#1
What's the difference between these two mics? I want a mic I can use to record electric guitars, possibly acoustic, and vocals. I would also like to use the mic to sing live. What are the main differences?
#2
I don't know the technical differences, but I know that the SM57 is generally used for mic'ing instruments up and the SM58 is used more for vocals. I think it's got something to do with the directional qualities of each microphone as well as the frequency responses.

I have one of each, and I think for your purposes you'd be better off with the SM58. It's much better for recording vocals as well as live stuff, and it can handle micing guitars up because they're a relatively high frequency as well. I use my SM58 to mic my acoustic guitar up all the time, and I use both the 57 and the 58 to mic up my electric guitar amp, placing the 57 up against the speaker and the 58 about 5ft away from the amp and panning it left and right respectively.

Anyway, yeah, I'd go with the 58, and then if you find your resources are limited in terms of instrument mic'ing, save up for the 57 also
#5
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#7
the SM58 has a filter that's shaped to reduce vocal/breath pops. the frequency response also emphasizes the vocal and vocal presence frequencies (mid/mid-high range). also, compared to the SM57, the SM58 cuts off more bass frequencies (because in vocals, anything below a certain point becomes extraneous and just increases the possibilities for noise).

the SM57 doesnt have the pop filter, and the frequency response seems to emphasize slightly higher frequencies (like, more instrument presence frequencies).
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#8
So which one should I get? So far, I'm leaning towards the SM58. But everyone is always preaching about the SM57. I don't want the voice to sound thin.
#9
well, the SM57's often used in vocal applications and just seems a bit more versatile. worst comes to worst (if the vocals on SM57 end up THAT bad...), go in the Parametric and cut here, boost there, and your vocals sound gold.
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#10
for vocals >>> SM58
for Instuments >>> SM57
simple as that, SM57 is not for vocals so for vocals and acoustic get the SM58 and for electric the SM57
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#12
sm57 is a dynamic mic not a condensor and is not good at all for vocals
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#13
sm57 can be used for vocals, maybe backup vocals, it is very versatile, the sm58 is dynamic too ( a dynamic vocal mic)...
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#14
I'm doing some recording now with both a SM57 and 58. I haven't tried the 58 for instruments, but I have noticed this with vocals: The 58 is much easier to sing into because you don't have to be "on axis" all the time. It seems that the mic is a bit more sensitive and can pick up vocals from a variety of angles. The 57 on the other hand, it seems you have to sing directly into it, which can cause problems with percussive pops and extraneous breathing noise. It doesn't do well picking up sounds that are off-axis. The 57 seems happier with a loud volume source, such as being perched 1/2" from the grille of an 85 watt tube amp. It does passable work with acoustic instruments (I'm eventually going to need a condensor ). If you're going to get a 57, definitely invest in a windscreen or something to reduce vocal noise.
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#15
Yea sm58 is a dynamic mic that was very well made for vocals. I noticed the same thing using the sm57, u have to be a lot closer.
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#16
Quote by tabber666
for vocals >>> SM58
for Instuments >>> SM57
simple as that, SM57 is not for vocals so for vocals and acoustic get the SM58 and for electric the SM57


"What gives the SM57 the reputation of a workhorse? Maybe the fact that the Shure SM57 is versatile in application, durable, and reliable. It has been used by the President of the United States for the past 30 years, and put to the test on stage and on tour by artists such as Stewart Copeland, AC/DC....ect"

Official Shure website: http://www.shure.com/otws/tech/sm57.asp


Ya sure buddy, I guess the United States government has been using the wrong mic for 30s years -_-. Man just about any Engineer I know (me included) will punch you in the mouth for saying that statement. SM57 is the most versitle mic EVER MADE, yes you can use it for vocals, some prefer the tone from 57.
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#17
Quote by tabber666
sm57 is a dynamic mic not a condensor and is not good at all for vocals

yeah your point? the SM58 is dynamic as well...

tool
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#18
ok, IMO the SM58, though still dynamic, is better for vocals. The SM57, though versatile, IMO, is better for picking up guitar, bass, drums etc. etc.
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#19
Just about everything has already been said.

But for recording vocals and acoustic guitar you're gonna want a condensor [in the case of vocals, a large diaphragm condensor]. For live vocals, both mics will do the job, although the singers at my college prefer the 58 because of the grill. The top of the 57 is ridged which they say can be irritating if they skim their lips on it.

The only differences between the two mics is that the 58 has a grill and it also combats the proximity effect [AKA bass tip up].
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Last edited by RX Queen at May 20, 2006,
#20
Quote by tabber666
ok, IMO the SM58, though still dynamic, is better for vocals. The SM57, though versatile, IMO, is better for picking up guitar, bass, drums etc. etc.


