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Shure beta 57A

Shure Beta 57A

4.05 4.05 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews

a handy utilitarian mic


19th February 2012

Shure Beta 57A by edva

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Shure beta 57A

The Shure Beta 57A "Instrument Microphone" (as they call it) is an inexpensive unidirectional (supercardioid) dynamic mic, intended mostly for mic'ing instruments and amplifiers on stage. The mic resembles the iconic SM57 in shape, but is "stubbier", and grey instead of bronze, with a silver metal headbasket. There are no switches on the mic. It ships with a plastic clip and a zippered vinyl bag. The mic seems well built, except for the blue rubber ring around the grille, which is too easily dislodged.
The mic sounds noticeably different from a regular 57, while retaining some of the latter's signature tone. I tested the beta 57A on a variety of sources through a neutral/clean pre-amp (ULN2), and found it to be a brash, "up-front" sounding microphone, with an almost "jangly" tone - very lively and "in your face", but at the same time somewhat "2-dimensional" and lacking in depth, nuance, and weight. Of course, it is possible to generate a lot of "whump" using proximity effect, by placing the mic very close to the source, but although the bass tones thus captured are indeed thick, they are a bit ragged and unruly.
The high end is nothing special either, although not unpleasant or overly peaky. It's bright but without shimmer or air. It's a sound that can work inside a dense mix, but not a sound to build a mix around.
An affordable tool for the live sound toolbox.

20th February 2012

Shure Beta 57A by tribedescribe

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Shure beta 57A

The beta 57a is my go to recording snare mic. The hypercardioid pattern really comes in handy while micing a snare. When place in the null the high hat pickup is dramatically reduced when compared to a cardioid mic. The brasher tone described above works well for snare while recording.

I originally bought this mic years ago for guitar. Even in my youth I noticed I did not like the tone and quickly switched it out for a regular 57 while recording. I just do not like this mic on guitar for recording, live it is fine. In fact I read their is a well known live sound engineer that swear by the 57a's and uses them on everything, from toms to horns. I also use it as my vocal mic and it does a decent job. In a lot of way this mic is more versatile than than a regular 57. Its the lighter proximity effect and hypercardioid pattern makes this mic much more versatile for live use than a regular 57. Its a solid mic but is not a "10" mic as their are better snare mic's but they cost much more. On the other hand the regular 57 is a solid "10" on guitar. It just works in the mix so well.

18th March 2012

Shure Beta 57A by StephenJames

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Shure beta 57A

As with any mic, the beta 57a can be the best mic or the worst mic for the situation.

Most of the time in the studio, I'll opt for the traditional sm57 instead of the beta, especially on snares and electric guitars. It's definitely a lot more pushed in the upper mid range than the sm57, which can make it sound a bit brash or honky sounding. It usually ends up on snare bottom or small toms in my studio, or somewhere not so critical. I have found the supercardoid pattern useful on snare top sometimes, when the drummer has a crowded kit, or loves to have their hit hats very close to the snare.

Live, however, this mic gets used all the time. We've played a few gigs with some less than stellar acoustics, and feedback elimination is always the main focus. The beta excells here, and it's our go to mic, almost all the time now. Sonically it works live too. All the upper push and brighter vibe of the mic really helps to sit in a live mix. Others may prefer a SM58, but I always end up EQing it closer to how the beta sounds.
I've had mics that sound nicer than the beta57a and others that work just as well for rejecting feedback, but I haven't locked onto one that has a happy marriage of the two like the beta.
I know there's more mic out there to try, but for us it works, and sounds good live, so I'd rather spend my time practicing my craft, rather than searching for the holy grail of live mics.........

19th March 2012

Shure Beta 57A by seangray1

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Shure beta 57A

Quite a nice mic.
I used this for recording snare, guitar cabinet, live vocals and acoustic guitar.

What I did for the acoustic guitar sounded fantastic. This dynamic mic in combintation with a condenser mic further away in the room sounds great. I wouldn't use just this microphone though.

Then, e guitar cabinet. I combined it with a sennheiser md421. Great combination. They really compliment each other in the mix.

On snare top it's a bit flat, I prefer the 58 or md421. On snare bottom it works alright!

During the live sound test the sound guy didn't do a very good job. It ended up being eaten by the drums. I think in the hands of a good sound man this could do very well.

sounds a bit darker and warmer than a 58 regular.

I don't think it's a matter of which mic's better, it's more a matter of what goes with your voice or use the best. Quality wise they're both good. If you're looking for a vocal mic for on stage you should test them both and choose. Don't invest extra money just because you think this will be 50 euro's better. Test it in the situation you will use it in.

20th March 2012

Shure Beta 57A by bhj357

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Shure beta 57A

I use these for live: snare, bongos, congos, var percussion, highhat & cymbals, guitar cabs, steel-string acoustic guitar, mando, bouzouki, banjo & vocals. A lot of volume & clarity!
Since it is a supercardioid pattern, the vocalist usually has to have a little more control and not move around as much; though some singers have actually requested the beta 57a over a sm58, beta 58, & a few LDCs.
If you watch your monitor angles (60deg?), you can get them really loud in the monitors if you need to.
They can seem a bit bright (1k--?) on some vocals, but that can be managed in the channel EQ eaily.
Great on overdriven guitar cabs.

It's very utilitarian, sturdy, and affordable enough to have several.

I also use the beta 58a mic with similar results in the same applications.

21st March 2012

Shure Beta 57A by amoryblane

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.25
Shure beta 57A

I picked up this beta 57 new for around $120 because I always see it paired with a 57 and a condenser on snare. My initial thought was that it might add some low end to a snare that the 57 doesn't necessarily have. I was kinda right, I guess.

I took it home to shoot it out against my 57 collection, about which I must say that they all have their own different character, maybe the one that was dropped a couple of times has some kind of shelf on the top end? Who knows? I just think that all 57s sounds different. Also that I love them.

It did seem to add some warmth that wasn't there in the 57s but it's muffled somehow from about 1k up. I'm not sure if this was the intention, I havent looked at the response chart in a while but I was a little disappointed. The closer I brought it to the Tim of the snare drum the worse the shelf seemed to get, and It didn't sound like a proximity effect problem to me.

I have mostly stopped using it other than for the top end of a large bass cab or as a scratch vocal mic durring live sessions. I think that the 57 sounds worlds better and If I could go back I wouldn't have gotten it. I also don't think that there's anything that the beat 57 can do that the 57 can't do with some more time spent placing it. I'll occasionally use it as a bottom snare mic so that the bleed isn't so bad, seeing as its hyper cardioid an that the top isn't as harsh as a 57. But that snap of the 57 is definitely missed when doing snare and distorted electric guitar in the beta.

 
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