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Really, a good microphone is one that works with a sound that you like.
That being said, here's more than anyone cares to know about the subject
with no clear conclusions drawn:-
In the seventies, when it was a 545, this was a pretty good mic to get.
Just about good enough to use as an overhead to capture a whole drum kit (
a good test of a mic, I always thought), an application, where other cheap
mics that were around at the time would fail.
It's not a flat response, by intention it has a presence peak for
"additional clarity", this being in the lower end of the treble range.
This peak is no doubt good for forcing a sound through a bad pa, but when
recording percussion you get a definite colouration to the attack.
Of course, you might like that ( I don't), but if looping different
percussion instruments the problem is that it gives a similar color to all
the different instruments.
I've never heard 2 the same, so don't think they can reasonably be
considered a standard. Nevertheless an SM58 is often used to set up the
main graphic equalizers of a pa in an attempt to reduce feedback ( to the
detriment of other mics used, and of course spoiling the sound of anything
DI'ed). The new SM58s, since the latest upgrade sound better than the old
ones, and the Beta version also sounds better.
The SM58 (and similar) is plagued by muddiness in the region around 200Hz,
the only way to get a usable vocal sound with a live desk is to cut quite
heavily at this frequency. Once you've done that you've most likely used
up the one and only parametric mid on the desk, so no chance to do any
fine tuning of the sound.
These days it's possible to buy cheap stage condenser mics, they have to
be a better option.
Don't let Deaf Jeff the sound guy tell you that condensers feedback more
because they are more "sensitive". Sensitivity is totally irrelevant to
feedback. Condensers generally have a much more even off axis frequency
response than dynamics,and it's unevenness in the off axis response that
is the main cause of feedback if you set up the mic correctly. So while
individual mics vary there's no reason to think that condensers are
inherently more prone to feedback. I haven't been able to try any of the
new stage condensors, but the price is good and the idea is sound. Oh, and
Neuman do one, wouldn't mind checking that out.
Oh, and just read Rick's informative post. At least he actually ends up
recommending something (which I don't). Actually condenser mics are
capable of having a much better defined polar pattern than a dynamic, but
only if they use 2 capsules (which is more expensive). That's more likely
to be found in a studio Multi-pattern mic though. Rick's C1000's do have 2
capsules, but they aren't the same size, so some of that advantage is lost
as the capsules aren't matched. There's no reason that dymamics should
have the edge in feedback rejection, except that they're more likely to
have been designed for that.
If you're looking for an industry standard dynamic the Sennheiser 421 is
Far superior to the SM57 in detail and flatness of response, and doesn't
have the 200Hz muddiness on vocals of the SM58 ( yes, it easily beat my
545 on the whole drum kit). Down side are 1) a bit pricey ( but it still
sells despite this) 2) the clip for attaching to a stand isn't so good
(needs gaffer for live work) 3) It's still got to be better to find a
...get a stage condenser, if you can try one out to find what suits you.
I seen a number about at reasonable price (less than the Shures).
(unless of course your setup means you can't give it phantom power).
Krispen Hartung wrote:
> That's what I thought, but when I introduced the topic to a music store
> owner and sound engineer I know, he said the good ol' SM57s still sell
> better and are more popular. He didn't particular like the newer Beta
> models. The old Sures are just work horses. For me it's either an
> SM57/58, or jump to a $400+ microphone.