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studiojunkie
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#1
13th April 2008
Old 13th April 2008
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Shure beta 57

I need a new mic for live vocals (at gigs) and also for recording electric guitar (and maybe snare) at home.
I was recommended the shure beta 57

Anyone use this mic? Any other recommendations?

Thanks guys!
#2
13th April 2008
Old 13th April 2008
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beta 57

That's do the trick. You might be just as well off with a standard 58, maybe try taking off the silver end for snare/guit duties.
The Heil PR20 gets a lot of good talk round here but i'm yet to try one.
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#3
13th April 2008
Old 13th April 2008
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I have a shure sm58 and it works well! Just though the beta 57 might be a nice change! A little different but not too different if you know what I mean!
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13th April 2008
Old 13th April 2008
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Yep itll work fine...ive used mine on snare top and bottom, guitar cabs, live vocals, horns and cant really say anything bad about it.
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#5
14th April 2008
Old 14th April 2008
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Beta 57

I am a huge fan of this mic...but not necessarily for vocals. I have heard a lot of guys rave about it on vocals...but that hasn't been my assessment of this mic's strengths. I find the Beta 58 is far better on vocals...but the 57 certainly trumps it on it's all around "swiss army mic" applications (for snare, guitar cabs, toms, acoustic, etc). As for an addition to your mic locker...you would be hard pressed to find a more versatile mic. However, if it is live vocals you crave...as well as guitar cabs and snare...you may want to go Beta 58 (sell your regular 58...the used market is very strong for these excellent quality mics) and get a regular SM 57 (or an Audix I5) for the instrument angle. The Beta 58 is a bit hotter and quieter than your SM (so it should take your live vocals up a notch)...and the regular 57 will perform beautifully for your other applications.

I know some of the heavyweights may cringe...but I even use my Beta 58 for kick drum in a pinch. Have fun...and tear it up.
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#6
14th April 2008
Old 14th April 2008
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Love the B57!

My experience using it for live vocals is that it has a bit better feedback rejection than a B58.
#7
14th April 2008
Old 14th April 2008
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Heil has a new "PR35" mic that is supposed to sound more like a PR30 but with the live-friendly profile of the handheld PR20. Seems like a winner, as the PR30 is an amazing dynamic mic for the money and runs circles around the Beta 57.

That said, the Beta 57 can still do an admirable job on both vocal and guitars.
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#8
14th April 2008
Old 14th April 2008
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I'll add another thumbs up on the B-57....I've had good luck with them in a number of situations, including percussion that has a lot of snap to it (like snares or bongos) and in some instances vox. Do be aware of the pattern, though - it's a supercardioid, so the source you're micing needs to be more on-axis than with a regular cardioid, and it will pick up some stuff from directly behind it.
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#9
17th April 2008
Old 17th April 2008
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Bought a beta 57 on ebay (€140) should be arriving any day now! Looking forward to trying this mic out over the weekend and i'll let you know what I think!
Thanks for the replies!
#10
18th April 2008
Old 18th April 2008
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what's the actual sonic difference between the beta's and the sm's? Why has the SM57 become such a firm favourite and the beta 57 not?
#11
18th April 2008
Old 18th April 2008
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Beta 57 vs. SM 57

Polar pattern: Beta 57A supercardioid; SM57 cardioid
Output level: Beta 57A is 4dB hotter than SM57
Handling noise: Beta 57A is quieter than SM57
Grill: Beta 57A has a hardened grill that is very difficult to dent
Frequency response: Beta 57A has extended low end and high end compared to SM57

I am big fan of the Betas...they do cost a bit more...I have never a/b' ed the 57 and the B57....but I would imagine if you want a hotter, ballsier 57 you would just buy an Audix I5 (for the same price). This and the fact that the regular 57 is such a workhorse probably make the B57 less of a "must have" .
#12
18th April 2008
Old 18th April 2008
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Last year I swapped out my Shure SM 57 on my snare drum for a Beta 57. The best move move I've made in my drum studio in a long time.
I love the Beta 57, it seems to reject hi hat spill much better than a standard SM 57.
#13
18th April 2008
Old 18th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmithfan View Post
Last year I swapped out my Shure SM 57 on my snare drum for a Beta 57. The best move move I've made in my drum studio in a long time.
I love the Beta 57, it seems to reject hi hat spill much better than a standard SM 57.
Thanks for sharing. I don't know a lot of cats with Beta 57s...but without trying it...I knew it had to be great. I mean...a slightly hotter and noise resistant version of a Hall of Fame mic? How can it not rock?

