No microphone locker is complete without a generous selection of Shure SM57s. Great for live sound or studio recording, it is one of the most popular mics in the world for faithfully capturing audio from any vocal or instrumental source. You can trust Shure’s legendary reputation to deliver professional results on all of your audio projects.
The Most Popular Snare Mic, Ever
The SM57 is a rugged dynamic microphone that can handle extremely high sound pressure level (SPL) without distortion. As a result, it is often picked first for high-volume instrument sources. Countless hit recordings feature an SM57 on the top snare head, with a second SM57 run phase-reversed on the bottom. This technique will give you a fat, snappy tone with plenty of stick-crack and snare buzz. You can blend the two mics in the mix to get just the right back-beat for your song.
Perfect for High-Volume Amps
Guitar amplifiers are another SM57-friendly sound source. It takes some major gain to overdrive a high-wattage tube amp. In fact, recording studios will often isolate a half-stack in its own room while the guitarist listens at a safer volume over headphones in the control room. Your SM57 can handle it, though. Close-mic one of your amp’s 12-inch speakers and you’ll get a clear, precise guitar tone that will cut through any mix. You’ll bring the energy of a live performance to your recorded guitar tracks, for a much more accurate interpretation of your music.
Custom-Tuned Frequency Response
While snare drums and guitar cabinets are two of its strengths, the SM57 has a custom-tuned frequency response from 40Hz to 15 kHz, which covers a wide range of instruments and voices. Tapered bass roll-off from around 750 Hz removes the boominess from vocals and instruments alike, with a ruler-flat response up to 3kHz. Enhanced definition up around the 6-10 kHz range brings brilliance and clarity to upper harmonics, adding sparkle to the top of your mix. It’s hard to believe how something so simple as the proper microphone can have such a positive impact on your final product, but one listen to the SM57 and you’ll be a believer.
Cardioid Pickup Pattern
Today’s multitrack recording techniques often rely on good separation between recorded tracks. If one instrument is bleeding over onto another instrument’s track, it can be difficult to balance the two properly in a mix. The SM57 uses a cardioid pickup pattern to focus on a specific sound source. Audio from outside the pickup pattern is rejected for clean, isolated studio recordings. The unidirectional pattern is also beneficial in a live-sound setting. You have more freedom in mic positioning, letting you boost microphone gain much higher without worrying about feedback.
An Incredibly Reliable Microphone
Professional sound quality is only part of the story. The SM57′s rock-solid reliability is just as impressive. After all, what good is a “go-to” microphone if it’s not ready when “gone-to”? The die-cast steel casing protects internal components from damage, while Shure’s patented internal shock mount reduces mechanical noise caused by handling or room vibration. A polycarbonate grille shields the stainless steel dynamic element from the rough treatment typically inflicted upon a touring microphone. Gig after gig, session after session, you can count on your SM57 to perform just like the first time you plug it in.
The Drop Test and Mic of Choice for the President
The SM57 has passed Shure’s now-famous drop test: Shure employees dropped the mic from a seventh-floor balcony, picked it up, plugged it in — and heard no loss of performance. Ideally, your mics won’t suffer that kind of torture, but isn’t it nice to know they can survive it? For further proof of this legendary mic’s reliability, look no further than the White House. A pair of slim, unobtrusive SM57s with discreet black foam windscreens have perched atop the Presidential podium for more than 30 years, delivering the goods with workhorse consistency. The next time you bump into the leader of the free world, mention that you use the same microphone. The President is sure to be impressed.
- Type: Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 40 to 15,000 Hz (see Figure 2)
- Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (cardioid), rotationally symmetrical about
microphone axis, uniform with frequency 3-pin professional audio connector (male XLR type)
- Case: Dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast steel with a polycarbonate
grille and a stainless steel screen.
- Dimensions: 32 x 157 x 23mm (1-1/4 x 6-3/16 x 29/32 in.)
- Swivel Adapter: Positive-action, break-resistant, adjustable through 180 degrees,
with standard 5/8 in.-27 thread
- Net Weight (without cable): 284 g (10 oz.)
- Furnished Accessories: Swivel Adapter, Storage Bag