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#1 2012-08-01 17:19:35

markjwgraham
TMV Forum Member
From: Nottingham, UK
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 26
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Just ordered Rode M1

Kitting out my studio with some new gear, decided to treat myself to a new general purpose dynamic mic. Opted for the Rode M1. If it's good enough for Rob it's good enough for me!

Hope to chime in sometime with a review/comments once I've had a chance to use it a bit.

Last edited by markjwgraham (2012-08-01 17:19:58)


I am a Certified Speech Level Singing teacher in Nottingham, UK. My website can be found at http://www.markjwgraham.co.uk

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2012-08-01 17:19:35

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#2 2012-08-12 16:00:01

markjwgraham
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From: Nottingham, UK
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 26
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Re: Just ordered Rode M1

OK, today was a good and thorough testing day, and it's not over yet. Performed with it live this morning, out again performing this evening (it's the afternoon right now), and I did some recording this afternoon to test it out direct. Here are my initial but reasonably in-depth findings.

Summary: Want/need a workhorse mic but find the standard SM58 too muddy/indistinct? The Rode M1 is the answer.

My opinion: Someone on the Rode website gave a review that it's like the illegitimate love-child of an Shure SM58 and a Shure Beta 87A - to my ears, this describes it pretty darn well. It features the smoothness and musical compression you might associate with an SM58, but without the muddiness or muted top end you might associate with an SM58. It also features the clarity, crispness and tonal even-ness of the Beta 87A, but without getting harsh or fatiguing. It's also beautifully meaty, no wooliness like the SM58 can often be accused of.

Live: This was leading at church, varied songs, but nothing heavy. To give you an idea of material, it was leaning very much towards acoustic emotive pieces. The mix on stage wasn't great, but my feeling on the whole thing was that M1 sounded (and physically felt) very solid in the low mids, with a smooth and controlled top end (never got harsh) but still carried over clarity and nuance in the upper mids and treble frequencies (something I feel the SM58 doesn't do to my tastes). In short, I felt it performed well... I certainly felt good using it... but I can't be particularly analytical on the live set because of the nature of it.

Recording: I wanted to record some dry vocals to get a feel for what sort of signal the M1 sends out, i.e. what is the sound desk getting and how much do they need to tweak to get a workable mix for a given style. So, to get a feel for how it would respond to different styles, I recorded single takes of some varied songs: Queen 'Hammer to Fall', Daniel Bedingfield 'Nothing Hurts Like Love', AC/DC 'You shook me all night long' and George Michael 'Kissing a fool'.

In short, I'm really impressed by the versatility of the microphone. It responded more like an instrument than a tool, in that it responded to the nuances of each song to give a rounded take that would fit each style. The only one I thought could be improved with some added warmth would be 'Kissing a fool', but I think that is my fault as for something that croonerish I should've gone for added proximity effect. Again, the fault of the musician (me!) rather than the instrument.

I'm particularly pleased with the sweet but clear top end of this mic. Almost condenser like, but smoother than that, and useable in an onstage live environment more easily than a handheld condenser. Really captures top end harmonics, but makes them sound fat and juicy, rather than harsh and brittle. Adds real weight to your voice, but not unnaturally so. Certainly not boomy.  In fact, the top end is so good on this mic, I don't think I'd have any problem using this in the studio for recording.

To conclude the longer recording section, I can hear this mic working for more or less any style of music. It's a true singer's mic, one where if the vocal performance/track doesn't cut mustard, the issue will be the performer... not the mic. That said, I don't think it's an overly unforgiving mic, though the clear top end means it is far more honest than an SM58 or other dynamics, so certainly less forgiving than some dynamics.

Build: Feels industrial. Solid metal body. Robust grille. Heavier than an SM58, but I like that - feels like a real instrument. There's also 'something' about the XLR connection point. It looks and 'feels' far more secure and solid than others. Not that I've ever thought others looked inferior, but something about the M1 (not sure what!) stands out to me as a cut above others I've seen and used.

Overall: As stated above, if you want a workhorse mic that is useable for most everything, but without the muddiness/indistinctness that some people dislike about the SM58, then the Rode M1 is the answer. Quite honestly it's got (IMO) the perfect sort of balance I look for in mics.

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer if I can!


I am a Certified Speech Level Singing teacher in Nottingham, UK. My website can be found at http://www.markjwgraham.co.uk

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#3 2012-09-24 18:02:39

Negoba
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Registered: 2012-08-28
Posts: 55
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Re: Just ordered Rode M1

An opinion on recording vocals with this mic vs a cheap condenser?

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#4 2012-11-09 02:37:03

Adveser
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Registered: 2012-11-09
Posts: 139
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Re: Just ordered Rode M1

Negoba wrote:

An opinion on recording vocals with this mic vs a cheap condenser?

Personally, I am finding that anything that attenuates the high frequencies to be detrimental when I hear myself through the headphones. Others may feel differently, but frequency response is absolutely critical IMO.

No offense to Rode. I have not had good luck recording with any dynamic mic because I can not hear the resolving ring of the notes that appears in the ultra-high frequencies and find myself singing way too loud to coax the microphone into going beyond it's limitations in vain to hear them and it never works.

I would definitely always use a microphone that covers up to 20Khz for recording vocals. That does not mean it has to be rated at 20Khz, it just has to capture those frequencies. 18Khz goes up to 22Khz in a satisfactory fashion in my experience.

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#5 2012-11-10 23:19:33

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Just ordered Rode M1

I have the opposite problem of Adveser. I have crazy loud volume up top.

I had seen reviews of the Rode M-1 like this and others and was resolved, at the time I had some money, to get one. I went to Guitar Center in Plano, Texas. According to the website, they do carry the mic. When I got there, I learned that they do carry the mic as a company, but do not keep it in stock my local stores.

So, I was talking with the sales clerk to explain my predicament. I am a light tenor with ear-splitting volume on the high notes. So, he recommended to me what works for other loud singers he has sold to. He mentioned the Sennheiser e835. I did not buy it there. I spent a few more weeks thinking about it. Then, I found one on e bay and won the bid and paid half of retail with free shipping. And it does what he says. It holds up the highs. It's perfect for a tenor, like me.

As for recording, it depends on what I am doing. If I am just recording the guitar for a song, I use the condenser mic I have (Fame CM-1). It makes the guitar sound so full. And I can go back and record vocals with the Sennheiser, too. Though, if the song has a predominately low volume in the vocal, I will use the condenser for that, too. However, the e835 is rock solid, an honest to goodness dynamic stage mic.

But I have noticed that baritones stand by the Shure SM-58 and it's replacement, the Rode M-1. Certainly a good mic. And I think, Mark, you are saying that the M-1 has the mids you want without muddying the highs.

For a comparison, before going to wireless mic, Bruce Dickinson used nothing but the Shure SM-58 for literally decades.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#6 2012-11-12 02:29:27

TimmyP1955
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Registered: 2010-12-03
Posts: 58
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Re: Just ordered Rode M1

IME, much more important than how a handheld mic records is how it rejects unwanted sound.  The best sounding handhelds I've tried would have been useless in most of the gigs I've done.

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#7 2012-11-12 03:43:43

Adveser
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Registered: 2012-11-09
Posts: 139
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Re: Just ordered Rode M1

I'm a high countertenor in the range of notes I hit and there's a lot of overtones you are used to hearing lower in the 15-20Khz range. When the mic is expecting these parts of the overtone series much lower and boosts these frequencies, you can start sounding really bad. I have never had this problem singing down in the 2nd and 3rd octaves and that's what microphones are generally built for.

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