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Sound Quality



General Comments

After much research, I purchased a Audio-Technica ATM710 vocal condenser mic that is designed for STATE USE and can also be used in the studio also, of course. I have been a Shure user primarily all my life and had been using SM58 vocal mikes for years but was looking for something that would enable me to 'cut thru the mix' better as I'm getting up in years and my ability to 'project' isn't quite what it used to be even though I still routinely do vocal exercises.


I initially purchased a SM57Beta mic and it is a good product. The SM57 Beta is a improvement over the standard SM57/58 models. It did give me 'more gain/less feedback' as promised. I didn't really care for the 'super-cardiod' pattern which requires placement of stage monitors at a 60 degree angle from the back of the mic.


I started looking and doing research on condenser microphones and considered the Shure SM86/87/87 Beta but the few reviews I read on the AT ATM710 kept me going back to it. It also had a nice price compared to the other models I was considering. It wasn't the cheapest but it wasn't high priced either.


The ATM 710 looks EXACTLY like a SM57Beta with the exception that it is a cool looking black color and has 2 little slider switches built into the body of the mike. You have to use a ballpoint pen or something similiar (I used a paper clip) to actually move the switches so there is nothing protruding from the body of the mike to get in the way or accidentally switch while using. Once they are set, you are done with them. One of the switches is for cutting the db level by 10db should you wish to use it to mike a guitar amp/drums or should a singer prefer a mike with less sensitivity. The other switch is to cut the low end frequencies so you don't pickup low end 'rumbles' and that type of thing. HOWEVER, if you were looking for something that REALLY handled low end stuff well (ex:a Bass Singer)you would simply put the switch where you like. It's also built like a tank. They have designed this mike to lessen any 'handling noise' but I keep mine parked in a mike stand so that is not even an issue.


This mike is EXACTLY what I was looking for. It cuts thru the mix like a knife, I could concentrate on actually singing instead of 'projecting', it has a ton of gain and is still directional and doesn't pick up unwanted sounds from the sides. 'Mic Technique' is so much easier to handle with the ATM710 as you don't have to be 'mugging' the mic to make it work. You can really hear the 'vocal nuances' that you miss with other less sensitive mikes. That makes it so much more FUN to actually be able to play with those nuances that normally you can't even hear. The really big factor for me, is that I can sing softer yet still be right out front with my vocals. This mic has made me a better singer/performer and for the price paid, it's a steal. I don't know of a dynamic microphone that could even hope to keep up with this.


Will it feedback? Of course it will. I don't know of any microphone that won't feedback using stage monitors if you push them over the edge. However, with the ATM710, it is easy to control and you don't have to push it as hard as a dynamic mike so feedback was not even an issue and I'm still blasting right thru the mix.


I would highly recommend the ATM710 to anyone looking for a top notch vocal condensor microphone that is built for stage use. I'm confident that it will sound just as good in the studio also. I've also had a couple sound engineers say that it compares with and/or beats higher priced German branded stage condenser mikes and I believe it.


Reviewer's Background

I have been playing guitar/lead vocal/and performing since the age of 12. I have been in the studio numerous times and currently have my own home recording studio. I prefer digital multitrack recording over computer based although I do use some computer assisted aids. The review I am writing however is based on LIVE PERFORMANCE.

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