what else do i need with my sm57?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by athalon012, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. athalon012

    athalon012 Guest

    well i have an sm57, but i have to plug it into my microphone input on my soundcard using an adaptor and that just sounds awful; the recording isn't very bright, it's all the dull lows and it's also very very quiet. what all do i need to make my sm57 sound as good as it can?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Does your " adapter" have a transformer? Or is it just a piece of wire with plugs on the end?? That is most likely your biggest problem? If you purchase a radio shack female XLR to 1/4", low impedance to high impedance adapter and then an additional patch cord for 1/4" female to 18 inch male you will be in much better shape.

    Now the next problem is..... The Sound Blaster microphone inputs are god awful! They are less than adequate sounding but if that is all you have then you must make the best of it in the best of it will probably include the above matching transformer which will give you up to 10 DB or more of "free gain" in that the " low impedance to high impedance, step up transformer" will amplify the microphone by a factor related to the turns ratio, which is generally 10 or 15 to 1 or 10:1. This WILL make the microphone louder to the input of your sound card. If you also double-click to go into your Microsoft mixer, you should go up to the options drop-down menu. Go to "properties". Select "record" and under the microphone buying control you will most likely see a button called "advanced". Press the button and will most likely see 2 additional options. Select "microphone boost". That coupled with the step up transformer, should give you all of the recording gain you need.

    When you have the opportunity, purchased yourself a decent, inexpensive microphone preamplifier from your local music store and plug back into the line input of your sound card. This will yield a much better sound and by that time you will also have a usable DI.

    Plug me baby
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. athalon012

    athalon012 Guest


    what if i bought an EH 12AY7 Preamp and a refurbished m-audio delta 1010? i don't know much about what phantom power is and what conflicts there could be with using an SM57, EH 12AY7, and the m-audio delta 1010. would that combo be good for a smaller recording setup? also, what else would i need if i bought the delta 1010? i can't tell from the picture or information but it looks like the inputs are something smaller than instrument cable inputs. would i need any adaptors?
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Oh...... Now you stepped into it, dear...... From an SM57 into an SB, to Capitol Records, Hollywood...

    Still, a question of my own, RR... When I got started in the wonderful world of computer recording, I used a $20 SB and a C1000s, with an XLR to 1/8" adapter and all worked fine(Well, as fine as this combo could work......), no problems as described by the poster. I admit I've always assumed that the C1000s(With it's 9v battery installed), acted as "any other dynamic". No? Inotherwords, I supposed that one could plug in something like an SM57(To darned-near ANY soundcard mic input), and again, it would work... as well as it could work.....? Noise aside, no levels problems, perse............? Anyway, so what does the transformer(And, indeed, last time I was in there, RS had xfmrs, that looked almost exactly like the ones Shure, themselves, sell) do?

    Can't you just see one of those in-line xfmrs, attached to an XLR mic cable, hanging off the 1/8" jack of an SB! Answer him about his "upgrades", OK, he'll have pieces of his SB laying in back of his computer before long, anyway and may as well do better next time......


    By the way, poster. Lest you think I'm making fun of you! I HAVE a beautiful XLR to 1/8" mic cable, if you need it and, ahh, I can scrounge-up a nice Shure, in-line xfmr or two(Hardly used!), as well. AND, I never busted the SB(Alright, SB's, I thought, maybe for 30 bucks, sted 20..? never mind.), I had lots of duct tape..! Most of us do/did this sort of silly crap. You're on the right track asking RR for opinions on upgrade - which does NOT have to be expensive to do a very nice job......

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