sm57 alternative

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by audiofreqs, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. audiofreqs

    audiofreqs Guest

    i'm looking for an alternative to the sm57's.
    mainly for guitar amps and drums.
    any suggestions??
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    At under $100, with free shipping,the KEL Audio HM-1's are a cool new trick ...

    I've used them with guiitar amp and vocal tracks and they are very cool! They work well with the less expensive pres like the Mackie making things slightly warmer. They sounded great through my 9098's too and they tamed that edgy sound and crackle distortion on my guitar amps ... Very smooth and nautural sound.
  3. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India
    I usually read most people dissing very cheap microphones. however, Kel audio seems to be favoured out here.

    I will be taking delivery of an NT1a this week. It will mostly serve as my main vocal mic (sometimes the M012 or the Beta58A take over). Soon i might look for another mic to add versatility. Mostly for vocals and some acoustic instruments.

    Kel's good ?


  4. OddsAre

    OddsAre Guest

    Sennheiser e609 silver

    Great on amps and snare. About $109.
  5. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    maybe look into the Audix i5

    It has gotten very favorable reviews by sm57 owners.

    After I got an Audix D6 I wouldn't want to record a kick drum with anything else (at least anything else in its price range).

    I have 5 SM57s, and will probably sell 2 to balance with a pair of i5's. Audix makes some tasty mics these days.
  6. OddsAre

    OddsAre Guest

    I absolutely agree!!! I have a friend who is an AMAZING engineer that just bought an Audix DP5 set which is 1-D1 2-D2 1-D4 1-D6 for drums. Lets just say he doesn't use MD421's anymore, and bye bye to SM57's. I have been inpressed with everything he has done with them so far.
  7. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    Actually right now I'm loosing sleep over whether to get an MD 421 or something else ... large diaphram dynamic mics aren't the most common.

    Anyway, its a mic color I want to add for brass/horns, loud strummed acoustic guitar, maybe a darker vocal.

    I suppose the D4 would be a good choice. I just wish Audix made a D4 with a more versatile capsule shape like the MD 421!

    I just can't picture myself miking a guitar or vocalist with the D4 (even though it does have a respectable 38hz-19Khz range) .... But at nearly half the price of the MD 421 maybe this could be overlooked.

    Anyone tried mikuing hard acc guit or backup vocals with a D4?
  8. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Oct 7, 2004

    You don't want to use a D4 for these applications unless you're going for something different. :) I have used a D4 in the back of a guitar cabinet to pick up lows and it worked well that way. It also works great on floor toms. However, I don't think it is well suited to vocals. If you're looking to get a bassy sound out of an acoustic guitar by aiming it at the body, then it will work that way but don't expect great results at the neck.

    Remember the D4 is basically a kick/bass cabinet/floor tom mic. For what you are looking for, I would recommend a D3. And FWIW, the reason the capsules are shaped like this on the Audix D mics is because they are instrument (drum) mics and you want to have very good off axis rejection for this sort of application.
  9. gomp

    gomp Guest

    On snare I use a Beyer M201.
    On distorted guitar cabinets I kinda like the AKG 70Me, which is rather cheap but sounds more natural to me than the sm57. Also older Shure unidyne (515/517) mics seem to sound better IMO.
  10. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    Yes, and yes. I've just ordered (3) I5's, a D2, and a D3. : ))) Weeee - hoo.

    Yea the stubby shape definately allows for them to be angled well inside a crowded drum kit.

    What is confusing though is that many of the D series have hyper-cardiod patterns. But, unlike cardiod, hypercardiod has that little squirt of off-axis pickup. I suppose the much tighter on axis pickup is worth that little "tail", but still...

    I suppose its time to experiment and find out just how active that tail is across level and frequency ranges.

    I'm not framiliar with these mics (70Me, Unidyne) but it good to hear of some other alternatives to the venerable SM57.

