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Author Topic: Shure SM57 and SM58  (Read 3713 times)
Calvin
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« on: August 24, 2006, 05:51:13 AM »

So I've heard the M57 is better for guitar, and the M58 is more versatile.  Which ones do you recommend?  No I dont think I want to blow 300+ dollars on a 1/2 decent condensor mic.

It would be nice to have one (or 2) of these for parents to sing karaoke too though :).

BTW, do dynamic mics use phantom power, or do I have to get a separate preamp for these :).
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2006, 09:22:02 AM »

I own some of both, as well as a variety of 40+ other Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Rode, Shure, AKG, MXL, Oktava, Audix mics (MAS?  :GRN>)...

If I were to buy only one mic I would choose the SM57; if I were going to buy 2 mics I would get a second SM57; if I could afford a third mic (and wanted to stick within the Shure family and your budget) I would add a SM58.

Dynamic mics do not require phantom power.
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Ron

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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2006, 12:43:05 PM »

Still the best mic's for almost everything.SM57/58.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2006, 01:16:22 PM »

I agree. I have one of each and they do what I need them to do. The cheaper Fender P51 is SM58ish and aren't bad in my experience, as well. Two came with my Passport system. I rely on the Shures though.
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2006, 02:02:33 PM »

My understanding is that the SM58 may be a better mike if you are going to use it exclusively for vocals. Mark Hanson also recommends it for miking guitars, saying it is a warmer mike than the 57. For Karaoke, I would probably go with the 58 but either would do fine. There was an interesting thread on this recently. Scroll down and you should be able to find it.
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2006, 02:27:25 PM »

I get asked this SM57 vs. SM58 question a lot, so I thought I would take some time to point out my reasoning (real life experience plus Shure recommendations).

Question: I will be recording both vocals and acoustic and electric guitar. Can you point to the best mic for this job?

Answer: Try the SM57. Install the A2WS windscreen for vocals.
The windscreen is optional if the performer understands how to work a 57 (stay back from the cartridge). Screamin' Bruce Springsteen often uses a 57 for his vocals! He is a pro, and knows how to work the mic.

Question: Do the SM57 and SM58 really share a lot of the same design and components?

Answer: It is true the SM57 and SM58 microphones are based on the same cartridge design. The main difference between them is in the grille design. The SM58 was designed for vocal application and it uses a separate grille with a very effective pop filter. The SM57 was designed as an instrument microphone where smaller grille size is preferred. In this application the pop and wind are not usually a concern. The SM57 uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where grille is actually a part of the cartridge. These two grille designs place the diaphragm of the microphones in a different acoustical environment. First of all, the distance from the top of the grille to the diaphragm is significantly shorter on the SM57 compared to that of the SM58. This allows for closer sound pickup with even more pronounced proximity effect. Secondly, a different resonator/grille assembly design of the SM57 is responsible for its slightly higher output above 5 kHz.


Question: Why does the SM57 sound different than the SM58 when I "close mic" a vocalist or instrument?

Answer: The SM57 grill design allows more proximity effect because the mic diaphragm can be placed closer to the sound source. Proximity effect increases each time the distance from the mic to the source is halved. When a mic is placed very close, it is quite easy to halve the distance: 1 inch to 1/2 inch; 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch; etc. Remove the ball grill from the SM58 and it will be more similar to the SM57 in its low frequency response.

Any other differences you hear between the SM57 and SM58 are likely to be subjective (psycho-acoustic) or due to slight manufacturing differences due to part tolerance.



That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!  :GRN>
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Calvin
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2006, 04:33:15 PM »

Whao talk about responses.

What level of sound quality should I expect to get out of these compared to condensors?  It also seems that you can get a pair of 57's online for like 80 bucks (unbelievably cheap).
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2006, 05:27:05 PM »

I have to disagree here, at least in part.  If you really are trying to pick up a clutch of mics you can use for acoustic guitar and your parents' karaoke nights out, the sm57's OK, but if its main purpose is going to be mic'ing acoustic guitar for home recording, it would not be my first, second, third, or twenty-fifth choice.  You'll lose a lot of the high-end sparkle and "air" that makes an acoustic guitar sound distinctive, and unless you're really careful with mic placement you're likely to wind up with a boxy sound that only a mother could love.  If you're deliberately going for a "lo-fi" sound, though, it might be just what you're looking for. 

