microphone question (Shure SM57)

  • okay, i just bought a Shure SM 57 and i guess i need a pre amp because the mic has low output my itself, but am i suppose to use cable that has XLR ends? because i was using 1/4 to the end of the cable into my line mixer, and it was giving me hisses because the mic gain was too high.

    i have XDR2 mic pre amp on the line mixer but is it only for XLR inputs?

  • microphones need amplifiers to boost the signal to line level.

    generally XLR cabling is best, since it doesn't short any contacts on connection.

    in your case, the preamp probably doesn't have a TRS input, and if the channel does at all, it's probably for line in, rather than preamp in (line in has no gain, no boost).

    use the XLR inputs on your mixer.

  • yeah, i was gonna go buy a XLR cable when i get out of class.

    but i also have my recording class tomorrow, so i'll just ask my instructor.

    thanks soundcyst :)

  • recording is fun. where are you studying?

  • Be sure to desactivate the Phantom if you use an XLR.

  • phantom power won't hurt an sm57.

    if you have ribbon mics, then you should make sure you disable phantom, but most dynamics will handle it fine.

  • I've always been told to pay attention to this. You probably know it better than me!

  • i'm doing it at my local jc.

    just wanted to learn how to record, testing the water out see if i enjoy doing it.

    this coming class is gonna be interesting though, the whole class is working on a song and i am gonna try to get some gameboy bass lines down on it lol

    wish me luck after i get my XLR cable!

  • you need to plug your mic in to a mic input, which will have a preamp in it, or get a seperate mic preamp

    you cannot plug a mic signal into a line input

  • Yeah, Phantom power won't hurt it, but there's not much point turning it on, since the mic doesn't need it.

    Make sure you get a female-male XLR cable, since the bottom of the SM57 has a male jack (other mics I've used had female connectors on the bottom). The male end then just goes into your preamp. Although the manual says male on it, it's confusing, since I was reading it before I had received it and wasn't sure if it was male-in or male-on-the-mic. Oh well. :)

    Good luck, by the way!

  • halex, what other mics do you have?

    i've never seen a mic with a female connector on it...

  • thanks for the responses everyone.

    i just bought a monster cable and it works perfectly fine.

    1/4" just doesn't give enough output!

  • right, because there's no amplifier.

    microphones output electricity about 2 or 3 orders of magnitude too small to be usable in mixers. mixers output electricity about one half to 1 order of magnitude too small to drive typical speakers, depending on the speaker impedance.

    glad you figured it out.

    if you have any more microphone or thoughts, i'm happy to discuss them. i used to lurk over at the electrical audio forum quite frequently. =)

  • actually it really depends on what 1/4'' your using. there are un-balanced and balanced. un-balanced means there is a tip and a shield. the balanced 1/4" has a ring in between the tip and shield.

    the big thing with an XLR is that it has three pins, all that are mimiced on a balanced 1/4". all three pins are used for something. there is a hot pin, a cold pin, and a ground pin. the ground is used to ground the cable so that there isn't any extra noise. at the mic the signal is split and one pin (hot i believe) is sent the normal signal. the other pin is sent the signal inverted. at the mic pre amp, the inverted signal is flipped back to its original state. this is really handy to prevent any sort of electrical pulses coming through the speakers. here is where it may get a bit mathy. when the inverted signal is flipped back, it has a spike in the opposite direction as the regular signal(hot pin) since when the spike occured, the signal was inverted. try looking at some sound waves or a diagram since i may be wording this awkward. it is also much more info then you asked for (and something i am sure a lot of us audio geeks are all to familiar with) but hey.

    you also can get some great sounds by impedance miss matching (check out anything Mark Ronson or the Dap-Kings have worked on), which is back to the hi and lo amplitude difference in line level vs mic level.

    also i am reaaaaaaalllllyyyy curious as to what mics have female ends. unless otherwise moded like that i am lost......

    finally, a cooking recipe! want that peak around 2Khz out of your 57? clip the wires to the capsule and male xlr connector and plop the body of the 57 into a boiling pot of water. wait till the glue inside softens, and then take it out and pull out the gooey mess inside (that's the transformer). impedance is all screwy now, but so is that upper mid range peak, as well as a boosted low end on the mic. i have a few in both states and love having that extra effect to use whenever (i love it on kick drums for metal stuff, and snare drums all over the place!)

  • funny thing about the sm57... i did the tape op mod too, and i only found two wires inside.. turns out the fucker isn't even balanced. figures, right?

    this could probably also be said for an sm57: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33QPLbQi9FI

    and all 1/4" cables will short when you plug them in, balanced or unbalanced. the tip always hits all connectors. xlr's do not do this since the signals are all on different pins. =)

  • thanks for all the inputs, much appreciated!