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Poor Mic quality

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Poor Mic quality

Postby Giggo96 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:49 am

Hi all,

So in my set up i use a Boss VE8 as my mixer, its a powerful vocal and guitar processor.

I have a Stagg SDM50 mic, very cheap mic, how ever it was recommended to me as a good replica of the Shure SM58.

When I turn on my speakers and plug my mic into the boss with the EQs all flat, there is a horrible mid range sound from the mic, when I turn down the mids on the EQs (pretty much completely take the mids all the way down as far as it can) it sounds better, I then normally need a tiny cut on the lows and a slight boost on the highs and Im not too far away.

Is this bad/rough mid range sound due to the poor mic?

I have been looking at several other mics, from the sm58 to the beta 58, AKG D5, and t.bone mb58 beta

Will changing my mic most likely improve the problem im having here? Is it likely that the cheap mic i have now just offers a bad sound from the mid range?

thanks guys look forward to some responses
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:55 am

How high is your gain?

and no matter what, you should get a better mic. the SM58 has millions of shows under its belt. You can't go wrong and for 100 bucks, it will last the rest of your life unless you barf on it or the drummer steals it
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Wonks » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:17 am

I've been doing a lot of mic comparisons recently, and whilst I haven't tested every single cheap mic out there, I have found that almost none of the SM58 copies come that close to sounding like an SM58 and normally have drawbacks like being very sibilant or far too much handling noise.

Excessive bass or treble is common, but I haven't found one that's had too much middle yet.

The SM58 is a very good mic. Yes there are better ones, but it does work very well. The AKG D5 is very good for the money (currently £49) though it can be a bit bright on some voices but will suit others better than a 58. The Prodipe TT1 (£33) does very well in comparison to a 58, with more output and a solid, clear sound.

The best very low-price mic I've tested is the Behringer XM8500 (£14). You need to cut the bass and boost the treble a bit, but it does then sound quite like a 58. It also has a much louder output than the 58.

I've done reviews on a lot of these mics in the past month or so in the User Reviews section.

Another one to consider is the Sennheiser E835, which at £79 (Thomann) is a bit less than a 58 but again, one that many people prefer to the 58. I haven't got one but I've got an E845 arriving today, which is supposed to be a better mic (and as it's currently only £89 at Thomann is a real bargain).

I'll let you know what I think of the E845 ASAP once it arrives.

The Beta 58A is certainly a better mic than the SM58, but you are paying a fair bit more money for that bit extra.
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:43 am

Wonks wrote:I've
Another one to consider is the Sennheiser E835, which at £79 (Thomann) is a bit less than a 58 but again, one that many people prefer to the 58. I haven't got one but I've got an E845 arriving today, which is supposed to be a better mic (and as it's currently only £89 at Thomann is a real bargain).

I bought a couple of used e835's some time ago and, while they are rarely first out of the box they are fine mics particularly for female vocal and have turned out to be perfect where others haven't.

They're smoother than a '58 with a fuller bottom end and crisper top. Better for zooming in on a small voice or filling a room but not so good for being a jigsaw piece in a busy FOH mix.

Also quite good on fiddle if needed and environment allows.
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby blinddrew » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:36 am

Giggo96 wrote:When I turn on my speakers and plug my mic into the boss with the EQs all flat, there is a horrible mid range sound from the mic, when I turn down the mids on the EQs (pretty much completely take the mids all the way down as far as it can) it sounds better, I then normally need a tiny cut on the lows and a slight boost on the highs and Im not too far away.

Is this bad/rough mid range sound due to the poor mic?
Yes it's a cheap mic, but I suspect there's something else going on. Do your speakers have a direct mic in option? If so check that first and see if the sound is replicated. Likewise if you have any other kind of mixer or pre-amp you can use to see if it's a setting on the boss that's causing the issue. Alternatively do you have any other mic you could plug in?
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Wonks » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:03 am

Have you got a multimeter? It's worth checking that the mic is wired for balanced operation (the spec says it's balanced, but sometimes I've found this not to be the case). For balanced operation, there should be a DC resistance reading of around 600 ohms between pins 2 and 3, and no connection between pin 1 and either pin 2 or 3. If pins 1 and 3 are connected, or pins 2 and 3 have are open circuit then it's wired for unbalanced output (I've found that a lot of the cheaper mics are).

if it is unbalanced and if you've got phantom power turned on (turn it off if it is, you don't need it), then there's a good chance that the phantom power is putting a DC voltage across the coil, forcing the diaphragm to one end of its movement and causing the bad sound.

If you've got another mic lead, then it's also worth trying that. It doesn't take too much to damage a cable (especially if it's been stood on, or you roll a studio chair across it etc.) and the sound can suffer.
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:35 am

Wonks wrote:Another one to consider is the Sennheiser E835 ... I haven't got one but I've got an E845 arriving today, which is supposed to be a better mic ...

I've got both 835 and 845 - I prefer the 835 as it's more forgiving of moving slightly off-mic (unsurprising as the 845 is hypercardiod I think).

