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With the ever-increasing army of podcast producers hungry for the highest calibre podcast microphone they can afford, Shure has delivered with the MV7. Taking inspiration from the immortal SM7B (famous for being used to capture vocals on Michael Jackson’s best-selling Thriller), this hybrid mic is designed for capturing pristine vocal recordings both inside the studio and at home.
Good design can inspire you, give your home setup a refreshing air of professionalism, or spark a conversation with a potential client. The SM7B influence is immediately apparent in the striking silhouette of the MV7.
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An unapologetically modern take on the classic Shure mic, the MV7 bears more than a passing resemblance to its famous forebear, an elegant broadcast-like design and integrated shock mount being the most obvious aesthetic nods to the SM7B.
Beyond the superficial little brother aesthetics lies a decidedly Gen Z featureset specific to the requirements of current content creators and singers alike. Just in case the dual XLR/USB outputs didn’t give it away, look closely and you’ll see a built-in touch panel which gives you tactile control over gain and monitoring levels, subtly concealed within its retro design. Indeed the MV7 has been specifically designed as a multi-purpose, one-stop mic for the digital generation, and this is something it excels at.
For the musically inclined, the simple, convenient, no-frills XLR connection located at the base of the mic allows for easy connection to any audio interface, while its improved sensitivity and lack of transformer circuit circumvents the need for the whopping amounts of input gain previously required for similar large diaphragm dynamic mics of this type.
In terms of voicing, the Shure MV7 is clearly tuned with vocal work in mind, either sung or spoken. With a presence bump at 3k and a gradual, undulating roll-off through the bass frequencies, it’s clearly designed for maximising diction and intelligibility. This roll-off also does a lot to offset some of the dodgy mic technique and proximity issues employed by the average content creator on their quest for global supremacy.
Being the egalitarian and mobile medium they are means podcasts are often being produced in imperfect recording environments. The Shure MV7 looks to minimise the impact of these less-than-ideal acoustic surrounds by way of a uniquely narrow pick-up pattern that places the voice at centrestage, while taking in minimal in the way of room or background reflections.
For those recording in non-ideal acoustic environments, Shure’s voice isolation technology helps keep the MV7 focused on the user’s voice, reducing the banes of external noise and interference being picked up and recorded by the microphone. This makes recording hassle-free with its great rear rejection and unidirectional pickup, which is especially advantageous when recording a podcast with multiple voices in the same room.
There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack to give you immediate monitoring over your vocal performance which is an extremely handy addition and it must be said, is probably a guilty pleasure for some of the more studio-minded types using the MV7, but the convenience of which cannot be overstated. The high-quality and robust construction of the mic itself might run counter to this kind of port, but it’s a brave new world we live in.
USB connectivity and free software also allow for further fine-tuning of the sonic palette; including adjustment of the tone of the recording and setting the distance of the microphone from your voice, and it must be said that the Shure MOTIV ecosystem is one of the most user-friendly of anything in the broader microphone industry. For those new to recording, the auto-level control is sure to be a popular feature given the importance of gain staging (I think we’ve all heard enough distortion from gamer’s speed runs to last us a lifetime). If you’re no stranger to FX chains, there’s a manual mode to adjust EQ, limiter, and compression settings.
Switching between the XLR and USB inputs is extremely simple and allows for the broadest possible range of applications. In XLR mode, you’ll lose the adjust controls but whichever interface/DAW/signal chain you’re plugging this into will more than likely have these controls covered anyway.
In 2022, there’s no small overlap between podcast producers and musicians and I think this is who Shure had in mind with this hybrid aspect of the MV7. Being able to record a demo at home on the computer is great, but getting to bring it to life with preamps, EQs, and compressors certainly appeals to the creative in all of us.
While it doesn’t have the incredible SPL characteristics or expensive sheen of the SM7B, the MV7 has its own unique character which is more than apt for its intended market and serves as the perfect entree to the world of audio. As we all can probably appreciate, podcasting with entry-level equipment is an inevitably short-lived affair, and for those in it for the long run, a studio-quality microphone and the option of multiple presenters is a must, thus serving as a natural progression into SM7B territory.
For those making their first foray into the content game, the ShurePlus MOTIV app really opens up a refined set of tools to shape the sound the MV7 can capture – to get the most out of your voice in a limited recording environment.
In short, the Shure MV7 serves as the perfect entry point into the world of podcast microphones and audio for content, without having to sell the family farm to get there. Equal parts inclusive and intuitive, it’s the perfect set and forget mic for anyone looking to hop between music and content without touching a thing.