Gear Talk: Vocal Capsules Part 4

Welcome back to week 4 of our vocal capsule series. The coronavirus can’t spread over the interwebs so we will carry on as usual here at Studio.Stage.Live! We’ve been talking about two capsules I generally use with female vocalists but this week I wanted to highlight a favorite of mine for males, the supercardioid microphone, the SEv7. What started with a curiosity about what new capsule Justin Timberlake used at the superbowl halftime show, to some small testing, became the go-to for a few of my worship leaders. I also keep seeing this microphone used in studio recordings as well. Again, I’m not being sponsored here, this whole series is just me uploading information for you guys to digest and think about. But I digress….

As usual, I’ve included a response sheet for your information. As you can see, the response is very flat especially when the higher end is compared to the last two mics that I’ve used. The manufacturer talks about 3 key features that I feel like I need to highlight. The first is the design/durability you are going to get with this microphone. With an all-metal housing, this thing will take a beating. They even beveled the ring around the grille so that it would sit still when put down instead of rolling off like most other microphones (I know right, happens to the best of us). Next, they installed an internal windscreen that seems thicker than most windscreens and proves effective at cutting down on plosives and wind noise if you’re outside (or you like to have a fan blowing on you while you perform). Lastly, is the voice coil made of aluminum with a custom built shock mount which helps to lower handling noise and make it easy to move with the music and help isolate the capsule a bit better in tight studio spaces. 

The thing I’ll say about this mic personally is this. If someone sounds good with an SM58, they’ll sound better with this capsule. In comparison with an SM58 the rejection is more neutral. It’s not like it isn’t there but it’s less impactful towards the source. Typically when I’m using an SM58 I’m doing minimal processing (as in only a few cuts to compensate for the PA) and with the SEv7 it’s exactly the same way. I’m not mixing at the levels that tours get to but on the whole, across my dynamic spectrum, it performs very even keeled and naturally like the SM58 does. No matter if the artist is up on the mic, or maybe even backed away a bit, this mic is amazingly consistent. For the price-point (~$115), you owe it to yourself to at least try it the next time you get a chance. Lastly, because I have other options that work well for females, I don’t often get it out for that reason, but there are several female artists out there that use this regularly so if you have a hard vocal to tame with what you’ve got, snag one of these and see! I know I haven’t used this with that many female vocalists and I plan to see what it can do at the next chance I get. 

That’s it for this week. Hopefully your curiosity has peaked enough that you’ll at least reach out to some friends and see if you can borrow the capsule or spend the small amount of money to pick one up for yourself. I found this video of the guys who make Justin Timberlake sound like Justin Timberlake and because it was with him that my journey with the SEv7 started, I figured that this post should end with JT’s sound guys telling us about their experience. Next week we’ll wrap up this series with my darkhorse capsule, the SM87. I say dark horse because it wasn’t in my playbook for live vocals until more recently when we decided to just throw it in the game. Tune in next week and I’ll tell you all about it. Make sure you sign up at this link to get an email whenever new content is posted and feel free to reach out with any questions via my email, daniel@studiostagelive.com. Be safe, see you next week!

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