The Shure SM7B Mic: A Secret Weapon for Recording Crushing Metal and Hard Rock Vocals

Sharing is caring!

I. Introduction

The Shure SM7B microphone has had a long and storied history since its inception in the late 1970s. While it gained initial fame for being the microphone of choice for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, it has since become a favorite among heavy metal and hard rock singers for its ability to capture powerful and aggressive vocals. This review aims to explore the Shure SM7B’s growing popularity in the heavy music community and how a microphone so closely associated with pop royalty became an essential tool for rock and metal vocalists.

II. Key Features of the Shure SM7B Microphone

The Shure SM7B boasts a flat, wide-range frequency response, making it ideal for capturing the full spectrum of vocal nuances. With its bass roll-off and presence boost controls, users can tailor the microphone’s output to suit their specific vocal styles. The external air suspension shock isolation minimizes mechanical noise and vibration, while the built-in pop filter and windscreen reduce plosive sounds and wind noise. The SM7B’s robust construction ensures it can withstand the rigors of a busy recording studio.

III. Shure SM7B’s Performance in Metal and Hard Rock Settings

The SM7B’s vocal clarity and warmth make it perfect for capturing the intensity of aggressive vocal styles, such as screaming and growling, without losing detail. The microphone’s ability to handle high sound pressure levels allows it to maintain its performance even with the most powerful vocalists. The SM7B’s excellent isolation from background noise and instrument bleed ensures that vocals remain front and center in a mix. When compared to other popular microphones in the genre, the SM7B consistently stands out for its overall performance and versatility.

IV. Notable Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Artists Using the Shure SM7B

Many renowned heavy metal and hard rock artists have embraced the Shure SM7B for their recordings. Some of these artists include Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Gojira’s Joe Duplantier, and Architects’ Sam Carter. Iconic albums, such as Metallica’s “Death Magnetic” and Mastodon’s “Crack the Skye,” have also utilized the SM7B to capture their powerful vocals.

V. How the SM7B Became a Hit with the Metal Community

The Shure SM7B’s transition from pop to heavy music genres can be attributed to a combination of factors. Pioneering metal and rock producers, such as Ross Robinson and Andy Sneap, began using the microphone to capture the aggressive vocals they sought for their projects. Social media and online communities also played a role in spreading the word about the SM7B’s performance in metal and rock settings, with artists and producers sharing techniques and tips to help others achieve the best results.

VI. Tips for Metal and Hard Rock Singers to Get the Most Out of the Shure SM7B

A. Proper microphone technique and positioning: Ensuring that you maintain an appropriate distance and angle while singing into the SM7B will help maximize its performance and capture the full range of your voice.

B. Recommended preamps and audio interfaces for optimal performance: Pairing the SM7B with a high-quality preamp or audio interface can further enhance its capabilities and ensure you get the best possible sound. I really like to pair the SM7B with a API or BAE 1073 preamp, they have enough clarity and head room that you can really crank their input gain up and get some vibe going.

C. Cheaper interfaces or preamps: Pairing this mic with cheaper interfaces might lead to less than desirable results. This mic requires a lot of gain to record at a reasonable level and some people swear by the CL1- cloud lifter to help correct this when matched with underpowered preamps. If matched with a quality pre, the cloud-lifter becomes unnecessary,


The Shure SM7B has truly earned its place as a secret weapon for recording crushing metal and hard rock vocals. Its ability to capture powerful, aggressive performances while maintaining clarity, warmth, and detail makes it an invaluable asset for vocalists in these genres. The SM7B’s growing popularity among heavy music artists and producers is a testament to its versatility and exceptional performance. We encourage singers and musicians to try the SM7B for themselves and experience the transformative impact it can have on their recordings. The Shure SM7B is not only a staple in the recording industry but also a game-changer for the heavy metal and hard rock community. With its iconic status and proven track record, the SM7B has undoubtedly earned its place in the pantheon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: