#1
EDIT: Now I've pretty much settled on the SM58, unless you have a suggestion for a better mic that costs the same of less.

Now I need to know what I should buy so I can use the mic. Interface, etc. I'm looking at MicMate for dynamic mics, Blue Icicle, and M Audio right now. Any other suggestions?

PS I have a Mac, so PCI isn't an option.
Last edited by trueamerican at Jun 18, 2011,
#2
I've heard they're exactly the same aside from the SM58 having a ball at then end. If you take it of it's supposed to sound exactly like a 57.

I have a SM58 and I record guitar with it frequently and it's great. I plan on buying a 57 soon and doing a comparison though.
#3
If they're the same, why would anyone buy more than one? I'm asking because I know nothing of recording, don't think I'm trying to be obnoxious.
#4
I may have a biased opinion here since I'm still in the honeymoon period with my SM57, but I absolutely love it for recording guitars.

I've also tried talking into it, it sounded very clear and could imagine in the hands of an experienced vocalist it would come out even better.
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#6
So Bruce Bartlett says, "The SM57 and SM58 are essentially the same, except that the SM57 was intended mainly for instruments and the SM58 for vocals. The SM58 has a ball grille that acts as a pop filter. The two mics have the same proximity effect at the same miking distance. Because of its smaller grille, the SM57 lets you get closer to it for more bass boost. But if you are 2 inches from the diaphragm in either mic, they have the same bass boost. They have a slightly different response at high frequencies because of the acoustical effects of the different grilles."

Now, I've heard great things about both of them. But I want to be able to record guitar AND vocals with one mic. Is the SM57 good for vocals? Is the SM58 good for guitar?

And is there another mic of the same price that's better at both?

EDIT: and spec sheets mean nothing to me.... I'm a recording noob.
#7
Yes, the SM57 is a fine vocal mic and a lot of people use it for that. It is better for recording instruments and mic'ing amps than the SM58.

There are plenty of other good mics out there for about the same price. Look at the offerings from Electro Voice. Those are very good.
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#8
SM57 equals great close mic Guitar AND Vocals. Acoustic guitar wil need a condenser microphone since its not "hot enough" (hot is a reference to how much volume it needs to pick up the singal. condenser mics need extra voltage (phontom power 48v) to run.

the 58 is a great vocal mic. if youre recording. revord vocals with a condenser. record acoustin with a condenser and record cabinets or combos with a 57 blaring loud.
#9
I'm going to go with the 57 over the 58. I've been reading around online, and that seems to be the consensus.

And for 109USD I can get a Shure SM57 w/ cable and stand on MF. Is there another mic that can beat that in terms of quality (and ease of use, by the way) while being in the same price range?

Again, I'm a noob, and I can't test these out. I'm going to buy one and stick with that for a while. So what should I get?
#10
If you absolutely have to do it this way, get a 57. It will do OK with vocals, whereas the 58 doesn't do quite so well with instruments, and nor is it supposed to. But you will notice the difference between recording vocals with a 57 and a 58. It just depends how much you care.

Also, there are other ways you can go about this I'd recommend you have a look at.

I actually have a 58 for my vocals, and for guitars I use a cab emulator. This allows me to plug my amp's line out (which your amp may or may not have) straight into my laptop's line in. The cab emulator (which I downloaded for free) takes the signal and uses some sort of voodoo magic to mimic the sound of a specific cab, which works amazingly well and means I don't have to mic my amp up.
#11
Okay, just spent a little time checking out condenser mics.... ****. I don't know what to choose. On one hand, it seems condensers are simply better mics. But they're more expensive, much more fragile, and they pick up every goddam noise that's made.

I live in a house, I'm not alone, and I don't have a soundproofed recording studio. Will a condenser mic pick up everything around me? If so, I definitely can't buy it.
#12
Neither the 57 or 58 are really great for recording vocals. The 58 is the standard in live mics, but there are very few occasions where a 58 is going to work better than a condenser mic for vocals.

If I had to choose one over the other though, I'd go 58 for the pop filter. Since I'm assuming you're on a tight budget, it will be a better mic for recording vocals because of the grille. Pull off the grille and put it in front of a cab and you'll have essentially the same mic as a 57.
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#13
Quote by trueamerican
And for 109USD I can get a Shure SM57 w/ cable and stand on MF. Is there another mic that can beat that in terms of quality (and ease of use, by the way) while being in the same price range?

