Getting a SM57 to sound good.

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Jeba, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Yep genuine Shure SM57 and SM58 mics are the gold standard by which all others are measured. I have both and have used them for years with no ill effects. To say I am a fan of Shure SM mics would be an understatement. They are actually all I ever use. I have a box with probably half a dozen different brand mics that I have bought and tried out over the years and always go back to my shure SM series mics.
     
  2. Matt Rayner

    Matt Rayner Member

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    Moi Jeba
    The SM57 is a great mic for recording a guitar.
    Sorry you're having problems.
    I just stick mine anywhere near the speaker and it records very well.
     
  3. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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  4. Matt Rayner

    Matt Rayner Member

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    All good advice.

    Experiment.
     
  5. Matt Rayner

    Matt Rayner Member

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    Mate.
    I've been struggling with your question for some time.
    I believe I have the answer.

    PUT THE DAMN MIC ANYWHERE IN FRONT OF THE DAMN SPEAKER.
     
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  6. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    You can rear mic an open back combo amp and get good results too.
    I'm not so sure about a closed back cab though. Matt, you seem to
    have spare time. Why don't you work on that for us and let us know?
    Thanks.
     
  7. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Member

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    I used to have someone move the mic slowly around in front of the speaker while I played and listened in the control room until we found the "sweet spot". When you find that spot, the sound just flowers and opens up. Its really obvious.
     
  8. SOILLSG

    SOILLSG New Member

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    Fixed your 57.

    T58 Spec Sheet

    transformer change...

    Read about these, I did it, I got a much more cleaned up 57 sound, and I think that its a reasonable upgrade to do. I would say it made it sound more useful for many kinds of 57 uses. OR...

    However I would suggest this link instead below for those who haven't bought a 57 yet, read what Albini says, it is the absolute truth, I love the M201 for recording drums and amps.

    Beyerdynamic M-201TG Hypercardioid Dynamic Microphone

    I think that either of these choices, or removal of the 57 transformer will improve your results with a 57, link to this youtube video. Not mine, but I like this idea

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDVzXAgOFYw]How to Do the "TapeOp" Shure SM57 Mod - YouTube[/ame]
     
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    As someone who has used sm57-8 mics without complaint I have a couple of questions .
    Why not buy an SM77-8 in the first place (no transformer) ?
    Why not use a hot air gun to soften the glue, instead of the boiling water nonsense ?
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  10. SOILLSG

    SOILLSG New Member

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    I accept your challenge... :hmm:
    First off I am glad the stock SM 57/58 has worked for you (and thousands of others), sometimes you hear about some solutions, and guess what...they fix an issue you had with a piece of gear. In regards to the SM-77, it is no longer being produced, there was one for auction on ebay available for $125, a little much for this microphone. In regards to the mods I actually preferred my TAB/AMI trannied 57's performance than what it sounded like stock immediately. As for why not buy an SM-7b, I would love everyone to do themselves a favor and buy one... but they will be pricey ($350 usually, $250 and up used). I will say this about owning a 58, sometimes you might know someone who is bailing on some gear, unloading stuff for cash, and you can get ahold of a 57 or 58 for next to nothing, then realize you barely use the 57 after a while and wonder what to use it for (I bought mine from Guitar Center, thought it was kinda crumby sounding and found these mod options). If someone is none the wiser about easy fixes, a stock 57 might work great, but, if you really want to get a more satisfying experience check out these options, this is not the same as buying a $3500 amp, this is merely a clever usage of some readily available modification steps or parts that most people can afford. As for the boiling vs heat gun, a lot of people like that option, I boiled because the mod wasn't getting done if a had to buy a heat gun, even if they are cheap tools everyone should have!

    So I hope that those who buy a 57 know some options they have for their mics if they want them to be "better" or maybe "different" than what they are.
     
  11. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    No challenge. Just curious . I didn't find the video presentation very confidence inspiring and can think of several cleaner ways to achieve the same results. It just seemed a kind of half-assed approach to knocking out some unwanted highs by lowering output with some high frequency loss.
    With only scant anecdotal evidence of "cleaner" sound, I remain profoundly unimpressed .
     
  12. SOILLSG

    SOILLSG New Member

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    I prefer the transformer swap as opposed to merely getting rid of the transformer but I do think that some of the x-formerless 57 sounds I have heard are decent. Not my first choice, but an option for those looking to improve the performance of their more recent 57's.
    If you do the transformer swap, you will have to remove the old transformer anyway, and you will put something back in that same place where that big blob of goo was around the x-former... some put in foam (bad choice), some put in hot melt glue (better choice), so boiling keeps some of that original goo in place.
    As for knocking out highs and increasing clarity, I think that keeping those unwanted highs is easier if not there in the first place, so, using eq will work... but, that also takes good ears, and sometimes, plug-in eq's don't do the trick as well as we all wish they would (lost higher frequencies that weren't noisy i.e. in my case it was pink sounding noise, or certain higher frequencies that get dumped due to the band you chose to dump---I work with a guy that records with telephone microphones with 1/4 ends which I record out of guitar cabs, there are some crazy frequencies that might get lost when I mic the guitar cab with a 57 if I dump those high frequencies, thus changing the intended sound).

    -Check out the Mercenary Audio if your interested in getting the picture of how these sort of work SM57 Microphone with Mercenary Audio Transformer. Fletcher who used to own the company likes the TAB 57, and is a pretty big advocate for 57's, so I think that he knows what he is doing (a couple of pretty cool records). If we are talking about recording, this should be an option you the 57 owners, check out.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  13. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    I just re-read the original post. I wonder how the OP was recording. If Jeba was recording to his computer via USB, that could be part of the problem. Recording into USB is not a bad thing to do, in and of itself.

    However, depending on the equipment used, equipment/software setup, and the software used for recording, sometimes recordings done via USB can have some digital artifacts or noise.
     
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  14. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    I jumped the reservation!
    Smitty you are quite right. Being an old tape head sort, I had problems from the start with recording to a computer. But while learning by trial and error, I found that the little interface I use has no form of preamp and thus going direct into it with a mike was, well, stupid. Changing up and getting a mixer involved made the difference. I thought that I could use the DAW for mixing the input, but that was not going to happen. I was still thinking like I was using tape and that was the problem....I finally got past that.

    Oh, a by the by on mikes. I bought a SM57 clone from GLS Audio called a ES-57 for a whopping $40 delivered. Got it to test it out and also, if it worked well, to use as another mike to get off cab or other locations to add to the sound picked up. Thus far it's been a decent mike and has most of the qualities of the real deal. Time will tell how well it lasts with my monster cats running all around knocking things off stands like it's their purpose in life.:run:

    Wade
     
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