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Shure SM57 vs Sennheiser E906 for guitar/vocals?
Old 14th October 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Shure SM57 vs Sennheiser E906 for guitar/vocals?

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but as the title says, I'm trying to decide whether to buy the Shure SM57 or the Sennheiser e906. From what I understand, the consensus seems to be that the e906 is the better choice for guitar (this is actually based mostly off another thread on this forum) but I'm also wondering how the two compare when you add vocals to the mix.

On that other thread a couple of people said that the e906 would "probably" do just as good on vocals, but I was hoping someone could expand on that.

A few notes:
I'm recording at home, not in a studio, so background noise is a factor to consider. I'm mainly going to be using the mic to record an electric guitar and (female) vocals, and ideally I want it to have good output quality for both. The guitar is a Gibson Les Paul and the amp is a Line 6 DT25.

Thank you!!

PS: If you want recommend any other mics, I'm definitely all ears... these are just two of the more 'prominent' models that I've been told of. As you can probably tell I'm new to this field so I'm not sure what to get. And also, are there any good USB interfaces you recommend?
Old 14th October 2013
  #2
Gear Nut
 
JTrue's Avatar
 

The e906 has switchable frequency response curves. This makes it more like a Sennheiser MD421, EV RE20 or Shure SM7 in that regard.

The flat front nature of the e906 makes it more of an instrument mic in form factor because it's not as easily hand-held. It also would cover some of a performer's face in a live situation. The frequency response switching allows the user to tailor the tone of the mic. This puts the e906 in a different class than the SM57. The e609 is more of the same class as the SM57. The e906 is twice the cost (where I live) and perhaps 3 times the mic with it's in-built versatility than a 57.

The SM57 is handheld easily and durable as nails... This is important for live audio. It's drawbacks include a fixed frequency response with a spike in the nasally frequencies. My guess is that Shure did this to compensate for their Vocalmaster tower PA systems and the tower PA's of other companies that had poor high frequency response because they used only 6-10" paper cone speakers in a tower array with no high frequency drivers or tweeters. This would allow the 57-58 cut through a little more

My opinion is, in the studio the e906 is a better option if you are buying one or the other. It's not marketed as a vocal mic, but with it's adjustable response curves.. It can perform that duty.

Live, the SM57 (in vocal duty) is a little more durable, better to hold on to, and won't cover a up performer's face. In the studio it has to match the performer's voice. The SM57 only has one sound.

On guitar duty live, or studio it's just a matter of opinion. The evolution series is tough enough for the road, but the e906 has a more studio quality with it's switchable frequency response. The SM57 is what it is and if you know how to work with it, will yield good results.
Old 14th October 2013
  #3
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

SM57 is rock solid and versatile enough.

Recording vocals, some people get right up on them, but I've had better luck using a pop filter and singing a few inches away with a bit more gain.
Old 14th October 2013
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Triscuit's Avatar
What is the rest of the chain like?

That aside, I stand behind the SM57 in a major way when it comes to versatility. I enjoy using it for vocals. I tossed an old foam windscreen on mine and it works swell.
Old 14th October 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I prefer the e906, but the 57 is fine also. There are a couple EASY mods that can help the 57 out also. One is to remove the transformer. Quite a few people swear by that. Another is THIS.
Old 14th October 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
WinnyP's Avatar
Audix i5 over both.
I dont like 57's. Like the 906 for elec gtr cabs. I5 better for acoustic than 906 or 57. None of those mics will be "great" for voice though.
Old 14th October 2013
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Thank you all for the responses! Just wanted to clarify...like I mentioned in my original post, I will only be doing amateur recording for fun in the comforts of my home, not in the studio or live anywhere, so I'm not really concerned about the microphone's look or how durable it would be on the road, etc...

I only care about the quality of the sound, because I will most likely just be buying a stand for it. Besides the e906 and sm57, are there any other good microphones you would recommend? I'm looking for a good microphone that will do well for BOTH guitar and vocals, so if these two are not great could you suggest another one maybe? Again, I'm a beginner, so though I really appreciate more detailed responses I unfortunately don't always know what you guys are talking about I mainly just need someone to lead me towards a good starting point, so I can experiment and do the rest. Thanks again!
Old 14th October 2013
  #8
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

Because I am recording in less than ideal, living room conditions, I'm looking at highly directional condensers as well as other dynamic mic's, but they are considerably more expensive.


