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Shure beta 58a vs other stuff, really important question.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Har, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Har

    Har Active Member

    Nov 27, 2011
    Soon London
    Hello, I'm Damien and I have a life matter question. Right now I'm
    in the middle of recording my band's first album. We are from totally
    different country, but we decided to commit our lives to the music and
    start to live in London. For about five months it will happen, so as you
    can see, this album is really important for us.
    The music recording is over, so right now I just have to do some
    good vocal job. I tried exactly every mic the studio offers, and I'm not
    pleased as much as I want to be. After few microphones (I think they were
    all better for female voices), I finally decided to use Shure Beta 58A.
    And that's where the problem starts. It's very good microphone, and is
    definitely best of all I tried, but there's always a question - can I sound
    better just by using another, non-dynamic, microphone
    ? I think I can. But
    can I afford it? So right now I need a help. I know pretty well how to record
    (I mean in a program way, cubase, cooledit etc.), I also have a good pop killer.
    I think FYI it's also important, that I have notebook, not regular PC, so
    I don't have any good sound card
    . Does it matter? Let's move to the question.
    For this studio I'll spend at least 1000$ more. If you could tell me
    just what should I do? I have my own garage, which is 'muffled by the sponges'
    (have no idea is it right :D), I have recording experience. I don't have a mic,
    mixer, and whatever I need to record on the laptop. Can I buy all of it for about
    1000$? And also, can I have better sound than this short piece of music, which
    links are below
    And maybe for the end I'll say what I always wanted to hear after singing.
    It's deepness, and power. I have few songs where I sing deeply, and also few songs
    where I sing very high (by high I mean Iron Maiden high), microphones that studio
    offers are good only for high tones, so when I sing deeply they sound a little bit
    flat. It's like they can't 'catch' my deepness. So if I could spend around 1000$,
    record myself, and be happy about sound more than this studio's shure beta 58a offers,
    I would be freaking exhilarated.
    Last, but not least, there is also an option to buy exactly the same setup -
    Shure beta 58a + mixer + what you say
    . If it would cost me the same amount as recording in studio
    it would be smarter to buy this and record on my own. The thing that I don't know is
    what kind of difference mixer serves. Does it really count in the sound quality?
    And I wonder how can I connect mixer with laptop? I guess it isn't USB, so probably I'll
    have to buy something else. Some kind of sound card? Just gimme some hand, I wait for
    any kind of help, it's very important for me.
    And guys, what do you think about Shure PG42USB? I know many people
    don't like USB mics for studio, but I used to record some vocals on Samson G-Track,
    and it wasn't bad. It's also good alternative I guess, if I only could know
    the quality of vocals.

    P.S. Sorry for this long post, but my english isn't perfect and it's hard to
    express everything I wanted to say. I hope you'll be able to help me. :- )

    LINKS (they are the same, but I want to be sure it works for all):


  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You've got good ears. You've already recognized that the Beta 58 is one of the best microphones made. Can you sound better on a cheap condenser microphone? Probably not. Can you sound better on an expensive condenser microphone? Probably not but maybe. Really the Beta 58 like it's earlier cousin the SM58 is one of the finest vocal recording microphones you could possibly have. Cheap condenser microphones generally sound like cheap condenser microphones, which could be good if you like the sound of cheap condenser microphones. Most of us don't. But you'll find out that the Beta 58 frequently puts your vocal right where it's supposed to be without any extra noise, rooms sound, distortion, and dogs barking, kids screaming, the Beta 58 won't be bothered by. Cheap condenser microphones will pick up everything you don't want quite well. If the SM58/SM 7 is good enough for Bono of U2, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith & Michael Jackson of Michael Jackson for their platinum selling recordings, it'll be perfect for you also. They didn't use any cheap Chinese condenser microphones on their vocals nor the $5000 + vintage collectors west German condenser microphone. They used the $100 US SM58 or the $325 US SM 7 (on Michael Jackson which is just a deluxe 58 in pro-audio microphone clothing).

    I'd love to go to London and missed my opportunity at Air Studios. Maybe next lifetime?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. bicasaur

    bicasaur Active Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    I've found the Beta 58 to be a really hit and miss mic. On some voices it sounds great, but more often than not it doesn't flatter the particular singer holding it. I've had more luck with the regular 58.

    Remy's right on about condenser mics picking up lots more sound from the world around you, but that might be exactly why you need one. Mics that are more sensitive give the impression of "hearing farther into the room". What I'm thinking of is that you will probably get the deep vocal tones from fidning the right mic placement more than finding the right mic. You might end up with the mic two feet in front of you at chest height for the perfect sound, but only a really sensitive mic (one that might sound pretty bad right up in your face) will give you good detail from a position like that. Yes, if you are recording in an apartment it will pick up much more of dogs barking, etc., but that's why people still go to big expensive studios.

    But yeah, for powerful rock singers, a lot of the time you want a less detailed sound, and the dynamic mics do that. Too much detail can make for very harsh and unbalanced tracks.

    In the end, the only thing you can do is try 50 different mics in 100 different mic placements and see what wins.

    You don't need a mixer, though. All you need is an audio interface, like a Focusrite Saffire, Avid Mbox, or Presonus AudioBox. That will allow you to connect whatever microphones or line sources you have to your computer.

    As for USB mics, there are some good ones out there, but you can't connect them to anything but a USB jack, which means that mic can never be plugged into ANALOG gear in more professional situations. Using an interface instead puts all the inputs and outputs from your recording software in one place, making your life a lot easier.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Yeah, having both Beta 58's & SM58's I'll more often than not choose the standard SM58. But if I want a more condenser like sound with the rugged quality of a 58, I'll grab the Beta. So, bicasaur and I are basically on the same channel here and just like he indicated, it can be a hit or miss on some people where the SM58 is usually a hit on everybody. So better hear/here doesn't necessarily mean better just different with a pronounced similarity to the SM58.

    We love these microphones all of us.
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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