Looking to replace my SM57 for micing cabs...

leib10

Active member
The SM57 I have seems a bit harsh on the upper end and I'm wanting something different. I'm primarily recording distorted guitars in a Bogner Uberkab with V30s/75s. Any suggestions for an alternative?
 

dirtyfunkg

Well-known member
leib10":tef45pv0 said:
The SM57 I have seems a bit harsh on the upper end and I'm wanting something different. I'm primarily recording distorted guitars in a Bogner Uberkab with V30s/75s. Any suggestions for an alternative?

What's the budget? That could be a major determining factor. Standard mic people go to either instead of--or in conjunction with--an SM57 to combat/balance the upper end is the Sennheiser MD421.

Other alternatives include the EV RE20 and even the Heil PR40 or PR30. A Shure SM7 may also be the ticket. All of these pair well with the SM57, and all are versatile and can be used for anything from guitar amps to (some) vocals, to kick/toms.

Another standard single mic for recording distorted guitars is the Audix I5, which often wins shootouts against the SM57 for high gain. Also a good snare drum mic.

The I5 is relatively cheap, particularly used.

You could also pick up another SM57 and do the transformer mod (which is relatively easy to DIY), or if you really hate the 57 you have now, just mod it and see how it goes. This should improve the low end and resolve your harshness, but it does change the character of the 57 significantly to where it may as well be a completely different microphone. https://tapeop.com/interviews/52/sm-57-mod/
 

Tone Monster

Well-known member
Audix I5 is what the 57 wants to be. That blended with a ribbon is the shit. Ribbon has the body and the I5 has the upper mids you need to cut. Blend to taste.
 

nigelpkay

Member
For what it’s worth, I’ve tried a few different mics and usually end up on the SM57 again.
I’ve tried the E906, E609, and Heil PR30.

There’s just something about the SM57, it’s focused in all the right areas for hard rock/metal guitar.
I would try to work on post-EQ a little more and notch out some of the annoying higher frequencies.
 

Speeddemon

Well-known member
Tone Monster":2ucvvbyh said:
Beyer Dynamic M201 is what the 57 wants to be.
fixed. :D

in all seriousness, I'll grab the following next to a 57:
Beyer M88 (sounds glorious on guitar cabs; thick, articulate, no harshness)
Sennh MD421
Sennheiser e409 (the old one, with the golden grille)
Shure SM7B (big, but kinda dark sounding).

I sold my RE20, as I found it a bit uninspiring sounding on guitars and voice (and I have enough kickdrum-mic alternatives); the Beyer M88 is a better choice if you're single-micing a guitar cab.
 

Rex Rocker

Active member
FWIW, I think the e609 and i5 are even harsher than the 57.

The e906 is a bit more natural, though. The Heil PR20 is like a smoother/fatter 57 too.
 

ultimatemetalguitartones

Well-known member
leib10":2w74ctdt said:
The SM57 I have seems a bit harsh on the upper end and I'm wanting something different. I'm primarily recording distorted guitars in a Bogner Uberkab with V30s/75s. Any suggestions for an alternative?
Heil PR20
 

fearhk213

Well-known member
fearhk213":3i1n8i0o said:
The Telefunken M81 is great on a V30.
To expound on the mic a bit, you'll find the m81 compared to an sm57 has less proximity effect and it doesn't have that sharp upper mid peak. The mid-mids have more detail. The m81 has more open top end, but it's not a bright or harsh mic. To me the mid range character of this mic is very pleasing. It also blends well with a sm57. I really like the sm57 so I wouldn't say the m81 smokes it, but it's worth a look if you're wanting something that's less harsh in the upper mids.
 

Speeddemon

Well-known member
metalsoup":10c3eg1q said:
Beyerdynamic M 88 TG

No harsh high end, works great for recording guitars.

Here's a good description of it:

That's what I've been pushing all along, but...almost alone in the desert, it seems.

And that Telefunken M81 description reads a lot like how the Beyer M201 behaves compared to the SM57.
 

lll

Well-known member
The SM57 works fantastic, provided you have a quality mic pre.

A good mic pre (and proper mic placement) will make the SM57 shine with little to no "correctional EQ".
 

Norton666

Member
This is a dangerous rabbit hole, dude! I’ve been there more times than I can even count!! My recommendation would be to keep the 57 , and make it work. Spending crazy amounts of dough on mics , preamps , etc... is something that I am all too familiar with. I’ve been through them all! I’m not trying to be a dick , just a guy who has been down this path. The Audix mics are killer! The Sennheiser mics are killer ! I still have all of them . Looking back , with the right tools I feel like I could’ve gotten the same results without realign the bank chasing “the sound”. Again , just my opinion. Good luck man!
 

lll

Well-known member
nigelpkay":2euvcurb said:
There’s just something about the SM57, it’s focused in all the right areas for hard rock/metal guitar.

Yep; upper-mids. 6 KHz hump.
 

fearhk213

Well-known member
Norton666":80e8zwxb said:
This is a dangerous rabbit hole, dude! I’ve been there more times than I can even count!! My recommendation would be to keep the 57 , and make it work. Spending crazy amounts of dough on mics , preamps , etc... is something that I am all too familiar with. I’ve been through them all! I’m not trying to be a dick , just a guy who has been down this path. The Audix mics are killer! The Sennheiser mics are killer ! I still have all of them . Looking back , with the right tools I feel like I could’ve gotten the same results without realign the bank chasing “the sound”. Again , just my opinion. Good luck man!
That's really good advice. Getting good mic'd up tones is an art form and you can really learn a lot by just sticking with a 57 and learning how to make it work. Then once you've learned its strengths and weaknesses it makes sense to start down that rabbit hole. Maybe the OP has already and he still doesn't like the 57. But yeah, a lot of damage can be done and is still done with a single Sm57
 

skullfxr

Well-known member
At this point I would personally I will not buy anymore mics for recording.

I will snag a captor x or something.
The captor x and the Suhr RLIR seem to be pretty powerful pieces of gear. I can't justify for MY (meaning me personally) buying more mics or needing them for guitar cabs tbh.

Drums I will buy more mics for or vocals, but I think two notes mics a cab better than me.
 
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