Mic: Shure SM7b


Michael Jackson used one for Thriller, and if that isn't a glowing endorsement, I don't know what is. 

Here's the pitch for owning an SM7b: You like SM57s, but you need something that has better off-axis cancellation, an included pop filter, and works on even more things. That's the SM7b. It looks pretty cool, too. It's a personal favorite on vocals, electric guitar and bass cabinets, and for years and years kick drums as well, before I found the love of my life, the AKG D12 VR.

If you're a pedant, you'll remind me that it was the older SM7 (sans -b) that Bruce Swedien famously used when working on Thriller. They're pretty much the same mic, with a little tweaking to the Y-arm and some extra electrical fiddling in the late-'90s to reduce induced hum from nearby computer monitors (CRTs) and high-power devices. I'll counter with the oft-forgotten knowledge that the B in the current mic's name does not in fact stand for "broadcast" (this mic always was intended as a broadcast mic), but that it is the second revised version after the original and the SM7a. It's true, look it up.