#1
I have a few questions about the Shure SM57. I've been reading a lot about this mic, i'm sure it's great. I'm hoping to recording a whole band with it.

I have a presonus fire wire recording interface FP10. It'll connect to that no problem yes?

Will it record bass guitar just as well as normal guitars?

And how about vocals, we really wanna do vocals with this mic too. Will they sound good? Or what.

All info is appreciated. Thanks!
Ibanez K-5 Fieldy Signature
Ernie Ball SUB Series Sterling Stingray 4
Yorkville XC115 Bass Cab(w/head)

"It's better to burn out than fade away"
-Neil Young/Kurt Cobain
#2
yeah it'll connect no problem.

it's a good mic for almost anything. it's normally used for guitar cabs and snare drums in the studio setting, although it should do alright for everything else.

it's probably not the best of mics for bass, but with a bass it wouldn't be a bad idea to just go straight into the interface and not through a mic. if you amp has a line out then get a DI box and run your amp and bass straight into the interface and mix the two together.

vocals generally do better with condenser mics, but that's not to say dynamics are never used. the 58 is an excellent mic for live settings and is the exact same mic as a 57 (different casing), so i dont see why it wouldn't be one of the better dynamic mics to record with. but then you also have to take into consideration that different mics work better on different voices.
if you're real serious about recording your band, i'd looking into investing in a decent condenser to handle all vocal and possibly acoustic instruments. i can offer some suggestions if you're interested. just let me know.
#3
Well, i own one of these/have worked with many of them for a couple of years, and i can answer all of your questions (hopefully)

First of all, i'm extremely jealous that somehow you own that FP10 interface, and, yes, the SM57 will work with that just fine. It's a microphone just like any other, and does not require Phantom Power because it's dynamic (don't worry about what that is if you don't know, its not necessarily important info for this microphone)

As far as recording your whole band, well, yes, it's a start if you're completely brand new to recording. Here's my break down of how this microphone works in different situations:

Guitar: Absolutely phenominal. This microphone is the 'industry standard' of guitar amps, and i noticed that you have a Kurt Cobain quote in your sig? Almost all of Nirvana's guitar tracks were recorded with this microphone. (save for a few such as Lithium, but i digress)

Bass: Not particularly recommended. I typically put this mic on my bass cab to get the sharper sounds, and more hi/mid frequencies in my bass tracks, because the SM57 sort of lacks in the low frequency department. However, it can record a half-decent bass track if positioned correctly. Aim it at the edge of one of your Bass Cab cones, and put it a couple of feet back with the amp pretty loud. That's your best bet to get nice low frequencies out of the track.

Vocals: Lacking. I wouldn't buy this for vocals at all. For the same price you can buy the SM58 which will sound great compared to the 57, especially live. The reason i wouldn't use it is simply because it's a dynamic mic, and if, for example. you switch from yelling to softer singing, and move around with your voice in any amount, it's not going to do it justice. It will pick up the louder sounds while barely picking up the softer ones.

My advice for vocals would be to record certain parts (louder parts) on one track, then go back over and record softer parts on a seperate track. Do that and you may be able to get a decent voice track with this mic.

(For the record, the 58 is a dynamic mic too, but more sensitive and built for vocals!)

Drums:

If this is your only mic, and you want to record drums, you may be in some luck.

I've found that for drum recordings, if you set the SM57 back about 8 to 10 feet from the kit (make sure the level is pretty high), and point it in the general direction of the snare, with the kick drum cover off and a pillow inside, you can get a surprisingly nice drum sound.

It's not going to sound professional, and it may be a little dull, but you'll clearly be able to hear each individual drum to some extent. And it surpisingly grabs a good punch from the kick.


If you have any other questions, i'd be glad to answer them, or point you in the direction of some microphones you should look into getting. I've only been recording for a couple of years, but i've clocked countless hours in 2 different studios, and have worked with plenty of top-of-the-line microphones and equipment.

Hope this helped!
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#4
Any suggestions would be GREAT. Thanks.
We are looking to just buy us one mic to get us started. Do you think this will do it good enough?
What exactly is a Dl box? Can you explain that bass recording thing more? I'm still a little new to recording.
I've read the 57 can handle vocals well enough, and live too. But i guess it does depends on the singing. I'm just nervous to buy, you know? haha
Ibanez K-5 Fieldy Signature
Ernie Ball SUB Series Sterling Stingray 4
Yorkville XC115 Bass Cab(w/head)

"It's better to burn out than fade away"
-Neil Young/Kurt Cobain
#5
Well i'm in the metal band, (but i record all styles too with other friends) And i'm overall wondering if this mic will withstand over all for awhile until i could get a SM58 or a different mic for vocals.
All mic suggestions are appreciated again!
I'm enjoying you're covers BassFishin!
And i LOVE my FP10, but i haven't even used it to all it's capabilities It's all i got really recording wise. I'm working my way up.
Ibanez K-5 Fieldy Signature
Ernie Ball SUB Series Sterling Stingray 4
Yorkville XC115 Bass Cab(w/head)

"It's better to burn out than fade away"
-Neil Young/Kurt Cobain
#6
No, i understand. 100 bucks is a big deal in any situation. I've been there. And thanks for giving my stuff a listen, haha.

