The legendary Shure SM58 microphone has been the stable vocal microphone choice on more live stages than any other microphone by tenfold. It is sturdy, it is durable and can handle loud volumes without feedback. But today I am going to talk to you guys about why should you buy Shure SM58 for your home studio.
The Shure SM58
The Shure SM58 was launched in 1966 and has since become the industry standard live vocal microphone. It had a rocky start, as the broadcast world was not very excited about the new microphones, and in 1970 it was nearly discontinued. But as a last-minute effort to rescue the microphone, the sales department started approaching the live music engineers in Las Vegas. Today the Shure SM58 and its sibling SM57 are the best-selling microphones in the world and for a good reason.
As there seems to be so many of them around, it is easy to dismiss it for the studio use. Did you know that the SM actually stands for Studio Microphone? I get it, the fancy large diaphragm condenser microphone makes you feel much more professional than the trusty old dynamic SM58. But before you completely dismiss it from your home studio, let me make a quick case for this reliable workhorse.
Shure SM58 vs. Shure SM57
The SM 57 is well used and loved in the studio. It is the go-to microphone for snare drums and guitar amps. But what if you don’t have SM57 around? Well according to Shure the main difference between the SM57 and the SM58 is the grille design. I can guarantee that if you are missing the SM57, SM58 will do the job equally well.
Both microphones can handle noise levels well above what human ears can handle, somewhere between 150-180db SPL. That is close enough to the noise levels a shuttle launch makes! So you can rest assured that your trusty old SM58 can handle anything you throw at it.
Warm studio sound
But what about that warm studio sound? The Shure SM58 is subject to what is called proximity effect. This means if you sing closer to it, it will boost lower frequencies. It also naturally has a very nice mid-frequency range, that is made to cut through a live mix. Using a pop shield and singing close to the microphone, you will be surprised how warm the results will sound.
Separation while recording vocals and acoustic guitar
There is another detail that makes this microphone unreplaceable in the studio. Ever tried to record acoustic guitar and vocals at the same time? The big problem is the spill of the guitar into the vocal track. The SM58’s cardioid response is designed to reduce how much the microphone picks up the signal from the rear and the sides. If feel is what you are going for, and you want to capture the performance, use SM58. You will thank yourself when it comes time to mix your recording.
Background noise is also a concern of a many home studio engineers. Most of us don’t have the money or the room to install proper soundproofing and acoustic treatment. A soft rubber balloon surrounds the Shure SM58 capsule, instead of spring or solid rubber used in many other microphones. This makes the SM58 very resilient to any mechanical vibrations. Also as it is a dynamic microphone, it is less sensitive to the acoustics of the room.
Why should you buy Shure SM58 for your home studio?
So why should you buy Shure SM58 for your home studio? In many ways the Shure SM58 is a quick fix to many common issues home studio engineers face. It is a great sounding microphone that will work on numerous sound sources. And if you can only afford one microphone for your home studio, I would go as far as saying, this is the first microphone you should have in your home studio.