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No Good Engineer Uses a SM57 or SM Anything Anymore

They say you shouldn’t believe everything you hear on the internet.

Well, in this case it’s exactly true.

I got a comment on Google+ the other day from a guy that swore by this statement. I had to laugh at how utterly and completely wrong this guy was.

No good engineer uses a SM57 anymore?

Give me a break. They’re like the scotch tape of our business. You can throw anything at it.

And I took particular pleasure from the fact that he put any “SM” mic into the same group. Nobody uses an “SM anything anymore.”

Oh really? I asked around in my “Music & Audio Professionals” forum on LinkedIn to see what the professionals had to say about it.

Here are some of their replies:

“Clearly someone who hasn’t a clue!”

“SM57 is a contender for the Desert Island Mic. ”

“I started my little project studio 15 years ago with a 57 and an AKG C3000B and you know what? They are still my ‘go to’ mics when I want it straight and simple.”

“SM57 is a wildcard, fits all. Cheap, endurable, good sound. SM58 still remains one of the best vocal mics. Cheap, endurable, wonderful.”

The comments go on and on, and rightfully so because you can use a Shure mic on anything.

  • Need a good live vocal
  • Need a snare drum mic? Sm57
  • Need a good studio vocal mic? Sm7B
  • Need a good mic for [Insert amplified instrument here] Try the Sm57

I’m not saying you should go out and exclusively use Shure microphones, but they wouldn’t be one of the largest microphone companies in the world unless their products worked.

I personally prefer the Audix i5 over the Sm57, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t use the Sm57 in a heartbeat if I needed to. In fact, I give you a pretty diverse list of equipment in Recording Strategies(, and I try to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck so you can make the best sounding records with the least amount of money.

The Sm57 fits that description perfectly and I bet it’s gonna stay the standard for any “good engineer” for a good while longer.

Image by: Rusty Sheriff

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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