Normally in engineering you try to get out of that "IS BETTER" mind set since every mid-high quality mic has its own uqiue charecteristic and tone. Some engineers might love the tone from a 57 than a 58 or vice versa, or might stick to 58 than a condenser mic. It isnt a writen rule that you HAVE TO USE a condenser , in fact one of the first things they teach you at any Engineering/Recording school is that there isnt a "RIGHT/ONLY" way of doing things, its still a growing musical science.
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Last edited by ynxyg at May 20, 2006,
#21
^^^ yeah, it's just my opinion
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#22
it takes about 3 different microphones to record two guitars and vocals... condensor, and 2 sm58's... if you want drums you use an SM57 the drum stick lengths above the toms and two beta's (your choice for the kicker and one over top..

You should not be using a sm57 or any other dynamic microphone for vocals... you are better off using a cheap 5 dollar computer microphone if you cant afford a condensor.
#23
Hmmm interesting input in this thread. Just a side question if anyone has an answer, though, what are some good condenser mics that aren't that expensive? And are they extremely fragile or something (they sometimes come with those cage looking things)?

By the looks of this thread, I would go with a condenser mic. You might like the SM's, but it seems that theres 2 groups of people and you can't tell which one you belong to. I would try them out first, if there was any way to do so, though.
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#24
OK. Enough. All of this ****in "YOU HAVE TO USE A CONDENSOR FOR VOCALS" Bull **** is really getting annoying. Its not true for live vocals. A condensor is preferred IN A STUDIO. using a condensor for a live vocal situation is not the best idea because they are usually not designed to be held, are more fragile in general, and the actual reason.....THEY ARE WAYYYYYYYYYYY TOO SENSITIVE. using a condensor at the front of a stage will pick up every little tiny noise within about a 15 to 40 foot radius. They are studio mics.

Now, as for the original dilemma, either one will probably have almost perfectly equal positive and negative characterisitics. If you get the 58, your vocals will shine, the acoustic will probably sound okayish, the amp just okay. But, the 57 with a graphic equalizer or similar processor will be much more versatile. The amps will sound great, the acoustic will be pretty good, and with some EQ and POP FILTER(absolutely necessary) the vocals will sound good too. So i'd go for the 57 and then save up for a 58 to dedicate to vocals.

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#25
Quote by silentdud
it takes about 3 different microphones to record two guitars and vocals... condensor, and 2 sm58's... if you want drums you use an SM57 the drum stick lengths above the toms and two beta's (your choice for the kicker and one over top..

You should not be using a sm57 or any other dynamic microphone for vocals... you are better off using a cheap 5 dollar computer microphone if you cant afford a condensor.



that was the stupidest ****ing thing anyone in the recording forums has ever said. period.
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my grandma is dying and my mum wants me to play something on bass for her, any body got any suggestions?!

Quote by splinter26
another one bites the dust has a pretty cool bass line
#26
There is NO DIFFERENCE IN FREQUENCY RESPONCE, THE POLAR PATTERNS ARE THE SAME in the SM57 and the SM58. Do not be confused thinking that an SM57 will not wokr for vocals. The reason the SM58 for say is reffered to as a "Vocal" mic is cause of its pop filter and ball capsule. This is ideal for singing live because its not as sensitive to the vibrations, and pops and hisses from the voice, and the mic is more exposed because of the ball capsule.

You people obviously don't know much about these two different microphones because if you did you would know that they bot sound virtually the same.

The SM57 is preffered in a studio because it doesn't have a big bulky ball capsule, and has no pop filter.

Go for either one, definately do not buy both specifically for having one to do vocals and one to instruments. However condensors are a lot better at handling vocals in a studio then dynamic mics.
#27
SM57:


SM58:


slightly different...mid boost and different bass cut-off on the 58. but yes, they are nearly identical in response and polarity, definitely not enough to justify picking the 58 mic over the other unless you're sure you'll exclusively be doing vocals. the versatility of the 57 would make it a worthwhile choice. it'd even be ok on acoustics given the presence boost...
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Last edited by phobos at May 22, 2006,
#28
The 57 beta A is a vocal microphone... the SM57 is a poor dynamic microphone for vocals. I just need to lay down the law no one here really knows allot about microphones... My new job is to test them all and hear the difference. I'll probably post a list of microphones for a column or lesson or something with their perks.

The 57 has minimal difference from the 58. The 58 is much more durable some of the ones we have have been rented out for 20 years and look like **** but sound like new.
Last edited by silentdud at May 24, 2006,