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The Vocal Mic Battle Concludes Part 3 | Gear Nebraska

by Brendan G-W

This is the thrilling conclusion of a three-part vocal microphone shootout. So far, we have looked at the E/V 767a and the Shure SM58. Today we take a look at the Sennheiser e835.

The e835 is a dynamic mic with a cardioid pickup pattern. The frequency response is from 40Hz up to 16,000Hz. Sennheiser added a gentle boost in db gain between 2.5kHz and 12kHz to improve vocal response and clarity. The capsule of the mic is shock mounted to reduce handling noise and utilizes a humbucking coil for reproduction. The microphone reacts well both on and off axis.

So you've seen the specs on three widely used microphones, but what it really comes down to is opinion, experimentation and preference. In a live setting, my favorite microphone is the E/V 767a. It has a punch that drives it through the mix, keeping vocals sitting on top of the instruments. It sounds equally clear for both male and female vocals. The headroom on the 767 allows plenty of excess trim gain if needed. That said, when I am onstage, I use a Sennheiser e835. I like the frequency response for my vocal range a bit better, plus the highs are not as shrill. And that leaves the Shure SM58. What is considered an industry standard is my least fave of the three. Burn me at the stake, purists, just bring some BBQ sauce. The 58 gets by, and has done so for a long time. I’m just not drinking the kool-aid.

Brendan G-W is an Omaha native. Some of his fave things this week are the refreshing nature of a summer shandy and the adventure that is Skate the State. Got comments or complaints? Leave em here or send an email to brendan.gwalsh@gmail.com.