These mics will help your vocals shine on stage -says Chris Kennedy
Just as all voices are different, not all microphones sound the same or are suitable for the same applications. In pop music it is important to be heard clearly above everything else with a bright, hi-fi like sound quality that makes the vocals shine. Although loud stage levels are commonplace in pop music, feedback is typically less of an issue as most pop singers use in-ear monitors; however a reasonably tight polar pattern is often a good idea in order for the other musicians (or the backing track) not to be picked up too much by the microphone.
Here’s a list of VoiceCouncil’s top mic picks for pop singers.
1. Sennheiser e965
Often used in wireless formats, this great sounding mic particular shines for female singers. It has been used by artists such as Katy Perry and Adele, and it’s -10dB pad makes it great for loud singers. This condenser mic has a switchable pick-up pattern (cardioid/super-cardioid) and a low-cut switch to remove rumbles. With its wide frequency response and top-notch sound quality, the e965 is highly recommended for pop singers wanting a top vocal sound.
Our Review: N/A
2. TC-Helicon MP-75 | MP-76
TC-Helicon’s revolutionary microphones aims to put singers in control of their sound. They feature switches on the microphone to enable the singer to turn on/off TC-Helicon effects during their performance. This is particularly useful if you want to trigger effects such as harmonies or delays only during certain parts of the song. It also can be used with their looping effects to quickly enable singers to build up vocal loops on stage. For pop singers looking to add something extra to their live vocal performances, the MP-76 is definitely worth trying out.
3. Neumann KMS 104
This high-end vocal microphone aims to offer studio-like sound quality in a live setting. It is commonly seen used by lead singers at pop concerts across the globe and is favored by many big-name artists including Celine Dion. It is available in both cardioid and supercardioid versions and is widely used in its wireless format combined with the Sennheiser SKM 5200/SKM 5000 Wireless System.
4. Shure Beta 58
A particular favorite for male singers, Shure’s Beta 58 has a more present top-end than is older brother the SM58, which helps singers shine through a mix. It is extremely rugged and can withstand being thrown around on stage and its supercardiod pattern is very good at isolating the pick-up from the singer from the musicians around them.
5. Heil PR-35
Heil’s PR-35 is a top quality dynamic microphone that has a full-range sound that works well on bringing out the richness of the low frequencies in a singer’s voice. It has been used by a range of singers from Stevie Wonder to Rhianna and is available in a variety of colors to suit your stage look.
6. Shure KSM9
The KSM9 is a premium vocal microphone with a switchable polar pattern (cardioid / super cardioid) and a smooth, detailed sound that can pick-up every nuance of a vocal performance. It has a “forward” sound due to its presence boost from 3kHz rising to 15hKz that really makes a singer keep on top of the mix with a sound reminiscent of a polished studio vocal. It is available in champagne or charcoal grey finish and can be purchased in wireless versions.
Our Review: N/A
7. Crown CM311
The Crown CM311 is a popular choice for pop singers who want to dance on stage while they perform due to its headword design. This condenser mic uses Crown’s proprietary Differoid technology that combines a cardioid pickup pattern to reject sounds from the rear, such as floor monitors, with noise-cancelling technology to reject sounds at a distance, such as instruments on stage and crowd noise. This results in the Crown CM-311 having outstanding gain-before-feedback and isolation; which is essential if you are going to be moving around a lot all over the stage (and maybe even into the audience).
Our Review: N/A
Chris Kennedy is the principal product reviewer for voicecouncil.com. Chris is a musician in the United Kingdom – you can see more about his work at www.chriskennedymusic.co.uk You can also see more articles by Chris here.