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1965 – Present (Shure is still making them pretty perfect)
The SM57 (SM stands for Studio Mic) was intended for orchestrated music but quickly became the go-to for amplified music because of its rugged and sturdy capsule. Being a cardioid mic meant it reduced unwanted background sound and generation of acoustic feedback.
HOW IT’S USED
Commonly used for amplified music, it is an essential component to live situations and most-commonly used on guitar amplifiers and drums.
The SM57 and the SM58 are essentially the same microphone with different aesthetics (the grill being the chief difference), since they both feature the same internal components. Every live situation uses an SM57 somewhere and I would bet 99.9% of all recordings made from 1965-2000 prominently utilized this mic.
It doesn’t color a sound, but it tends to pick up the high end best. You can learn to EQ better by using it!
It has been used by every US President since its introduction in 1965.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Don Miggs is a singer/songwriter/producer and fronts the band miggs (Elm City/Capitol Records). His love affair with vintage instruments and gear only presents a problem when he’s awake. Find out more at miggsmusic.com, lalamansion.com, or his FM radio show, @miggsandswig.