Again, I'm a noob, and I can't test these out. I'm going to buy one and stick with that for a while. So what should I get?


In terms of quality, not really. A Shure is a shure, and they are the kings of rugged construction, but that's my biased opinion. Seinheiser and AKG both have comparable models to the SM57 that I can't remember off the top of my head, and they are very good. The only things that really differentiate them are your opinions on the brand name, and the individual sounds of the mics. Really I'd just recommend that you stick to the 57, it is an industry standard mic and you know what you're getting with it.
#14
I've had an SM57 sound better at vocals than all the SM58's we had and I've had SM58's that sounded better in front of an amp. I worked with a singer that always used a 57 for his vocals because it sounded so good. We marked the mics accordingly so we knew which was which. The differences between two 58's can be more than the difference between a 57 and a 58.
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#15
So the cheapest condensers seem to run at about 200. Are they any good? More importantly: will they be better than an SM57?

And if I pull the filter off the SM58, will it really be basically the same thing as an SM57? Because I've heard that's not true.
#16
Condensers really are remarkably better for recording vocals.

No, removing the filter doesn't make it a 57, the 57 has a filter too, it's just a small one that isn't one designed to soak up a heap of spit. If using a 57 for vocals you have to clean them more often. Put the 58 cartridge into a 57 shell and it's the same mic. The insert is the same.
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#17
Quote by Cathbard
I've had an SM57 sound better at vocals than all the SM58's we had and I've had SM58's that sounded better in front of an amp. I worked with a singer that always used a 57 for his vocals because it sounded so good. We marked the mics accordingly so we knew which was which. The differences between two 58's can be more than the difference between a 57 and a 58.

This. Personally i actually like recording my own voice with an sm58 over a lot of other expensive mics i've used in college, i don't know why but they suit it better. I have a shit singing voice but when i've had to sing i've used them. There have been times in studios where often a singer will be given several mics in front of them and asked to sing into each as a test and then in the control room everyone listens back and then it's decided which worked best. Occasionally people do prefer the sound of non expensive mics such as the 58 or 57 compared to others just because of how their voice worked with it.

I prefer using my sm58 on my amp compared to the sm57, but they are basically the same thing except 1 has a pop sheild on the end. For vocals and guitar i'd opt for the sm58, the 57 can get slightly closer to things due to it not having a pop sheild but that's about it.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Jun 18, 2011,
#18
So the only difference is the type of filter. Got it. So getting a 58, all things being equal, would be better because I could use it for vocals, and then remove the pop filter and use it for guitar, right?

And I've heard condensers are better for vocals and acoustic. But could I use it for electric guitar? And will it literally pick up EVERYTHING in the room?
#19
A condenser will be good for clean or low gain guitars, but if you're recording high gain stuff a dynamic will be better really, especially if you record at high volumes. Some condensers will be a bit too sensitive for high volumes, and they also have much faster transient response, which means sudden spikes in whatever you're recording will be more prominent. With guitars, this is sometimes a bad thing, which is why dynamics are more commonly used, they smooth out the sharp transients because they don't respond as quickly.

Dynamics don't generally sound as good vocals, but many people prefer them, it just depends on the singer. A condenser will give you a smoother, finer sound, where dynamics are harsher, but handle high volumes better.
#20
I just wanna be told what to do

Okay, so what I've gleaned from this is the the SM57/58 is more versatile than the condenser, though not as good as what the condenser specializes in.

So I'm going to narrow it down to 57 vs. 58 again. My last question stands: is the 58 better for me, because I can record vocals better and then take off the pop shield and record guitar just the same as a 57?
#21
I wouldn't say a 57/58 is more versatile than a condenser, but it depends on the condenser. The 57/58 are like a jack of all trades, master of none (although they are my mic of choice for on a snare)

If you want to be told what to do, get the 58.
#22
you buy sm58.

you buy different mike in the future.

you can always use a sm58 somewhere.

do that.

also remember that you need a preamp for the mic.

it takes relatively little gain to make a dynamic mic like the sm58 work alright.

don't bother with condensers right now. they depend a lot more on how good your mic pre is.
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Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jun 18, 2011,
#23
I had no idea I had to get a preamp as well

**** my lack of knowledge!

Okay, let's take it from the top. I think I'm going to get the SM58. My gear consists of an amp and a bunch of guitars. That's it. I'm going to get Reaper because it's better than Garageband, from what I hear.

