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SM58 but better

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SM58 but better

Postby dfira » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:03 pm

Hi guys, i have been out of the music tech game for a long time but looking to get back in.

I'm going to be needing something essentially for just recording speech, but since my budget is tight, I think I would do better with a nice interface (Tascam, US-2x2HR (just announced)) and a good dynamic mic, than buying a cheap condensor and all the associated troubles of a condensor mic (elevated background noise, room colourisation etc)

I don't really know what is considered good these days, so imy happy to go with a trusty SM58, but am i making a rookie mistake? Is there a new king in town at that price point that I'm unaware of?
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:42 pm

The Neat Worker Bee comes in at less money (currently selling for £80) than an SM58 and would be a huge IMO step up in sound quality, especially for speech recording. FWIW I don't subscribe to the theory that capacitor mics pick up more background noise or room sound than dynamics, the ratio of background to wanted audio is a function of source to mic distance and the polar pattern of the mic*.

For speech the extra sensitivity of a capacitor over a dynamic will mean you need less gain in the preamp which will result in quieter recordings. An SM58 is designed to reproduce loud singing voices very close up (1" or less) so need lots of gain for spoken word at 8-10", plus the loss of proximity effect at that distance will result in a thin sound.

WRT interfaces, most if not all, of the current crop of low/mid range interfaces will outperform a domestic recording space so pick the one that suits your needs terms of I/O and features.

* While the more extended frequency response of many capacitor mics will pick up more high frequency ambience that is easy to control with a LPF. Most ambient noise is low frequency anyway and any HF there is if much easier to eliminate using screens baffles or even just closing the windows and doors.
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:11 pm

Welcome!

Sam's got the show on the road with a great recommendation! :thumbup:

I'd definitely avoid a dynamic unless you're going for that up-close-and-personal DJ-type sound. If that is what you want then check out the Rode Procaster, the Electrovoice RE320, the Electrovoice RE20 (although I prefer the sound of the 320) and the 'daddy', the Shure SM7B. There's also a new kid on the block. The Aston Element which is worth checking out.

If you want the natural sound of a voice recorded less up-close then a capacitor mic is a better route. The Worker Bee is a great mic at that price. Also check out the Audio-Technica AT2020/2035 (great value for money) and the Rode M3 (a 'surprise' mic that I've just started using on my voice).

I also like the sound of the Blue Ember on spoken word...

But in reality there are dozens of mics that would fit the bill - and all better for spoken word than the SM58.

Happy hunting! :)
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Alba » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:25 pm

57 ;)
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:56 pm

A 58 by any other name.....
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:47 pm

I haven't used it in anger yet but I've just bought an Aston Stealth and I think it might do a very nice job on spoken word. I might get chance to get a sample or two done this weekend.
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Dave Rowles » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:21 pm

blinddrew wrote:I haven't used it in anger yet but I've just bought an Aston Stealth and I think it might do a very nice job on spoken word. I might get chance to get a sample or two done this weekend.

Sorry, jealous. So want to build up enough funds to splash on one!
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:30 pm

I had a lucky windfall. I've only had a quick play with acoustic guitar and some vocals so far but I think it will do the job that I was really after it for so I'm fairly happy with it at the moment. Will give it a more extensive run at the weekend hopefully.
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Alba » Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:07 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:A 58 by any other name.....

... would sound so sweet.
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:59 pm

The one thing you could never accuse an SM58 of sounding is 'sweet' ;)
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby dfira » Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:30 pm

Great advice! Thank you, and sorry for taking so long to respond, life has been pretty hectic.

You've opened my eyes, for that price i should get a condenser, I've looked and listened around Aston anything sounds incredible (especially origin) but waaay over budget. I'm inclined to get an AT2020 probably second hand. A lot of mics i listened too sounded very resonanty and/or colouring the sound in other ways.

Worker bee was a nice surprise to me. My voice is rather nasally already though so i think i want to avoid warm sounding mics.

Does anyone know if black friday is a thing for audio gear???
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby CS70 » Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:01 pm

dfira wrote: I'm inclined to get an AT2020 probably second hand. A lot of mics i listened too sounded very resonanty and/or colouring the sound in other ways.

The AT2020 is a great little mic in the proper hands. Quiet, good sound, detailed and not hyped. Built like a tank. If it sounds bad, it ain't the mic. Conversely, you may need (to make) a good space to make it work because, being a good mic, it *will* capture it. Nothing more than a duvet at your back and possibly one at the front and you're set. A larger room better than a small one. The usual.

For the money the 2020s go used, they're an unbelievable bargain.

Does anyone know if black friday is a thing for audio gear???


Oh yeah.

But buying used, it's black Friday every day..
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby dfira » Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:20 pm

Your comments concur exactly with what i picked up from the various shootouts I've listened to.

Second hand, i can see them here for about €60+ but new they are only €87. So I'm wondering if on black Friday, i might pick up a new for the price of a used.

How does it work? Just go to the usual places (online) on the 27th and the prices will be automatically reduced?

Thanks
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby CS70 » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:47 am

Basically. The largest retailers (Gear4Music, Thomann etc) have already a page where they explain what happens but the usual is thet Black Friday lasts the whole week so better start looking from Monday or so..
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Re: SM58 but better

Postby dfira » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:53 pm

I have looked at both sites, but can't find any information about black Friday. Would you mind getting me a direct link please? Thanks!
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