Shure SLX2/SM58 Microphone Review

Today, we are pleased to review the Shure SLX2/SM58 wireless microphone.

Shure-SLX2-SM58-Wireless-Handheld-Microphone-Transmitter-J3


About the SLX2/SM58

Technically, this is an SM58 microphone with an SLX2 handheld transmitter built-in, which is a unique combination of mic created as part of a larger series of SLX2 wireless products offered by Shure.

This series of SLX wireless transmitters includes several other mics, while Shure offers other series of transmitters, such as the BLX.  Depending on what transmitter is built in to the mic, will determine what your receiver unit will be.  More on that in a bit.

Here below are the selection of mics offered by Shure that feature the SLX2 transmitter.  Each mic has a different head, while possessing the SLX2 transmitter built into the mic handle.

One big reason someone would want the SLX2/SM58 is because they like the build of the SM58, in particular.  Shortly, we will talk more about the SM58 and why it is a popular choice for microphone users.


Why would you want this mic?

There are a number of situations in which this mic would theoretically come in handy.  Some of these might include:

  • On stage vocal performance for a band or musical act of some kind
  • Theatre groups, church groups
  • Lectures, conventions, other speaking engagements
  • DJ’ing, MC’ing
  • Karaoke nights
  • Any situation in which a wireless mic might be used
  • A situation which requires a wireless mic and has a multiple people needing to each have their own wireless mic

Now, part of the point of this review is to determine whether this particular microphone would be a good fit for these situations. 

The above scenarios we listed would certainly all benefit from a good microphone in general, and a wireless microphone that out-performs the competition would be a natural choice, over a corded mic. 

The real question is: is that choice the SLX2/SM58?  We shall weigh the pros and the cons.

But first, let’s take a look at what Shure offers with this mic in terms of features.


Quick Features of this Microphone

  • Size = 11 x 5.3 x 3.3 inches, 1.45 lbs (easily portable)
  • SLX Wireless systems compatible
  • Uses 2 AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries, with battery life up to 8 hours, and battery fuel gauge
  • Mute option
  • Backlit display screen
  • Auto frequency / auto transmitter selection (Picks up compatible receiver device nearby)
  • Frequency response = 50 to 15000 Hz range, operating in 518.000-542.000 MHz
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern for minimizing background noise and identifying the main sound source
  • Durable, with classic Shure SM58 design
  • Sells separate or complete with receiver (see seller for details)
  • Easy to set up

Here is a video offered by Shure to show how this system can be set up.

Some of the features listed are indeed offered by other mics, while some are fairly unique to this one.  If you’re on the market for a wireless mic, the question then becomes, are these features that you would want in a wireless mic.  And, does this microphone actually offer the features mentioned as they are described here.

One thing to look at to determine whether this is true is the reputation of the brand who makes the mic, Shure.


The Shure Name

The Shure name has never been in question, but if you are new to mics, and particularly wireless mics, you may want to know a few things about the name behind the mic you’re buying.

To be frank, when it comes to different kinds of live performances, there probably aren’t too many people – whether you’re a pro or not – who haven’t heard of the brand name, Shure.

shure brand name

In fact, if you ask around, you’ll soon learn that Shure is basically THE go-to brand when it comes to microphones that get used for just about anything performance-wise, these days. 

They may not be the only game in town, but they darn sure are omnipresent, and for good reason.

For example, it doesn’t matter if it’s a band playing a live concert, a formal speaking engagement at a school or university, having a night of karaoke fun, a church event, or a DJ doing some MC’ing – Shure mics are used across the board for just about anything related to either vocals or recording.

Simply put, Shure is an industry standard in the world of microphones.  Indeed, it is rare that this company produces a “dud” product.

Check out the Shure Youtube channel

Now, this may sound to you like we worship the ground Shure walks on.  This is not the case.  However, if you’ve spent any time in the music industry, it would be false to say that the Shure name has no meaning.  Certainly, the rep of this company precedes it.


Wired Vs Wireless Mics

As you know by now, the Shure SLX2/SM58 is a wireless mic.  At this point, it might be time to question – if only for a few minutes – if a wireless mic is really, truly what you need.  

To state what would be obvious to anyone has used mics to any extent, but may not be obvious to absolutely everyone in the world – microphones either have cords, or are cordless, aka wireless.

In the past, microphones required a cord or wire to transmit the audio signal to a nearby receiver, but this is not necessarily true nowadays. 

These days, microphones are found to be wireless just as often as not, since technology has advanced significantly to provide users with the ability to avoid tripping over long, tangled mic cables, at a relatively affordable price.

Speaking of affordable, the Shure SLX2/SM58 sells for around $200 or so (as of mid-2019), and this is by no means the cheapest mic you can get, if you’re looking at a wall of mics, for example.

But, if you are looking for one of the best wireless mics on the market, and you know the value of having a wireless mic, then what almost seems expensive almost becomes a good deal, based on what the mic offers.

Typical wireless mics, of the fairly inexpensive variety, are available almost anywhere you buy audio gear these days.  To some, any wireless microphone would be preferable to a mic with a long cord trailing behind it, because of the tripping hazards and the clutter.

On the other hand, corded mics have historically always been better for audio than wireless mics, since the cord is typically what ensures audio quality.

That was then and this is now.  A  good quality wireless mic like the SLX2/SM58 possesses the same exact audio quality as a wired mic, and that’s good news for anyone who might want or need a microphone.

For the record, if one was to go after the industry standard of corded mics, it would lead them right back to the Shure SM58, which this mic literally is, with the benefit of the SLX2 transmitter body.


SM58’s Durable Rugged Build

As we’ve said, Shure is an industry standard brand that is known to make great microphones.  Not only that, but the SM58 is the de facto performing mic of all time, probably, especially when it comes to live musical performances. 

