Request for advice on mic’s and pre-amps


Hi Mark,

Many thanks for your time today.

I would be very interested in any advice you could give me on microphones and pre-amps.

I have a Delta 1010 Audio interface which has an SPDIF input. Ideally this could be accomodated by the Pre-amp.

I compose music which is a mixture of classical, ambient, jazz, and choral, and indian influenced harmony.

To date I have mainly used sample libraries. But I am planning to work with vocalists and also wind instruments such as Saxophones, Flute and Brass Trumpet and Trombone.




It’s tough to advise one mic to fit such a variety of sound sources, but personally I’d look seriously at the Shure SM7B.

The SM7B is an extremely high quality dynamic mic, and as such will cope with loud sources (Sax andbrass)  as well as quieter signals with greater dynamics, being less prone to overload or wind nosie than a condenser (which although more clinical, tend to sound harsh on brass and can be difficult to place for woodwind).

The SM7B is also increasing used on vocals, which pleases me as I’ve long been a fan of better dynamic mics, which are often overlooked by those who think that the lower cost relative to a condenser means the mics are inferior – far from it; the best dynamics are capable of uncompromising results.

My advice would be to try a few mics if you have the opportunity to record some of the instruments/vocals you’re considering. I suspect this might be difficult, as it looks as though the live sessions are planned rather than actually taking place at present.

The SM7B is around £255 + VAT (£306 including), very much less than a condenser of equivalent quality although as I said above, I personally would prefer it were I to have a single mic to cover this wide range of applications.

My colleague, Adam, is our digiblah expert so I’ll ask him to suggest a suitable interface. The M Audio interfaces you have won’t do a high-end preamp such as the Neve justice, so I suspect it’s either a question of settling for a cheaper preamp with SP-Dif in the first instance, or examining your entire vocal chain

I like the sound of your music.

Best wishes



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