What's you experience with the Shure Betas?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Rich_S, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    My experience with Betas is that they are good usable mics that are rider friendly. You can put a Beta in front of anybody, & they will be satisfied (for risk of making a general statement). Every sound company in America has at least a few Betas in their inventory.

    That being said, there are a few mics that will perform as good or better than a Beta 58 for less cash. The Heil PR-20/22 come to mind immediately, and the Audix OM-3 or OM-5 as well. The Heil models can be affected by interference from certain active bass pups, though.
     
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  2. Tele22

    Tele22 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for this suggestion- I tried doing this tonight, and it was easier to hear the vocals.
     
  3. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have found times where mix-n-match works. Since the Beta 58 will let dynamic peaks through that a regular 58 would compress, they can be selected to suit the dynamics of the singer. Let's say you've got a quiet, whispery lead vocalist, and the backing vocalists all project well - in that setup they'll love having a Beta 58 on the lead and regular SM58s on everyone else. Conversely if the lead vocalist is a screamer and no one else on stage is projecting, an SM58 on the lead and Beta 58s on everyone else can work well.

    That's assuming everyone's got their own monitor mix. I don't like having multiple vocal mic types on the same monitor mix.
     
  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I was a dyed-in-the-wool SM58 (for vocals) and SM57 (instrument mic-ing) user for a couple of decades. I thought the Betas couldn’t be *that* much better...

    Then I tried a Beta 58.

    I was wrong.

    I ended up purchasing a Super 55, which has the Beta 58 guts inserted into the “vintage Elvis” SM55 body.

    On a recent gig, I set up my old (and still trusty) SM58 on the secondary mic stand for the other singer sitting in with us...at one point, she was beside the Super 55 when her vocal cue came up, and she sang into it...her eyes immediately got big and she looked at me kinda surprised.

    After the song, she ribbed me, “I see what you’re doing—you take the good mic to try to make yourself sound better!”
    Truth be told, I just didn’t want any lipstick on my Super 55.

    Either way, an SM58 or SM57 sound great, but the Betas sound better—richer, fuller and fatter.

    Just my $0.02
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I didn't think the Beta's were all that special and just used SM58's for many years. Then I got a Sennheiser E838 and E835. WOW, huge difference.
    Do your self a favor and get an E835. You'll never go back. The E838 was discontinued.
     
  6. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup yup yup on the Audix mics and you could add Samson to that list of
    budget vs quality list.

    I have a handheld Samson condenser mic that I can almost never pull out without
    someone asking if their mic can be switched out for one of those Samsons!

    Don't get me wrong, Betas have become the go to mic for many sound companies
    with their varied applications.
    Of course. mix and match works out great for many applications.
    One that really stands out is drums and their choice of mics for different reasons.

    kick drum mic
    snare top and bottom
    overheads
    toms

    Surely vocalists can have their array of choices best fitted for the occasion.
     
  7. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    My bandmate had a Beta 58A - good microphone, never any issues. But I will say, both he and I prefer the Blue Encore 300s we are both currently using (we got them in a buy one get one free deal). Only thing about the Encores is that they are phantom powered.
     
  8. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Audix OM3XB and OM6 are modern-sounding vocal mics but still pretty friendly on the ear. I hate the OM5 and OM7 with a passion, they are ear pain. So much exaggerated harmonics.
     
  9. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't particularly like SM58s on my voice (a baritone). Muffled top end and restricted bass. The Beta 58 I tried was way too crispy sounding for me (but I was not in charge of EQing it).

    I prefer old AKGs, especially the D880. That mic works beautifully on everyone I've put it in front of. Just the right blend of warmth and clarity. The D3800 is also a very nice mic. both sound much more natural to me than a 58. Based on that I would look into the AKG D5, although I've yet to use one myself, or else be patient and wait for a used AKG at a quarter of the price.

    Strangely, the one time I totally loved an SM58 was on a male bass voice. It cut through a noisy punkish band very clearly.
     
  10. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    When I was mixing sound I had a standardized channel strip EQ setting for the SM58, and it would sound "normal" for most vocalists - High Pass filter at ~100Hz, a -3dB to -6dB medium-Q cut at 160Hz, a -3dB sorta medium-narrow-Q cut at 1.6KHz. I never touched the high shelf, and may play with a mild cut on the low shelf if the vocalist was too boomy without it. These settings could be tweaked to suit the individual vocalists, but it was a place to start. I could throw up a band with no sound check and have it sound pretty "dialed in" right off the bat.
     
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  11. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    +3 on Sennheiser 835. Got one for my wife because they were more reasonable and German. She loved it and everyone in her band agreed it was the best sounding mic. Better detailing and contour.
     
  12. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I actually own a pair of Sennheiser e840’s that I got on a 2-for-1 closeout deal. Since the band plays so infrequently, I’ve never gotten around to A/Bing them against the SM58. We just put ‘em up on the stands and sing into ‘em. No complaints, but no real impression of what they are like compared to other mics.

    I used an e835 a bit at church ten years ago. My impression then was that it cut through better than an SM58; maybe a bit brighter, maybe more “detailed”. Of course, according to some user reviews, those same adjectives translate as “nasal” or worse. Ears of the beholder...
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  13. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What was different? Help us understand what “better” means.
     
  14. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    There are a couple of reasons why I prefer not to use the SM57 for vocals, and for the most part it has little to do with the way they sound. First of all, there's no pop filter, so "Ps" will pop. Secondly, there's no protection from spit.

    On an SM58, the spherical screen is a pop filter, and will also soak up a reasonable amount of spit. Furthermore, since the screen screws off, you can clean it after the gig so it doesn't take on a bad smell. If it gets dented, or the smell is so bad you can't wash it out, you can buy a replacement screen for $9 at any music store in the country.
     
  15. '64 Tele

    '64 Tele Tele-Holic

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    Like an SM58 with chocolate sprinkles on top....:rolleyes:

    I'd always thought 58's at time could sound a little harsh, 57's (for vocals) lacked a little top end articulation. I know that "better" isn't a really scientific term, but to my ears, it sounded better than either 57's or 58's.
    The Beta 57 seemed to have more output/was a littler hotter than a 58.
     
  16. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    ?

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, that's an option.
     
  18. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Back in the '80s, I preferred an SM57 for my vocals. I always thought it sound best with the windscreen off, but the breath "pop" was annoying, so I usually used one with a windscreen, which was not as good, but better than an SM58.

    I switched our lead singer to an SM58 because cleaning lipstick out of an SM57 was a *****.

    [​IMG]
     
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