If you feel like talking, can we discuss SM57's....

schmee

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The 57 and 58 use the same capsule, However the 57 is rated for more high range (or was it the lows?) than the 58.
The 57 has a narrower capture, so it screens out more sound from the sides etc better than a 58.
It all depends on what you want really.

I tried a Beta 58 and hated it.
I'm using Sennheiser E938's mostly now but still have 57 and 58's.

I'm playing live though, not recording.
 

Bob Womack

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Ever heard of Tom Scholz and the band Boston? Tom says he recorded everything with SM57s. Now, producer John Boylan came in and helped him learn how to record and mix drums better and then helped him record vocals, and I thin they went with condensers for the vocals. But to this day he says he does everything with SM57s. There have been other albums where the artist/producers have chosen to use nothing except SM57s just to make a point.

I don't work that way, but we've got a mic closet with over 200 mics, but I do use the SM57.

15123054_10209089956463275_6565469235305611063_o.jpg

SM57 and Royer 121

But the SM57 is just a classic, reliable, straightforward mic. They work great one the underside of a snare, helping to filter out some of the high-frequency crap that is going on down there.

Bob
 

backalleyblues

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To the OP-

take your 57, put it right up to the grill, and have it pointed straight at the center of the cone. Record about 10 seconds worth of playing, then turn the head of the mic about 1" off axis, record another 10 seconds (preferably the same riff or playing). Repeat this until you reach the edge of the speaker cone, then listen to the playback. I'll bet you're gonna hear a HUGE difference in the tone through those snippets (should be 6-7 snippets), and one of those is going to be the speaker's sweet spot-it will be pretty obvious to your ears once you hear it.

I use 57s on guitar cabs and snare drums, occasionally toms or even a kick or overhead in a pinch, and have used them for vocals-if you stay about 6" off the mic, it sounds a fair amount like an SM7B (yes I actually did this comparison myself!). 57s are VERY sensitive to placement, more so than a lot of mics I've used over the years, and take some time and experimentation to really dial them in-but when you do, it's a sound you instantly recognize from a zillion records.

Good luck, and don't give up on that mic-it's an industry standard for a reason!

Franc Robert
 

David Barnett

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I use 57s on guitar cabs and snare drums, occasionally toms or even a kick or overhead in a pinch, and have used them for vocals-if you stay about 6" off the mic, it sounds a fair amount like an SM7B (yes I actually did this comparison myself!). 57s are VERY sensitive to placement, more so than a lot of mics I've used over the years, and take some time and experimentation to really dial them in-but when you do, it's a sound you instantly recognize from a zillion records.

SM7B has a capsule that is very similar to the one in the 57 and 58. It's buried pretty far inside the microphone, protected by more extensive pop and spit filtering than the live mics:

C3900EF3-C6C6-4C46-8BBA-20526ED5F480.jpg


Shure_RPM106_RPM106_Replacement_Cartridge_for_182588.jpg



I think the other main difference is that the SM7B probably has a better balancing transformer.

So the idea that an SM57 can behave like an SM7B at a distance has a lot of merit.
 

uriah1

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We use beta for vocals. I use a 54 for harp. Paul butterfields choice. 57 for miking amps if needed. Sometimes special ev for harp. Close call
 

mexicanyella

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From hearing some of @FortyEight ‘s stuff and reading the Beta 58 remarks in this thread, I think that Beta 58 extended high end response love/hate thing makes sense. FortyEight and I are alike in that we both dig in pretty hard and seem to gravitate to clean or low/medium gain guitar sounds with prominent upper mids but not a lot of airy presence, and that probably works well with that Beta as far as not getting too spiky or bite-y. I get the sense that neither of us generates that many frequencies high enough to get very spiky or bite-y...maybe.

I’ve never tried a Beta myself, but I concur that my SM57 experience has corroborated the “incremental positioning makes a big difference, backing off the mic makes a big difference, and if all you have is a pile of 57s, anything you’re trying to do will probably work, so why not go for it.”
 

Masmus

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I have a pair of 40-50 year old 57's, I use them primarily for recording Marshalls about an inch off the grillat the edge of the speaker. Also for the bottom of the snare.
 

mexicanyella

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While we’re talking gray cigar-shaped Shure dynamic mics, have any of you heard of or used a SM57 lookalike called a PE66? I have one, I think I got it as part of a gear trade years ago, and if I recall it has a flatter response than the 57...less of a peak centered around 4 kHz or something. Haven’t used it in a long time, but I dimly recall it not sounding hugely different, maybe a little warmer and a little less signal output, but still useful.
 

kafka

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I use fancier dynamics for electric guitar, like a beyer m201 and a sennheiser 421, but if I couldn't get a good sound from a 57, the problem would be my technique. There is nothing wrong with a 57.