Oh...hey, StudioJunkie? Another recommendation...in addition to the Bedrock solid Beta 57...the Audix I5 is great, too. Pretty similar sound palette to the Beta (hotter, ballsier 57)...but it is $99 instead of $149. I don't think you would get anything but a hearty "job well done" if bought any of those three: an SM 57, B57 or an I5.

Peace
#14
18th April 2008
Old 18th April 2008
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Definitely thumbsupthumbsup for the beta 57!

Another mic to check out is the Mercenary Audio modded SM57. I have not personally heard one myself, but have read and heard TONs of good things about it.
#15
20th April 2008
Old 20th April 2008
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The beta 57 has a little more high end than the regular 57, which means it can sound tinny, or great, depending on the source. For guitar amps, the extending high end could give you more hiss and crackle, which you might not want.
The Heil PR20 is a really thick sounding mic, which can work well on thin voices, and suck on thick voices. Maybe the Heil PR35 would be worth checking out. They do make great mics.
No matter what you get, it's not going to be perfect for everything, so don't be surprised if you're buying another mic next month.
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#16
6th February 2011
Old 6th February 2011
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I'd say that sm57 is a must have ... somehow you'll end up using one or two from time to time, so it's good to keep them around since they are not $300+ mics.

Basically Betas have more of a high presence than SM series. Maybe also some extended bass response as Heavy G mentioned. So if you're searching for a mild live vocal (less presence in the mix) Betas will take some knob twisting to get there. I personally like to get my sound from choosing the right mic for the right source, so last time i did a gig i ended up choosing an sm57 on vocals over beta58... beta was just too much in combination with a female "lots of sssss" type of vocal.

So now i know that i'll need a couple of different vocal mics for main, and i can manage with what i have left for backup vocals.

Haven't heard Heil mics yet, but i'm not that keen on thick vocals since i don't do much heavy stuff. Plus i almost always end up rolling some low end from vocal tracks as they just come through clear that way for me. Don't know, maybe it's the preamps in my mixer...

Just for the fun of it i will get an old SM58 (i know they're pretty much thesame with SM57, but the grill makes a difference), and maybe buy a wind screen for SM57, the A2WS (do you guy's even use windscreens indoors to mild it up a bit?). also the beta57 ... heard that on vocals and i want it. Maybe an Audix OM7 for some louder applications.
#17
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
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FWIW the Shure SM48, at around $50 new, can be superior to the SM58 in regards to studio recording. Due to the lack of the impedance matching transformer found in a 58, it's smoother overall, and has less proximity effect.

The tradeoff is that it won't cut through a live PA as much, and has less output. So you have to drive the mic pre a bit more.

Chris
#18
11th April 2011
Old 11th April 2011
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I've had a lot of experience with the Beta 57a as a vocal mic for myself. I've sang through a lot of mics, and when it comes to smaller venues or situations where there will be louder stage volumes I prefer to use a Beta 57a. I find that it's tone is very similar to that of a Beta 58a but just a little bit brighter. I also like that it is very good at rejecting feedback but that you don't need to be right up on it like you have to when using a Beta 58a. I find this useful because I have had problems in the past when using a Beta 58a. I'd pull the mic away too much and it would cut out, thereby affecting the performance. As well, the Beta 57a seems a bit more sensitive and allows a singer to work the mic more. I also find that when you get up close on a Beta 57a the proximity effect is more pronounced than with a Beta 58 ... Which suits my voice but may not be as flattering for other singers.

