SM57 for vocals and other things?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by GavinMajesty, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    Hey, i'm a guitarist as those who read my threads know and i use a shure SM57. I'm looking at picking up another mic to place as a far away mic when i record my guitar parts.

    As a result, i will more than likely be tracking vocals with an SM57 becuase i record vocals once in a blue moon as the majority of my work is instrumental.

    Will the SM57 do the job for vocals? Taking into account they will probably be loud and somewhat harsh vox?

  2. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    My other option is this:

    I like the fact it's USB but what do these sound like? Are they good mics?

  3. davidinoz

    davidinoz Guest

    I have a CO1 (not the USB version) and while it is bottom of the pile for Condensor mics it should sound better on vocals than a 57. I use mine for accoustic instruments (guitar, fiddle, mandolin) and I think for the price it's good value. Of course I'm talking strictly home studio here (before the flames get too hot).
    On the other hand you may like the sound of the 57 better. Thats the great thing about home studios - you can experiment without having one eye on the clock.
    I think the CO1 is cheap enough that it's worth getting.
  4. The SM57 is a perfectly good mic to sing into. The President uses it on his podiums for speeches, so if it's good enough for W, it's good enough for you. However, as you can probably guess, it's not the BEST vocal mic on the street. So, you're wanting to pick up a 2nd mic to use as an ambience mic for your guitar tracks and you're going to want to lay a vocal down now and then using one or the other of these mics.

    Good idea.

    We need a little more info. What's your price range for the 2nd mic? What other types of equipment do you have at your disposal? That is, are there mics in your collection other than the SM57? Do you own a mixer or other source of mic preamp?

    I'll make some assumptions and give you an answer anyhow:

    My suggestion would be to (a) not buy any mic made by Samson and (b) not buy any mic with a USB output. The reason for (a) is just that it sounds icky. Samson is an ok brand for some things, but given the fact that there are plenty of other low priced condensor mics on the market that are really pretty nice, it's hard to make a case for something made by these cats. As for (b), well, a mic with a USB output is going to be doing all the sound capturing, signal generation, pre-amplification, analog-to-digital converting and USB outputting all in one little package. That's a lot of functionality to fit into a mic-sized package. There HAVE to be compromises. My assumption is that you have a way of getting your SM57 sound into your chosen recording medium now, so using a USB mic is a compromise I wouldn't be willing to make were I you.

    As an alternative, I'd suggest the ever popular MXL990 large diaphram condensor. This mic will cost you oh, what is it now, something like 50 USD (or just under £30, or right within your apparent budget) and it should probably sound a good bit better and not be quite so much of a comprimise between 4 different pieces of machinery. Now, you'll need to make sure you can supply phantom power to it and that you have a preamp (either standalone or on a mixer) to put it into before it goes into your recorder. But all in all I think it'll give you a better final product.

    You can set that mic up as your ambience mic for your guitar tracks, then bring it up and sing into it for the odd vocal track. You'll probably like the way it sounds better than the SM57 OR the Samson. Although, if you have a store nearby that sells both, you may want to A/B test the MXL vs. the Samson, just in case I'm crazy and the other one sounds better to you.

  5. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    The SM57 will do the job for the vocals.

    But for your "far away" mic, I would recommend something a bit different. Perhaps an omnidirectional mic for picking up the whole room sound. I'm guessing that's what you want it for. Check out the Audio Technica AT-3032. It's not bad.
  6. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    Hey guys, thanks for responses!


    My equipment for getting sound into the PC is an Edirol UA25 and in terms of room micing, a full room sound wouldn't be that great as my room isn't really tuned out for amp micing, hahaha, it would do more harm than good.

    My budget, considering i'm picking up a new harddrive, midi keyboard and such leaves me no more than £80ish for a mic.

    Thanks guys!
  7. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    The SM57 is GREATE! A multi purpouse hard working microphone.
    As a second mic you could go for a budget condencer mics, i will suggest the RØDE NT1-A, about 200$ a piece.
    Its a firm mic, with no extra buttons or anything. Nice caracter, with alot of bottom.

    As my first condencer mic ever i went for a super cheapie. The TSM MT87S. Its like 100$ something. Made in China.
    Believe it or not, Im very satisfied. Its greate on guitars, and makes a nice, homestudio quaility, vocal recording, but lacks the greate and firm bottom you get from the RØDE mic.

    Then again, my all time favorite. Audio Technica 3031, sigar mics. Cheap and GREATE! Can be used for almost everything. Costs about 160-170$

    There you have my budget recomendations for you :p
  8. Note that a "far away" mic as mentioned in your original post is pretty much gonna be the same sound as a "room" mic, unless you're specifically speaking of the old "down the hall" or "in the shower" tricks.

    Additionally, if, as many folks suggest, you pick up some type of LDC for this far away room shower hall mic, definately give it a chance on a vocal track because I feel you'll love it compared to the '57.

  9. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    LDC? Large Diagraf Condencer?

    I seriously need to get me a dictionary :p

    YES. Get your self a LDC! an ATV and som TP with MP3!

    (man, i feel technical...)
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Hey TheRealShotgun, where is all the hostility I normally see in your posts? What's the matter? Not feeling well? A nice and sensible response! I couldn't believe my eyes. Of course you were right in everything you said.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I would agree with (b) but not neccesarily (a): I picked up a Samson CL8 a while back, mainly because it was the cheapest true condensor I could find with a figure 8 pattern (I wanted something other than my big valve LDC to use as a side mic for MS stereo) but I was very pleasantly suprised by its sound, especially for drum overheads. :)

Share This Page