Shure SM7b

Shure SM87a

AKG C5 or C535eb
Old 14th October 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by suavebrahhh View Post
Thank you all for the responses! Just wanted to clarify...like I mentioned in my original post, I will only be doing amateur recording for fun in the comforts of my home, not in the studio or live anywhere, so I'm not really concerned about the microphone's look or how durable it would be on the road, etc...

I only care about the quality of the sound, because I will most likely just be buying a stand for it. Besides the e906 and sm57, are there any other good microphones you would recommend? I'm looking for a good microphone that will do well for BOTH guitar and vocals, so if these two are not great could you suggest another one maybe? Again, I'm a beginner, so though I really appreciate more detailed responses I unfortunately don't always know what you guys are talking about I mainly just need someone to lead me towards a good starting point, so I can experiment and do the rest. Thanks again!
Beyerdynamic m88. Twice the price of the 906 but one of the greatest mics of any type. Usable on all sorts of things. GREAT on guitar cab and vocals.
Old 16th October 2013
  #10
I was given an e906 for Christmas a few years ago. I'd had a 609 for years and got decent results.

There is something in the high-frequencies on the 906 that I *really* do not like. Its like there is one little frequency bump that jumps out and "acts" differently than the rest of the mic. At first you think "wow, that's smooth", but you keep thinking about it, because it keeps jumping out. Then you realize its annoying. Because the rest of the mic has a normal sound, not really different than a 57 or whatever. Its just that one little spike that sounds different.

The switches on the 906 seem like an improvement, better value, etc. But they're not (IMO). I'll use the 609 instead.
Old 16th October 2013
  #11
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foldback's Avatar
e609 vs SM-57, I'll take the 57

Honestly you should consider an SM-58 IMHO (very close to SM-57 in price). You can record anything with a 58 and it sounds a lot better on vocals.

Personally I like the SM-58S, the one with an on-off switch for casual use, it's the worlds most simple anti-feedback device, just turn the mic off.

For recording situations you can remove the ball from a 58 for a little different tone and if you ever want to get rid of it an SM-58 is very resalable (try and explain the Sennheiser to someone who has no idea what it is).

Just my 2-cents, good music to all!
Old 16th October 2013
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Amer312's Avatar
I have the e609 and I have used the sm57 before and something about the Sennheiser makes the amps sounds tastier than the sm57.
plus since you're recording in a bed room or in a small studio having the e609 is good because of the ease of use and the fact that you can eliminate the mic stand.

can't tell you about the vocals tho it didn't match my voice better than a condenser but that's just me!

oh and I wasn't a big fan of recording acoustic with it also.

I think you're better getting a sure sm7b that's a very versatile mic for vocals cabs and acoustic guitar.

cheers
Old 16th October 2013
  #13
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stel View Post
Beyerdynamic m88. Twice the price of the 906 but one of the greatest mics of any type. Usable on all sorts of things. GREAT on guitar cab and vocals.
+1. Or, a Beyer M201. The M88 is fantastic mic, also. However, it *thinks* it's a condenser, whereas an M201 is always a dynamic mic. I'd use an M88 on just about anything, also. Great on bass cabs as well as vocals and guitars, too.

I used nothing but SM57's for years, but eventually decided that they're just too limited to be a first-reach mic. Sometimes they're perfect, but all mics are at least some of the time.

My first-reach mic for an awful lot of sources is the M201. I'd cut anything with it - guitar cabs, bass, acoustic guitar, vocals, drums, hand percussion, anything.

I have an e906 that I use on guitar cabs when I want a slightly more aggressive sound, but have never tried it on vocals. As with any mic, it could be perfect on some voices.
Old 17th October 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I've learned that with microphones, flat is better, really with budget equipment, see the thing is these youtube videos trick people saying oh the sm57 sounds great but is running the microphone through a thousands of dollar preamp and a thousands of dollar interface, so of course the microphone is gone sound amazing, but running a sm57 through a budget interface, and it's gone sound like a basic microphone, might give you this cheap sounding brightness when you stack vocals, so basically what im saying is make sure you signal chain is Superior in the preamp and converter side and focus on the mix, and the effects, because ive recently created a mixtape with a at3035 and a roland quad capture. I just did the best i could do with the vocals, and made them sound as cool as i could, thats how you find your own style. and when it came back from the mastering engineers at the big house it sounded like i recorded at their studio it was so clear, i couldnt even believe i mixed it. they made it sound exactly how i wanted it to sound, even though my equipment was cheap.

