Hello and welcome to this weeks look at the Astra microphone cupboard of wonders. Out of the dusty depths for this Friday we have the Shure Beta87a.
Used primarily as a vocal mic, this condenser takes the sound of an sm58 and takes everything up a level. The beta87 was designed with vocals in mind and features a boost to the upper mid range frequencies. The consequence of this aids vocal presence in a mix. When vocal clarity is a top priority the beta87 gives you so much more than a standard sm58. All of Shures “beta” range feature supercardioid patttens which rejects surrounding stage noise keeping the vocals clean.
Shure has also reduced the usual proximity effects and so a singer can get right up close without any issues. Being close to the mic increases the signal to the desk and gives the engineer more to work with. As you are aware by now, a condenser mic performs well right up to the highest frequncies. The beta 87 has a range of 50Hz to 20kHz which is perfect for that breathy jazz sound.
A frequently asked question is “what mic should I use for my vocals”. This questions requires many follow up questions. What type of voice do you have? Which genre of music do you sing? What characteristics are you looking to highlight? As a sound engineer the starting point for all vocals will almost always be the sm58. If you have time to work with your singer or your band then try out new things. Through working together with the artist, listening to the sound and understanding the properties of microphones you will find what works best for you.