I keep a Beyer M201 in the mic stand at all times. It's a great mic. More versatile and less specialized than the SM57. You can record a whole band with nothing but 57's, but it would sound like it. For years I used nothing but SM57's, because I could afford them, and someone told me you can use them on anything. There's always a way to make it work. But, I far prefer working with the M201.

I have a pair of 40-50 year old 57's, I use them primarily for recording Marshalls about an inch off the grillat the edge of the speaker. Also for the bottom of the snare.

An 57 on a Celestion cab is just an iconic sound.

SM57 and e609 are just slightly different flavors. The e906 is the step up in quality.

They SM57 and 609 are pretty close. I don't think I could tell them apart blind. I don't really use the 609 much, either. I used to use the e906 more on cabs, until I stared drifting to the m201. The e906 is a very good mic.
 
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joe_cpwe

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I use my 30 yr old 57 to mic my amp live all the time. I bring my own, and also stand, and tell the sound guy to just give mic cable.

Sounds great. Mic placement is important.
 
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bottlenecker

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I keep a Beyer M201 in the mic stand at all times. It's a great mic. More versatile and less specialized than the SM57. You can record a whole band with nothing but 57's, but it would sound like it. For years I used nothing but SM57's, because I could afford them, and someone told me you can use them on anything. There's always a way to make it work. But, I far prefer working with the M201.



An 57 on a Celestion cab is just an iconic sound.



They SM57 and 609 are pretty close. I don't think I could tell them apart blind. I don't really use the 609 much, either. I used to use the e906 more on cabs, until I stared drifting to the m201.


Steve Albini once said the m201 sounds like what an sm57 would sound like if it were a microphone.
I wasn't going to mention that quote here, but I just think it's hilarious.
I consider myself pro-57 even though I don't own one. I do own a beta 57 and a couple 58s. I think 57s are a safe microphone. It's easy to sound ok. Hard to make it sound really terrible. If I had to buy all new mics, I'd probably get one. If I ever see one for $50 I'll buy it, but that almost never happens.
 

howardlo

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I love 57’s. I know, they’re horrible and outdated pieces of history. I always have one available for any recording project I might have.

The older Unidyne 3 ones sound different. Maybe they sound better, maybe they don’t. Up to the user on that front.

Irreplaceable on guitar amps IMO.

Best mic in the world!

Ok I’m kinda joking but they just work for so many situations. And I still like the 81 even after all these years too.

I have one of those. Unidyne III’s. Have had it for many years and use it all the time. Nice mic.
 

Rick330man

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I like reliable, workhouse equipment that gets the job done. No need to be flashy or show everyone what a big spender you are. What do I use? The SM57s are my mics of choice for instruments and drums. For vocals, it is the Sennheiser 835.
 

Mr. St. Paul

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I bought a Shure SM58 for vocals back in 1992.

Used it until 1997 when I joined a band that was using a specific Audio-Technica mic for vocals and they asked me to buy the same mic.

I needed a mic for my guitar amp in 2006, so I bought a new SM58 for vocals and used my older one to mic my amp (right up against the grille cloth on the edge of the speaker--worked great).

The Audio-Technica crapped out on me several years ago. the 29-year-old and 15-year-old SM58s are like the Energizer Bunny...still doing their job. I replaced the windscreens on both a couple of years ago, for cosmetic reasons, mostly. They were dented and rusted. Now with the new windscreens, there's nothing except a few places where the paint is scraped off the barrel to reveal the age of the mics.

I have condenser mics that are my go-tos for recording, but for live performance? You'll have to pry my SM58s from my cold, dead fingers.
 

bendercaster

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As others have said, the 57 is just a work horse. I've had mine for 25 years. Not bad for a $100 mic. I know it's not the best mic, but it's a reliable, known quantity.

For live vocals, I use a 58. It just works for my voice. My bandmate has a similarly priced Sennheiser that does the same for him.
 

Henry Mars

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You want a cheaper decent sounding mic on a budget? Try an EV Co4 they sound clean, The only down side is a bit more handling noise than the SM57's. Another good budget choice is the ES-57 or ES-58. Once you learn how to place and Eq them they sound fine especially for the price. For sure there are better sounding mics ... I have a few expensive dynamic mics which get used here and there. Once again, unless you are recording nobody is going to know the difference. I own around 40 mics ... the SM57's, SM58's and Co4's get the most use. I personally prefer the Sennheiser e945 to the Beta '58 for vocals the Beta's are way over priced. Then again you have to look at cost vs performance. There are reasons why the the SM57 and SM58 have been around so long.... they are rugged, sound decent and don't cost a lot.
 




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