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.


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.

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