SM58 vs SM58S (best with an on/off switch or not?)

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MrFigg
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Post 16 Nov 2021

GAS had got me good this time. As well as buying my looper pedal I decided to get an extra mic for vocals into it. Went for an SM58 over the SM57 as I figured well it’s designed for vocals. The SM57 would maybe have been better for looping as it doesn’t pick up as much sounds around it. Anyway…I don’t know much about how those loopers work but figured it’d be good to get a mic with an on/off switch. So I got the SM58S. I guess if it’s not an issue I can just leave it switched to on. And so to the question…is it a good idea to have an on/off switch. As far as I know the switch on the SM58S is designed to eliminate pops and bangs when used. Any views?
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MarkTarlton
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Post 16 Nov 2021

I guess if it were me making the decision I would only buy a mic with an on/off if it were something I needed it for, like playing live and there wasn't a soundman to turn on the mic when the crowd was being addressed, so you would have it muted while playing and than un-mute when talking, say you are an instrumental/jazz band for example. There are some other examples, in your case it might not be a bad idea if you aren't looping your vocals/mic a lot and you don't need the mic feed while looping direct instruments. I am not the biggest fan of off/on because they accidentally get turned off if you aren't careful when you don't want it off. I have an old shure unidyne that I decided to tape with gaffer for it to always be on to avoid that situation since I never need it off...it's a studio situation.

sm57 and 58 are essentially the same mic minus the vocal pop filter that is shaped like a ball. The 57 might be a bit more versatile but you can pretty much use it for the same applications, it does sound a little different because of the muffling.

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MrFigg
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Post 16 Nov 2021

MarkTarlton wrote:
16 Nov 2021
I guess if it were me making the decision I would only buy a mic with an on/off if it were something I needed it for, like playing live and there wasn't a soundman to turn on the mic when the crowd was being addressed, so you would have it muted while playing and than un-mute when talking, say you are an instrumental/jazz band for example. There are some other examples, in your case it might not be a bad idea if you aren't looping your vocals/mic a lot and you don't need the mic feed while looping direct instruments. I am not the biggest fan of off/on because they accidentally get turned off if you aren't careful when you don't want it off. I have an old shure unidyne that I decided to tape with gaffer for it to always be on to avoid that situation since I never need it off...it's a studio situation.

sm57 and 58 are essentially the same mic minus the vocal pop filter that is shaped like a ball. The 57 might be a bit more versatile but you can pretty much use it for the same applications, it does sound a little different because of the muffling.
Would you say the on/off switch is a drawback or is I just unnecessary. I am a bit allergic when it comes to extra bits that can break. I thought the SM57 was more for recording instruments or micing amps and the like.
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MarkTarlton
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Post 16 Nov 2021

The 58 does work good for vocals and is preferred by a lot of sound engineers for that application because of the filter, but some people actually like the 57 better because you can "eat" the mic and get closer to the capsule, but it really depends on your vocal style. The on/off switch could come in handy for your looping situation, you can always tape it like I did. My mic is like 50 years old and has never failed on me.

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DaveyG
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Post 16 Nov 2021

Despite being around music and studios in various capacities for well over three decades I've never seen an SM58 with a switch. For vocals just leave it on a stand and step back when you don't want it to "listen". They really are not that sensitive and the background noise will be minimal unless you are pointing an amp directly at it. So leave the switch in the "on" position and enjoy one of the most indestructible mics ever made. Just try not to hit yourself on the head when you get carried away and swing it around by the cable and definitely try not to get fooled again.

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MrFigg
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Post 16 Nov 2021

I’ve actually banged my teeth on those mics a number of times.
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DaveyG
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Post 16 Nov 2021

MrFigg wrote:
16 Nov 2021
I’ve actually banged my teeth on those mics a number of times.
Oh yeah, and try not to get infected from all the accumulated festering spittle in the windshield.

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MrFigg
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Post 16 Nov 2021

Hmm. I’m wondering if I should change my order to one without a switch. Its not really any cheaper. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe switches are for bingo callers.
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Heater
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Post 16 Nov 2021

It doesn’t matter. Switches are handy sometimes.

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QVprod
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Post 16 Nov 2021

It doesn't matter. Just whether or not you find the switch convenient. It's not necessary. And yes a 57 is essentially the same as a 58. 57s are pretty normal for vocal use. since they're all dynamic microphones they don't pick up background noise as much as condenser mics.

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MrFigg
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Post 16 Nov 2021

Thanks for the answers. Probably good I got the switch now that I’m thinking about it. Means that I can turn off the mic when recording instrument loops and nothing will get picked up and added in to the loop. Even if it’s only hiss.
Something in my gut is saying I should have got the SM57 instead of the 58 so I could use it to record instruments like my acoustic guitar for example. From what I understand though the SM58 can be used successfully for recording instruments/ micing amps ets too and I probably won’t be able to notice any difference anyway. Thanks again. :)
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DaveyG
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Post 17 Nov 2021

MrFigg wrote:
16 Nov 2021
Thanks for the answers. Probably good I got the switch now that I’m thinking about it. Means that I can turn off the mic when recording instrument loops and nothing will get picked up and added in to the loop. Even if it’s only hiss.
Something in my gut is saying I should have got the SM57 instead of the 58 so I could use it to record instruments like my acoustic guitar for example. From what I understand though the SM58 can be used successfully for recording instruments/ micing amps ets too and I probably won’t be able to notice any difference anyway. Thanks again. :)
The 58 is fine for micing amps, you just can't get it quite as close as a 57 but you never really need it ultra-close unless you are looking for an oddball result!