So what i'm saying is have fun, just get a microphone, and if you gone upgrade anything the converters need to be the first thing, to be honest i wish i wouldve bought the best converts before a microphone. Slim Skinny "the lucky 7" Nov 15th datpiff.com
Old 17th October 2013
  #15
Second the M201 and 57 recommendations. The vocals on "Transformed" were tracked with a 57 and on "Xenotaph" with a 201 (most likely not your vocal style but anyway):

https://soundcloud.com/nakedzen
Old 17th October 2013
  #16
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

A good multi-purpose tripod mic stand is worth the upgrade.


The DRPro DR259 low profile boom mic stand is strong and very flexible.
DR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom Stand | GuitarCenter

Good for standing or sitting vocals, acoustic, and for micing up cabs, a pleasure to own.
Old 17th October 2013
  #17
Gear Addict
 

So, just to confuse the OP, i throwing another mic into the mix : Heil Pr30. It's a great guitar amp mic, and a better vocal mic, than the sm57, imo.
Old 18th October 2013
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Long story short, for both those uses it's not a contest to me. 57 over e906 and keep in mind I much prefer the e906 on guitars too.

Long story long, I was just doing some vocal tracking Tuesday with a singer/band that never sounds right with a condenser on vocals. Think a Kurt Cobain with less growl sounding voice in a if Sonic Youth only played punk band.

We demoed every non-condenser I have - SM57, e906, M88, Shure B52, and a Beyer M160 ribbon that I've only used (and love) on overheads

These were the results :
SM57 - A bit boxy but in an interesting and musical way. We could have totally used it, but it would have taken a bit of mix massage to make it fit. Our #3 pick

e906 - Hard sounding. Liked the least. Just didn't suit vocals no matter what we did. Everything sat weird against the mix or soloed #5

M88 - Solid. Wasn't special on his voice, but it sounded very good. If we were going for the cleanest, fullest representation of his voice this would have been the pick. #2

B52 - We put it up for ****s and giggles and it sounded wrong. Woofy and an odd EQ for the lead vocal, but all of us agreed we're going back to it on backup vocals. It's weirdly pre-EQd exactly where we want the backup vox to sit. #4

M160 - Our pick. This may have been dumb luck with this voice, but it pushed up and cut out some very interesting frequencies. It just magically brought out everything interesting about this singer's voice and sat the vocals in the mix perfectly. I could see it being totally wrong in many situations, but I was amazed how right it was in this one. #1
Old 27th April 2017
  #19
Gear Head
 

I always used sm57 for a guitar cabinet.
Hearing many positive reviews, I recently bought 906 for a test))
Maybe I'm used to it, but I prefer sm57. It's more sharp.
906th soft and wider range of frequencies.
Old 28th April 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
e609 vs SM-57, I'll take the 57
Me too. I've got Unidynes, a 906 and a 609.

I love the way the Senns hang on a guitar amp for live, but for studio recording, they both lack high end that the 57 offers.
Old 29th April 2017
  #21
Gear Head
 
Derek Damager's Avatar
 

Get a Heil PR30 and don't look back. You'll immediately have the sound you're trying to get with both other general purpose mics & eq. Don't let yourself be jaded by standard brands marketing and history of famously used gear. Do yourself a favor and google Heil Audio artists and come back tell me they're not notably substantial units with a proven track record. And, if you have the bread to spend, get a 57 as well so multi layering gets automatically eq'ed differently in a favorable way before it even hits the interface so tracks stick out from each other and blend easier.
Old 29th April 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
What is it with these Rip Vanwinkle threads? Everything before the last three posts is from 2013. The OP probably bought a mic three years ago. By now, the OP could have dropped out of audio, gone to prison, or become a dental hygienist.
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