If your plan is to record your whole band, then yes, get this microphone. The absolute worst possible recordings you'll get out of it will still sound listenable, if that makes sense. There's really no bad situation when it comes to this one. It's probably the first professional-level mic that people buy for recording.

But all you need is a microphone stand, a really nice cable, and this mic and you're good to go. Just plug that sucker into your FP10 and get to work!


For the record, my cover of I'll Stick Around made some good use of the SM57. I used it on the guitar track (so you can hear the professional quality), as well as a small amount on the bass track. I also positioned it above my snare drum with the volume very low, and it was able to capture just about everything except for the kick drum.


My All Apologies cover was recorded entirely with the 57, except for the drums, which i played using Rock Band modded drum kits.

And last, my Beck cover was entirely with the 57, including vocals.


So, in summary, definitly get the microphone. While that 58 i mentioned may sound nicer with vocals, it's not going to be able to do all of the awesome things that the 57 does.


Let me know if you have any other concerns, as i said, i'm glad to help

EDIT: I meant Big Me, not I'll Stick Around.
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
Last edited by BassFishin at Sep 8, 2009,
#7
Great, now i'm excited. I have an old mic cable i found at my school. So is the mic cable important?
My only worry in the end is recording vocals. But i feel like it'll go fine now.
Thanks for all the great help! I wasn't expecting that much of replies.
Ibanez K-5 Fieldy Signature
Ernie Ball SUB Series Sterling Stingray 4
Yorkville XC115 Bass Cab(w/head)

"It's better to burn out than fade away"
-Neil Young/Kurt Cobain
#8
No problem. It's the kind of thing i wish someone would have told me, heh.

I would say yes, the mic cable matters but, make use with what you've got. The only concern is old cables tend to have frayed wires, and may give you a bit of extra noise (an annoying static sound that can't be fixed really) but for the most part you'll most likely be fine.

(Especially because the top notch heavy duty cables run minimum 60 bucks!)

Oh yeah, and you were curious what a Direct Input (DI) Box is.


It's basically an alternative to recording through an amp. Of course, you can record through amp and a DI box at the same time, so that you have more to work with later.


Lets say you wanted to record your bass guitar through a DI box and from your amplifier:

you would plug up a mic cable from the box to your FP10.

Plug your bass into the input of the DI box with a typical instrument cable.

Run another instrument cable from the DI box to the amplifier.

Then just mic up your amplifier.


The point here is: The DI Box is literally just taking the sound that your bass makes. No amp, no effects, nothing. It's getting the raw sound of your guitar. It's a very common technique to do this while micing your amp, because it picks up really sharp tones that can be hard to capture through a mic, not to mention tones that get covered up by your amp.

So is it necessary? No. It's just an added effect. But if you already have one, then all you need is a couple of cables and you could do it if you wanted, alongside the SM57.


Another bizarre technique is to run a guitar through a distortion pedal, then through a DI Box. For a good example of that, listen to the Foo Fighters' song Exhausted.

Speaking of which, i'm exhausted from all this typing!

Best of luck to ya man. Hope to hear some killer recordings from your group!
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#9
BassFishin knows what he's talking about (i think). listen to him. i'll just repeat everything he's saying...

the whole DI thing is really only to give you more control over your recorded tone. its cheaper and easier than miking everything up, and is very commonly done. of course, if you're low on dough, you'd be just fine without it.

go for the 57. it's one of the most versatile mics out there, not to mention the most durable. granted, versatile stuff generally isn't really good at any one thing. it's just pretty good at a whole lot of things, making it great for those on a budget. i'd say go ahead and get it.

if you're real picky about your vocals (you'll know quite soon if you're satisfied or not with the 57 on vocals) you can either fork out another 100+ on a condenser (low end for that price) or better yet, ask around and see if you know anyone who has one they'd be willing to lend to you for the recording. if they've got some, they might even have a few tips to offer you to get your further along.

there's really no point in getting a 57 and a 58 unless you need to be using them both at the same time. i've heard numerous places from people who knew a whole lot more about it than i do that the 58 is just a 57 with the little ball screen on the end making it more friendly for vocals. the actual mic is the same though. meaning you stick a pop filter (cheep) on the end of a 57 and no one will ever hear a difference. if you're ever getting 2 mics, get a 57 and a condenser, and that's actually a pretty sweet set up you'll have going.

good luck to you. have fun with it. it's a lot of fun once you start getting the hang of it.
and make sure you post at least 1 song. we'd like to hear your work.
#10
Quote by sandyman323
BassFishin knows what he's talking about (i think). listen to him. i'll just repeat everything he's saying...