    Disclaimer(!): I think I speak for others here as well, the SM57 will always be a great rugged mic and won't be leaving my mic locker, but having alternatives is essential. Variation is the spice.
  11. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    huh....I tried the d2 and didn't really dig it. It was better than a 57 for shure but not the greatest. I have a ATM 25 and a D4 coming in to check out on rack and floor tom's. I can't imagine anyone swaping a 421 for a D2 on rack toms but it's all subjective i quess. I'll post my results after I get them in and do some testing.
  12. dudge

    dudge Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    I didn't dig the D2 either.
    I have one MD421U5 that I'll use on floor tom. I got an e604 that I like on the rack tom better than a D2 or an SM57.
    The 57 has that trashy sounding off axis bleed. (Yuck)
    The D2 doesn't have any mids....... just top and bottom. It's too scooped sounding to me.
    The ATM25 can be good on toms, too.

    My 2¢
  13. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    I don't think anyone compared the D2 with the MD421... ?

    But even then its important to keep in mind, the MD421 is about 3x the price of a D2.
  14. OddsAre

    OddsAre Guest

    also keep in mind that everything in audio is subjective... some people actually do believe that Britney is a good singer.........:?

    and of course the MD-421 is a great mic but price is always an issue.
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I like the D2 on rack toms and it has become my go-to mic for pure harmonica sounds...really.Its not that distorted bluesy sound but rather a complete representation of the sound of the harp being hand-held and it appears to be the correct frequency response.I like the D4 on lower toms,and will also use it as the 'click' mic at the kickdrum head in a multiple mic setup for kick drum.....The ATM25 is great on everything I've tried it on including a vocal track.Its not ever going to be the go-to there but it worked on this particular voice.Every mic locker should include an MD421.What does it sound bad on?The Audix D series mics also sound Great on guitar cabs.The model you use will determine the sound as each(D1,D2,D3,D4) has a slightly different freq response.This can be used to your benefit when expermenting.I like the D1 on the back of an open back amp...ala Twin,Deluxe Reverb,Rivera,Blues Jr. etc....I'll use it as my middle mic in an M/S set up.Because it rejects well from the sides theres very little phase problems because of it.
    As for Britney, shes got a great body but that doesnt include her vocal chords.
  16. Prubbo

    Prubbo Guest

    Drum mics in the studio

    The best tom mics out there are the Shure Beta 98D/S mics. I have used these mics on over 50 recordings of various music styles and everyone always compliment how punchy and fat the drum kit sounds. I have used SM-57, Sennheiser 421, Audix D-2, D-4 and several others over the years in the studio but nothing comes close to the sound quality of the Beta 98 D/S mics on toms. Being a drummer of 30 years and Chief Engineer for a professional studio, I have had the luxury to use all kind of microphones and pre amps costing thousands and have had the opportunity to perform A-B comparisons with variuos mics.

    Recently, I have come to the conclusion that this will always be my initial setup, changing some mics, pre amps and position for different music styles.

    Toms - Shure Beta 98 D/S, one for each tom
    Kick drums- Audix D-6 sometimes with a Yamaha Subkick
    Snare Top - Audix i5 or D2, sometimes a SM-57
    Snare bottom -Sennheiser e-614 or MKH50 reverse phaze
    Overheads -Shure SM-81 with/or AT4050 with high pass filter enabled
    Hi Hat - Shure SM-81 or Sennheiser e-614, MKH50
    Room Mics - stereo Neumann U87

    Pre amps - usually Focusrite ISA 428's or API lunchbox loaded with 512c's

    Drum sound – The best it can possibly be on professional recordings. Of course the drum kit is the hardest instrument to record but after choosing well tuned great sound drums, the combination of mics and pre’s I listed along with eq, gates and compressors, you can expect great results that people will rave about.

    If I was just starting out as a career audio engineer on a low budget, I would certainly go for the Audix i5 , Audix D-6, Shure Beta 98 D/S , Shure SM-81 and Sennheiser e614 mics. You can find most of these mics on eBay for a good price.

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