Indeed, some of the biggest bands in the world will play shows to packed stadiums with an SM58 in their hand. 

Keep in mind, the SM58 is the “mic” component of this unique combination of SM58 microphone and SLX2 transmitter 2-in-1 offered by Shure.

Alternately, Shure offers various other SLX products that can be used to supplement an entire wireless system, although you don’t need to have them all.  The beauty of the SLX2/SM58 is that it has the mic and transmitter built together, but it still lacks the receiver, which you’ll need to buy as well.

You may wonder, why is the SM58 so popular with nearly every musician under the sun?  The SM58 is, above all else, durable, meaning you can drop it, and it won’t break.  In fact, go into any band’s jam hall anywhere and there’s a good chance there’s a dented SM58 lying around, still working fine.

You also can’t damage an SM58 by screaming full force into it (not that you would want to do that).  This isn’t a delicate “ribbon” mic, so you don’t have to worry about wrecking it by singing or speaking too loud.  You could seriously roll around on the ground with this mic, screaming your face off, and it wouldn’t matter to the mic. You might eventually weaken and pass out, though.

Sound recording engineers frequently “mic” (as in record) parts of a loud drum kit with a Shure SM58, and so the idea here is that SM58’s can take a licking and keep on ticking.  Indeed, there are not many recording studios that don’t have at least one SM58 used somehow.

Luckily, Shure doesn’t make microphones that are wimpy, and we are happy to report that this microphone is very durable, and can easily handle being dropped (not that we encourage you go out of your way to drop it, but if you did, no big deal).


Superior Sound Quality

As we’ve mentioned earlier, in the good ol’ days, wireless mics suffered from having worse sound quality than their wired counterparts.  Why?

Because wired microphones, where the wire connects the microphone to the receiving unit via a fairly heavy duty XLR cable, which gets rid of all unnecessary signals and noises between the mic and the moniter that projects the sound.  Basically, this is the “cleanest” way for sound to be transmitted, because it is dedicated.

And so, over the years, people may have been leery about wireless mic set ups.  They mics usually cost more due to the bonus that it has no cord to fall over or get tangled up in, but they also sounded worse.  That was in the past.

Since it is now technically years from the time when this was a major issue, technology when it comes to microphones has evolved, and the Shure SLX2 transmitter that is built in to this mic is awesome, and the sound quality is great. 

In fact, all SLX Shure products use a patented “audio reference companding” which provides “clear sound beyond the limits of conventional wireless technology”. 

Of course, this will depend on what kind of reciever you are transmitting to, but generally, the sound quality and build of the microphone itself is excellent, lending credence to the idea that Shure simply doesn’t make bad products, being an industry leader as they are.

Another thing to mention here is the fact that this mic is built with vocals in mind, whether its singing, speaking, or slam poetry.  It has a unidirectional setup that does away with background noise and takes the sound of your voice and effectively projects it where it needs to go. 

There is also very little “pop” with this mic, due to the steel mesh grille and the internal spherical filter that were made to minimize any kind of breath or hiss or plosive sound that may hit the mic.  This, again, is why people use it for all sorts of speaking engagements from graduation, to rock concerts, to singing recitals.  Inside, outside – doesn’t matter, it’s all good!


Needs Receiver

It is worth noting that there is not a receiver included with the Shure SLX2, and you need one specifically to make it work.  Otherwise, where is it sending the sound to?  If you have some kind of monitor speaker system, this isn’t enough because one thing you should know about wireless mics is that they NEED to be compatible with their receiver.

With all sorts of wireless mics and receiver units out there, you should know that they aren’t all interchangeable, and this is true here as well.

You need to get yourself a unit, such as the Shure J3 SLX24/SM58 Handheld Wireless System, which is one unit that was made to “connect” with the SLX2/SM58, specifically, although there are others too.


Overall

You really can’t go wrong.  From the build, to the sound quality, to the convenient features built into the mic, the Shure SLX2/SM58 is a winner.  The only downside is it’s a bit pricy, but if you are looking for a wireless mic that won’t let you down, this would be a good one to go for.

Highly recommended, 5 STARS!


Related Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqW8y0drO_g

What is Microphone Phasing?

If you’ve ever tried to record an instrument with more than one microphone and wondered why the resultant sound is not quite right, you’ve experienced microphone phasing.

First, we’ll talk about microphone phasing and phase cancellation, then we’ll discuss how to avoid it. It can feel incredibly confusing until you break down why it occurs.

Once you understand the way sound waves work and the interaction between the sound waves and your microphone set up, you’ll be able to fix the problem.


A Simple Audio Wave

Every sound can be broken into waves.

An audio waveform can be further broken down into a collection of simple sine waves of varied frequencies.

When we break the idea of sound or music into its simplest form, the sine wave, we can begin our little phasing discussion.

The sine wave is one single frequency that repeats over and over in a pattern. If you think of it in terms of an actual wave that can make it easier to comprehend. So, this simple wave repeats many times per second.

A 1kHz wave will repeat its form two thousand times per second. Each wave peak and trough lasts 1 millisecond. You can imagine this as a wavy line with the same peaks and valleys in a continuous wave.

Now that you have that wave in mind, imagine that you have 2 waves of the same frequency.

When those two waves are melded exactly, the peaks and valleys essentially create a single sine wave. It’ll just increase the volume of the first sine wave.


Delay in the Sine Waves

If one of the two sine waves is delayed by even a millisecond, the peaks and valleys will no longer match.

The sine waves will be considered out of phase, and the volume will be lower. This is called a partial phase cancellation. It can be hard to detect because they’re not phased enough to be severely noticeable.

When the peaks and valleys are exactly the opposite – the peaks of 1 sine wave meets the valleys of the other – that means that the first wave is completely “out of phase” with the second wave.

