I am in an acoustic duo where we play at small venues, wineries, bars, and open mics. My partner is taking most of the lead vocals. The problem he has though is he has got quite a soft singing voice. He also tends to let his head wander to check the Ipad for lyrics or check where he is on the fret board. We have been using mostly a Shure SM-58 Microphone. When he does this no one can hear the vocals. We try to crank up the volume but then we have to fight off the feedback. With the SM-58 you have sing right into the screen or it won't pickup because it has such a focused pattern.
Can you recommend a microphone that would be a good choice for my partner? What about the old style microphones where they have 3 people singing into 1 microphone. They must have a much wider pattern.
Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated!
I'm going to make some mic recommendations but before I do I want to point out the fact that no matter what mic you have if the voice is too weak it means that the singer is not creating enough compression with the vocal cords to get that resonant sound that helps carry and cut through the band.
So again what I am saying it that it is not about just singing louder it's about getting the proper chord compression which means the compression comes from pushing in from the sides to create more compressed vocal folds.. the types of exercises that help accomplish this are called pharyngeal's.
When that happens correctly the air focuses through them and creates a more resonant sound.
Also, you're right on the money when it comes to talking about how you have to focus into the mic and sing on the SM 57's and 58s Both Shure and Beta models.
Now as you already know 57 and 58's are the standard workhorse mic's for almost the last 40 some years.
So not to be redundant but if you do sing within a inch to a inch and a half of the Mic and have a good monitor system you should be able to get plenty out of it.
Especially if you're vocal technique is creating a more resonant sound.
Now you may know or may not know about some of the other mics on the market that singers are using ..
If you have a singer who sings with a lot of light breathy approach possibly a Sennheiser E9 45s is a possible consideration.
The problem with this microphone is quite often you have to really work at EQing it correctly. It's an okay Mic but it does require a lot of work to EQ it correctly which can be a problem when out performing in live settings.
Now honestly I have not tried the next microphone I am going to suggest to you and your pocket book has to be pretty good to afford this microphone. But my buddies in the know all highly recommended it.
If the price may be to high which I would totally understand However I'm still going to mention it because it is possible that you could look around and see if you could find a used one at a better sale price.
Its hypercardioid but its truly in a class above most of the rest so I am told by my recording engineer/live sound buddies.
Besides this microphone there is also the Neumann 105 it is it really smooth and high end mic and very good for delicate singing. It's feedback rejection is okay.. Not as good as an SM 58 or 57 or the bata's.
Which incidentally when you're looking at every microphone you always have to consider how sensitive they are in relationship to feeding back if you turn them up to high. Some are better than others but another element of the perfect microphone everyone needs to be aware of.
Now for a mic with more presence the Shure KSM9 is supposed to be pretty good.
Again I'm told by my friends that know that the earthwork products are all pretty incredible but so are the prices.
Example at sweetwater the earthworks
List price is $1499 ouch right?
Like I said my recording and sound man buddies are total equipment junkies.
Be that as it may they do know the good stuff.
Some of the other mic's I have mentioned are less than this but still a little on the pricey side.
Makes those SM 57's and 58's sound pretty great right? Price wise anyway.
As far as some of the old microphones back in the day like when the McGuire sisters were singing everything was different and the old Mic's from then in today's world probably would not have a very good feedback rejection system.
Some of the old Mic's still stand up in the recording studio but not for live performance, the mic's of today are far superior to what was available then.
Hey I pop this down quickly between students here at my studio so hopefully I have been articulate enough to help you?
Thank you for jumping on the forum and asking questions That is absolutely what it is here for and I want to help. Hopefully this can give you a little more information to research and make choices. Please feel free to comment on my suggestions and if you go out and explore I encourage you to share that information with all of us.