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Shure SM 58 alternative?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
    I have a Beta 58 which I've used live. I really don't know how much better it is over a regular SM58 for my voice. Both have a bump between 4~10K. There's a notch with both within that bump. The SM has that notch higher at 7.5K. The Beta has it at 6~7k.

    This may not seem like a big difference but it occurs right in the vocal presence range. I grew up singing through an SM57 and though it uses the same cartridge as an SM57, the presence notch its the same as an SM57 due to the head basket shape. Its tapers off more on the highs. This is ideal when using a 58 for vocals and a 57 for guitars because the 58 will have enough upper presence to get in front of the Guitars.

    I suppose because I trained my voice to sing through a 57, my upper frequencies are strong to compensate and match what a 58 does. When I sing through the beta that upper notch at 6~7K gives my voice a honkey megaphone tone. Its even worse when I use it tracking. Through the PA I'm able to tweak the upper mids and reshape the notch a bit but its still not a great match for my voice.

    I've switched to using Electrovoice PL84 Cardioid Condenser mics. I searched long and hard to find a mic that works equally well live and recording for my voice. Instead of a notch at 6~8K its got a 5 db peak there and a notch further up at 11K. This made my words intelligible without having to use EQ. Since the mic is a condenser and has a full 50~20K frequency response its susceptible to high frequency feedback if you don't watch the high end.

    I do use a pair of Sabine Feedback Eliminators in my rack to prevent feedback. The way they work is you set them for setup mode, then crank the PA volume up to near feedback levels. Then as you get real close to the mic and your face in front of the mic attempts to reflect the sound back into the mic and create a feedback loop, the Eliminator will create a EQ notch to prevent feedback at that frequency. then as you turn the gain up it will add up to 10 or 12 more of these notches ay various harmonics that cause feedback.

    Once the unit detects all the feedback frequencies and notches them, you lock the settings and back the volume down a tad and what you're left with is a powerful mic signal with very little chance of the mic generating any feedback whatsoever when you move around on stage. I do use them in my studio too. I'm able to get the mics louder in the room with without the feedback. It does come at a cost however. These notches are narrow and phase issues are minimal but it does consume some of the frequency response. It would be better to work with mic placement and normal EQ if possible but the trade off of response to have louder volume can be very worthwhile is you create mild notches.

    Not sure if that Peavey has an effects send/return where you can insert one between the Preamps and the mains. If it does you may want to pick up a used one. They are often being sold for less then $50 and can be a life saver in many environments that create issues your gear just cant compensate for.
    The Feedback eliminator sounds pretty interesting.

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    • #17
      The Sabines I've tried work really well. If I was running a PA rig on a regular basis, I'd want to own a couple of them.
      **********

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
        Not to mention the clips on the original 421's are notoriously prone to breakage. <...>
        I've read that a lot, so I'm sure there is some validity to that. However, we run two, my 1980s era and after I outlasted 3 of my partner's SM58s she got one as well. I keep the clips on the stands, toss them into the van (I do one-nighters) and have never had one break.

        Perhaps the older than 1985 421 clips got that reputation or else I just got lucky.

        I do keep a spare.

        I've had an ear of the SM58 type stand break off and always kept a spare of that clip as well.

        I have found that a little light oil or WD40 on the moving parts of the 421 clip keeps them working well.

        What I didn't mention because it's a little off topic, the SM made my alto sax sound very clarinet-ish but the MD makes it sound like a sax.

        But as just about everything in the music business, what's best for one person may not be best for the next.

        Insights and incites by Notes
        Bob "Notes" Norton
        Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
        Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
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        • #19
          Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post

          IPerhaps the older than 1985 421 clips got that reputation or else I just got lucky.
          I do keep a spare.

          I've had an ear of the SM58 type stand break off and always kept a spare of that clip as well.
          The thing is that there are plenty of clips that will hold an SM58, but there's only one clip that will hold an MD-421. They don't even hold very well in one of those multiple rubber band against the case kind of shock mount. So if you lose or break a 421 clip, you pretty much can't use the mic until you get another clip, which might be $35 from Sennheiser. You can probably go into a Dollar Store, most music stores, and certainly a Guitar Center, find a clip that will hold an SM58, and it will only cost a few bucks.

          The other thing about an MD-421 clip is the often undesirable "quick release." I've seen people who don't know how it works grab a mic on a stand to adjust it, inadvertently press the release button, and have the mic fall off. Then they don't know how to put it back on.

          By the way, I always keep my clips with the mics (for all mics). I'll leave a clip on a stand in the studio sometimes if it's for a mic I use frequently, but if I'm taking the stands out, I remove any clips. One can argue that a clip on the stand protects the threads from getting dinged up, but it's also more prone to breaking when being bashed around by a half a dozen or more solid metal stands rattling around in the trunk of the car. Real SM-58 clips are nearly indestructable, but the lighter clips for some of the smaller mics like the EV 608 or AKG C451 are pretty delicate.

          --
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          • #20
            I have packed a spare MD421 clip in my gig bag for decades. Haven't needed it yet.

            When my partner was using an SM58, I kept a spare in my gig bag, and needed it a couple of times.

            The SM58 is a very good mic, IMHO the MD421 is a better mic.

            The things I like best about are (1) flatter frequency response [more transparency] (2) no proximity effect (3) ability to handle high SPL levels like those that can come out of my sax (4) rugged - almost bulletproof.

            And unlike some others, I actually like the clip. It holds the mic securely and is easy to release.

            When PAR (Professional Audio Review) did a dynamic mic shootout, the MD421 was rated as the best dynamic mic under $800. It came out first in every category except mic-ing a guitar amp, where it was second to a Sony. The SM was pretty much in the middle of the pack.

            I leave the clip on the mic stands because in our duo we are both multi-instrumentalists and we pack 2 mics, 2 guitars, 1 sax, 2 wind synthesizers, 2 alternative MIDI controllers, 3 footpedals, various stands, speakers, monitors, and PA rack. Every short-cut that speeds set up/tear down and doesn't compromise the music is worth it's weight in gold.

            Insights and incites by Notes
            Bob "Notes" Norton
            Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
            Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
            The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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