In fact, the two waves will cancel each other out and produce silence. Sound engineers will often call this being 180 degrees out of phase.

Here’s a brief video tutorial that describes exactly what we’re talking about here.


Phase Cancellation

This is where it can get extremely complicated. When dealing with multiple sine waves of differing frequencies, which you will when making music, you’re going to have fading pitches and changes in timbre.

Let’s go back to our example of the 1kHz wave. A delay in the second wave can have a more dramatic impact because there is more than the one wave to consider.

If you have a 1kHz wave, but the second wave is delayed by 0.5 ms, you’re going to have a recording that is out of phase.

On the other hand, if the second wave is 2kHz, it’s going to match perfectly as long as the waves repeat every 0.5 ms.

Delays in the peaks and valleys of the waves can cause cancellation at various frequencies. What does all this mean for the home recording studio, though?


Single-Microphone Recordings

close miking acoustic guitar

Sound travels a foot every millisecond. You’ll have to understand this to see how that can impact your recordings even if you’re only using one microphone. Imagine you’re using a microphone close to your bass guitar amplifier.

If the microphone is only 6 inches from the microphone, but a foot above the floor, you’ll be getting some reflected sound from the floor into the mic.

There would be delay of 1.5 ms between the two sounds, which will lead to phase cancellation.

While this is theoretically possible, the timbre and tone of the noise reflected from the floor will change the characteristics of the sound, so that might not happen with a single microphone.

That leads us to a discussion of using two microphones, and that’s where you can run into problems.


Multiple Microphones with a Single Instrument

If you want to remove any kind of mic phasing from your recordings, remember that sound travels at the same speed over the same distance. You can simply place the microphones as close together as possible to avoid a delay in the waves.

Sound engineers will often play with the placement of the microphones from the sound source.

They’ll place mics at different distances from the sound source, invert the polarity of the microphones and learn whether the sound is canceled or reinforced based on the delay.

In your home studio, it’s just a matter of playing with the placement of your microphones.

After placing your microphone, take the time to listen to your recording to learn whether you have some phasing. If you have more than one microphone, place them, record, and listen to learn where it sounds the best.

Here’s a quick video featuring producer Kevin Antreassian (Dillinger Escape Plan) who talks about this very issue and shows us what can happen.


Conclusion

Unless you plan on using math to figure out the milliseconds and do a lot of complicated measurements, you can simply move the microphones around until you get the best sound.

Now you should understand the concept behind phasing, and you’ll know that when there’s silence or a low sound in your recordings, it’s due to phasing.

Shure Beta 56A Dynamic Instrument Microphone Review

The Shure Beta 56A Dynamic Instrument Microphone is one of the best microphones in the music industry for recording your snare or tom-tom drums. It’s able to address the attack and have it sound tight and bright. That’s a vital consideration when adding a mic specific to the drum kit and capturing the sound of the snare. The supercardioid pattern allows you to adjust the mic, and have a huge impact on the sound that you want to capture. Keep this in mind when you’re recording.

Feature Pick

Shure Beta 56A Supercardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Microphone With High Output Neodymium Element For Vocal/Instrument Applications

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • 56A microphone
  • Stand adapter
  • Velcro cable strip

Technical Specs for the Shure 56A Dynamic Instrument Microphone

  • Built-in stand adapter
  • XLR connector
  • Compact design
  • Built-in shockmount
  • Supercardioid pattern
  • Impedance 150 ohms
  • Frequency response 50 Hz to 16 kHz

First Impressions of the 56A

At first glance, this seems like a simple, compact microphone that doesn’t look like it can deliver. In fact, that compact design means that it’s perfect for close miking your instrument. Whether that instrument is a snare drum or a tom-tom, you can add this to the edge of the drum and get clear, distinct sound that isn’t lacking for attack. The stand adapter will keep it from flying away if it’s hit by a drumstick, too.

The small profile of the mic means that you don’t have to worry about a clutter of microphones on stage or in the studio.

Shure Company

We’ve touched on this company before. They have provided plenty of microphones for musicians over the years, and the Shure name has become a standard in the music industry. The company started in 1925 with microphones for radios before moving on to microphones. They were contracted with the government to help make microphones for military vehicles during the war. The SM57 has been used on the lectern for the President of the U.S. since the days of Lyndon Johnson.

Here’s a little known fact: The SM in many of the microphone names like the SM57 or SM58 stands for Studio Microphone.

Supercardioid Pattern

The cardioid microphone pattern means that the microphone is more sensitive to sounds coming from the front. It’ll dim sounds that are coming from the sides, and flat-out reject sounds coming from behind. The supercardioid pattern like that with the 56A means that it provides even better isolation of noises in the room that could overpower the recording. The microphone has to be placed consistently in front of the instrument to get the full sound of the music being created.

Compact Design

There’s a microphone clip on the end of the shaft of the mic. The small, compact profile means that you’ll be able to clip it directly onto the snare or tom-tom to record. If you don’t want to add it directly to the edge of the snare, you can place it on a stand overhead to get the best sound from the instrument. It’s always best if you experiment with placement to see how you want it to sound before committing to recording your track.

Built-in Shockmount

The vibration from a snare drum can be incredibly intense. The microphone will have to reject the vibration and mechanical noise from the musician hitting it with the drumsticks. You want the noise of the drum itself without the vibrations that come from the mechanical play of the instrument. There’s a distinct difference in the sounds you want to record from the drum. You want to be very clear and tight without noise and vibration transmission on the recording.

Neodymium for Vocals

When you purchase a dynamic microphone, it’s almost always to be used for instruments. In some cases, though, the microphone can be used for vocals as well as the instruments. This is great for drummers and guitarists who also sing for their band. The neodymium magnet is created for a diaphragm made especially for vocals. The vibrations and frequency response will give your vocals an incredible tone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the Beta 56 and the 56A?
The 56A is the newer model of the Beta 56 and has an integrated clip for the mic. The knob allows it to be secured onto a variety of stands.

