The Best Instrument Microphone – The Shure SM57

Review and recommendation of the Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone. It’s the best in the world at instrument micing.

Shure SM57 Microphone

   If you’ve been in any recording studio or seen any band live with microphones on the guitar amps, you’ll have seen the Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone. This mic is a dandy! (and I don’t say “dandy” very often). My experience with the Shure SM57 has been nothing but positive. The microphone is tougher than nails and my guitar amp sounds fantastic with my pair of SM57’s on it.

   The Shure SM57 is a unidirectional dynamic microphone and its frequency response is tailored for drums and guitars. The Shure User Guide says it can be used for vocals but I’ve found that vocals just don’t sound all that good through an SM57. If you want the best vocal mic, get the Shure SM58 Beta. As for the SM57, use it for the loud amplifiers and drums. The SM57can take the highest sound pressure levels that you’ll ever encounter in a band. It handles a fully cranked Marshall Stack while practically touching the speaker with absolutely no distortion or funky frequencies at all. Every drum on the drumset is a piece of cake for the SM57 to handle. One secret to a killer snare drum sound is to have one SM57 on the head and one SM57 run out-of-phase at the bottom of the drum. It makes for a snappy snare drum with plenty of attack and a good dose of snare buzz. The Shure SM57thrives on that useage because they pick up so little external noise. What they’re pointed at is what they pick up and that’s it.

   I run a Fender Cyber-Twin SE Amplifier which has two Celestion speakers that run in stereo. So I put an SM57on each speaker and I never get cross phasing. I get perfect stereo separation when running my amp with two SM57 microphones. You can hear a sample of my amplifier mic’d with two SM57 mics in stereo on this Shufflin’ Noah clip. My amp is running a multi-tap delay and the mics are keeping the signal separated beautifully. Check it out:
Shufflin’ Noah – Thank You (Matt’s guitar mic’d with Shure SM57’s)

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  So it’s with great pride and %100 confidence that I recommend the Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone. This is one microphone that is worth every penny!

   I’m giving you 3 buying options as the best deals are on Amazon and eBay while the best warranty and return policy come from Musician’s Friend.

Shure SM57 Instrument/Vocal Mic Shure SM57 Instrument/Vocal MicThe Shure SM57 is one of the most popular professional instrument microphones of all time. The dynamic SM57 mic performs reliably delivering natural sound night after night. Its durable, bulletproof design stands up to road travel and abuse. Perfectly at home in the studio too. The Shure SM57 boasts wide frequency response (40Hz-15kHz) and a tight cardioid polar pattern that are ideal for close-in speaker miking.

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Author: Live Musician Central

My name is Matt Rushton. I have been playing in bands for 27 years. I've been playing professionally for 21 years. I have opened for Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Joan Jett, Little River Band, and Quiet Riot.

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