SM57 (with a preamp) for vocals?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Curt, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Curt

    Curt Member

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    Question. Before I run out and buy a new "Vocal' mic for home recording, is my SM57 adequate to use for vocals if used with a mic preamp?
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Yes. Try it before you by anything else - if it sounds good to you, you've just saved a lot of money!

    And all mics need a preamp.

    Loudboy
     
  3. elambo

    elambo Member

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    57s aren't typically great mics for vocals, but they certainly COULD be, if you have the right voice. Don't buy a new mic until you've had a chance to give your 57 a good audition, then, if you don't like what you hear, try another mic.
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Member

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    Originally posted by elambo

    "57s aren't typically great mics for vocals, but they certainly COULD be, if you have the right voice".

    What do you mean by "the right voice"?
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    All mics have a different frequency and transient response, among other things, making them all vary in the "sound" that they have.

    If you have the type of voice that an SM-57's "sound" will accentuate the pleasant parts and attenuate the unpleasant ones, then that is the "right voice" for that particular mic.

    Loudboy
     
  6. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I thought you might ask that.

    Certain voices sound better with certain mics. For instance, whenever I hear about someone using a 57 on a record project, regardless of budget and other mics that would have been available, it's often male rock singers. I'd never expect a female ballad singer to use a 57 - it's just not a detailed, intimate mic - but for certain styles, and certain timbres, a 57 could very well be the perfect microphone.

    What type of songs will you be singing, and can you think of another well-known singer that you sound similar to? (I guess that should have been my first question)
     
  7. onemind

    onemind Member

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    Curt, I once recorded a male singer that insisted on using an SM58 for everything...There was no arguing with the guy, since the 58 and the 57 are essentially the same mic (with the 57 lacking the basket of course), I had him hold a 58 and set up a 57, darned if he didn't sound great through it, sometimes the singers know what's best.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Bono records with an SM58.

    He stands in the control room with it, no iso booth, and just sings his butt off.

    Here's a guy who could buy anything. There's nothing wrong with a Shure dynamic mic. If you're going for a dynamic mic, don't get into the Expensive Preamp trap (unless you want to). There are some excellent moderately priced units that will do the job quite well.
     
  9. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    guess I'll be keeping mine, LOL.... what about the converse, any problem using an SM58 (which I know is typically a vocal mike) to mike the guitar (not that I mind buying the 57 if I have to)?

    cheers,
    Jon
     
  10. elambo

    elambo Member

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    an SM58 is fine for amps. As someone already said, it's like a 57, but with a windscreen (of sorts) built in.
     
  11. mccreadyisgod

    mccreadyisgod Member

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    Tom Petty and Les Claypool, among others, love the SM57 on vocals...

    For a gritty male rock vocal, a 57 is barely beatable. Especially if you want to use a little overdrive, or a hard comp/limiter.

    A 58 can be a great guitar amp mic... unscrew the windscreen, and it's a 57.
     
  12. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Not to knock anyone else's opinion, but IMHO the 57 works better as a vocal mic than the 58 works as an instrument mic, generally. Except for saxophones in a live setting, I have not been happy with the 58 as an instrument mic.

    The 57 is a decent vocal mic for some singers, but for most I think the 58 makes them sound better. The 58's high end is a little more sweet. Some people say they have the same guts, but although they look similar when you remove the 58's windscreen I don't think they're the same:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Look at the differences around 2K - 4K and 10K. I don't believe you can attribute an increase in frequency response to a windscreen.
     
  13. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Both mics are +4 at 10k. The 58 rises to +4 at 3k, the 57 at 5k. Close enough for Rock-n-Roll. I think it's funny that you even posted the freq response of these two mics. Keep in mind that it's a 57/58 afterall.
     
  14. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Not to be a wise guy, but I really have no idea what you're trying to say.
     
  15. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Stopgo unknowingly answered this question for me.

    I, and millions of recordings, would say that Steve is wrong, but he's not completely out of his mind.
     

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