In terms of studio use, I have used it on scratch vocals, snare, and guitar cabs. I like it on snare, and scratch vocals but not so much on guitar cabs. Although, I'm not a big fan of the 57 on guitar cabs either. However, my opinion is a bit biased because the only guitars I record are generally in one genre and I like to use condensers (for cleans) and Ribbons (for dirty stuff) on cabs to get the sound I want. However, you'll definitely get a more than useable sound with a Beta 57a.
#19
11th April 2011
Old 11th April 2011
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I don't like ball mics so always used ev's for live back in the day. I got a beta 57 a few years ago and it suits me for live use. It's really good for guitar cabs too. Thing is, when I do mic shoot outs, I use mostly condensers and sing maybe 8" back and when you do that with a beta 57 it really thins out. They are made to be worked close me thinks.
#20
11th April 2011
Old 11th April 2011
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Note that the Beta's are hyper-cardioid while the SM's are conventional cardioid. I think that accounts for the somewhat thicker sound I've gotten close micing a guitar cab with one. There's a slightly greater high end to them. I've actually used them as single overheads in small live situations. Hung over the snare they will predominately pick up the snare and enough cymbals to get a nice bit of reinforcement to the live sound. I think the combination of the natural HF limitations and the tighter pattern play out well here. For recording a snare, it will be more placement critical but also have more rejection, helping to keep the hat out of the snare mic.

Realize that hyper-cardioids pick up from right behind the mic. The biggest null is off to the sides. This is a pain in live work when folks lean down over a floor wedge with the mic pointed exactly away from the wedge. Contrary to what they expect, it feeds back. You need to keep the back of them off axis from the wedges. I try to stay away from Beta 58s for this reason. Some folks are addicted to the presence of them, and if I can keep them on the stands pointed flatter, it can work. But have someone start carrying them around and be careful.
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11th April 2011
Old 11th April 2011
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I went through a phase of using 4 x Beta 57's on vocals in a live context. They do give better gain before feedback than an SM 58 in exactly the same circumstances. BUT tonally the Beta series are an entirely different animal. They can sound harsh at 5k and sibilant at 10k. This becomes very apparent if you are in a situation of mixing multitracks that have been recorded live.

If you are chasing more gain before feedback than a regular SM 58, try an SM 57. If you like the sound of the 57 more, try using the pop filter from a Beta 57 on a regular SM 58. The Beta 57 top will get your mouth closer to the diaphragm of the 58 which will get you a tad more level in the monitors (and FOH actually) and a ballsier tone, with improved diction in many cases.

Personally if I am chasing better performance than the old "swiss armyknife" microphones, I tend to favour either Audix or Sennheiser. Definitely worth auditioning some alternatives, sometimes the old tried and true favourites aren't always the right choice.

By the way, generally these days a lot of major live acts are back to using an SM 57 on snare top, and a Beta 57 on snare bottom........
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#22
11th April 2011
Old 11th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
Note that the Beta's are hyper-cardioid while the SM's are conventional cardioid. I think that accounts for the somewhat thicker sound I've gotten close micing a guitar cab with one. There's a slightly greater high end to them. I've actually used them as single overheads in small live situations. Hung over the snare they will predominately pick up the snare and enough cymbals to get a nice bit of reinforcement to the live sound. I think the combination of the natural HF limitations and the tighter pattern play out well here. For recording a snare, it will be more placement critical but also have more rejection, helping to keep the hat out of the snare mic.

Realize that hyper-cardioids pick up from right behind the mic. The biggest null is off to the sides. This is a pain in live work when folks lean down over a floor wedge with the mic pointed exactly away from the wedge. Contrary to what they expect, it feeds back. You need to keep the back of them off axis from the wedges. I try to stay away from Beta 58s for this reason. Some folks are addicted to the presence of them, and if I can keep them on the stands pointed flatter, it can work. But have someone start carrying them around and be careful.
Hyper cardioid mics work well with pairs of wedges that are separated (mic stand in between) and are fantastic for fixed backing vocals. On the other hand for hand held applications where the vocalist moves around and is using wedges for foldback, often a cardioid pattern is a better choice (less tonal variations to deal with if the singer changes the angle and or distance from the mic, and less problems with 180 degree off axis lobes at 5 k etc).

