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"Loaded" question on using SM57's and other dynamics with different pre's. Dynamic Microphones
Old 3rd March 2003
  #1
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
"Loaded" question on using SM57's and other dynamics with different pre's.

If the '57 is (probably) the most finicky dynamic microphone as far as which
pre "mates" with it, what are some of the most "easy going" dynamic
microphones that are easier to match for excellent sound.

Would a 421 or M88 be among the candidates?
The primary application would be vocals BTW.
Any favorite mic/pre combo's would also be appreciated...
especially if they're under $200. (just kidding)

Thanks
Chris
Old 4th March 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by chessparov:
Any favorite mic/pre combo's would also be appreciated...
especially if they're under $200. (just kidding)
Actually, that's do-able.

A Shure SM57, going into an Alesis NanoCompressor through an Audio Technica CP8201 line transformer, is a complete vocal chain, under $200.

If the vocal performance is strong, the engineer competent, and the material compelling, you could record a hit record with that combo.

I'm shure it's been done.
Old 4th March 2003
  #3
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
The implication that the '57 is fussy about load impedance
has been echoed by "notables" like Fletcher, Harvey Gerst,
Scott Dorsey, et al. Plug a 57 into a Mackie VLZ Pro and it
isn't a pretty sight-I mean sound.

Sorry if the thrust of the question wasn't clear.
The intent was to understand the differences between popular
dynamic microphones used in a recording studio for vocals
in their load matching characteristics. The "chessmaster" in me
finds nerdy tech questions well...
"Fascinating" (said with best Leonard Nimoy voice).

Personally using the Studio Projects VTB-1, that a fellow owner
(pro engineer) has evaluated as being comparable to the stock
pre's in Amek consoles he's used. Supposed to be particularly
excellent for the RCA 77DX ribbon microphone per Harvey Gerst.

Will probably add the (Malcom) Toft dual pre/EQ box, later
this year, guessing street price to run under $700 when it comes
out soon.

Chris
Old 4th March 2003
  #4
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
A-O.K. SM.
Jim Williams at www.audioupgrades.com mods the '57,
except he has told me it's done to use with high SPL
sources like drums, instead of voice, as it lowers the
sensitivity substantially.

Yeah I'd be in hog heaven with a Vipre no doubt,
however, I can't justify that it would be gainfully
employed (forgive the pun) enough to warrant spending the $$.

Chris
Old 4th March 2003
  #5
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
Actually, that's do-able.

A Shure SM57, going into an Alesis NanoCompressor through an Audio Technica CP8201 line transformer, is a complete vocal chain, under $200.

If the vocal performance is strong, the engineer competent, and the material compelling, you could record a hit record with that combo.

I'm shure it's been done.
Err. Curve, I give you more credit than this... but a nanocompressor into a at line xfromer?! I'm a total proponent of making good sounding (even sometimes "hit") records with what you got, but a NANO?! These things HARDLY make accurate representation or decently useable version of what you are really recording.

A mackie 'channel strip' of a 32-ate is much more doable IMO. (see The Strokes record for proof).

Don't get me wrong, I own 5 57's and wish I had a couple more, but a nanocompressor only sounds like a runner's vocal fader rides with a 57.

And I have to admit, as cool as the Vipre is especially on 47's, 87's, and c12's, I don't think a $2,000 pre makes a $100 or less mic THAT much "doper'. Many, many others will disagree, but I don't think the $2,000 difference will sell more than 50 or more records if your technique is worthy.

And even more honestly, I can't figure out why anyone would mod a 57 for higher SPL's on drums.
Old 4th March 2003
  #6
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Gee, e-cue, you're so "literal" today.
Old 4th March 2003
  #7
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subspace's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman

Anybody wanna comment on various SM57 mods(transformer ripouts/replacements) and odds(ie. MayEA 57) that fool with the imp. issue?

SM.
Well, I used to take the heads off and run the capsule leads straight into a Jensen DI box for miking kick drums. The shure tranny craps out pretty high for kick use, but I liked the "head's" sound there. Don't know if it was an impedence thing, more of a $50 trannie in an $80 mic thing...
Old 4th March 2003
  #8
Gear Addict
 
mitgong's Avatar
 

When I used to be the house engineer at our local live rock music supply house, I had use of a transformerless 57 "for the kick drum". Visiting mixers used to panic when they saw it, but it got the job done pretty handily. I don't think it's a difficult mod.

