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Shure SM57 Vocal Microphone Reviews
This is my go to mic. Without doubt when tracking guitar, be it electric or acoustic this mic will always be used in the process. On drums this mic is excellent to record the snare (top and bottom), the front snap of the kick drum pretty much anything. This mic is an all round great mic and I think every studio/producer should own multiple.
This is the default microphone in my mic pack. It can be used in every close mic situation with out fail and I have never worked a stage without one. Do not expect the wide frequency response of a large diaphragm and vocalist fill them full of spit in seconds. Not as bash proof as the 58 and not the clarity and depth of a Beta 57. The 100 quid price tag is steep for such a readily stolen mic but there are few microphones for any less money that do the wide coverage of applications than a 57.
This is an amazing mic for the price.
With the SM57 you can mic pretty much anything with decent results. I\'ve used it with acoustic guitar, amp cabs, hand drums and drumkits, and I wouldn\'t hesitate to give it a go with anything else. Sure, there are better mics available for specific uses, but the 57 is a great all-rounder.
The 57 beta is also good. Not better, but different.
You\'ll need a good amount of preamp gain to use this though, maybe 56-60db.
Not a bad dynamic instrument but certainly not the best. I've used an SM57 for instrument amplification for around 10 years. Recently purchased the Bose L1 amplification system and realised that the sound quality of the mic was not as good as it could be. I have tried a few alternatives recently and settled on an Audix OM-5, a fair bit more expensive but there's just no comparison in terms of sound quality and feedback rejection.
This is an EXCELLENT all purpose mic for the price. It's small, dynamic, and inexpensive, ALL home recording studios should have one.
It's good points:
You can use it on anything and it should sound pretty good. Instruments, voices, and hey if you're not sure what to use, use a Shure!(57)
It's not a U87
It MIGHT break if you throw it in a pond...
The SM57 is a great little mic for the price. Even though it isnt the best sounding microphone in the world , for a general purpose recording and live mic for under £100 it is unbeatable! These mics have saved the day for me a number of times when more expensive stage mics fail due to rough treatment from artists. The SM57 is an essential part of any studio or live set-up, i'll never go gigging without at least one. Its the industry standard for a reason.
Why do people still buy this mic? Don't be so cheap and get some Beyer M201's instead.
If you're going to spend your money on a Microphone that will do a number of jobs and do them well then go for the SM57. It's for a very good reason that this Mic has sold consistently over the years. It may not look as shiny and pretty as many similar products but it has so many applications that looks really do not matter.
My recent uses include Snare Drum miking, Guitar Amplifier miking, Conga miking and even using it as a secondary Mic to get a different perspective on a vocal take. As a Music Technology lecturer I rely on multi-purpose Microphones like this one in the classroom. It's hard-wearing and efficient; a really useful tool.
Another recommendation is for home studio users. Don’t wimp out and spend less. You’ll get ‘less’! Much less… and you’ll probably find yourself replacing a cheaper microphone before long – especially if you’ve bought a single microphone for vocals, instruments and percussion.
My advice is to ignore the term "work-horse" which is always being bandied around with Shure products (particularly the SM57 and 58). It is a phrase that doesn't do it justice. For such a modest price you'll get a microphone you'll use over and over again in many different situations.
The Shure SM57 was the first microphone I ever bought, and has served me very well. It has certainly lived up to its legendary status and its reputation for being the industry standard, as well as being extremely versatile. I managed to get by with just this single microphone for a good while as it can be used for so many different instruments - I personally have used it to record mainly guitar, bass guitar and drums, and all of these have been picked up brilliantly by the mic. Despite being a complete newbie when it comes to recording audio I've had no problems with achieving a very nice sound without much effort from this microphone.
At £69.99, the SM57 is definite value for money, especially due to its versatility and the fact that it can easily be used as your only microphone if needed and your budget is tight (like mine is). It has a quality that really could not be much improved upon with the more expensive microphones for the needs of the majority, and puts the mics at the lower end of the price range to shame in terms of clarity - this microphone can be taken seriously.
In terms of the extras you get with this product, it comes with a useful but concise booklet which outlines the specifications for the microphone as well as the recommended placement of the SM57 for various instruments (various drums, guitar/bass amps, brass/woodwind instruments, and vocals), as well as placement for PA/stage use and tips on application to produce various different sounds. Also included is a stand attachment (swivel adapter) and a storage bag. One perhaps obvious thing to note is that the microphone doesn't come with a lead like a few of the lower end microphones do. Depending on your needs, you'll either need the male XLR to female XLR lead that's recommended as an accessory on this site, or if you (like me) want to record straight to your PC, I would recommend getting a male XLR to mini jack lead of some sort. You may also need an adaptor for this, and for me the 'Lynx 3.5mm stereo jack plug to 6.3mm stereo socket' (available on this site for £2) worked just fine.
All in all this is a marvellous product that I would recommend to anyone, in almost any situation. As a first microphone it has served me excellently and I would not have bought anything else.
I have recorded approximately 40 CD tracks using this microphone, and it has been my recording staple for the past 5 years or so. I am a vocalist and compose my songs on a synth before laying my vocals down on a home recording studio. This method allows me to isolate every track I record and the SM57 has been particularly useful for me as it is comprehensive to use and the play back after recording with it has made my voice sound very slick. I have a soft voice and this microphone really excentuates this quality as it picks up even the softest whisper exceedingly well. When mixing down I often add wet reverb to my vocal recordings and this effect gives the tonality of the SHURE SM57 an even velvetier sound. As I have said this mic does pic up even small sounds which sometimes is a problem if you are a home musician as I have often experienced picking up background noises such as traffic from outside and any accidental knocks against the mic stand from the flex. This is why I would never record with it in my hand. However, the upside of this is of course, that it captures vocal range and dynamics very well and no sounds get missed. A good mic for someone just starting out with their home studio as one more advantage is that this mic is versatile and when layering in harmonies through a digital recorder, a good vocal backing 'wall' can be created with ( from my own experience) around 16 vocal tracks playing together and very little loss of clarity through bouncing before mixing down. I have found this mic to be better suited to recording work than live singing through an amp. A trusty tool of the trade.
In my opinion still the best direct mic solution for instrument cabinets. Great attack characteristics placed close in moving to a more balanced and rich middle sound when placed 5 to 6 inches from the cone. Works equally well in studio and live applications and is built like a tank...... no studio / live sound engineer will be without a handful of these in his road trunk. I have a couple of beta 57's and I have to say the difference to the standard 57 is minimal, particularly in a live environment. Dont be fooled by more expensive studio instruments mic's ... a combination of 2 SM57's and a ribbon will give you the results you require.
I've been using the same SM57 for about 14 years, and it had had a hard life when I rescued it. It's previous owner was about to consign it to the bin (because it was scratched) but worked perfectly. It still does. I've used it on literally every micing set up from snare to overheads and even kick (at a push), and despite the fact that the foam in the top has now disintegrated, it simply doesn't know when it's beaten. Still going strong, it is a little more ungainly than when I acquired it, and is now being used by the singer for lead vocals. The case is very nearly bullet proof and missile retardant, so it is handy for the jobbing musician, and particularly useful for those who can only afford to have one great microphone, if so, then this is the one. It simply mics anything brilliantly and accurately. Slight drawback in the absence of an on/off switch to prevent broadcasting an embarrasing faux pas, it is balanced by being dynamic and free from batteries, so that it won't let you down in that department, when you forget to sitch it off. Never thought of replacing it, because I'd only be improving on the paint job!
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