If you're looking for a single mic you can use for acoustic guitar, vocals, and most home recording purposes, there are lots of large-diaphragm condensers in the ~$300 street price range worth taking a look at.  My favorite is the SE Electronics 2200a.  It's gotten a lot of good press, particularly in the British recording mags and forums. 

There's a really interesting discussion on this topic on the Sonar users' gear forum at http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=743735 that's worth taking a look at.
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2006, 05:43:27 PM »

Unless you are willing to spend much more money I would recommend that you stick with the dynamic mics. A good condensor (into a nice preamp)can be magical, a cheap one can be downright nasty sounding, and finding a good one for not a lot of money is a challenge.

If you do decide to buy the Shure mics don't expect to get them for $40 each. They are a commodity item and the dealers that sell them for $89 and $99 are only making a small margin. The cheap ones on auction sites are being sold way below cost, so that means they are either hot or they are forgeries. These mics will last you for 30+ years if you don't abuse them too badly. Not a bad investment.

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Ron

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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2006, 06:14:27 PM »

Unless you are willing to spend much more money I would recommend that you stick with the dynamic mics. A good condensor (into a nice preamp)can be magical, a cheap one can be downright nasty sounding, and finding a good one for not a lot of money is a challenge.


Ron, we may be doomed to disagree here, but this has not been my experience, nor, judging by most of what I've read on home recording forums, the experience of a lot of folks.  You can get good results with mics in the $300 price range.  Cheaper than that, I don't know.  In my long-term microphone GAS, I'd really, really love to get one of the AKG 414 series, but I suspect that's going to have to wait for a loooooong while.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have an SE 2200a that's currently my only recording mic.  Here's an instrumental I recorded with it and my beloved Larry OM-03R:

http://media.putfile.com/The-Coming-of-the-Giant-Hogweed 

I ran the SE with the 80 Hz rolloff engaged into a Presonus TubePre (~$100) and from there into a PreSonus Firebox for i/o.  Aside from the reverb, there's minimal processing on the track--I think I cut about 1.6 db at 236 Hz.  If I were recording it over again, I might just use the Firebox's preamps.  There are some conversion artifacts that aren't in the .cda version of the recording.  If you're really brave, I can post a link to a vocal number.
 n
On your second point, I couldn't agree more.  At around $90 a pop from a legitimate retailer, the sm57 is a bargain.  No need to screw around with ebay frauds or mics that fell off the back of the truck.
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ronmac
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2006, 06:53:12 PM »

I certainly agree with you that a carefully selected condensor (there are some very good inexpensive ones, if you know what to look for) will do a better job on that single application.

My comments were made in the context of trying to get one or two mics that would perform a multitude of tasks, including some hand-held vocals, for not a lot of money.

The reason I own as many mics as I do (besides MAS) is because I know that "one or two" mics will not do everything well. However, if for some reason I had to start all over again (and had a very small budget) I would buy microphones in the following order:

First purchase (my Swiss Army Knife pair):        2 x SM57  (with proper A2WS windscreens)
Second purchase (for stage vocals):                1 x E845 Sennheiser or 1 x Audix OM3XB
Third purchase (for low end and voice over):    1 x ATM25 Audio Technica (or if I had more money a Sennheiser MD421)
Fourth purchase (for condensor "airy" stuff):    2 x Oktava MK319 (I would modify these both mechanically and electrically to a much higher quality than stock)
Fifth purchase (better for most applications:     1 x Sennheiser MD441

Then, with all the money I made using those mics :TON>, I would start building a good collection of expensive small and large diameter condensor mics, microphone preamps, etc.

YMMV 
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Calvin
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2006, 06:55:34 PM »

So $80 dollar for a pair is probably hot eh.  Yeah, I definitely don't support stolen goods.  Because my philosophy is that if you cut down on the demand, then thieves will have no reason to steal them.  If they are like 90US, I'll just go to local store and get one for 125cdn,j ust slightly more expensive, but I'll have people to yell at incase they turn out to be lemons hahahaha (kidding, I am nice).