What do I need apart from the SM58 (and the cable and stand it comes with)? What preamp would you recommend?
#24
An interface of some kind, it will have a built in preamp.
There are plenty around for not a lot of money, M Audio make some good cheap ones.
#25
I've been looking around. Is MicMate for dynamic mics any good? How about Blue Icicle? And M Audio typically uses PCI, no? So that wouldn't work for my MacBook Pro.
#27
M Audio make a lot of interfaces, you can get USB or FireWire ones, so you can use it with your Mac.
#28
Thanks a lot man sorry for all the noobish questions.

Buuuuuut I have more. Are there any specific ones you'd recommend? Because spec sheets mean nothing to me, and I don't know what the advantages of any individual ones are.

EDIT: What about this mic? http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Affordable-Capsule-Cardioid-Microphone/dp/B0002X869M
Last edited by trueamerican at Jun 19, 2011,
#29
Quote by GezzyDiversion
The SM58 has a presence boost around 10kHz to help vocals cut through the mix better.

It's actually around 3khz

edit: well it starts somewhere around there, that's what really gets things to cut well. 57 has this too as far as i'm aware as they're basically the same thing.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Jun 19, 2011,
#30
Quote by trueamerican
Thanks a lot man sorry for all the noobish questions.

Buuuuuut I have more. Are there any specific ones you'd recommend? Because spec sheets mean nothing to me, and I don't know what the advantages of any individual ones are.

EDIT: What about this mic? http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Affordable-Capsule-Cardioid-Microphone/dp/B0002X869M


Cant say ive tried it, the specs look good though.

You need an interface with phantom power for a condenser mic.

Large diaphraphms sound warmer, smaller ones capture high end more accurately. FYI.

Rode NT1a is kinda the standard on a budget for male vocals. Have a look on ebay.
#31
1. Is it good for acoustic and electric guitar also?

2. I'm a little wary of buying used condenser mics because I've read they're very fragile, so the owner could have broken it or it could break in transit. And I don't want to have to deal with shipping insurance.
#32
It could be used for electric and acoustic yeah, id prolly dual mic with SM57 for electric, using the NT1 on axis a few inches away, 57 off axis close to the grill.

Smaller condensers are usually better for acoustic, but any condenser will be better for micing an acoustic than an SM57 no question.

I wouldnt say theyre really fragile, more so than a dynamic yeah, but if its packaged properly it will be fine.

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#34
If you have a MacBook. Then definitely get something by apogee. Something like the older duet will work great. You might just need a FireWire adapter.
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#35
the president uses an sm57 for inogural adresses....good enough?
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#36
As far as interfaces go I like my Saffire6 USB by focusrite.
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#38
Quote by beckyjc
Smaller condensers are usually better for acoustic, but any condenser will be better for micing an acoustic than an SM57 no question.

I prefer LDC's for acoustic, just because they capture the low end a bit better. With 2 mics, a large diaphragm on the body and small pointing at the fretboard is good too.

Quote by trueamerican
2. I'm a little wary of buying used condenser mics because I've read they're very fragile, so the owner could have broken it or it could break in transit. And I don't want to have to deal with shipping insurance.

If you buy a Rode, they have a lifetime warranty, they'll cover all repair costs or replace the mic if something breaks. Don't get service like that much these days.
#39
Quote by trueamerican
I just wanna be told what to do

Okay, so what I've gleaned from this is the the SM57/58 is more versatile than the condenser, though not as good as what the condenser specializes in.

So I'm going to narrow it down to 57 vs. 58 again. My last question stands: is the 58 better for me, because I can record vocals better and then take off the pop shield and record guitar just the same as a 57?


Get a SM-58, or a Sennheiser e609(great mic as well), when you record guitars, take the pop filter off, when you record vocals, screw it back on.

I use a SM-58 in my more recent recordings, without using an interface, and it sounds pretty decent, what's difficult is getting your mic placement just right so you get the best bass response and mids and highs response from it, mic placement can the be death of your tone despite the mic.

You could have a rock band mic, and if you got your mic placement just right, it could sound pretty decent, but only limited to the quality of the mic.

EDIT, you want a interface for recording, preamps are nice, but are only as good as your soundcard, if your soundcard is crap, your sound will be crap.

Interfaces act as an external soundcard so it takes the stress off of your soundcard and typically interface soundcards are built better for colorless recording.
Last edited by ethan_hanus at Jun 20, 2011,