How much does the mic weigh?
For a compact mic, it weighs a surprising 1.03 pounds. It’s a solid microphone that won’t be rattled right off the side of the instrument.

Conclusion

The Shure Beta 56A Dynamic Instrument Microphone is a great addition to your home studio and stage equipment. It allows you to place the mic very close to the snare drum without getting a lot of vibration and distraction of the playing you’ll do. It’ll pick up the sound, but not the mechanics of you playing the instrument.

Audix i5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone Review

The Audix i5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone is one of the top microphones for recording instruments. It’s often compared to the Shure SM57, which is an industry standard. It has some benefits and advantages over that workhorse, though. This is a microphone that doesn’t need to be compared to any other in the industry, but because of the applications that are similar to those that the Shure has covered for generations, it’s inevitable that it would be compared. This comparison doesn’t leave the Audix i5 coming up short, either.

Feature Pick

Audix I5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • Dynamic i5 microphone
  • Microphone clip
  • Carrying pouch

Technical Specs

  • VLM diaphragm
  • Handles high SPL
  • Frequency response 15 Hz to 16 kHz
  • Cardioid pattern
  • Cast zinc alloy

First Impressions

The short body and sturdy construction of the i5 makes it a great choice for situations where the microphone might become battered with the percussion sounds from the instrument. Unfortunately, microphones can fall to the ground fairly often. This microphone won’t break easily, which is always a plus.

The cardioid pattern gives this microphone an accurate pickup pattern that allows for very distinct recordings. You can easily tilt it off-axis to create a richer sound, or keep it on-axis to pick up the attack of the snare. It’s a fantastic choice for the musician who wants to record the pop of the snare drum or the entire drum set. While you might need another mic for the bass or kick drum, the rest of the drums would benefit from this mic.

Audix Company

The company was founded in 1984 with the mission to design and manufacture their own microphones and other audio products for the amateur and professional musician. They’ve been recognized over the years with numerous awards and accolades for their microphones as well as other audio products.

With over 30 years of excellent products, it’s no wonder that the company can become a rival to others that have been around for decades longer. They care about their customers and want to provide products that will help them achieve their goals.

Frequency Response

The snare drum is normally within the 150 to 250 Hz range, which means you’ll need a mic that can handle those frequencies without cutting them or boosting them significantly. With the snare drum so close to the kick drum, it can be tough to record the snare alone with some microphones. The i5 will record the true sound of the snare while dropping out the lows of the kick drum. The snap of the snare is what’s important in the recording, and that’s what you’ll get when using this microphone.

Cardioid Pattern

The cardioid pattern of the microphone allows the sound to flow freely into the front of the mic and be captured by the recording software or device. It limits the sides and completely rejects the sound from behind the microphone. It’s important to understand the limits and patterns of the microphone to capture the right sound and reject sounds that you don’t want on your recording.

Solid Construction

Whether you’re in a sound studio created in your own home or you travel and need to bring a microphone for your snare, you’ll want a mic that’s solidly constructed. This mic has a carrying pouch, but it’s not protected or cushioned. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and you don’t want to lose your mic to a fall.

This microphone can take a beating and still work beautifully. It’s created with a cast zinc alloy body with a grill constructed from steel. Dynamic microphones aren’t as delicate on the interior as condenser microphones, so you don’t have to worry about the interior electronics being scrambled the first time it falls.

High SPL

The dynamic, VLM diaphragm allows the microphone to handle a high dB of sound. It can actually handle up to 140 dBs, which is great for the pop of the snare drum, but it’s this same function that doesn’t really allow for capturing the low sounds of the bass from the kick drum. Keep this in mind when you’re adding microphones to your drum kit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this need phantom power?
The i5 is a dynamic microphone that doesn’t require phantom power.

What are the dimensions and weight of this microphone?
The mic weighs 6.4 ounces, so it’s incredibly light. It measures 5.6 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches.

Conclusion

The Audix i5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone is a lightweight, sturdy microphone constructed from quality materials. It can handle the pop and attack of the snare drum without picking up the low bass sound of the kick drum. This gives you a clean track of the snare while leaving the other sounds for different tracks. You can also use this for other instruments where the attack and high SPL requires the correct frequencies.

young coconut musician

We Review 5 of the Best Dynamic Microphones for Recording the Kick Drum

When you’re a musician, there comes a time when you need to start purchasing specialized equipment if you want to move to the next level. This includes microphones for capturing the bass of your kick drums. You can’t expect to use the same mic that vocalists use to capture their singing when it’s time to record low bass tracks.

we review the best mics for recording kick drum

5 Best Mics for Recording Kick Drum

The microphone will have to have a range that allows that low, rich bass to be captured with perfect clarity. When you don’t use the right microphone, you won’t have clear tracks that are a true representation of the music pouring from the instrument. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the bass, or the attack will be recorded as a loud popping that doesn’t do the instrument justice.

Shure PGA52 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure PGA52 is advertised specifically for kick drums. While some others perform double duty, this mic is designed to capture the low sounds of bass instruments. This is due to the range frequency of the diaphragm.

Features and Technical Specs

  • Dynamic microphone
  • Cardioid pattern
  • Frequency response 50 to 12,000 Hz
  • XLR cable included
  • Carrying pouch

With the Shure PGA52, you’ll get a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pattern that removes unwanted noise from the sides and back. It has a low frequency response that will capture that rich bass from the kick drum. The Shure name means you’re getting a rugged mic that can stand up to any recording condition.

Check out our full review of the PGA52


Sennheiser e906 Dynamic Supercardioid Microphone

The e906 has a flat silhouette that is made to slip between instruments or in front of an amp to capture deep sounds of the bass. It can be slipped close to the kick drum quite easily, too.