With in-ear monitors, singers become much more aware of microphone proximity/angle variations, and generally become much more consistent with their approach, so this coupled with the reduced need for high levels in the wedges means that hyper cardioid hand helds can be more favourable.
#23
11th April 2011
Old 11th April 2011
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Love the beta57.

It's my live vocal mic; works for my voice, at least.
#24
12th April 2011
Old 12th April 2011
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Okay, I will be the bad guy on this love fest for the beta 57... it is a mic I never really saw the point of existing. When they first came out about 20 years ago, I tried them along side my SM57s in the live rigs and they sounded an awful lot like an SM57, but with more available gain. Okay, fine, but the sources I put an SM57 in front of never NEEDED more available gain from the microphone, so why in the world would I need an SM57 with some more juice behind it? Plus, economically speaking the beta 57 costs more, so for the things I would put a 57 in front of, I decided a long time ago that a simple SM57 would do and the music stores and Shure could keep their Beta 57.

It seems to me that if a person is looking for something a little different, then the search should include some other brands. EV, Sennheiser, Audix and others all make fine microphones in the same price range that would obviously still sound like a dynamic mic but may be a little further away from the Shure sound (which I happen to like, by the way).

So I am in no way bashing Shure. I own a lot of Shure mics and have owned them for many years. The beta 57, for MY set up, has never been a useful choice compared to simply using an SM57. Yes, I know there are nuanced differences. But for a nuanced difference, I will choose an Audix i5 or a Sennheiser 906 or so on. That's just me.
#25
13th April 2011
Old 13th April 2011
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Gotta say, I love my beta 57 but not for vocals or guitar. When I stick a regular 57 on a overdrive guitar it just sounds like a record. The old usa sm57(unid.III) will bring out those qualities ever more, its the mid's that sing more and sounds fatter. When I put the beta up it just sounds cleaner and thinner. Same thing with audix i5, just sounds thinner and harsher. For live work I will use anything but for recording it's a sm57 for me.


I love the beta 57 for snare and toms. It also can work well live on anything. Vocals it really depends on the singer. Sometimes it can muddy or nasally on vox, and just does not have the presence that a sm58 or audix om-5 has. I would keep your sm58 and just get sm57. If you have both and/or what something different, check out the heil pr35, they make great mics!
#26
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
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Shure Beta 57

Just picked an older Beta 57 and have started using it at the recommendations of an engineer I respect whose response to my question of "what's the difference between it an a 57 ?" was "edgier". I'll soon find out. As an FYI, also picked up a Beta 56 which is incredible on snare. I love Heil mics. The PR-20 works great on most vocals and well on top snare but wasn't to my taste as a bottom snare mic. IMO the PR-35 is one of the best live sound vocal mics out there! Very low handling noise and while it has presence it's not hyped and it manages the lower vox registers without the mud-just thick. Also have a Heil PR-40 and on kick, my experience is that placement of this mic is even more critical to getting a balanced single mic sound. Too close inside the drum provided great attack and beater but not enough low end. Pulled back and adjusted to the specific drum tone has always produced good, usable tone. Try using in combination with an SM91 inside the drum rotated 180 degrees then place the PR-40 4-6 inches outside aiming thru the drum hole angled a few degrees so it's pointing towards the drummers left knee for an incredible kick sound live or studio! (IMO)
#27
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
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Gotta have at least one.Indispensable for electric guitar cab's and
heavy vocals. About half the vocals on my current CD project used this mic in the recordings. Not to mention the bessssst guitar track I've ever cut : four Beta 57's on double stacks....
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