Will Shure Sm57 Record Drums

Are you looking for a reliable and versatile microphone to record drums? Look no further than the Shure SM57. In this article, we will explore the capabilities of the SM57 and why it is a popular choice among drummers and audio engineers.

The Shure SM57 is known for its exceptional sound quality and durability. Its dynamic cardioid design allows it to handle high sound pressure levels, making it perfect for capturing the impact and nuances of drumming. Whether you are recording cymbals, snares, or kick drums, the SM57 delivers clear and accurate sound reproduction.

Positioning the microphone correctly is crucial when recording drums, and we will provide you with some tips on how to achieve optimal results with the SM57. Additionally, we will compare the SM57 to other commonly used microphones in drum recording scenarios.

Join us as we delve into testimonials from experienced drummers and audio engineers who swear by the Shure SM57’s performance. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to determine if the Shure SM57 is indeed your best choice for recording drums.

Overview of the Shure SM57 microphone

The Shure SM57 microphone, known for its versatile sound capturing capabilities, is a popular choice among audio professionals and musicians alike. With its rugged construction and exceptional performance, the SM57 has become a staple in recording studios and live performances worldwide.

One of the key features of the Shure SM57 microphone is its ability to handle high sound pressure levels (SPL). This makes it an ideal choice for recording drums, as it can effectively capture the dynamic range and power of each drum hit without distorting or losing clarity. The microphone’s dynamic element ensures accurate reproduction of percussive sounds, allowing for detailed recordings that faithfully represent the natural tone of the drums.

Another benefit of using the SM57 for recording drums is its directional pickup pattern. The microphone’s cardioid polar pattern focuses on capturing sound from the front while rejecting unwanted noise from the sides and rear. This helps isolate each drum individually, minimizing bleed from other nearby instruments or ambient room noise. As a result, you can achieve cleaner drum tracks with enhanced separation between different elements.

Furthermore, the Shure SM57 microphone offers excellent durability, ensuring long-lasting performance even under demanding conditions. Its robust build quality makes it resistant to impacts and rough handling commonly associated with drum miking setups.

The Shure SM57 microphone possesses features that make it an excellent choice for recording drums. Its ability to handle high SPLs and accurately reproduce percussive sounds allows for detailed recordings with natural tonal characteristics. Additionally, its directional pickup pattern minimizes unwanted noise interference and enhances isolation between different drums. Overall, these qualities contribute to the versatility of the SM57 when capturing drum performances in various studio or live settings.

The versatility of the SM57 for recording drums

Capture the dynamic range and powerful impact of your drumming with the versatile SM57 microphone. When it comes to recording drums, the SM57 offers a multitude of benefits that make it an excellent choice. Here are some key reasons why you should consider using the SM57 for recording drums:

  • Versatility: The SM57 is not just limited to capturing drum sounds. Its versatile design allows you to use it for recording various instruments such as guitars, vocals, and brass instruments. This makes it a valuable tool in any studio setup.
  • Durability: With its rugged construction, the SM57 can withstand the rigors of drumming. It can handle high sound pressure levels without distorting or clipping, ensuring accurate and clean recordings every time.
  • Off-Axis Rejection: The SM57’s cardioid polar pattern helps in isolating specific drum sounds while minimizing bleed from other instruments in close proximity. This ensures that you capture only what you want without any unwanted interference.

To achieve different drum sounds with the SM57, there are several techniques you can employ:

  1. Close-Miking: Placing the microphone close to different parts of the drum kit allows you to capture specific sounds with precision and clarity.
  2. Overhead Placement: Positioning the SM57 above the drum kit captures an overall balanced sound, providing depth and dimension to your recordings.

With its benefits and versatility, it’s no wonder that professional engineers rely on the SM57 for recording drums and other instruments alike. In our next section, we will explore how this microphone delivers exceptional sound quality and reliability across various applications without missing a beat.

Sound quality and reliability of the SM57

Experience the exceptional sound quality and unmatched reliability of the SM57 microphone, delivering professional-grade recordings every time you use it. This versatile microphone is not only popular for recording drums but also for capturing a wide range of instruments and vocals with stunning clarity. The SM57’s sound isolation capabilities are truly impressive, allowing you to focus on the specific source while minimizing any unwanted background noise.

One of the reasons why the SM57 is highly regarded in the industry is its durability and construction. Built to withstand rigorous use in both studio and live settings, this microphone features a rugged steel mesh grille that protects the internal components from accidental impact or damage. Its solid construction ensures that it can handle even the most energetic drumming without compromising its performance.