Features and Technical Specs

  • Frequency response 40 – 18,000 Hz
  • Three switchable presence filters
  • XLR connector
  • Dynamic
  • Supercardioid pattern

The e906 from Sennheiser is a dynamic mic with a supercardioid pattern, which is perfect for recording bass. The position can be changed slightly to record an entirely different sound. This gives you incredible versatility when recording.

Check out our full review of the e906


Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone

This is a microphone using VLM technology for its diaphragm. It’s a light one that responds to the attack of the kick drum. That’s vital for a mic created special for bass. Without that special interior tech, you won’t have a true recording of the bass.

Features and Technical Specs

  • VLM diaphragm
  • Frequency response 30 – 15,000 Hz
  • Steel mesh grill
  • Cardioid pattern

The light diaphragm of the dynamic mic records the attack of the drum, which some like and some don’t. You’ll have to decide if it’s a feature that you want on your recordings. There are frequency boosts that you can play with to find the right sound for your tracks, too.

Check out our full review of the D6


Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

The Heil company is an icon in the music industry as is there accomplishments. They provided microphones and sound systems for legends like the Grateful Dead. That same company’s mic can be a part of your recording arsenal.

Features and Technical Specs

  • Copper-wound dynamic
  • Frequency response 28 – 18,000 Hz
  • Mic clip included
  • Steel-constructed body

The look of this microphone can be deceptive. It looks like a condenser mic, but it’s a large, copper-wound dynamic that will capture all the sound you can produce with your kick drum. This is one of the only dynamics that can actually capture the lower registers of a person’s voice and create a rich duplicate recording.

Check out our full review of the PR-40


Electro-Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone

electro-voice re-20 cardioid microphone

This dynamic cardioid microphone has a large diaphragm for capturing the perfect sound of your kick drum. You’ll be able to slip this microphone close to the kick drum and not be impacted by the popping of the attack.

Features and Technical Specs

  • Frequency response 45 – 18,000 Hz
  • Steel case material
  • Internal pop filter and shockmount
  • Bass roll-off switch

There are steel mesh coverings over all the openings for capturing sound, but with the cardioid pattern, you can dictate how you want the sound to be recorded. You do this with your placement. The steel construction and sturdy materials can take a ton of abuse and still capture clear sound from the kick drum.

Read our full review of the Electro-Voice RE-20


Conclusion

These microphones are all dynamic because the inner workings of the dynamic microphone work best with deep, low bass sounds like those that come from the kick drum. A bass or kick drum microphone has to have a low frequency response range to ensure that it’s being recorded exactly as it sounds when being released from the instrument during playing. You always want a true representation of the sound to be captured in the microphone itself since that’s what the recorder will pick up during the session.

Shure PGA52 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone Review

The Shure PGA52 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone is advertised as a microphone for kick drums, but it’s a mic that can be used for other bass instruments like the electronic bass guitar, too. This microphone is a durable, unobtrusive mic that should be a staple in every home studio like it is with professional sound engineers for studio use. The company is one that has been around for decades because they design and manufacture incredible equipment.

Feature Pick

Shure Pga52-Xlr Cardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Kick-Drum Microphone

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • PGA52 microphone
  • XLR cable – 15 feet
  • Sleek carrying pouch
  • User guide

Technical Specs

  • Dynamic mic
  • Cardioid pattern
  • Output impedance 150
  • Frequency response 50 to 12,000 Hz

First Impressions

The PGA52 is a microphone created by a company that has been around for decades. They take that extensive knowledge and create microphones that are almost indestructible while capturing the incredible sounds that you produce with your instruments. When you’re hovering on the edge of becoming a professional musician, the Shure microphones can provide the recording chops you need to succeed.

Shure Company Info

When you think of music, you might not consider the equipment or the people that make it possible. Shure has been part of the music scene since 1925 when they started creating kits for radios. It wasn’t until 1931 that they designed and manufactured their own microphone, though.

A few years later, they were contracted with the United States government to produce microphones for the war. The microphones had to be sturdy and innovative since they were vital to the war efforts. For example, the military needed microphones for their pilots, so they could be heard over the noise of the plane itself. Shure developed plastic cases for the mics to prevent them from becoming hot, too.

It’s that kind of construction and innovation that has kept Shure around for generations. Their microphones have been used by some of the biggest names in the music industry. Shure Incorporated have brought their microphones to a variety of industries aside from music.

One of their mics gains notoriety on the desk of Jay Leno while he’s hosting the Tonight Show. They’ve won numerous awards and provided innovative products to their customers for years, and most sound engineers and professionals have a Shure microphone in their studio.

Low Frequency Clarity

This cardioid microphone was designed specifically for situations where you need to capture low bass sounds. With a frequency tailored to capture a range between 50 Hz and 12 kHz, this mic is exactly what you’ll need for your home studio when recording your electronic bass guitar or kick drum.

Cardioid Pattern

The cardioid pattern allows sound to be captured in the front of the microphone while limiting the side and rear noise. When you have a tight cardioid pattern, you’re able to position the mic in a way that changes the sound slightly. This leads to more flexibility and creativity when recording your instruments.

Easy Setup

The microphone comes with a swivel joint and a release latch that can be used to move the microphone quickly from one location to another. It’s similar to the locks on bicycle equipment that allows it to be positioned easily and quickly.

Quality Construction

When you buy a Shure mic, you know you’re getting years of knowledge when it comes to construction. Imagine how sturdy they had to be in the 30s when they were reinforced for military applications. Since those early years, they’ve only added to their knowledge of sturdy, indestructible construction.

The years of durable construction have lead to the Shure family of products being used in the most demanding environments from stage to studio. That’s why it’s become a name that every musician knows.

