Review: Shure Sm57 microphone – Best bang for the buck in the industry?
Positives:Great "jack of all trades" mic
Price vs performance ratio very high
Negatives:Not always the sound your after
Obviously not a flat microphone, but its frequency response is what sets it apart
The SM57 has been a workhorse microphone in both the studio and stage for years, and its no wonder – it can sound good on virtually any source! Granted there are much better sounding mic’s out there that specialize in specific tasks, but the SM57 really can capture a decent recording of basically any source, and is still the default for many engineers on snare, and guitar cabs. The natural frequency response of the 57 gives snare drums a nice crack, and guitar cabs some nice aggressive bite. Also with its super tight cardioid polar pattern provides exceptional isolation. In fact, one of the reasons the the Shure SM57 is such a popular snare drum microphone is that you can easily position it so that it rejects the sound of the nearby hi-hat.
There are also plenty of people who use the SM57 as vocal mics as well. If I was using a dynamic mic for vocals I would much rather use an SM7, but if your going for a specific sound or vibe, the SM57 might get the job done better than the rest, so its worth a try. In fact, I’ve also heard of people using it to great effect with acoustic guitars, violins, horns, etc. When paired with a good preamp, the 57 is a real “desert island mic.”