Shure SM57, a drummer's friend

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I have had a fair bit of success mic'ing my drums at gigs with SM57s. I'm not about to change since I own 5 excellent condition SM57s and rim mounts. I have not tried using one for my kick.
Has anyone had any experience with that?
 

Tornado

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I have had a fair bit of success mic'ing my drums at gigs with SM57s. I'm not about to change since I own 5 excellent condition SM57s and rim mounts. I have not tried using one for my kick.
Has anyone had any experience with that?
As the story goes, Chad Smith's kick on Blood Sugar Sex Magik was mic'd with an SM57. No telling what happened after the track was laid down though. I love the drums on that record.
 

Jordan Blue

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I have had a fair bit of success mic'ing my drums at gigs with SM57s. I'm not about to change since I own 5 excellent condition SM57s and rim mounts. I have not tried using one for my kick.
Has anyone had any experience with that?
It works fine if you don't have a high dollar BD mic. The frequency response is 40 to 15,000 Hz. I've used a 57 on kick with great results. It will be punchy and you can also boost low eq a bit if you need.
 

SteveB

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They can work, but not without some eq. I would rather take stuff out than put it in. You can get rid of the boxiness, which you will get a ton of with a 57, by cutting frequencies in roughly the 250 to 650 range. Start by dropping about 6 db in that general area and swing the mids up and down the range. Another way to do it is try to make the drum sound real bad in the mids by boosting them and then remove what you consider awful sounding. You might want to take it right out so the low end and smack jump out. It would be the same thing with a Sennheiser 421. plus those have a 3 way roll off built into the mic which can flavor the sound even more. I have a very good book here that describes the sounds by naming them "thump, boom, thock, clack, click and tick" which is very helpful.

Bass drum mics, in general, already have a built in scoop but it is not enough for my taste. Once you get rid of the garbage you can always try a small boost here and there, but you may not need it at all. Here I'm describing what the average concert goer wants to hear, a solid thump or punch in the gut with some attack. Toms are similar, I usually take out somewhere around 750 hz so you don't have to over muffle the drum. It will suck the ring right out...or you can leave some in for a midway point.
 

Barden

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It works fine if you don't have a high dollar BD mic. The frequency response is 40 to 15,000 Hz. I've used a 57 on kick with great results. It will be punchy and you can also boost low eq a bit if you need.
I seem to recall doing this before. There is definitely a need for low freq boost. You might want an additional windscreen if this is in front of a port. Something as simple as a couple of socks over the mic can do.
 

Johnny D

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They can work, but not without some eq. I would rather take stuff out than put it in. You can get rid of the boxiness, which you will get a ton of with a 57, by cutting frequencies in roughly the 250 to 650 range. Start by dropping about 6 db in that general area and swing the mids up and down the range. Another way to do it is try to make the drum sound real bad in the mids by boosting them and then remove what you consider awful sounding. You might want to take it right out so the low end and smack jump out. It would be the same thing with a Sennheiser 421. plus those have a 3 way roll off built into the mic which can flavor the sound even more. I have a very good book here that describes the sounds by naming them "thump, boom, thock, clack, click and tick" which is very helpful.

Bass drum mics, in general, already have a built in scoop but it is not enough for my taste. Once you get rid of the garbage you can always try a small boost here and there, but you may not need it at all. Here I'm describing what the average concert goer wants to hear, a solid thump or punch in the gut with some attack. Toms are similar, I usually take out somewhere around 750 hz so you don't have to over muffle the drum. It will suck the ring right out...or you can leave some in for a midway point.
I agree with Steve. It'll work with decent results, but it's worth spending the extra few bucks for Beta 52A. And I suppose it depends on the sound you're after. If you're bass drum is pretty muffled/dead with a hole in the front head and you're trying to get a solid "thump", then a 57 will do the trick.
 

scaramanga

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If you're handy with a solder gun you can remove the transformer and get a little more bottom out of it, and more headroom. That said I've never been a fan of the 57 for anything other than recording vocals or a Gibson acoustic. I just hate them on snare drums. And I say this even though I'm aware that about a billion historically significant and amazing sounding recordings were made that way. I never made it work.
 

Doof

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I’ve had to use one in a pinch on a couple occasions. Worked good enough for audience ears.

Such a workhorse mic. I bought 3 of them around 30 years ago, and use them on toms and snare to this day. Never a problem sounding good, never a failure. Lotta love for the humble 57.
 

ellaguru

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57's will get you there, but seems to have a muffled tonality, to my ears anyway.

For not a crap ton more dough....these are great mics:

had a tough time telling the difference between it and my AKG 414 when used as a snare mic. the sound and feel of a condenser but its a dynamic.
 
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Thank everyone for your input. All your insights were super helpful. It seems that I'll stick with my sm57 for now and save my nickles for a beta 52.
Sitting back on the 2&4,
Kevin
 

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