To give you a better understanding of how the sound quality and reliability of the SM57 sets it apart from other microphones, take a look at this comparison table:

FeatureSM57Competitor X
Sound QualityCrystal clearMuffled
DurabilityRugged steel grilleFragile plastic

As you can see, the SM57 outperforms its competitors in terms of sound quality, durability, and construction. With its robust build and superior audio reproduction capabilities, this microphone ensures that your drum recordings will always shine through with exceptional clarity.

Now that you understand why the SM57 excels in sound quality and reliability, let’s move on to some tips for positioning this microphone optimally when recording drums without missing any crucial details about your setup.

Tips for positioning the microphone for optimal drum recording

Get ready to take your drum recordings to the next level with these helpful tips on how to position your microphone for optimal results! Mic placement techniques play a crucial role in capturing the full range of drum sounds, from the sharp attack of the snare to the booming resonance of the kick drum.

When positioning a microphone for recording drums, it’s important to consider both the specific sound you want to capture and the overall balance of your drum kit. For a balanced sound, start by placing a dynamic microphone like the Shure SM57 approximately three inches above the drumhead and angled towards the center of the drum. This position allows you to capture both attack and resonance without overwhelming any particular aspect of the sound.

To capture more low-end frequencies, move your microphone closer to the kick drum. Placing it just outside or slightly inside the hole on the resonant head can help you achieve a powerful and punchy bass sound. Experiment with different distances and angles until you find what works best for your desired tone.

For capturing cymbals and overheads, consider using condenser microphones placed above and slightly behind your drummer’s shoulders at an equal distance from each other. This setup provides an accurate representation of your entire drum kit while maintaining stereo imaging.

Proper mic placement techniques are essential for capturing high-quality drum recordings. Experiment with different positions until you achieve optimal results that suit your desired sound. Now that you know how to position your microphone effectively, let’s dive into comparing SM57 with other commonly used microphones for drum recording…

Comparison of the SM57 to other microphones commonly used for drum recording

The SM57 is often compared to other popular microphones used for drum recording, such as the AKG C414 and the Sennheiser MD 421, to determine which microphone best captures the nuances of a drum kit. Here is a comparison of the SM57 to these commonly used microphones:

  1. AKG C414: The AKG C414 is known for its versatility and ability to capture a wide range of frequencies. It offers multiple polar patterns, allowing you to adjust the microphone’s sensitivity based on where it’s positioned in relation to the drums. However, it can be quite expensive compared to the SM57.

  2. Sennheiser MD 421: The Sennheiser MD 421 is a dynamic microphone that is highly regarded for its ability to handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. It has a built-in bass roll-off switch that helps reduce low-frequency rumble and can be particularly useful when miking up kick drums or floor toms. On the downside, it may not provide as much detail and clarity as the SM57.

  3. Pros of using an SM57: The Shure SM57 is known for its durability and reliability in both live sound and studio environments. Its cardioid polar pattern focuses on capturing sound from the front while rejecting unwanted noise from the sides and rear. It also has a presence boost in its frequency response that can enhance the attack of drums.

  4. Cons of using an SM57: While the SM57 excels at capturing snare drums and guitar amplifiers, some audio engineers find that it lacks depth when used on other drum components like cymbals or overheads.

Comparing microphones like the AKG C414, Sennheiser MD 421, and Shure SM57 allows you to weigh their pros and cons in order to make an informed decision about which microphone best suits your needs for drum recording. Transitioning to the next section, testimonials from drummers and audio engineers who have used the SM57 will provide further insights into its performance.

Testimonials from drummers and audio engineers who have used the SM57

Now that we have compared the SM57 to other commonly used microphones for drum recording, let’s hear from the experts themselves. Drummers and audio engineers who have had hands-on experience with the SM57 can provide valuable insights into its performance.

Drummers who have used the SM57 praise its ability to capture the natural sound of their drums. They appreciate how it accurately reproduces the dynamic range and nuances of their playing, allowing for a more authentic representation of their sound. The microphone’s durability is also highly regarded, as it can withstand the intensity of drumming without any loss in quality.

Audio engineers also speak highly of the SM57 when it comes to drum recording. They highlight its versatility and reliability, making it a go-to choice in various studio setups. Engineers appreciate its ability to handle high sound pressure levels without distorting or losing clarity. Its directional polar pattern helps isolate individual drums and reject unwanted ambient noise, resulting in cleaner recordings.

