The Shure SM7B truly is a legendary piece of musical equipment. It’s built like a tank, looks like a Gothic accessory that Batman himself would be proud of, and it sounds incredible.
It’s been a trustworthy companion in top studios for decades, but it’s recently had a renaissance thanks to its popularity as a podcast microphone.
Shows like the Joe Rogan Experience use it, and as well as looking great on camera it’s a fantastic microphone for generating that warm, intimate podcast audio.
There’s just one major problem with the microphone, however, which is especially annoying for those who pick one up without much audio production experience.
It’s incredibly quiet.
If you’re not expecting this before purchasing it’s easy to think that you have a broken model. A lot of people are getting into podcasting, without much experience of recording audio and this is a major barrier when they pick up one of these microphones.
The truth however, is that it is this way by design.
The microphone is what’s known as a ‘Dynamic Mic’. This means it is like a microphone you see musicians using on stage.
It gives you the ability to get close to it and talk or sing right into it. This is why the microphone is great for that intimate feel on podcasts. Something called the proximity effect allows you to talk right into it and get a wonderful sound.
So to fix the quietness problem, this particular microphone needs something else to raise its volume.
This could be a pre-amp, but for most beginners and intermediate users, you’ll want to pick up an accessory that can easily raise the volume you’ll get out of the microphone.
The good news is you can easily fix it. The bad news is it’s going to cost you extra on top of this already pricy microphone.
The tried and trusted option
This little box will lift the volume of your microphone dramatically, making it far more usable and enjoyable to record with.
It doesn’t add much noise or imperfections, and this is a great solution to the quietness problem.
It is, however, quite pricy considering the already pricy microphone you’ve just bought.
At around £149, it’s a bit of kick in the teeth if you’re new to all this to have to fork out even more.
The cheapest solution
Considering the box doesn’t really do a huge amount, I tend to recommend the TritonAudio FetHead instead.
This is what I personally use with my SM7B and it does the trick perfectly.
The Fathead does pretty much the same job and I actually find it to be a lot more practical, because you can plug it straight into the microphone.
It’s also a heck of a lot cheaper at roughly £60.
So one of those options should help you to solve the annoying problem of a silent SM7B, a problem which causes podcasters new and old to pull their hair out.
Good luck, and enjoy using this beast of a microphone now you know how to get the best out of it.
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Until next time,