Just wondering if it's cheaper if you got a pair.

Thank you Trent I believe you Trent when you say that dynamic wont sound nearly as good as condensers, but I really don't need that kind of sound quality for practice....er...That and I am cheap.  :GRN>hahaha.  I really only need better than mediocre performance, so I think I'll just get a SM57 (or a pair if there is discounts).

Thanks Ron, and you are the first person I've heard that has MAS. :WNK>
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2006, 07:33:11 PM »


Thank you Trent I believe you Trent when you say that dynamic wont sound nearly as good as condensers, but I really don't need that kind of sound quality for practice....er...That and I am cheap.  :GRN>hahaha.  I really only need better than mediocre performance, so I think I'll just get a SM57 (or a pair if there is discounts).

Thanks Ron, and you are the first person I've heard that has MAS. :WNK>

OK--I didn't quite catch that you're looking for multi-mics for practice and recording.  Slow on the ol' uptake today.

And if you've never heard of MAS:  It really puts GAS to shame.  GAS is hardly in the same zip code.  And nobody, but nobody, except for recording geeks (well, and maybe camera geeks as well) can possibly understand it.  I mean, you can see and hear that there's a big difference between an OM and a jumbo, say, and you can hear the difference as well.  But the diff between an sm57 and an sm81?  Or an MXL cheapie and the AKG 414 that I lust over?  Lost on even the most understanding of partners....

Trent
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2006, 07:38:05 PM »

If you want a nice pair of codenser mic's that sound good try the MXL's.I got a set{one large and one pencil}for a steal from GC and there not bad.
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Calvin
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2006, 09:29:02 AM »

These SM 57 sounds absolutely great (I am sure condensers sound better, but heck, this is plenty good for me), but how do I get louder volume out of them with out having the mic inside the friken soundhole ARRGGG!!  And I was having trouble with larger guitars, because feedback gets pretty disgusting with the mic at a distance where I can actually get a good volume.

Any solutions?
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2006, 11:36:09 AM »

Calvin, please explain your signal chain and size of room you were having these problems with.
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Ron

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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2006, 06:42:59 PM »

Fire I'd like ot thank everyone on their great suggestions.  Uncle Rob, can you tell me the model of your mics?


Anyhow, the room is about 11' x 12' with a 11' ceiling (too high?), drywall.  Carpeted.

Recording
Guitar --> mic ---[XLR line]--> Presonus Inspire ---[firewire]--> computer

Monitoring
(set of 2 altech lansing 3way speakers with a sub)
The speakers are NOT plugged into the computer, but into the Inspire.  (so the firewire does all the job of sending the signals around).

I think the problem maybe the mic it a bit too close to the sub?

There really isn't any ambient noise, since my computer room is really quiet, so is our entire area.
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2006, 07:00:33 PM »

Try using headphones while recording. You shouldn't be monitoring with speaker and recording at the same time.
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2006, 08:20:35 PM »

Headphone's are the way togo.
As for the in body soundhole mic,the only thing you can do is get it on the outside.Inside the guitar there is so much going on that there is no way to raise the volumn or gain.
As for my set up.i have an old allisse unit that uses VHS tape its an 8 track.I have a Mackie board with a couple of off board phathom power units.When I want a dynamic mic I use an SM57,these mic's allow me to move in and out of the pickup feild that if i push it I can get a nice mic distortion.For a more open sound I use either mu RhodesN2 or the MXL large diaphram's.No effects until mixdown and record as flat a signal as I can.I also like to push the colors pushin the Red is a good thing.
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2006, 12:40:28 AM »

I'll definitely try the headphone thing.  Who would have known, all the extras I had to buy after getting the inspire.

Mic, heavy duty stand, wirings lol.  Apparently now a good headphone is in need.  All in all I am very very satisfied with these SM57 interms of tone, already better than most of the pre 80's studio quality stuff.

ALL the expert opionions are very much appreciated.  I think I'm getting a bargain set up with great tone simply by BORROWING the knowledge of the veterans. :)  Thanks again.
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