#1
There are a lot of battles going around here with the SM57 as an "all purpose" mic or a mic for acoustic guitar. I was going to record a few clips of my guitar with it when I decided to run it next to my old FC4s and the FC1 I use for recording vocals and most mono sources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwj6ASrNYjY
If you check the description there are links to each specific clip.

So, how terrible does that SM57 sound? Or is it actually okay?
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
#2
Honestly, they all sound pretty much the same to me. It would've helped if the mics were closer to the guitar.

Edit: I hear the difference now. Plus, the vid makes it look like the mics are further away than 8 inches.
Last edited by Dimarzio45 at Mar 31, 2013,
#3
They actually sound pretty seriously different...what are you listening on? and they were only 8 inches away which is ridiculously close for acoustic guitar.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
#4
Small diaphragm's all day everyday! Even the budget ones sound great. I find with any other mic you just loose a certain amount of clarity and brightness. The SM57 just doesn't have that appealing top end.
#5
Quote by Artemis Entreri
They actually sound pretty seriously different...what are you listening on? and they were only 8 inches away which is ridiculously close for acoustic guitar.


I'm listening through a good system. I'm just confused...you say the mics were about 8 inches away, but in the video they're like 2 feet away.
#6
It's perspective, and honestly youtube isn't the best kinda thing to do this kinda thing. I've put it on HD to get better sound quality. I'm listening through ATM-50's

iPhone mic... sounded okay actually but way too little low end and too much room sound. Clear but not usable in recording without a lot of work.

FC1: This is lovely and clear, almost sounds like being there, which is always a good thing. Very little horrible boxyness or room sound and a nice defined sound.

FC4: The same as the FC1 mostly, but lacking in low end for me. I like the bigger acoustic sound. This'd be good for when the guitar is part of a track instead of the focus, sounded a little less alive on the "harder" parts to me.

SM57: Sounds... fine... but it's so dead in comparison to the other two. I can't really be bothered to keep listening to it.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#7
Mic spacing from the guitar was good and sounds fine. Now then...

The iPhone mic was absolutely horrid. No bottom end at all.

I liked the tone of the FC1 the best. An LDC and an acoustic are a match made in heaven.

The FC4st wasn't bad either. I'm not familiar with it, but it's my guess that it's an SDC.

The SM57... I have to admit I've never considered using one to record acoustic, but now you've got me thinking about it. It doesn't quite have the bottom end of the FC1, but in the right application, I think it would be a good choice. I'd also consider using the SM57 and an LDC, then blending the result.

Edit: Listening on a Crown D-75a and JBL Control 5s here.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Mar 31, 2013,
#8
Okay. I hear the difference. I just had to jump around a bit in the clip. The FC-1 sounds the best in my opinion. I think the SM57 would be best at the middle-of-neck area to help capture the mids since low end capture isn't quite its forte. Mix that with the FS-1 at the body - Voila!
Last edited by Dimarzio45 at Mar 31, 2013,
#9
Quote by Dimarzio45
I'm listening through a good system. I'm just confused...you say the mics were about 8 inches away, but in the video they're like 2 feet away.


The video throws off the perspective. If I put my elbow on the guitar the mic diaphragms were at my wrist or so.

Quote by ChemicalFire
It's perspective, and honestly youtube isn't the best kinda thing to do this kinda thing. I've put it on HD to get better sound quality. I'm listening through ATM-50's

iPhone mic... sounded okay actually but way too little low end and too much room sound. Clear but not usable in recording without a lot of work.

FC1: This is lovely and clear, almost sounds like being there, which is always a good thing. Very little horrible boxyness or room sound and a nice defined sound.

FC4: The same as the FC1 mostly, but lacking in low end for me. I like the bigger acoustic sound. This'd be good for when the guitar is part of a track instead of the focus, sounded a little less alive on the "harder" parts to me.

SM57: Sounds... fine... but it's so dead in comparison to the other two. I can't really be bothered to keep listening to it.


You're right, youtube isn't the best. HOWEVER on 1080p with the full quality .wavs in the video file it's close enough that you can't even tell without a super hifi system which I doubt more than 1% of this forum has. Anyway. You might find this interesting.

The iPhone surprises me sometimes. I've taken some pretty good recordings with it. But they've all been of VERY loud sources in big spaces. For example . It's not great obviously but not bad for a phone!

I agree with you about the FC1. Best budget mic I have. It's killer on male vocals.

The FC4 is indeed pretty thin. I could have angled it a LITTLE more towards the soundhole but it gets muddy quickly. It works pretty well in a pair though when you can dial in a little more low without losing clarity.

I also agree with you about the 57. Sounds fine. It would work great in a dense mix. But by itself it's nothing more than fine.

Quote by KG6_Steven
Mic spacing from the guitar was good and sounds fine. Now then...

The iPhone mic was absolutely horrid. No bottom end at all.

I liked the tone of the FC1 the best. An LDC and an acoustic are a match made in heaven.

The FC4st wasn't bad either. I'm not familiar with it, but it's my guess that it's an SDC.

The SM57... I have to admit I've never considered using one to record acoustic, but now you've got me thinking about it. It doesn't quite have the bottom end of the FC1, but in the right application, I think it would be a good choice. I'd also consider using the SM57 and an LDC, then blending the result.

Edit: Listening on a Crown D-75a and JBL Control 5s here.


iPhone is indeed thin. See the comment I made above though.

The FC4 is indeed an SDC. st stands for stereo pair as they came in a pair.

The first two mics I got were a 57 and the FC1. I used to stereo mic a guitar with them...got some interesting results. The 57 was just a little bit too noisy to create a believable stereo image. It worked great summing a spaced pair to mono however.

Quote by Dimarzio45
Okay. I hear the difference. I just had to jump around a bit in the clip. The FC-1 sounds the best in my opinion. I think the SM57 would be best at the middle-of-neck area to help capture the mids since low end capture isn't quite its forte. Mix that with the FS-1 at the body - Voila!


Yeah. Ideally what you do in this situation is use each mic to capture the same take and then seamlessly stitch them together so that the track takes say, 12 shifts between the various mics. That way you can hear the changes. I might well try that now.

Like I said above, I used to use them together. But I have Oktavas now so no need! 57 gets used on cabs and snares now.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Mar 31, 2013,
#10
Quote by Artemis Entreri


Yeah. Ideally what you do in this situation is use each mic to capture the same take and then seamlessly stitch them together so that the track takes say, 12 shifts between the various mics. That way you can hear the changes. I might well try that now.

Like I said above, I used to use them together. But I have Oktavas now so no need! 57 gets used on cabs and snares now.


Yeah, I have heard some really good recordings with the SM57 on guitar cabs and drums. To me, for a $100 mic, you get pretty damn good results considering the price tag.
#11
Well, while it was originally designed for classical music its ability to handle high SPLs makes it work well for things like cabs and snares.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712