeople the impression that once you understand the response of a given microphone (or source) you can skip the soundcheck and go straight to performance :)

    (Although, as an aside, Big Mick who has done FOH for metallica for a long time is well known for skipping soundchecks with them. He does linechecks with the instrument techs and goes into performance. He says that he's been with Metallica for long enough to know what's going to come off that stage when the show starts)
     
  5. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Apparently I haven't passed sound 101, seeing as I've never EQ'ed for an SM58... ;-) How does one EQ for a 58? Looking at the response graph, I'm going to take a guess and say that I'd up the low end a bit, and take down the high end from 3 to 10 KHz.

    Am I reading this right?
     
  6. DMXtools

    DMXtools Active Member

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    If a 58 is used for close, handheld vocals (the application it was designed for), you definitely do NOT want to "up the low end a bit" because of the proximity effect. This is a pretty common problem with cardioid mics, not just the 58, where having the mic really close to the sound source accentuates the bass frequencies.

    Because of the cardioid pattern, it pays to look at the graphs of polar response as well as just the frequency response - they show how the pickup pattern veries with frequency. At low frequencies, the pattern expands at the sides and rear, moving from cardioid to almost omnidirectional as the frequency drops. Between that and the proximity effect, it's a good idea to roll off gently below about 300 Hz and cut pretty steeply below about 120 Hz, both to reduce the chance of low frequency feedback from the change in pickup pattern and to reduce "pop" from a close vocalist.

    Unfortunately, Shure only posts polar graphs for a few specific frequencies. 58's develop a node at the rear somewhere between 3-5 KHz that needs to be found and notched out of both the monitor and main mixes and another, not quite as severe, around 700 Hz. That pretty-much takes care of EQing the mic... in an anechoic chamber. In a live situation, you have to take into account room accoustics and speaker placement as well.

    Again, not having much experience with the Sennheiser, I can only say that in my limited experience I only needed minor tweaks to EQ and gain setting to get it to sound like the Shures.

    The SM58 is my first choice for a live vocal mic, but that has more to do with ruggedness than sound quality - when budding young rock musicians try to emulate Roger Daltry in a low-dough, "5 bands for 5 bucks" show, it's nice to have mics that will last through all five bands and still sound reasonably good.

    John
     
  7. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya,
    What DMXTools said is Right on the money! I couldn't say it better. GREAT information.
    Overall you don't want to boost--especially the low end for the reasons said already...the idea being to take out the peaks or harshness and level it out. For myself--On a 58 I cut/dip the EQ around 4k range. 6k can be a bit too sibilant sometimes too. At 600-800hz I cut a bit as well because the "hollowness" and proximity feedback that can come at a high gain situation can get out of control fast if you don't. 2k or 8k is adjusted ever so slightly ONLY if needed for clarity.. Thats usually more then enough to get thru. You're very smart to read the polar patterns and frequency response patterns--they can show you the sensitivity's noted for those mic's--and if you look at it you can see where at 4k it jumps high and you can bet that if you have feedback it will be first in that range and anyharmonics will come second.

    Good way to learn a bit about this--put up a mic by a stage monitor, bring up the gain and volume. Then slide your hand with a slight cup in front of the mic--you will first hear 4k scream at you if ithasn't already done that....next as you get that cup or hand in front of the mic (like an inch) you will hear that second set of frequencys--the 600-800 range. Pull your hand away and it goes away--that proximity effect around 600-800 will happen when a singer grabs and gets right up on the mic if you don't fix it first. The "cup" of a hand roughly simulates an open mouth...

    -wolf
     
  8. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya,

    Hehehe..no I wasn't saying to budding young sound folks that you should pre-set an EQ and go without a sound check. Sound checks are most important for the reasons you state. I was simply stating in the context of the discussion about mic's that with a 58--its all pretty darn predictable and based sadly more on that mic's "response" and coloring. I've been mixing for 18 years on national acts and corporate without a single complaint..I LIKE to mix and not just sit back. so no worries.. ;) Sometimes you don't get time for a sound check--or the persons who are on just do not show up til the show..and if you know your mic's or approximately how they will respond, you can get things 95% there and most importantly have no feedback, and finish the rest of the major tweeking in the first 30 seconds of the show, and then you can mix the levels and not fudge with the EQ the whole show. I hate EQ'ing a mic and am a big believer if you balance your system right, mic things right, you do not need much if any EQ to a good mic...and I've done it that way successfully for my career...of course its (EQ) sometimes needed to help with some instruments or vocals ..but with a 58 its moreso needed just to level it out to some kind of workable base. And that is the context of the discussion I was replying to..

    Big Mick has been around forever tho I've only run into him once in my days.. Same for Paul. He knows his stuff--knows his mic's, knows the voices, knows the instruments and knows the systems he uses inside and out. Heck--he has improvised some of the micing techniques he does so much he is truely an innovator in sound. When you have been around the block and thensome on every kind of gig out there, and work with the same group over time in all sorts of venues and arenas like he has, you can make do with just a line check..but newbies to sound--learn all that you can from doing a proper sound check..and then expect it to change 80% when you get people in the room, and the temperature and humidity all change the venue acoustic settings you had from Sound Check--cause it ALWAYS does.

    -wolf
     
  9. seanb

    seanb Member

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    excellent words, wolf

    Another thought - don't place too much weight on the frequency response graph. While it might give you ideas as to the major limitations or issues with the response of a given capsule - it applies only if you are performing in an anechoic chamber! Typically, the frequency graph has very little to do with how the mic sounds, or feels, or will respond in a live or studio situation. Try and experiment!
     
  10. VipermanGTX

    VipermanGTX Member

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    So very trues. The Frequency Response is graphed in a Air tight room andm well i'm not sure of the process but the point is due to berrametric pressure and the area your in using the mic. You can't realy say, "oh if you take out this Frequency just over 4khz, You'll be fine for that one mic." Not True. Its all about the time and the place. Well not so much time, but you get the point.
     

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