When you begin looking for a great live vocal microphone, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. There has never been a time of market saturation like there is today. In a situation like this, we point performers in the direction of Audix, the makers of some of the finest USA-made microphones available. For live vocal performance, Audix has put together the OM series. There are many different options in this line of microphones and we're going to help you find the one that best fits your needs.
The OM2 is the workhorse of the series at a very competitive price point. Our friends at Audix described this one as having some warmth in the bottom end without being muddy. It also has a hypercardioid pickup pattern which will cause less feedback. In addition to low feedback, it can handle SPL's above even 140 dB!
The OM3 was built for clarity. It has a slight proximity effect which boosts the low end the closer you get to the microphone. Just like the OM2, you get a hypercardioid pattern so the capsule can stay focused on the sound and reduce feedback. The OM3 also works great as an instrument microphone. Many Bluegrass and acoustic players love to use these on stage due to the clarity and off-axis rejection.
Audix forged the OM5 from the fires of the pyrotechnics from every rock and metal concert since 1986. Not really, but they could have. The OM5 has been a go-to lead and backup vocal microphone for rock and metal bands since its release. It can handle massive stage volumes, sustain it's clarity and quality, and really take a beating. Matched with incredible gain before feedback, you can't go wrong with the OM5.
Acoustic performers and breathy singers crave the condenser-like qualities of the OM6. It has a rising frequency response from 2kHz to 10kHz without giving off a harsh, ear-piercing sound. Again, the hypercardioid pattern is essential to its feedback suppression. This microphone can stay focused and bring out the best in your overtones.
Perhaps the most impressive microphone in its class for feedback control, tight pickup pattern, low proximity-effect and a ridiculous SPL rating is the OM7. This microphone is for the serious performer on a serious stage. It takes much more gain than the others in order to maximize the feedback suppression within the electronics. For this price range, and many dollars higher, you will not find a better live vocal microphone for loud, intense stages.
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