TLM 103 VS Shure SMB7

Hi there,

Would love to get your advice. I am planning to record a podcast on the road with guests. This means non treated rooms and two mikes who could interfere with each other. I love the sound of the TLM 103, I think it sounds better than the Shure, but since it’s a condenser Mic, I have my doubts if it’s the right choice to buy for this purpose.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Cheers,

Tjalling

I think for podcast recording in various untreated environments you’d be best with a dynamic microphone. A good condenser microphone will always sound better than a good dynamic microphone in that it will produce a richer, warmer sound but the trade off is it needs a sound treated space to record otherwise your recording will be tainted by unwanted room reflections.

Obviously if you’re recording in the world’s worst acoustic space then the dynamic microphone will pick up on the room reflections too but in an average room you’re more likely to be able to successfully record with a dynamic microphone.

If you’re recording voiceover for radio imaging, audio narration etc in a sound treated space then use the TLM 103. If you’re recording podcast in untreated rooms use
the SM7B. If your budget stretches and you have sound treated environments to record from then you could record the podcast using the TLM 103. There’s no hard and fast rule saying you have to record a podcast on a dynamic microphone.

Alternatively you could look at other dynamic microphones too. Heil Sound is often a podcaster’s favourite.

Your only other option if you have the TLM103 is to make a make shift booth. Maybe you could get enough sound treatment by using items in the rooms you’re recording in like sofa cushions, curtains, duvets but it wouldn’t be perfect. There’s also options such as the Kaotica Eyeball but while this would lessen reflections coming from the sides it obviously is open at the front to allow the original voice in so any reflections coming from the back of the room and bouncing back would still end up in the microphone. You’d have to have a least sound treatment behind you to trap the reflections that make it past the Eyeball and back to the back wall where they’d find their way back into the mic.

In short if you don’t have sound treatment either the SM7B or another dynamic microphone could well be your best option.

Vey helpful Mark, all clear for me now! Thanks a lot for your extensive answer. Very much appreciated! Cheers, enjoy your weekend!

Enjoy your weekend too and good luck with the recordings

For ‘on the road’ recordings, I tend to use 2 or 3 Shure SM58 and mic up close.

These mics are built to swing around your head, not too expensive and you can hammer in nails with them without breaking. Plus the sound is good. Not great, but good enough.

I use a foam windshield on them with either desk stands or boom stands (depending on the location) on suspended holders. A preamp helps, but depends on what you record with.

If the talent isn’t comfortable with chewing on a mic, then lavs are a good standby - or use both in case the talent wanders off mic or kicks the mic stand.

In any case, try to find somewhere quiet with lots of soft surfaces.

Awesome explanation Mike! Thanks for that, really helpful! Cheers mate!