What Makes the Shure SM7B Microphone so great?

Updated: Feb 18

Shure sm7b review

The Microphone Shure SM7B

History of the Microphone

Shure sm7b

The Shure SM7B Microphone is a large diaphragm dynamic microphone that traces back to 1973.

In 1973 Shure released the SM7, a large diaphragm dynamic mic that would be aimed towards the film and broadcast market. It had a wide frequency response with optimization for more low end, which would provide a warm and upfront sound for radio broadcasters.

In the early 80s the microphone gained popularity as a means to record singers after the explosion of the 1982 Michael Jackson album ‘Thriller’, after the success of this record the SM7 would become a staple microphone in the recording studio. The microphone was redesigned in 2001 with a larger windscreen and became the SM7B

Applications of the Microphone

As mentioned previously the microphone was initially intended for the use of radio and film broadcasters, this is style common today and can be see being used by many popular podcasters such as Joe Rogan.

Joe Rogan using the SM7B

The low-end response allows for a more ‘hyped’ sound that can give the broadcaster a warmer and more pleasing voice; something is desired highly in morning radio to be easy on the listener’s ears.

Another feature of the SM7B is the rear noise rejection, unlike other mics (particularly condenser mics) the SM7B’s rear rejection is very strong, which means the microphone mainly picks up what is right in front of it, making it viable as a radio mic where you may have several people in the background potentially making noise that you wouldn’t want picked up.

These same features that make it a great radio microphone also make it a great vocal recording mic. The added bass response can add depth to a singer’s voice, especially if they have a thin sounding voice. The rear noise rejection makes the microphone particularly popular with home recording enthusiasts as it can reject room noise in an untreated room in addition things like traffic and street noise.

Besides the use on vocals the SM7B can also be used to record a variety of other instruments such as guitars, hi-hats, horns and kick drums, making it a very versatile microphone.

Thomas Rickerby

(Music production teacher at WKMT)

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