What would happen if we compared a $1000 microphone on acoustic guitar to a $100 mic? Well just a couple of weeks ago I found out. After wrapping up day 2 of the Simply Recording Academy in Nashville we did a little microphone shootout on acoustic guitar featuring three different mics in three very different price ranges. The results blew me away! Take a listen for yourself.
I don’t like to push gear if I don’t think it’s a helpful suggestion. Heck, I don’t even believe that gear is the solution to your recording or mixing woes. But gear is what we use to capture and mix audio and some if is necessary. The trick is to navigate the sea of advertising and find the best bang for your buck.
You likely have heard of the Shure SM-57 microphone (if you don’t already own one). It’s a super affordable ($99 new), super popular dynmaic mic. Today I want to give you three great reasons why (after purchasing your $100 condensor) every home/project studio should own at least one of these mics. Two seem typical and one might surprise you.
1. Great On Guitar Amps
The most popular use for the SM57 tends to be to record guitar amps/cabinets. As a dynamic mic it can take the loud SPLs of the amp without overloading. Plus as a very midrange focused mic it really brings out some of the best characteristics of the electric guitar.
On almost any amp the 57 right up on the grill seems to do wonders. If it’s too bass heavy, back it off an inch or two. If it’s two bright, slide it over away from the center of the cone or angle it 45 degrees to the grill. It’s almost impossible to not get a great guitar tone with this mic.
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