Along with being constructed from quality materials, the PGA52 was designed to be slim and inconspicuous. The industrial design doesn’t really call attention to itself. It’s metallic finish and black grille will blend with other elements of the instruments in the studio or on stage. This is a good thing when you want the musicians and the music to shine, not the equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between this mic and the PG52?
The PGA52 is an upgraded, newer version of the PG52. It also comes with the XLR cable, too.

Does this need phantom power?
This is a cardioid, dynamic microphone, which means that it doesn’t require phantom power to operate it.

Conclusion

The Shure PGA52 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone is a mic that can be used in any situation where you need to capture low frequencies. This lends itself to a low bass instrument capture. The cardioid pattern lets you capture sounds from a specific direction and rejects noise from any other direction. When you can focus the microphone with such accuracy, you’re going to end up with the exact sound that you want on your tracks.

We Review The 5 Best Microphones for Recording Electric Bass Guitar

If you’re a musician who wants to start recording your electric bass guitar, we’re here to help. We’ve combed through tons of microphones to come up with the 5 best microphones for recording electric bass guitar. Whether it’s a sensitive dynamic mic with a supercardioid pattern or a mic that has been around for generations, each microphone on this list has huge benefits for the musician who wants to start recording his or her own tracks.

Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone

Feature Pick

Audix D6 Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid

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When it comes to noise and interference from other instruments, that’s not a concern for the Audix D6. When you point this directly at the amp, you’ll only pick up the sound of your electric bass. It’ll be like other instruments in the room don’t even exist.

Included in the Box

  • D6 microphone
  • XLR connector
  • Heavy clip

Tech Specs

  • Cardioid pattern
  • 30 Hz – 15 kHz
  • Steel mesh grill
  • VLM diaphragm

The Best Features of the Audix D6

The cardioid pattern of this mic will only allow sounds from the front of the mic with limited sensitivity on the sides. It was created to specifically capture low bass tones like those from the electric bass guitar. Audix uses a proprietary material for their diaphragm, so that it springs back quicker to deliver a high transient response.

Check out our full review of the Audix D6


Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

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Heil Pr-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

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The company itself has created some impressive microphones like those used in movies and by iconic musicians like the Grateful Dead. We specifically reviewed this microphone for the electric bass guitar, but this is a mic with no limitations as far as we can see.

Included in the Box

  • PR-40 microphone
  • Leatherette bag
  • Microphone clip

Tech Specs

  • Steel-constructed body
  • Impedance 600 ohms
  • Frequency response 28 Hz – 18 kHz

The Best Features of the Heil PR-40

This isn’t a mic limited to recording the electric bass guitar. It can be added to the professional’s equipment arsenal to capture voice recordings, too. It’s especially suited for capturing the radio personality or podcaster’s voice when they’re looking for a rich, deep sound recording.

Check out our full review of the Heil PR-40


Sennheiser e906 Dynamic Supercardioid Microphone

Feature Pick

Sennheiser E906 Supercardioid Dynamic Mic For Guitar Amps

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The flat face of this microphone is ideal for placement when the mic needs to be hidden or slipped in a thin spot. It’s thin enough to fit almost anywhere, which makes it a great piece of equipment for recording on a stage or crowded studio.

Included in the Box

  • e906 microphone
  • MZQ 100 clamp
  • Pouch
  • User manual

Tech Specs

  • XLR3 connector
  • 40 – 18000 Hz
  • Steel body case
  • Flat shape
  • Presence filters

The Best Features of the Sennheiser e906

The supercardioid pattern will reduce the noise coming in from the sides of the mic. The mic will need to be placed directly in front of the amp, but the slightest change will give you a variety of sounds for your recording.

Check out our full review of the Sennheiser e906


Shure SM57-LC Microphone

From professional sound engineers to popular musicians around the world, the Shure company has provided generations with quality microphones. The SM57-LC itself has been around for years, and provides quality sound recordings for all kinds of instruments.

Included in the Box

  • SM57-LC
  • Mic clip

Tech Specs

  • Cardioid pattern
  • Frequency response 40 Hz – 15 kHz
  • Slim design

The Best Features of the Shure SM57-LC

The company has had decades to perfect their microphones. This one is made specifically for instrument recording, which is why it made it onto our 5 best list. It can handle a wide range of frequencies aside from vocal ranges. This is strictly an instrument mic.

Check out our full review of the Shure SM57-LC


Electro-Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone

Feature Pick

Electro Voice Re-20 Cardioid Microphone

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This is a microphone that’s made entirely in one facility. The company wanted complete control over the components and manufacturing aspect of their microphones. This allows them to produce a mic that can capture the low end bass noise that comes from your electric bass guitar.

Included in the Box

  • RE-20 microphone
  • Internal pop filter and shockmount
  • Plastic stand clip

Tech Specs

  • Steel body
  • Frequency response 45 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Bass roll-off switch
  • Large diaphragm

The Best Features of the Electro-Voice RE-20

With an internal pop filter and shockmount, this is a microphone that can be used for vocals if you want a rich radio announcer’s voice. It’s fantastic for recording tracks from your electric bass guitar, too. The cardioid pattern and bass roll-off switch give you tighter control of the sounds entering the mic itself.

Check out our full review of the Electro-Voice RE-20!


Conclusion

All of these microphones are suited for recording your electric bass guitar. While some microphones are generic and able to capture a variety of sounds, others need to be created with a purpose in mind. An electric bass guitar needs a certain kind of mic to capture the rich sounds that most mics can’t manage to record correctly. The sound is out of the range of most microphones, which is why dynamic microphones with a low frequency pick up are vital to the process.

Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone Review

The Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone comes from a company that has been there for some amazing moments in music history.

From the “wall of sound” legendary PA system used by the Grateful Dead to awards in movies due to their sound, Bob Heil has designed and created some impressive microphones in his company’s history.

