Choosing The Right Microphone: Shure SM57 vs. Shure SM7B
If you could only have one microphone, what should you get? Wondering which microphone to choose? Today, I'll dive into a popular debate on which microphone is the best one for you, the Shure SM57 vs. Shure SM7B. Let’s get into it!
Introduction: A Brief Overview
Both the Shure SM57 and the Shure SM7B are renowned microphones in the industry. If you walk into almost any recording studio, you'll likely spot one of these or both. But which one is right for your unique needs, especially if you’re just starting out?
Shure SM57: A Classic Choice
The SM57, priced at $99 on Sweetwater, at the time of writing this, is a microphone you can trust with almost any recording task. It captures soft, delicate acoustic instruments and robust, resonating sounds with equal reliability. The fact that it has remained consistent in price for over a decade speaks volumes about its reliability.
It's an exceptional tool, durable and versatile. Known for its adaptability, this mic can handle high input levels without distorting while still being sensitive enough for vocal recordings.
Shure SM7B: The Broadcast King
Moving to its more expensive counterpart, the Shure SM7B. Priced at $400, this microphone is primarily designed for broadcasting. Despite its appearance, it shares many similarities with the SM57. Both are dynamic microphones with similar capsules responsible for capturing the sound. There are definitely budget options, however, if you want something you will never outgrow I highly recommend the SM57 or the SM7B.
The SM7B shines when it comes to vocal recording because of its versatility in frequency response, making it slightly better for vocals. Which does tend to make it a top choice for singers, podcasters, and content creators alike. This microphone was also used on the iconic Michael Jackson "Thriller" album.
However, like the SM57, it isn't confined to one strength. The SM7B can be used on guitar amps, snare drums, and bass amps, to name a few, in order to cut through the mix when you are recording and capture the low end really well. When you are placing a microphone, you want to place it according to the distance that the capsule diaphragm is from the grill cloth.
Making The Choice: Factors To Consider
Which one you should buy depends your budget. If you need multiple microphones to record one source or multiple sources, get a handful of SM57’s for $99 a piece. If you need one microphone to do everything, you should get the SM7B for $400. If you are more of a musician, producer, song writer with multiple sources I would start with the SM57. For the price of one SM7B, you could acquire four SM57s. A pair of SM57’s is a great place to start because you will never outgrow them. The more budget condenser mics are good, but you will outgrow them.
The SM57 offers a more pronounced upper mid-range response, which may or may not suit your taste. On the other hand, the SM7B gives a richer low-end response, which might be preferable for some.
It ultimately boils down to your needs and budget. Both microphones promise quality, and you can't really go wrong with either. Leave your thoughts about these mics in the comments section, and don't forget to check out the affiliate links in the blog.
Until next time, happy recording!