You could write reams about the use of the 58 but I came across
this on the web and I think it pretty well sums up the mic.
It's by Justin Miller who runs a PA hire firm in Bedford
The Shure SM58 is one of the most recognisable microphones
in the world, and for good reason. It is the main stay of many
a hire companies microphone hire stock, including mine. Practically
unbreakable, and if you do manage to drop it from a high stage
/ skyscraper, you can also buy a replacement pop shield. Very
suited to rock, or other musical styles that need powerful vocals.
Make sure your singers lips are touching the pop shield to get
the best results, though, unless they have very good mic technique.
The proximity effect (increase in bass when you sing or talk
close to the mic) makes this important. If the singer is a foot
away from an SM58, the chances are they will sound thin, and
you will also have gain before feedback issues...
Sonically the response has a nice presence peak in the upper
mid range, but the top end rolls off quickly after that. Opinion
is split about whether that is a good or a bad thing but it
helps keep a lid on feedback, though it doesnt sound as hi-fi
as some other mics. I have had some singers complain that their
vocal top end is not quite right - sometimes asking for more
top end. I guess they are used to the sound of expensive condenser
mics on their recordings. My solution is normally to give them
another mic, like a Beta 58, or Beta 87a maybe, rather than
use EQ. If you A/B test an SM58 verses these mics it will always
lose. But it can still be a better mic in some cases, such as
when you are looking for a cardioid rather than hyper-cardioid
response (the SM58 has a cardioid response, which means it has
a wider pickup pattern at the front). But most vocalists will
be more than happy with the sound the SM58 gives. The SM58 also
does a pretty good job on drums (not really bass drum), and
other loud things like guitar cabs. It uses the same capsule
as the SM57, one of the best mics for guitar cabs.
In conclusion, yes there are a lot of mics that sound better,
and some of these are quite a bit cheaper but ask yourself the
question, are they as durable as an SM58, and if you are a professional,
will your clients want to use a mic they have never heard of?
Overall Rating : 9