The PR-40 is created for crystal-clear studio recording. While some dynamic microphones are limited in what instruments and sounds they’ll capture, that’s not true of the PR-40.

Feature Pick

Heil Pr-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • PR40 microphone
  • Mic clip
  • Leatherette bag

Technical Specs

  • Copper-wound dynamic
  • Frequency response 28 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Impedance 600 ohms balanced
  • Steel constructed body

First Impressions

While this looks like a condenser mic with a standard, large capsule cardioid pattern, it’s actually a dynamic microphone that provides almost perfect rear sound rejection.

Most dynamic microphones are created to capture low instrument sounds, but this microphone can perform double duty as an instrument mic or a voice microphone.

The Heil company has a background in producing microphones for ham radio enthusiasts, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company would have mastered a way to capture low frequencies as well as higher voice registers.

The body of the microphone has a lot going for it. The basket screen is comprised of two types of screen.

This allows the microphone to strategically pick up sounds without allowing popping from voice work to seep into the microphone.

The steel body has a smooth satin finish that helps it look good while capturing vocals or instruments.

Heil Company

Bob Heil’s company Heil sound has been around for over 50 years. The company has changed the way the music has been brought to audiences around the world.

The founder created unique systems specifically for touring musicians like The Grateful Dead and The Who. Heil was the first to be invited to have an exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Each microphone and piece of audio equipment is designed and manufactured in the same facility in Illinois, and the entire operation is overseen by Bob himself.

Handles High Percussion

The PR-40 is a fantastic microphone for deep bass recordings. It was once taped to the side of a cannon during a movie. They used the soundtrack in the movie Letters from Iwo Jima, which received an Oscar for its soundtrack.

If it can record the sound of cannon fire from an impossibly close microphone, it can certainly handle being close to a bass guitar amp.

Cardioid Pattern

A cardioid pattern is used for recording sounds directly in front of the microphone while limited on the sides. The cardioid mic shouldn’t be able to capture any sounds from behind. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Some microphones have only limited rear sound rejection. That’s not true with the PR-40. The company uses a tight polar pattern that virtually eliminates all sound from behind the mic.

Varied Uses

The solid bass response means that it can be placed near a kick drum and an electric bass guitar amp. There’s a smoothness on the high notes that will make you think that the dynamic is using a ribbon.

While we’re covering this microphone for instrument use, there’s no reason why this can’t be used as a vocal microphone in certain situations. It provides the broadcaster with a deep, rich sound that sounds great over radio waves.

It definitely colors the sound being received during a certain range, so that’s why it should only be used when you want a deep sound on vocals.

Construction

The outer body of the microphone is made of steel with a satin finish. This outer steel gives you a strong, virtually indestructible microphone that you don’t have to worry about breaking if it falls.

As far as the interior, the low-mass diaphragm is created using a special mix that the company’s creator has always found to be stellar, which is iron, boron, and neodymium.

The voice coil is made of aluminium. All of this is protected by a built-in shockmount that keeps the deep sounds from unduly shaking the microphone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this need phantom power?
Dynamic microphones don’t need phantom power.

What kind of cable should be used with this mic?
The PR-40 needs an XLR cable.

It says this mic is good for vocals. Will it work for professional voice over work?
Absolutely. It’s a great microphone for deep, rich voice over work.

Conclusion

The Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone is a fantastic choice for professionals and amateurs alike who want to capture their electric bass guitar, kick drums, or discover their broadcaster’s voice. We love that this microphone has more than one purpose. It can be used in a professional studio environment by sound engineers or in a home studio for those who are recording a podcast.

Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone Review

The Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone is a mic used by professionals and amateurs alike for their instrument recordings. It’s a microphone that is easy to position, lightweight, and able to be placed anywhere you need it for your recordings.

Whether it’s bass cabs or in a spot on your kick drums, this microphone won’t take up a ton of space, and it’ll be easy to take on the road or to the studio.

With the cardioid pattern, it’s a microphone that will record exactly what you point it at, which means less interference and reduction in unnecessary noise from the rest of the room or stage.

Feature Pick

Audix D6 Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • D6 microphone
  • Heavy duty clip
  • XLR connector

Technical Specs

  • VLM diaphragm
  • 30 Hz – 15 kHz
  • Steel mesh grill
  • Cardioid pattern
  • SPL >144 dB

First Impressions

The Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone adds a nice punch to recordings. If you’re looking for a microphone that will work on smooth jazz or easy listening, this might not be the mic for your recording. It’s meant to work specifically with instruments that have a rich, low bass to them. This included the kick drum and the electric bass guitar.

The microphone is made of nearly indestructible materials and will record without you having to fuss with the placement too much. Place the microphone about 4 to 6 inches from the bass cab or amp, and you’ll get a full, rich sound that will fulfill your needs.

Audix Company

The company began making microphones in 1984. They started with the mission of designing, engineering, and manufacturing components that would revolutionize the world of audio.

They’ve been recognized for their durability, value, and innovative designs over the years. The entire process from design to manufacturing is done in the same facility, so they have complete control over every aspect of the microphone from start to finish.

VLM Diaphragm

Most capsules used in dynamic microphones are made of regular Mylar. Audix uses a proprietary material that springs back quicker when used for the diaphragm.

This results in a low-mass diaphragm for a high transient response. Along with the low-mass diaphragm, the dynamic microphone can use heavier magnets for capturing sound.

Specifically Suited for Bass

Everything about the D6 is ideally suited for recording your bass guitar or kick drum. That’s because it’s meant to retrieve the low end tones associated with the guitar.

The low-mass diaphragm will pick up the low sounds associated with these instruments. If you’ve wondered why you should use a dynamic mic versus a condenser mic for the bass guitar, that’s one of the most compelling reasons.

