SM57 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid, directional pattern.
It doesn’t need phantom power and it records what you
point it at and rejects stuff from the side and from behind.
It's great on drums particularly the snare and toms and it can
do this without a pad, where a condenser mic's sound would break
up with distortion. Because of its size and shape it can be
positioned easily in the drum kit and it really is the industry
standard snare mic, featured on literally thousands of recordings.
What can you say? the Shure SM57 really
is the microphone for the snare though I sometimes wish it was
a bit brighter, because if you get a drummer with no real technique
who thrashes the high hats, the bleed down the 57 isn’t
very pleasant. However that’s nothing to do with the mic
and everything to do with the drummer. They’re great on
guitar cabs, great on brass, I use them on everything really.
I've used them for vocals and they are great with a good pop
shield but again it all depends on the singer's voice and technique.
The Shure SM57 is identical to the SM58 internally but the SM58
has the round cage top to house an internal windscreen and because
the ball forces the singer to be a greater distance from the
mic's diaphragm, the proximity effect is lessened. The windscreen
also dampens the hi frequency response as it cuts wind noise.
but with its shorter grill design it allows the singer to get
closer to the source and therefore can have a greater proximity
On loud rock guitars I stick it right up to the speaker cone,
about an inch or two away, and experiment just moving it around
slightly. I often pair it up with a Sennheiser 421 and experiment
with their relative positions and mix them together. The only
real drawback with the SM57 is that it needs lot of gain at
the preamp when recording softer sounds which can bring in noise
from the preamp (although the microphone itself is generally
quiet). So use it for what its good at and use it to record
loud things. The bottom line is, like its partner
the Shure SM58, it's a great workhorse and I have had 2 for
about 20 years and they work perfectly today despite being clouted
hundreds of times by drummers over the years.JS