Of course, there’s a ‘but’. “In Ariana’s case, we tried using three very different mics on her vocals: a Telefunken M80, a Shure SM58 and a Lewitt MTP 550. His vocals have quite a raspy mid-range and top end and this microphone managed to capture the details in a way I didn’t think any other microphone could. “They may have come to that decision through trial and error with their previous sound tech. This time it’s an award-winner. We had the usual suspects (SM58s or Sennheiser e935 radios) being supplied by festival PA companies, and it was hard work. It also has a similar type of top-end sparkle that works really well with Matt’s vocal tone once in the mix and gives him the clarity he needs in his IEMs that wasn’t quite there before, and I get those vocals loud and proud out front with no real stage noise damaging the mix. Mark Portlock is an FOH engineer with wide experience. The M80, while crisp on the high end, would lose a bit of that punch at 400Hz. Female vocals are really where these mics are able to translate into a mix. Win! How does it sound at 1m? With the band’s stage volume being pretty loud I wanted to stay well clear of condenser microphones to avoid the stage noise and potential feedback as much as possible, and with the KSM8 you get that rejection needed for stages with higher overall SPLs. For the second half of the tour the stage and lighting plot was redesigned to place the percussionist and drum set down stage centre, right next to the lead vocalist. That means this mic is sensitive enough for studio recording and powerful enough for rock band stage shows. The purchase was less about the highest quality, most expensive option, rather the best all-round decision for the artist. Yes, it’s true that dynamic microphones don’t generally have that extra finesse compared to a condenser, but you can push the gain a bit higher, feedback is generally less of an issue with external pickup noise, and there might be scenarios where you don’t actually want that vocal detail — like I said earlier with Frank’s vocal tone using the KSM8.”. Made for comfort and durability, the 7-inch long handle is ergonomically designed and feels good in the hand. On their own possibly not, but in context, they often do. If you have the AR-51 mic already and want a matching set, go with the M81. When the singer sings, it sounds great; when they step away the spill sounds great.”. It was developed by Horst Hartmann and myself with Sennheiser, and it had to be very good, because she never mimes, and when she’s flying around on that contraption in front of the PA, shouting and singing — that is really her, there’s no safety track — there’s nothing to cover it. Professionals like Tim McGraw, Snoop Dogg, ZZ Top, and Counting Crows use these Telefunken microphones when they perform in studios andlive for audiences around the world. At that time Sennheiser didn’t make a single-ear type, but they made us one. Eddie Mapp has worked with a huge number of rock and heavy metal acts, including Evanescence, with whom he prefers to use Audio-Technica mics.Eddie Mapp’s forté has been at the harder end of rock where, as you’d expect, on-stage volume can be a trial. Remember that this is a low-impedance mic (>250 ohms), so it needs to be connected to an input with the same or greater impedance to avoid signal loss. These factors will bear heavily on mic choice. As good as it sounded once sorted, it’s just not worth the hassle, and this is where dynamic microphones come into their own and will always be in my personal microphone arsenal. It isn’t often that one product dominates a market for a single decade, let alone five, but Shure’s SM58 dynamic microphone has done just that. This mic also reduces proximity effect to keep bass sounds from too much boom. He has been handling both with Postmodern Jukebox for over five years and has toured the world many times. Stretching into the classical realm, he also works with Katherine Jenkins OBE and Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel. Forget feedback and bass booms. Chris Madden has mixed shows for Sade, Jessie J, Pink and Anastacia, and is another fan of Sennheiser’s stage mics. “I usually decide on vocal mic choice but, having said that, I would never force a mic on a singer. The Lewitt MTP 550 performed better in this case: it had a better response with no handling noise. “I often recommend the Sennheiser e945 for female pop vocalists with good mic technique. After explaining to them how the mic works, how you need to get right on top of it, they often find they can hear themselves clearly for the first time. “When working with an already established artist for the first time you usually inherit their vocal mic of choice,” he says. “I usually try and watch a rehearsal of any new band I work with. DPA’s d:facto is an oft-cited model where a capacitor mic is required (and where on-stage volume levels are relatively low).“I am also a huge fan of DPA microphones generally and, in particular, the d:facto vocal range. In that time he has handled monitors for the likes of Feeder, Tricky, Jamiroquai and, more recently, Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. “I do tend to recommend specific microphones to artists more often than not. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Singers always seem to enjoy singing into them. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a very natural detailed sound. At the TEC Awards in 2013, the M81 won in the category of microphone technology and sound reinforcement. That leaves the vocalist or sound engineer today facing a wider choice than he or she has faced before, and as it is often the engineer who coaxes a performer to leave the comfort zone and try a different microphone, we have asked some leading sound engineers what they are currently using, why, and what they are looking for in this changed environment. Casey Abrams dove into a lake on a floating stage with one and after drying it out, it still worked! Although it is a cardioid microphone, it behaves like a condenser because it has a wide frequency response (30Hz to 18kHz) and it can handle SPL up to 140dB. The system is incredibly rugged and fits the price constraints of the artist. I have sometimes recommended really tight microphones for singers who struggle with quiet voices on loud stages. Other manufacturers have managed to grab market share with new products, Shure themselves have come up with more sophisticated offerings and, perhaps above all, technologies other than the dear old moving-coil dynamic have started to creep out of the studio, now able to withstand life on the road far better than their ancestors. Mark Portlock is one of many engineers who still regularly uses the venerable Shure SM58. Telefunken Elektroakustik started up in America in 2000. For example, Blake Lewis also beatboxes, and with him I went with an Audix OM2 because the response on the lower end with his beatboxing ‘kick’ sound was better than anything else that we had tried. Launched in 1966, the moving-coil cardioid design may have been superseded by the Beta version introduced in 1989, and later the Beta 58A in 1996, but it’s telling that the original SM58 is still considered the workhorse of live music — ironic, really, as the ‘SM’ originally stood for ‘Studio Microphone’. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “Generally, I always recommend Shure Beta 58s or Beta 57s on backing vocals. The choice of d:facto for Keaton was because it was the only mic I could find that had the dynamic sensitivity to capture all the elements of his voice, whether he whispered directly into the mic or sang off-axis. But that’s a subject for another day. Top Front-Of-House Engineers Reveal Their Favourites.

telefunken m81 vs sm58

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