Shure SM57: The Industry Standard

Sep 1, 2004 8:00 AM


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What gives the SM57 the reputation of an industry standard? Maybe it’s the fact that the Shure SM57 is durable, reliable, and versatile in application. The SM57 has been used by the President of the United States for more than 30 years, and put to the test on stage, on tour, and in the recording studio by such artists as Les Claypool, Maroon 5, and Barenaked Ladies to name a few. It can be dropped down six flights of stairs and then dunked in a glass of water and still perform like it just came out of the box (but we’re not recommending you try this at home),

The SM57 has become a standard in the musician’s arsenal thanks to the extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern, which isolates the main sound source while minimizing background noise. With its bright, clean sound and carefully contoured presence rise, the SM57 is ideal for live sound reinforcement and recording. In the studio, it is excellent for recording drums, guitar, and woodwinds.

Ask almost any recording engineer what the best microphone is for miking a snare drum and their answer will be the Shure SM57. Many believe that it is the baseline standard microphone for recording instruments.

The SM57 demonstrates its versatility by also being ideal for vocal applications. Musician and Shure endorser Les Claypool says “I've always used the [SM]57s for my vocals; I just love them.” Additionally, Michael Jackson used the SM57 to record the famous Billie Jean in 1982, Cyndi Lauper sings into the SM57, and President Bush is still speaking to the nation with the SM57.

The SM57 is ideal for night-after-night touring and performs great in the recording studio. It is deserving of its workhorse designation. With its wide range of capabilities, most people consider the SM57 to be the most versatile mic in their tool kit.

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