The BIGGEST Beginner Mistake Buying Voice Microphones for Home Studio - THE SHURE SM7B SUCKS!

Hey guys!! Been super busy lately so I'm sorry if this is short! I have a very extensive, scientifically sourced article being written up about breath support! Stay tuned! I will have Part 1 by next Sunday!

I previously wrote an article here detailing what steps one should go through before getting a singing teacher. I recommended that singers setup a basic home studio; but some people have been asking about microphones and whether or not I still recommend the Shure SM7B.

I'll be quick.. because I'm actually about to sell my SM7B. I got into home recording knowing, really, little about equipment. And, STILL, I know very little about equipment. But that's why my advice is the best; because I fuck up so often that I can give it to you straight.

No one can tell you what microphone will be best for you. No one. Articles recommending microphones are pretty useless. EVERYONE recommended me the Shure SM7B. I didn't test the microphone before buying it I ordered online!  And I struggled with it for months! 

However, I was CONVINCED that because the microphone was so highly recommended that it wasn't the microphone... it was MY voice! Thats the kind of person I am! I will always assume I am the reason I don't sound good.. and that's usually a great perspective!

As I continued recording... sometimes I would get lazy and record from my Iphone. I started making quick clips of myself singing just to upload to my personal facebook for my friends to see what I was up to. And.... my iphone recordings sounded FUCKING AMAZING!

I was baffled. What the fuck is going on I have THE BEST home studio microphone. It costs 400 freaking dollars!!!! I got this iPhone 4 used off ebay for a hundred!!! HOW??

It's really fucking obvious how. I never tested my microphone against other microphones. Long story fucking short the SM7B is being put up on ebay RIGHT NOW. I went to several music stores this weekend with a friend and tested many mics. My favorite within a similar price range was $150. But you know what? I'm not telling you what it was.

Articles recommending microphones are useless. For many of my students; recording with the Shure SM7B was a BREEZE! Required very little EQ; nothing on my end to make them sound as amazing as they are! But for my high tenor voice? Every phrase required different EQ, every new sound, high pitches were incredibly nasal while low pitches were lacking upper harmonics. And GOD FORBID I change my timbre at any point throughout.

It's just not my microphone. I would maybe recommend it for baritones.. and for some reason it worked well with my soprano belters. But honestly, I would NEVER recommend it to anyone building a cheap home studio under most circumstances.

Dynamic mics SUCK. They're great for some specific situations/voices but overall they SUCK. If you want to buy a dynamic because you have shitty room acoustic... THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE! Get your ass in a closet and thumbtack old clothes to the walls. Figure something out! You can "design" a reasonably well treated room for very little money. A few extra dollars and hours of work and a condensor mic is THE way to go 95% of the time for vocals.

There's a reason why the Shure SM7B is used SO OFTEN on podcasts and the radio. You can get a decent, BASSY (but dull in the upper harmonics), sound in a horribly treated room. It also wont pick up the voice of other speakers or the intern spilling coffee (again) in the back. That's really the only circumstance this microphone is worth anything.

What DO I reccomend? Go to as many music stores as you can and TEST EVERYTHING! What sounds the best? DO NOT BUY ANYTHING! Go home, look up reviews (if it sounds good on you then it sounds good; reviews are just extra food for thought,) and BUY OFF EBAY! 

Buying off eBay is fucking awesome cause microphones sell FAST and if you hate what you have then just resell it at the same price! Buy another! Just don't buy on Sunday because statistically prices are highest on Sunday night (most people are at home fapping and trolling the internet.)

Second suggestion? Check out books from your library on recording techniques. I've read a few.. recently I checked out "Modern Recording Techniques" and I'm really enjoying it. Fuck buying expensive things not worth your time. Buy cheap and get educated! Expensive things come later.

A cheap personally suited microphone, a reasonably priced pre-amp (again, buy on eBay), and an inexpensive sound treated closet and you're golden!!! Your recordings won't sound like Bruno Mars... but you'll get pretty damn close! Close enough to accomplish whatever it is you're trying to do!!! 

It's like anything! I used to go to salons for my haircuts (yeah I'm prissy, I know.) 50 bucks and I would walk out with a fresh new hipster cut to impress the girls at the coffee shop! If only other men knew the secret to success...

THEN I made friends with a barber. He charges 10 bucks. He took a little bit more time, wasn't as interested in my day, and didn't massage my head in the sink... but damn did he give me amazing haircuts! He moved away and now I get $10 haircuts far superior to the $50 cuts I was getting. I know that some people spend HUNDREDS on a haircut... WHY???

Stop thinking money will solve your problems! Whether it's buying a microphone or paying for  expensive singing lessons. Money does shit! YOU are 99% of the time the problem! Whether it's because you're not smart enough to know that your microphone sucks or it's because you're not practicing smart enough or often enough to make use of the lessons your paying for!

Get good habits in line FIRST. Learn to make BAD equipment sound AMAZING. THEN, now that you know what the fuck you're doing, feel free to buy tons of expensive shit! Just remember... a $20 bottle of wine can taste almost as good as a $500 bottle. It's science.