Regardless of your recording, engineering, or producing experience, you’ve likely heard of the infamous Shure SM7B Dynamic mic. Renowned for its use by legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Logic, Eminem, J Cole and more, its quality has stood the test of time all while remaining comparatively affordable. The SM7B is a dynamic microphone (as opposed to commonly used condenser mics), so it has a darker tone while still resulting in a crisp pickup. It has a cardioid polar pattern, which is exceptional in picking up sound directly in front of the microphone and rejecting sound from the back and sides. A microphone with high-level dynamics like the SM7B practically brings studio level recording quality to your home set up for a more-than-reasonable price.
Introduced in 1973, this dynamic cardioid microphone was originally the “SM5” before a few changes were made throughout the 1990’s. The SM series became Michael Jackson’s engineer Bruce Swedien’s microphone of choice when recording vocals, including on the Quincy Jones-produced album Thriller. Given that most industry-standard microphones are condenser microphones, it’s rare to see a dynamic mic perform on the level as the SM7B, which is known for its exceptional performance as follows:
- Flat, wide-range frequency response for exceptionally clean reproduction of both music and speech
- Internal “air suspension” shock isolation eliminates mechanical noise transmission
- Highly effective pop filter eliminates the need for any add-on protection against explosive breath sounds, even for close-up vocals or narration
- Bass rolloff and mid-range emphasis (presence boost)
Perhaps the biggest draw to artists, audio engineers, and producers is its more than reasonable price point. Priced at $399.00, the SM7B is an easy decision in comparison to other quality microphones on the market. Other industry-standard microphones cost several thousand dollars, like the Neumann U 87 ($3695), AKG C414 ($1300), and Manley Reference condenser mic ($3800). Although there are quality options of high level microphones, nothing can beat the industry quality of the SM7B for its price point. Its quality alone allows the vocal mixing process to become smoother. If you want industry level vocals, it always helps to have an industry-level microphone, especially for a reasonable price. The Shure SM7B should be at the top of your list.