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SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

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SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby twotoedsloth » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:46 pm

Hello,

I have to purchase some general purpose mics for work, and I need to be able to mic up a big band, and it would be great if I could use the same mics for spoken voice, up to 6 for a large panel discussion, also we would need to amplify singers from time to time.

I was thinking of getting new SM/Beta 58s, but I've been wondering if I'm better off with the 57 line.

Right now I have 7 SM58s that are in deplorable condition, and a single AKG hand held dynamic that I only use for spoken voice, and to be honest, it's not very good at that either.

SO.... my question is SM57/Beta57 or SM58/Beta58? Or Sennheiser e835/e935?

Thanks kindly for taking the time to read this,

Peter
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Dave B » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:03 pm

I have a selection - pretty much one of each - in my gig mic bag. That gives me options. It was pointed out that in one small pub we play, the betas work better as they are less prone to feedback when you are close (almost to the side of) the PA. So we tried that and the singers were so much happier with the sound. But I used to play with one chap who just preferred bog standard 57s (in fact I think that's where my original one ended up). We also have some AKG D5s and a couple of other options in the mix should we need them.

If you already have a bunch of 58 and they still work, then I'd add a few options.
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:33 pm

Perhaps a clarification is required on your expected mic placement for the panel discussions. Generally I would expect members of a panel discussion not to be ‘on-mic’ in the same way as a singer and that requires a different approach.

In this scenario, and for general miking of instruments in a (jazz?) big band, I’d be thinking SDCs and my ‘go-to’ live SDCs are Sennheiser e614s. They’re well behaved and neutral and very reasonably priced. For the panel discussions you’d need to acquire some pop-socks.

These wouldn’t be appropriate for close-miced stage vocals, but then you have the 58s for that.

If you want to stick with dynamics then I’d recommend the Beyer M201 over the SM57 or Beta57 any day of the week for all the applications you describe.

At the cheaper end of the market I’d be thinking Beyer V70 or, even cheaper, Senny e835 over the Shures.

Bob
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:02 pm

Beta's are better for loud stages and singers who are good at staying on mic (and probably for slightly more distant miking of speakers on a panel) as they are super cardioid. If the singers are prone to wandering off axis then standard 57/58s are cardioid with a wider sweet spot. The only difference between the 57 and 58 variants is the position of the presence peak (in fact I believe the SM57 and SM58 share the same capsule and the differences are purely due to the basket design). I would echo what others have said about there being better mics out there these days.
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby resistorman » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:11 pm

Regarding the old 58’s: you can replace the pop filter to make them look new, or send them back to Shure... they’ll bring them up to spec for $50. They usually replace the whole top half.
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby twotoedsloth » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:35 pm

Thanks,

I will look for replacement pop filters for my SM58s, as they're doing the job just fine. They look mighty unprofessional at the moment because all of the dents. BTW the dents got there before I started working here, I would never mistreat my gear in the way these mics have been subjected to.

If I do get budget approved, should I be buying the SM/Beta 57 or 58? As I mentioned, I need all around PA mics, everything from Jazz orchestra with vocals to panel discussions.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and offer your advice,

Peter
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm

See above but Beta 57's are perfectly respectable vocal mics. TBH any of the mics mentioned in this thread will do a respectable job but some will suit certain voices better than others. I use capacitor vocal mics for most things except 'rock vocals' these days. The purpose of the 57/58 presence peak is to help the vocal 'cut through' a loud backline. With modern PA systems it is mostly redundant IMO.
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:26 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:If I do get budget approved, should I be buying the SM/Beta 57 or 58? As I mentioned, I need all around PA mics, everything from Jazz orchestra with vocals to panel discussions.

As I said earlier, you would be well advised to consider a set of SDC mics for applications such as panel discussions, jazz orchestra, etc, especially given you have SM58s already and as noted already the Sennheiser e614 is an excellent candidate for this task. I would not even consider taking on some of the applications you mention without SDCs at my disposal.

You seem to be locked into ‘Brand Shure’. That’s a pity as there are so many better options available. I have 58s and 57s in the microphone locker, but can’t remember the last time I used them............

Bob
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:51 pm

In my experience the Beta 57 is a pretty good live vocal mic, the standard SM57 less so -- because it doesn't really have a headbasket it's easy for singers to get too close to the capsule.
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby twotoedsloth » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:35 pm

Hello,

Thanks for your responses. I'm not tied to Shure mics, sorry if I gave you that impression.

I'm also considering the Sennheiser e835/e845/e935/e945, and the AKG D5.

I have a good selection of SDCs, but I can't use those for panel discussions, as speakers tend to grab the mic and talk right into it. I'm also hesitant to put a relatively delicate capacitor mic on stage with a Jazz orchestra, as they tend to get knocked around quite a bit. Ethnomusicology ensembles are even more hazardous.

I guess that's why I like the Shure SM58s that we have. They're probably more than 20 years old, and they've been beaten up quite badly, but they still sound acceptable, obviously I'm never going to use them in a recording session.

Anyways, I was hoping to upgrade my old SM58s, that's why I suggested Beta 58s, then I got thinking that most of the work they will get is amplifying acoustic instruments, which is what led me to the Beta 57s, but I was concerned that the Beta 57 would not be suitable for speaking purposes, or jazz/ethnomusicology singers.

Is there a mic that suits these purposes?

Many thanks,

Peter
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:33 am

twotoedsloth wrote:I have a good selection of SDCs, but I can't use those for panel discussions, as speakers tend to grab the mic and talk right into it.

Errr..... tell them not to?

twotoedsloth wrote:I'm also hesitant to put a relatively delicate capacitor mic on stage with a Jazz orchestra, as they tend to get knocked around quite a bit. Ethnomusicology ensembles are even more hazardous.

Sounds like you need to introduce some basic stage practice into your workplace..........

Bob
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Re: SM57 or Beta 57 for voice

Postby resistorman » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:07 pm

I really like the Blue E100 mics for places where a condenser (capacitor) mic is too sensitive or in mortal danger. Ostensibly a vocal mic, they sound great on instruments and work well at a distance.

https://www.bluedesigns.com/products/encore-100/
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