Haha, why thank you, i try!


Quote by sandyman323

there's really no point in getting a 57 and a 58 unless you need to be using them both at the same time. i've heard numerous places from people who knew a whole lot more about it than i do that the 58 is just a 57 with the little ball screen on the end making it more friendly for vocals. the actual mic is the same though. meaning you stick a pop filter (cheep) on the end of a 57 and no one will ever hear a difference. if you're ever getting 2 mics, get a 57 and a condenser, and that's actually a pretty sweet set up you'll have going.


Wow, i've actually never heard that. But i just went ahead and read some online reports that say similar things!

That really sucks! Good thing i never wasted my money on one then. I did put a small pop filter on my sm57 back in the day when i would record vox on it though, and it sounded fine for what i was doing, so that's saying something about the whole thing.
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#12
I decided to post a song me and my buddies did with the crap mic we have from school. haha. But it actually sounds good. And the drums are done with electric drums. Theres no vocals but whenever we finish the song completely i'll be sure to upload it!

EDIT: I couldn't upload it because it wasn't a Mp3 haha. But i put a link to my bands myspace. So we have 3 guitar parts on there. And one with drums.

Thanks for all the info and help everyone!

And with the DI box, i have the FP10 and i was wondering if i micd my amp with a mic line, and plugged my bass into slot 1 or 2 (pre amps? I think)
Would that be the same thing. or do i actually need a DI box to do it right.
Cause i don't always like my bass sound recorded too much. It's only decent.. haha
Last edited by FedEx8 at Sep 10, 2009,
#13
Hmm not sure. I think you've got me on that pre-amp thing, but it sounds solid. I would just try it and see!
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#14
After thinking about it while recovering from White Castle last night, the pre amp should work just fine.

A DI box is essentially a kind of pre-amp. It's taking the signal from your bass before it hits the amplifier, and using that as the recorded track.

However, this is one area i've never looked into. Personally i'm only a fan of Direct Input when i need that little bit of extra tone on an instrument. So this is kind of a gray area for me.

Hopefully someone can inform me, i don't like gray areas, haha.
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#15
Quote by BassFishin
Well, i own one of these/have worked with many of them for a couple of years, and i can answer all of your questions (hopefully)

First of all, i'm extremely jealous that somehow you own that FP10 interface, and, yes, the SM57 will work with that just fine. It's a microphone just like any other, and does not require Phantom Power because it's dynamic (don't worry about what that is if you don't know, its not necessarily important info for this microphone)

As far as recording your whole band, well, yes, it's a start if you're completely brand new to recording. Here's my break down of how this microphone works in different situations:

Guitar: Absolutely phenominal. This microphone is the 'industry standard' of guitar amps, and i noticed that you have a Kurt Cobain quote in your sig? Almost all of Nirvana's guitar tracks were recorded with this microphone. (save for a few such as Lithium, but i digress)

Bass: Not particularly recommended. I typically put this mic on my bass cab to get the sharper sounds, and more hi/mid frequencies in my bass tracks, because the SM57 sort of lacks in the low frequency department. However, it can record a half-decent bass track if positioned correctly. Aim it at the edge of one of your Bass Cab cones, and put it a couple of feet back with the amp pretty loud. That's your best bet to get nice low frequencies out of the track.

Vocals: Lacking. I wouldn't buy this for vocals at all. For the same price you can buy the SM58 which will sound great compared to the 57, especially live. The reason i wouldn't use it is simply because it's a dynamic mic, and if, for example. you switch from yelling to softer singing, and move around with your voice in any amount, it's not going to do it justice. It will pick up the louder sounds while barely picking up the softer ones.

My advice for vocals would be to record certain parts (louder parts) on one track, then go back over and record softer parts on a seperate track. Do that and you may be able to get a decent voice track with this mic.

(For the record, the 58 is a dynamic mic too, but more sensitive and built for vocals!)

Drums:

If this is your only mic, and you want to record drums, you may be in some luck.

I've found that for drum recordings, if you set the SM57 back about 8 to 10 feet from the kit (make sure the level is pretty high), and point it in the general direction of the snare, with the kick drum cover off and a pillow inside, you can get a surprisingly nice drum sound.

