Shure SM57
Shure SM57

SM57, Dynamic Microphone from Shure in the SM series.

James... 08/03/2011

Shure SM57 : James...'s user review

« The quintessential instrument mic »

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You know this mic. The dynamic SM57 Legendary for guitar and studio vocals. Almost everyone has used one at some time or another. Great both live and in the studio. People say these have 101 uses. What more can you say?


As a guitarist and producer I tend to know what I like and what I don't. Most people tend to favor these most for electric guitar. I personally am not the biggest fan of that application. It's picky about positioning for one thing, and really needs to find the sweet spot on the speaker. In the studio, this isn't a big issue, but I play live a lot and I've found the 57 is not the best live speaker mic for me. Most of the time it's one of those "good but no great" mics for me. It has a harsh sound with my rig through most systems. If it's all I have at the time, I will use it though no problem. Usually the best sounds can be found by tilting it off axis. Maybe it's just me, but the 57 seems to add it's own distortion to an already distorted sound. I don't really like that. To be fair, it still sounds better than all the other guitar mics in its price range.

Where this mic really shines for me is on a snare drum. It adds a certain pop to the EQ that no other mic has gotten me. 90% of the time whether it's live or in the studio, I use this mic on my drummer's snare. It's quick and easy. Just tilt it towards the center of the head and you're good to go. Sounds great.

I've used it for bass, vocals, and cymbals. It sounds alright for all of these. Nothing spectacular. But for the value, it's amazing. That's really what it comes down to. Compared to other mics at this price, it's phenomenal. I would highly recommend you get 1 or 2 if you have a budget studio. They are well worth the price.