Update from the second record. 10/24/10
So I haven’t even considered using a dynamic mic to track vocals since retiring my four track cassette recorder. I’ve stuck to using tube condensers ever since pretty good sounding – and inexpensive – large diaphragms from Australia, Russia and China became readily available. I’ve been using a Rode NTK – which I love – for years. But getting it to sit right in a loud, busy mix takes some doing and suppressing the ambient room noise when recording quieter pieces has always been a pain. So I was really surprised and delighted to discover the SM7B Dynamic that Damien Rasmussen suggested I try on “Already Need”. We had originally tracked the vocals back in Sept when I was in North Carolina for the first record. But we really weren’t happy with the results on that song and put it in the “for later” pile. I have had it on my to do list all summer. I gave it another shot using the NTK and just wasn’t really happy with that either… Then Damien suggested I try a dynamic…part of the problem was that I was having trouble singing really loud into the condensers – they would either overload or I would have to back so far off the mic that the room would start intruding on the sound…like most musicians who record with improvised setups I don’t have a vocal booth. So he shows up one afternoon with this neato “booth on a stick”… for real.. it’s made by SE and is essentially an insulated semi circular frame that bolts to the mic stand and keeps ambient room noise from sneaking in around the sides and back of the mic.. so that really helped eliminate the room noise leaking into the condensers when I was really driving the Pre’s during wide open songs with plenty of space like “We are the others” or “All I need”, but it didn’t help with the busy, loud songs. So then Damien pulls out this mic that looks like it belonged stuck to Howard Stern’s mouth, said it was a dynamic and suggested I try it on “Already Need”. I said sure, put the box on the floor and forgot all about it.. About a week later, with nothing to show for my efforts using condensers, Damien asks me whether I’ve tried the SM7 yet and to give it a try. So long story shorter…I hooked it up Friday night and… it’s brilliant! Big. Punchy.. Easily handles going from a whisper to a shriek without so much as a burp.. Plus there is practically zero noise floor.. I should have paid closer attention to those articles where Bono talked about using SM57’s on his lead vocals in the studio… So. the upshot is: “Already need” is in the can and ready to be mixed. Yay! …AND. I’ve eaten condenser crow and am really excited to try the dynamic on a big’in new ditty called “Back and Beyond”.
In Texas there are only two sizes…little’ns and Big’ins… I’ll save that story for another post..
If you don’t know Damien Rasmussen, you’re missing out. http://damienrasmussen.com