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  #1  
Old 08.18.07, 11:48 AM
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Best Mic for Multi-Purpose Recording: SM57 or 58?

I want to record guitar, some percussion(tambourine, a snare drum), bass, vocals and keyboard, but I can only afford one mic. I can likely get a used SM58 or SM57 for $70 - $80 Canadian. Which would be best for multi-purpose recording?
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Old 08.18.07, 12:00 PM
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57, definitely
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Old 08.18.07, 12:11 PM
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Would that change my fuzz-tone at all? Most mics I have used altered my dirty tones and made them sound real cheap and digital. I've never used a Shure before, though.
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Old 08.18.07, 1:19 PM
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the SM57 is the most popular mic ever for electric guitar. The only time I experienced what you're referring to is when I tried to use an SM58 to mic an amp.
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Old 08.18.07, 1:22 PM
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Just toss a coin
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Old 08.18.07, 1:35 PM
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Neither. I'd buy a condenser like an Apex 415. Much more versatile than a 57 or a 58. And when you're ready you can upgrade it with better caps and resistors.
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Old 08.18.07, 1:49 PM
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What's the difference between a condenser and a dynamic(that's what an SM57 is right?)?
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Old 08.18.07, 5:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DAVIDCOUPE
What's the difference between a condenser and a dynamic(that's what an SM57 is right?)?
Dynamic microphones work by electromagnetic induction. Like you strings over your pickups. There's a coil that moves over a magnet that produces the signal.

In a condenser microphone there's a capacitor and sound waves change the distance between the plates. Which changes the capacitance. Which is converted to an electrical signal. Just about all of them need phantom power to work.

Then there's the pattern of the microphone. The SM-57 pattern is cardioid. It does a good job of picking up what's exactly in front of it and ignoring what's beside it and really ignoring what's behind. That's what makes it a great microphone for live situations, or mic'ing drums: the pickup pattern of the mic helps solve bleed problems.

The Apex I pointed you to can do cardioid, omni- or bi-directional (figure 8) so you can choose to add more or less of the room ambiance to what you're capturing. A very useful thing to be able to do in a controlled recording environment. For example: an acoustic guitar recorded on a hardwood floor using a bi-directional pattern sounds large and open. Same situation with a cardioid pattern and it's less boomy, more string noise and focused. With the Apex you have a choice.
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Old 08.18.07, 6:57 PM
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I agree with iaresee if you are going to use the mic for recording only.

If there is a choice between an SM57 and an SM58:

SM58 - More robust, costs slightly more.
SM57 - Slightly more compact, cheaper.

Oh oh you've hit the hot button!

From here.

[rant mode]

THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY IDENTICAL.

Sorry to shout but if you really want to educate yourself check out the specs from Shure's web site.

SM58

SM57

Turns out whether the mic has a switch or not makes a bigger difference than whether it is an SM57 or an SM58!

[/rant mode]

I see people continue to perpetuate the 'but I hear a difference myth'. I played with a guitarist who believed it with a passion. In the studio I switched all his precious SM57's for SM58's and he didn't notice a difference. I swapped in AKG D80's and he thought his amp had hit a sweet spot (it was new and being run in).

I have played with singers who passionately believe that an SM57 is better for their vocals than an SM58. I am more inclined to accept that with proximity the SM57 and the SM58 do sound slightly different when micing vocals, but even then the difference is tiny.
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