It's not going to sound professional, and it may be a little dull, but you'll clearly be able to hear each individual drum to some extent. And it surpisingly grabs a good punch from the kick.


If you have any other questions, i'd be glad to answer them, or point you in the direction of some microphones you should look into getting. I've only been recording for a couple of years, but i've clocked countless hours in 2 different studios, and have worked with plenty of top-of-the-line microphones and equipment.

Hope this helped!


Great advice. I hate the SM57-worship that seems to happen on this forum, like all other mics it has purposes for which it works very well (guitar cabs and individual drums), but that does not mean it's a great mic for everything else. It leads to a lot of kids going out and buying a dynamic mic because they're certain it's the best in the world, then wondering why their vocal tracks and acoustic guitar parts sound so flat and unprofessional....


If I had to record a full band with only one microphone, it would be a condenser without a shadow of a doubt; but one quality dynamic mic and one quality condenser is a great setup for quick raw rock recordings. (Eg a Rode NT-1 and a Shure SM57)

Fiond a nice room. then mic the drums with one condenser, using the dynamic near the bass drum. Then do the guitar/bass tracks with whichever mic sounds best for each amp (probably the dynamic), and vocals with the condenser.


And AFAIK the SM57/58 use the same capsule but are marginally different, the main difference in sound is the proximity effect of the '57s smaller grille. Removing the ball end from the 58 makes them great for guitar cabs.
My band always has a few '58s hanging around so I tend to use them on guitar tracks and they sound absolutely fine: certainly not enough difference to warrant going out and buying a '57 instead.
#16
Quote by kyle62
And AFAIK the SM57/58 use the same capsule but are marginally different, the main difference in sound is the proximity effect of the '57s smaller grille. Removing the ball end from the 58 makes them great for guitar cabs.
My band always has a few '58s hanging around so I tend to use them on guitar tracks and they sound absolutely fine: certainly not enough difference to warrant going out and buying a '57 instead.



Yea, someone else pointed this out to me earlier in this thread. That really sucks, it's almost like Shure is ripping you off. I've never owned an SM58, only used it, so i used it for a live vocal track in the studio.

Although I didn't use it for the final vocal track. I was lucky enough to have access to this bad boy http://www.guitarcenter.com/AKG-C-414-B-XL-II-Condenser-Microphone-278591-i1127326.gc

ahh, i miss federal funding...
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
#17
Quote by FedEx8
And with the DI box, i have the FP10 and i was wondering if i micd my amp with a mic line, and plugged my bass into slot 1 or 2 (pre amps? I think)
Would that be the same thing. or do i actually need a DI box to do it right.
Cause i don't always like my bass sound recorded too much. It's only decent.. haha


i'm a little confused as to how you're doing that.

i'll try to explain the whole DI thing real quick. and again, it's not done by everyone, and if you dont have the money to spend on more cables and DI boxes, you'll get just about the same tone without doing it. so dont worry about it if you cant do it.

a DI box (direct injection) takes a line level signal and steps it down to mic level. it can do this in two different ways. there's Passive DI's and Active DI's. i wont go into the differences here because all that matters now is that one does it with a battery and one does it the old fashioned way if you will. they do basically the same thing.

a DI box normally has one input and 2 outputs. since i dont know how to post pictures on here (forgive me), just take a look at this one http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Live-Wire-ADI-Active-DI-Direct-Box?sku=180096.

notice that there is an "input" a "thru" and an "output" the "input" and "thru" being 1/4" and the output being XLR. generally, for a regular step down, you'll plug your guitar/bass into the "input" and then take an XLR cable from the "output" into the board's mic inputs, which are expecting a mic level signal and not a line level signal.

in your case, there's normally no need for a DI box since your interface has switchable inputs. you can tell it what kind of level to be looking for when you plug something in.

to do the little bass trick, you'll be using the "thru" output of the DI box. the "thru" just taps into the input signal and sends it straight back out completely unaffected. so what goes in the "input" is the exact same thing that is coming out of the "thru" so now you have two identical signals to work with instead of just one. one of those signals goes through the transformer and comes out mic level out of the other end of the box, while one signal comes out the "thru" and can go anywhere you need it. what you would do is this:
-plug your guitar/bass into the input.
-output of DI box goes into your mixer (interface in this situation)
-thru from the DI box goes into your amp
-mic the amp and put i a second channel on your interface
-if your amp has a line out, you go from that to a third channel on your interface

you now have three different tracks from one bass. mix to taste.

i hope all that made sense. it's really not worth doing unless you're control crazy with your tones or are doing more professional stuff. but if you wanted to try it out, there's no reason not to.