Be very interested to hear what you think about the 845, especially compared to the Prodipe :thumbup:

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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Wonks » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:23 pm

The e845 has arrived. It's certainly a nice mic. Pretty flat response, so not as bright as even an SM58, but certainly clear enough. Bass end isn't over loud, so you can keep the EQ flat. My hearing is damaged, so I'm probably missing everything over 9kHz anyway, so for most people, it will be more than bright enough. Handling noise is certainly very low, and most of what there is is cable, rather than mic derived.

I didn't find it that sensitive to small off-axis movement, though it is a bit more sensitive to distance from the grille then an SM58. So probably not the best mic for an inexperienced stage singer who will move the mic about a bit, but good for an experienced one who keeps it in front of their mouth. I did buy the short-lived e865 when the evolution range first came out, and that had a very tight pattern indeed - a very extreme hyper-cardioid pattern - and overall a bit thin sounding. Rather a disappointing mic for the money I thought.

The Prodipe TT1 has more output overall than the e845, but some of that is down to a more exaggerated bass response, so does benefit from some low EQ cut. There's also a bit more of a middley sound that the other mics I've just used (an SM58, e845, AKG D5 and Prodipe D-85) and which benefited from a slight mid-cut at around 1kHz.

The Prodipe D-85 does have a nicer overall sound compared to the TT1, but still 'suffers' from slightly excessive bass, which does benefit from a few dB of low EQ cut. But the D-85 is AKG D5 money (still not a lot) and the D5 is better balanced overall, if slightly brighter, but can still be used with the EQ flat.

I've now got a Stagg SDM50 on order, which may turn up tomorrow, so I'll let you know how I think it compares to the rest.

The trouble is many mics sound good in isolation, whereas you often want to know which ones will work in a full band context. I'm obviously not in a position to test that at the moment!
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:14 pm

Thanks - very useful :clap:

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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Funkyflash5 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:05 pm

I like a 845 on a well trained singer with a strong voice. On a less confident singer or someone who has a habit of wandering away from the mic either an 835 or a beta 58 is going to be fine but I like to try both and see which has the edge on a particular voice.
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Funkyflash5 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:06 pm

And I bring a standard 58 in case someone insist on it or to use as a hammer.
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:12 pm

The e840 is the cardioid sibling of the e845 and is a very nice mic for non-rock applications.

Tip: Look out for e838s on EBay. They're just e840s wearing a different coat, but don't attract the same sort of prices as the e84ns as they're a bit of an unknown quantity.
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:35 pm

Yes, the e840 are really a very good microphone for the price and to my ear are more open than the e845, but the 845 has it's uses too and does have a flattish top end.

Having said that the much underrated Beyer M69 was often my go to dynamic mic. It has the body of a good dynamic with the top end like a condenser. Poor handling quality though, so only for stand use.

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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Giggo96 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:32 pm

Watchmaker wrote:How high is your gain?

and no matter what, you should get a better mic. the SM58 has millions of shows under its belt. You can't go wrong and for 100 bucks, it will last the rest of your life unless you barf on it or the drummer steals it

Gain is normally set somewhere around 12 o'clock, or above if it can go without clipping.



blinddrew wrote:
Giggo96 wrote:When I turn on my speakers and plug my mic into the boss with the EQs all flat, there is a horrible mid range sound from the mic, when I turn down the mids on the EQs (pretty much completely take the mids all the way down as far as it can) it sounds better, I then normally need a tiny cut on the lows and a slight boost on the highs and Im not too far away.

Is this bad/rough mid range sound due to the poor mic?
Yes it's a cheap mic, but I suspect there's something else going on. Do your speakers have a direct mic in option? If so check that first and see if the sound is replicated. Likewise if you have any other kind of mixer or pre-amp you can use to see if it's a setting on the boss that's causing the issue. Alternatively do you have any other mic you could plug in?

Speakers do have a direct input to them for a mic. However I also have a Xenyx mixer that I try the mic on and it sounds the same as it does threw the Boss ve-8 when both EQs are flat.

Dont have another mix I could plug in but my neighbor has a AGK D5 which I am going to ask if i can try out in the next few days to see if it is the mic or not.

On a side note, I have just decided to part with my Boss ve-8, should anyone be looking for one at a fair price. I think its a bit surplus to requirements at the minute, it does give slightly better vocals than my xenyx 1202 mixer presumably it has a better pre-amp. How ever the EQ isnt very friendly on the boss, and can get a better vocal set up using the xenyx mixer. So hoping to pick up a better mixer and a mic with the money I get from the boss.

@wonks - Did you get the Stagg SDM50 today?

Thanks for the feedback guys, great help

G
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Re: Poor Mic quality

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:09 pm

Sounds like the mic then.

No. It was apparently dispatched today, so should hopefully arrive tomorrow (lockdown delays). Don't worry, I'll comment here as soon as it comes and I've plugged it in.

At the moment be very wary of using a mic someone else has used without cleaning and disinfecting the grille and internal foam first (unless you know they haven't used it for at least couple of months (before CV19 spread). Even then, it's always good practice to clean and disinfect if you can.
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