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SM57 vs Beta 58A for recording guitars (demo)

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by c_tecks, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. c_tecks

    c_tecks TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    I'm sure most of you that record guitars know the SM57.
    I was wondering how the Beta 58A would sound, so I made a comparison of both.

    What kind of mics do you use anyway for tracking guitars?

     
  2. Jon Snell

    Jon Snell Tele-Holic

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    Beta / SM57 is designed for instruments as they have a flatter response then Beta / SM 58/58A as they are designed for vocal use, with a "lump" in the centre response frequency range.
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I hear zero difference.
     
  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been recording my album tracks usually with the guitar signal split between two amps simultaneously, one usually set a little dirtier and thicker, the other cleaner. One mic'd with a '57 one with a '58 (just because I already have them, not because I have a choice) and they both seem to do a great job of guitar to my ears.
     
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  5. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Both are fine.
    I personally prefer the SENNHEISER E 906 but it's just electric guitar man,any decent microphone positioned correctly will do the job,no need to over obsess.
     
  6. THX1123

    THX1123 Tele-Meister

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    Cool video. Nicely done sir. It is worth the time to try lots of options if you have them. If you don't, then find the spot with what you have. I like to find a sound and then pretty much commit to it.

    I have been using one guitar performance split between a 57 on an amp and a direct into the DAW for the 9 songs we are working on. We want to capture one complete take from the guitar, drums and bass if possible. Sometimes I have to comp 2 takes but we are trying to avoid that. We hope that the simplicity and organic aspects of recording this way will make our recordings stand out from all the super manipulated modern recordings out there. It is a trio. I also mic'd the bass amp and ran a direct into the DAW for the bass takes.

    The Laney VC30 amp actually liked my 57 more than my Beta 57 in this case. On a couple tracks I mic'd up two amps - the 57 on a Laney VC30 and the Beta 57 on a TopHat Club Royale. This worked better for some songs. I am going for a Malcom Young-ish crunch for many rhythm tracks. It is harder than it seems to get that nice clear crunch without the fizz. We like that guitar sound on top of a mixture of clean direct and quite distorted bass amp sound.
     
  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    My 30 year old SM57 got stolen last year, finally bought a new (used) one this past week because I missed it.

    The Beta 58A is more trebly with maybe a bit more presence, but that's about it to my ears. Sounds like my Sennheiser e835, which I like to use for live vocals but not record with so much. I prefer the SM57 because it's not adding anything. Very neutral mic.
     
  8. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    As a lifelong sound engineer, often touring and operating a sound rental company, I generally dislike the BETA58A, due to it's seemingly artificial top end crispy raspiness, as well as sounding a bit different from one to the next. My favorites for all around use and being consistently known quantities are the SM57 and SM58. If you get ten Beta58As in near new condition, you'll be hard pressed to find two of them that sound identical. On the other hand, testing ten well used SM57s or SM58s, you'd be hard pressed to find one or two of them that sound different. Also, the failure rate of the BETAs is substantially higher than the SMs. The other benefit of the SM series for live use is that they are in the same "sonic family" as far as response curves, whereas the BETAs tend to require a slightly different overall system EQ to sound their best. When using both BETA series and SM series in the same small band sound system, at least one or the other series gets compromised by the house EQ, and quite often both!
    I Could Go On & On, But........
    Gene
     
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  9. c_tecks

    c_tecks TDPRI Member

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    So you mix DI guitar tracks with a mic'ed amp? Do you do something with the DI track as well (amp sim or anything) or just like to mix a total dry DI with the amp tone?
    I actually want to experiment more with stuff like this. But instead of a DI, more like a double amp thing, one quite clean and one crunchier and that layered. Just to get something different going on and experiment.
     
  10. c_tecks

    c_tecks TDPRI Member

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    but overobsessing and experimenting is the fun part! ;-)
     
  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It definitely is.

    But after you do it and from a point and on you simply go with what actually works.
     
  12. THX1123

    THX1123 Tele-Meister

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    I often mix them exactly like that, yes.
    I run the DI guitar through the DAW's amp sim. I have been mostly using the AC30 simulation. The mic'd guitar amp is just barely, barely hairy but is not very bright. It provides the mids, the thickness, some air, and the only treatment it gets is very mild compression in the box. No pedals. Just straight to the amp and 57. Then I mess with the DI track virtual amp's gain and EQ to bring in the top end end. The virtual AC30 is often made slightly gnarly and brassy. Then I pan them at 11 and 2. On two songs so far I cloned the DI track for a third guitar track. I ran the third copied track through a Marshall simulator, and made it very overdriven and very meaty, and smooth, and midrange specific, and then blended it in the middle, not too much, and underneath the other two. This allows me to make sure it is full sounding but not stepping on the bass and vocals. Cloning the DI track also allows you to add effects only to certain licks or parts of the song and still only have one performance. There might be some lucky beneficial phase **** going on, not sure.
    What I like about it is that there's still one performance, but I can control how detailed the guitar is, and how sits in the mix. The hard part is that the solo'd individual tracks don't sound that great by themselves. Together they really work. You gotta just use your ears, and fiddle with them in the context of the drum and bass mix. I find it is also easy to go backwards or start over if you go too far or lose the plot as the DI tracks can be cloned or reverted super easily.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
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