Shure SM57-LC Microphone Review

The Shure SM57-LC is a microphone that is used in many places. Since it was introduced in 1965, it’s a mic that has seen a place in small venues like church basements to stadiums seating thousands of people. It’s a microphone that’s trusted by serious musicians when they want to know that their music will be recorded exactly as it should sound.

If you were to look in a professional musician’s bag of tricks, you’d see a Shure SM57-LC, and it’s likely that she’s had that microphone for years. It’s a workhorse that can stand up to any abuse and still produce professional sounds. If you want to know the difference between the SM57 and the SM57-LC, the LC stands for “less cable”, which means this mic doesn’t come with a cable in the box like the SM57.

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What’s included in the Box?

  • Shure SM57-LC
  • Stand clip

Technical Specs

  • Frequency response 40Hz to 15kHz
  • Dimensions are 6.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight is 1 pound
  • Cardioid, unidirectional microphone

Shure Company

The company was incorporated in 1925 when they started to sell kits for customers to build their own radios. Once factories started mass producing radios, Shure started to make microphones. They were given a contract by the U.S. government to make special ones for military applications. This gave them the sturdy base for the microphones they produce today. When a microphone can stand up to the test of a war, it can stand up to rigorous use on stage or in a studio environment.

First Impressions of the Shure SM57-LC

This microphone doesn’t look all that impressive at first glance. It’s a simple microphone without bells and whistles. There’s no fancy coloring or body shape. This is a simple, slim cardioid microphone, but it’s one with power and history behind it. Some microphones are delicate and have to be handled carefully. You don’t want to spend money on a microphone that breaks within a few uses. This microphone isn’t a delicate instrument to be handled like fine china.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

The cardioid polar pattern of the SM57-LC means that it’s more sensitive in the front of the mic. This is important to note because you don’t want to misunderstand the pickup pattern of the mic and not capture sounds correctly. When you’re adding this microphone to your arsenal because you want to record your electronic bass guitar or percussion instrument, the positioning is vital. Whether you’re off-axis or on-axis to the amp for your electronic bass guitar will depend on the pickup pattern of the mic itself. Sounds from the side and the back are virtually ignored by this pattern.

Instrument Mic

This microphone was created specifically for instrument recording. While some mics can be used for double duty as a vocals and instrument mic, this one hasn’t had its frequency dialed to handle vocals, which was done to the SM58. In case you need a vocal microphone, that’s the one you should purchase. The Shure SM57-LC is strictly made for handling the wide range of frequencies given off by instruments.

Extremely Durable

The Shure SM57-LC is in the toolbox of every sound engineer and professional musician because it will last for years and years. The company puts their microphones through a famous drop test. The microphone was dropped 10 times from a height of 10 feet to test the quality of the mic after this abuse. There was absolutely no loss of input quality. When you buy this mic, you won’t have to worry about it breaking at the worst time.

Sound Quality Worthy of Presidents

Over the course of its lifetime, the SM57 has even be used at podiums where the President of the United States has delivered speeches. While not created exclusively for vocals, the quality sound recorded in the mic has lived up to the country’s greatest leaders’ expectations. It’s reliable and eliminates background noise, which is vital when the president is giving a speech for the entire country to hear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a good mic for recording vocals?
While it can record vocals as we mentioned previously, the SM58 or another mic would be best for vocals. This is an instrument microphone at its core.

Can it be plugged into a computer to record?
It doesn’t come with any wires at all, so if you want to use the mic for the computer, you’ll need to buy a USB adapter.

Conclusion

When it comes to a great mic that can stand the test of time as well as the rigors of performances, you’ll want to purchase a Shure SM57-LC for your instrument recording. Placed in front of an amp for the electronic bass guitar, the cardioid pattern is a fantastic way to gain different sounds based on whether it’s place on- or off-axis. You really can’t go wrong with a Shure microphone overall. They’re reliable microphones that have been around for generations.

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