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Thread: Considering a purchase of a Shure SM7B for my first XLR setup

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    Question Considering a purchase of a Shure SM7B for my first XLR setup

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    Hello!

    I've been using a Blue Yeti microphone for the past year or two, and I'd like to purchase a Shure SM7B for use in an untreated room. With it, for my complete audio chain I'd like to purchase the dbx286s preamp/processor and the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools for use as my audio interface. I'm interested in the Shure SM7B because it is said to do will with deeper voices while effectively masking background noise to a better degree than is possible with a condenser microphone.

    Here is a sample of my voice recorded with a Blue Yeti microphone sometime ago: Vocaroo | Voice message

    This will be connected to a PC running Windows 10 Professional for use in applications such as Skype, Discord, and Audacity. I'm following advice that I found on this Youtube video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEaivtPrBe0


    What do you think of my audio chain? Is the Shure SM7B the right fit for me? Here it is again, one more time:

    -Microphone: Shure SM7B
    -Preamp/Processor: dbx286s
    -Interface: Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools


    Thank you!

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    Others here will no doubt have an opinion on the suitability of the SM7b for your voice but I would just like to mention the very low gain, by modern standards, of the Solo's pre amp at a stated 50dB and you might struggle for level.

    You can rescue the situation with a Cloudlifter or Fethead pre amp but beware! The reason dynamic mics 'appear' less room sensitive is because the ARE much less sensitive than capacitor types. At least 10dB lower and many cap' mics are over 20dB hotter than the warhorse 57/58. The Cloudlifters et al will potentially put you on a par with a capacitor mic.

    Maybe time to go for a better featured interface? Stay with Fr'ite if you like but the Zoom UAC-2 is gaining great rep.

    Dave.

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    Ya, the Dynamic doesn't pick up the flea sneeze. I think Dynamics benefit from a real preamp, though. Most people are frustrated trying to get a SM7b level with a budget preamp. On the bargain side, sometimes you can stage one side of a Stereo Pre into the other side

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    Also take a look at the EV RE-20 or RE-320. Comparison of the SM7b and RE-20 in this Youtube vid...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZDnzW2EY0Y

    I have the SM7b, RE-20 and RE-320 (all bought used) and I prefer the sound of the RE-320 for most basic voice type stuff. The RE-320 has a hot enough output you may not even need an extra boost from a preamp or a Cloudlifter or Fethead.
    SM7b - 1.15 mv/PA
    RE-20 - 1.5 mv/PA
    RE-320 - 2.5 mv/PA
    SM57 - 1.6 mv/PA

    I also have a DBX286s and it's a decent budget channel strip for the money and gives some options in tweaking the audio. If I'm not using the 286s, I use a Fethead behind the SM7b or RE-20. The Fethead does alter the sound of a dynamic mic in a good way, giving a slight bit more clarity. Not sure if the Cloudlifter does similar.

    If you do go with the 286s, use a 1/4" TRS to TRS cable to connect to the interface.
    Mark.......

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    I was under that the impression that I could use the gain provided by the DBX286s and forgo the Cloudlifter entirely, then output that into the focusrite, which would then output to my PC. I've been reading things about the RE20 versus the SM7B, and the general consensus that I've found tends to be that the RE20 is better suited for those with a slightly higher (mid-high) voice. I think, anyway? It's all rather confusing! But that's why I'm here, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parin View Post
    I was under that the impression that I could use the gain provided by the DBX286s and forgo the Cloudlifter entirely, then output that into the focusrite, which would then output to my PC....................
    Yup, mic into the DBX286s or other outboard preamp into the interface will work fine. If you didn't want to use a channel strip or outboard preamp the Cloudlifter or a Fethead would be the way to go to get the boost an SM7b or RE-20 would need.
    Mark.......

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    "I was under that the impression that I could use the gain provided by the DBX286s and forgo the Cloudlifter entirely"

    Oooops! Missed that DBX! Yes, if the noise specc' is to be believed that will work.

    Dave.

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    I only bought my 320 a couple of years ago, and at first I hated it. Bland, boring and far far too big! However, it now sits in my studio as a permanent fixture and I can plonk it in front of anything almost and get a usable sound. I guess the SM7 will be the same, but only on loud or close sources.

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    I think there's a Barry White plug

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