The recording is incredibly saturated with the sounds that are the trademark of the low bass sounds of the guitar and kick drum.

Cardioid Pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone will dictate how sensitive the microphone is in picking up sounds. It’s usually based on direction. With a cardioid mic, the direction with the most sensitivity is the front while the sides are less sensitive.

The back of these microphones are barely able to pick up sounds. This is important information to understand when you’re worried about picking up sounds outside of the instrument that you’re trying to record. This pattern is great for loud stages and places where other instruments might be playing, too.

Sturdy Construction

The body is made from precision-machined aluminum with steel mesh grill where the audio will flow to the diaphragm. It’s material that can be abused and dropped without worry that it will instantly shatter.

That’s not to say that you should treat your equipment disrespectfully, but accidents can happen. With the material and sturdy construction, you won’t be replacing this microphone constantly because it breaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this microphone come with an XLR cable?
This mic doesn’t come with a cable. Like most professional mics, it doesn’t come with a mic, but it’s easy to purchase one separately.

What instrument can this be used for?
This mic is specifically made for kick drums and bass guitar cabinets. It’s vital that you understand the frequencies and sounds for recording your tracks.

Will this mic work for vocals?
This picks up the low end of a bass guitar and a kick drum. It’s not a good mic for vocals since the frequency it records is too low. Look into a condenser mic for singing or voice recording.

Conclusion

The Audix D6 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone works incredibly well at its job. Every microphone is made with a specific job in mind.

Whether it’s as a universal mic that records everything generally good, or a dynamic microphone meant to record low frequencies brilliantly, you should always understand what your mic will record to get the best sound possible.

You might not be a sound engineer, but you should be able to record great sounds with the right microphone.

Sennheiser e906 Dynamic Supercardioid Microphone Review

While some dynamic microphones can be used for instruments or vocals, other mics are made specifically for certain situations. The Sennheiser e906 Dynamic Supercardioid Microphone is one of those microphones that are made with a certain situation in mind.

The body of the mic is flat, which is ideal for amp face miking. It’s thin and flat enough for placing the mic close to the amp as well as providing a variety of sounds with its supercardioid pattern. You can place it off-axis if you want to change the sounds coming from the amp when recording an electric bass guitar, for instance.

Feature Pick

Sennheiser E906 Supercardioid Dynamic Mic For Guitar Amps

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • e906 Microphone
  • MZQ 100 clamp
  • User manual
  • Pouch

Technical Specs

  • XLR 3 connector
  • 40 – 18000 Hz
  • Dimensions are 55 x 34 x 134 mm
  • Steel body case
  • Three switchable presence filters
  • Flat shape

Sennheiser Company

The company was founded by Dr. Fritz Sennheiser and was originally called the Laboratorium Wennebostel or Lab W. The company manufactured tube voltmeters. It was founded in 1944, and it wasn’t until 1946 that the company started producing microphones – specifically the DM 1. They developed their own microphone in 1947, which was the DM 2.

As the years progressed, the company expanded its measuring equipment, microphone manufacturing, and starts making amplifiers in 1950. Over the years, the company has won awards, and, in 1987, the founder was honored at the 59th Academy Awards for the MKH shotgun mic. The company continues to design and manufacture new microphones.

First Impressions

The e906 is a flat microphone that’s designed to be the ideal microphone for guitar amps. When positioned in front of the amp, there’s greater control with the shape of the mic itself as well as the polar pattern of this mic in particular.

It’s a dynamic mic with a gold plated plug for better connectivity. This is a professional microphone used by sound engineers and professional musicians. It has the ability to filter the sounds in three different filters. They’re changeable through the switch on the mic itself.

Reinforced Body

The metal body is resistant to damage caused by dropping the mic on the floor. While you might try to be careful with the mic, accidents happen. You want a microphone that can stand up to abuse. This is especially true if you want the microphone to last for years to come.

Supercardioid Pattern

The cardioid mic pattern is one of the most common ones for recording microphones. The pattern will dictate where the mic is more sensitive to sound. For a cardioid pattern, you’ll get sound recorded through the front as well as the sides of the mic.

The supercardioid microphone has enhanced pattern sensitivity. This pattern has higher sensitivity, but better room noise isolation from the sides when recording instruments. This pattern requires the mic be placed directly in front of the amp. You can use this knowledge to place the microphone off-axis from the amp depending on the sound you want to capture.

Perfect for Guitar Amp Miking

As mentioned before, this is a great mic for recording bass guitar that flows through an amplifier. It isolates and clarifies the sounds coming specifically from the sounds of the bass guitar. You can also use one of the filters on the mic itself to change the sounds as well as the options on your recording device.

Warranty from the Company

The company provides a warranty on their products. You’ll need to register your product on their website, so don’t forget to do that to take advantage of the warranty in the future. The warranty varies based on the product being purchased, but at the very least, all their products have a 24-month warranty in place. That warranty covers defects in the product that impact its purpose. They don’t cover damage from operator errors or damage due to the user dropping the mic continuously.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this microphone require phantom power?
This is a dynamic microphone that doesn’t require phantom power.

Can this be used for vocals?
While you’re certainly free to use a microphone for any type of recording you’d like, the microphone works best for bass guitar miking.

Will this record an acoustic guitar?
This is a dynamic microphone. Condenser microphones work best for recording acoustic guitars. You can certainly use it if you have no other option, but you would get an optimal recording.

Conclusion

The Sennheiser e906 Dynamic Supercardioid Microphone has a full sound that captures the fast attack of the bass guitar as it flows from the amp. The 3-position switch allows you to create different sound profiles. There’s a bright, dark, or moderate option for this microphone. You’ll be able to clip this mic close to the amp, use the switch to vary the sounds based on the track you want to record. There’s a lengthy warranty from the manufacturer that makes this a good investment in your music.

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