With testimonials from both drummers and audio engineers, it is clear that the Shure SM57 is well-regarded for recording drums. Its ability to faithfully capture the essence of a drummer’s performance while providing durability and versatility makes it an attractive option for many professionals in the industry.

As we move towards our conclusion on whether the Shure SM57 is indeed the best choice for recording drums, let’s delve deeper into its features and consider other factors that may influence this decision.

Conclusion: Is the Shure SM57 the best choice for recording drums?

When determining the best choice for recording drums, it’s important to consider the overall consensus from drummers and audio engineers who have had hands-on experience with the SM57, as well as its features and versatility. The Shure SM57 is a dynamic microphone that has become a staple in the industry due to its durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of using dynamic vs condenser microphones for recording drums.

Dynamic microphones like the SM57 are known for their robustness and ability to capture loud sounds without distortion. They are also less sensitive to room reflections, making them ideal for close-miking individual drum elements. On the other hand, condenser microphones offer a wider frequency response and greater detail, which can be advantageous when capturing cymbals or subtle nuances in drumming techniques. However, they are more delicate and may require additional attention to avoid overload.

Achieving a balanced mix when recording drums with the Shure SM57 involves careful placement of the microphone around the kit. It is common practice to position it slightly off-center towards the edge of the snare drum head at a height between 1-2 inches above it. This placement captures both attack and body while minimizing bleed from nearby instruments.

To evoke an emotional response in our audience, let’s consider a table showcasing some key features:

Dynamic Microphone (SM57)Condenser Microphone
Handles high SPLWider frequency response
Less sensitiveDelicate

While there are advantages to using both dynamic and condenser microphones for recording drums, the Shure SM57 remains a popular choice due to its durability and versatility. By understanding how different microphone types affect sound capture, you can achieve a balanced mix that highlights each element of your drum kit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Shure SM57 microphone cost?

The Shure SM57 microphone is a popular choice for recording drums and other instruments. When it comes to cost, the Shure SM57 typically ranges from around $100 to $150, depending on where you buy it. You can find this microphone at various music equipment retailers both online and offline. Its durability, versatility, and excellent sound reproduction make it a worthwhile investment for any musician or audio engineer.

What other instruments can the SM57 be used to record?

The Shure SM57 microphone is not limited to recording drums. It is widely used for recording guitars and vocals as well. With its versatile design and excellent sound reproduction, the SM57 can capture the nuances of guitar amplifiers, both electric and acoustic, delivering a crisp and detailed tone. Additionally, it excels in capturing vocals with clarity and precision, making it a popular choice for live performances and studio recordings alike.

Can the SM57 be used for live performances as well?

Yes, the SM57 can be used for live performances. Using the SM57 for vocals offers several advantages. It has a cardioid polar pattern that helps reduce unwanted background noise and feedback, ensuring clear and focused sound. Its durable construction makes it resistant to rough handling on stage. However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well. The SM57 may not provide the same level of vocal clarity and detail as dedicated vocal microphones. Additionally, its narrow frequency response may limit its suitability for certain vocal styles or genres.

Are there any additional accessories needed for recording drums with the SM57?

To optimize drum recording with the SM57, there are a few additional accessories you might consider. Firstly, a microphone stand or clamp is essential for positioning the SM57 correctly. Additionally, a pop filter can help reduce plosives and unwanted noise. Using isolation pads under the microphones can minimize vibrations and enhance sound clarity. Lastly, investing in high-quality XLR cables and an audio interface will ensure optimal signal transfer and recording quality.

Can the SM57 be used in a studio setting for other purposes besides drum recording?

Yes, the Shure SM57 has excellent studio versatility and can be used for various recording applications beyond drum recording. With its robust construction and tailored frequency response, the SM57 is commonly used for capturing vocals, electric guitars, acoustic instruments, and even amplifiers. Its ability to handle high sound pressure levels and provide accurate sound reproduction makes it a popular choice in professional studios for a wide range of recording needs.


Based on its versatility, sound quality, and reliability, the Shure SM57 microphone is an excellent choice for recording drums. Its ability to capture the nuances of various drum elements makes it a go-to option for many drummers and audio engineers. With proper positioning techniques, this microphone can achieve optimal results in drum recording. While there are other microphones commonly used for this purpose, the SM57 remains a top contender due to its exceptional performance. So if you’re looking for a reliable and high-quality microphone for recording drums, the Shure SM57 won’t disappoint.

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