Those five years taught me to hate 57s and Peavey wedges and dual 15 drivers for the midrange. Now that I'm in the studio, I've slowly come back to a begrudging respect for the capabilities of the 57. Especially for vocals.

But never, never, never on a snare drum.

Well, maybe sometimes.
Old 4th March 2003
  #9
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
Gee, e-cue, you're so "literal" today.
Must be this Miami weather...
Old 4th March 2003
  #10
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toledo3's Avatar
 

I think that the cheapo tla audio/hhb voice channel sounds very good with an sm57. There is something about the 12k on it that can really enhance the top end of the sm57.
Old 5th March 2003
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
The only time I really like a 57 is through my Great River MP2. I hated the 57 when I was cutting my teeth many years ago on a Mackie 8-buss. The upgrade to a TAC Magnum was better, but I still was not excited. I got the GR while I was still using the TAC. I had read something where Dan Kennedy said how he was even surprised how the 57 sounded through the MP2 (this was before the 2NV was out) so I tried it. It has become one of my favorite guitar sounds. My new (to me) Neotek Elan makes the 57 sound pretty good, but not nearly as good as the GR. Go figure.
Old 5th March 2003
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by mitgong

But never, never, never on a snare drum.

AMEN!
Old 5th March 2003
  #13
Gear addict
Move the 57 around and dont stick it a half inch next to the source. I have been very surprised at what I have got for a sound when the capsule isnt pushed against the grill or the mouth.......etc. I will still put a 57 up against any high dollar mic for certain situations. It has been done before. And on many records especially for vocals. Just my opinion. If it doesn't work then grab another mic. Doesn't mean you have to grab it first. A few sesions ago I actually used a 57 inside the kick with a soundelux U195 outside and the sound was amazing when blended. The 57 picked up the snap perfect. This was for a metal band of course. But would love to try a 57 out with a vipre.
Old 6th March 2003
  #14
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
How about the SM57's larger sibling, the SM7 or SM7B?
(within the context of this thread)

Chris
Old 6th March 2003
  #15
Gear maniac
 

A couple of comments from the peenut gallery...
IMO with a $200 USD budget, a 57 and Joe Meek VC3 can work on kik, snare and guitar. Never tried it on vox.
Tracked scrax vox in the control room with a 58 a few years back. Put it through 1 channel of a Manley Dual Mono and LA4 not in use. Kept some of those tracks..
Liked that kit enough to line up a 57 to Manley to LA4 for rock guitar. Kept some of those tracks too...
Liked that enough to use the 57 through a Flamingo to 1176 on the snare. Keep most of those trax.
I have to say that I do not think the 57 & 58 are finicky mics to capture a sound. I like em both.
Old 6th March 2003
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
One of the best things about the 57 is how mallable it is. Not many other mics take EQ even half as well. That's the one cool thing about the 57, you can stick it in front of almost anything, patch in a solid EQ and get a usable sound.
Old 6th March 2003
  #17
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Doing informal home shootouts Jay, I came to the same
realization about what an EQ chameleon the '57 is.
Like Meek compression for vocals to fatten them up too.
Meant "finicky" in the sense that certain pre's really
bring out its sound quality potential more than others.

Gearlusting for the SM7 as I tend to prefer rich sounding
dynamics like an M88 or MD421 on most of my vocals.
Goes for the RE20 too.

Chris
Old 7th March 2003
  #18
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
If I pick one mic, it's the SM57.

Of course, I wouldn't pick one mic. Couldn't. What kind of Gearslut would I be, after all?

In the past two years, I've bought-up many mics and a few months back I did a shootout on my own vocals. Tubes, the ubiquitous U87, two different preamps, and two different songs -- one uptempo rock, one folksie ballad.

The SM57 won. The CD does not lie. It's not what I wanted to hear, but there ain't no denying.

I don't have an SM7, though, and I'm interested in checking one out. When I told Harvey Gerst about my mic shootout, he recommended the SM7 to me. Now I'm hearing about it again. I've been meaning to get one, and I will. Soon. You know. Once I get a few things straightened out in my life (see procrastination thread).
Old 7th March 2003
  #19
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Regarding the SM57, Stephen Paul recently said that the
important EQ zones are 200 Hz and for "air" on some voices,
12 kHz. He was emphatic that you don't (normally) want to
use a shelf EQ at 10kHz instead. Also a frequency cut between
1kHz and 3 kHz. The last adjustment is the trickiest one for me.

If anybody has any further comments on this or the use of
exciters for "air", let me know.

Chris
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