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Nov 2021

DaveyG wrote:
17 Nov 2021
MrFigg wrote:
16 Nov 2021
Thanks for the answers. Probably good I got the switch now that I’m thinking about it. Means that I can turn off the mic when recording instrument loops and nothing will get picked up and added in to the loop. Even if it’s only hiss.
Something in my gut is saying I should have got the SM57 instead of the 58 so I could use it to record instruments like my acoustic guitar for example. From what I understand though the SM58 can be used successfully for recording instruments/ micing amps ets too and I probably won’t be able to notice any difference anyway. Thanks again. :)
The 58 is fine for micing amps, you just can't get it quite as close as a 57 but you never really need it ultra-close unless you are looking for an oddball result!
What about recording say an acoustic guitar?
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miyaru
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Post 17 Nov 2021

MrFigg wrote:
17 Nov 2021
DaveyG wrote:
17 Nov 2021


The 58 is fine for micing amps, you just can't get it quite as close as a 57 but you never really need it ultra-close unless you are looking for an oddball result!
What about recording say an acoustic guitar?
For acoustic guitar I would choose a Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone........ :thumbup:
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason Suite 11, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Nov 2021

miyaru wrote:
17 Nov 2021
MrFigg wrote:
17 Nov 2021


What about recording say an acoustic guitar?
For acoustic guitar I would choose a Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone........ :thumbup:
Yeah...I've got two condensers but I was thinking that an SM58 or 57 are more directional.
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DaveyG
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Post 17 Nov 2021

Yeah, dynamic mics are not ideal for acoustic guitars unless you are thrashing shit out of the guitar.
Start with a capacitor mic aimed at the 12th fret about 9 inches away and adjust an inch or two left/right and in/out to suit.

Depending on the room and on the playing technique it can be useful to add a second mic a few feet further away to capture more of the room sound on another track. If the guitar is electro-acoustic definitely take a DI feed from the pickup on to another track too. Mixing this stuff together can give very pleasing results.

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miyaru
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Post 17 Nov 2021

MrFigg wrote:
17 Nov 2021
miyaru wrote:
17 Nov 2021


For acoustic guitar I would choose a Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone........ :thumbup:
Yeah...I've got two condensers but I was thinking that an SM58 or 57 are more directional.
Could be true, but so much less sensitive. In the high's LDC mics are much better. Overall it might be possible, but not the first choice. What condensers do you got?
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason Suite 11, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

WarStar
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Post 17 Nov 2021

What are you trying to loop, vocals or guitar? I actually used two vocal mics years ago, one clean and one used pedals on, one of which was a boss looper... I did live vocal tweaks in shows and you have to have either a mute medal or switch to make sure you don't get unnecessary or unwanted feed back when looping stuff... It's really cool when you figure it out cuz you can do some wild stuff... If you are wanting to do it on vocals you should get a DI box to pad the signal down because The signal using pedals on vox mics comes in pretty hot . But when you do it right the shits pretty incredible..! I was inspired by Mike Patton with that . If your playing an instrument then go with a mute pedal cuz you don't want to having to use your thumb to hit the switch on your mic

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Nov 2021

miyaru wrote:
17 Nov 2021
MrFigg wrote:
17 Nov 2021


Yeah...I've got two condensers but I was thinking that an SM58 or 57 are more directional.
Could be true, but so much less sensitive. In the high's LDC mics are much better. Overall it might be possible, but not the first choice. What condensers do you got?
Rode NT-1A and an SE electronics X1.
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miyaru
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Post 17 Nov 2021

I have a NT1a too, and sdc a Audio-Technica AT 3035.
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason Suite 11, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

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QVprod
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Post 17 Nov 2021

While I agree a LDC is likely better than a 58 on acoustic guitar, it can be used. Fun fact, you can also unscrew the grille from the 58. It’ll be more like a 57 then.

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joeyluck
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Post 17 Nov 2021

The Beta 57A is my favorite mic. It's a supercardioid, so more noise rejection when recording and more feedback rejection in live situations. It's a different, wider frequency response too. I use it on vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar amps, horns, piano, snare drum, anything really. If you want a mi that can be used on anything, it's the one I recommend. And there's an optional magnetic wind screen that is really great.

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Nov 2021

joeyluck wrote:
17 Nov 2021
The Beta 57A is my favorite mic. It's a supercardioid, so more noise rejection when recording and more feedback rejection in live situations. It's a different, wider frequency response too. I use it on vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar amps, horns, piano, snare drum, anything really. If you want a mi that can be used on anything, it's the one I recommend. And there's an optional magnetic wind screen that is really great.
Too late :). Ordered already. Sure I’ll be happy with the 58. :)
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miyaru
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Post 17 Nov 2021

MrFigg wrote:
17 Nov 2021
joeyluck wrote:
17 Nov 2021
The Beta 57A is my favorite mic. It's a supercardioid, so more noise rejection when recording and more feedback rejection in live situations. It's a different, wider frequency response too. I use it on vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar amps, horns, piano, snare drum, anything really. If you want a mi that can be used on anything, it's the one I recommend. And there's an optional magnetic wind screen that is really great.
Too late :). Ordered already. Sure I’ll be happy with the 58. :)
Enjoy yourself with your new microphone!!!! :thumbup:
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason Suite 11, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Nov 2021

miyaru wrote:
17 Nov 2021
MrFigg wrote:
17 Nov 2021


Too late :). Ordered already. Sure I’ll be happy with the 58. :)
Enjoy yourself with your new microphone!!!! :thumbup:
Thanks :):):)
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