The 11th Commadment
‘Thou shalt not take the name “SM58” in vein’
The story goes:
Half way down the mountain Moses Realised that he had witnessed countless travesties against this humble microphone. He therefore took the most robust thing he could find in his robe ( an SM58 ) and engraved the 11th commandment upon the back of one of the other tablets that held the 10 other better known commandments.
Like me he had most probably seen huge dents in these mics, perhaps in his youth he’d dropped them as some sort of primate like display of power (otherwise known as cool) at the end of a song or perhaps as I have, he witnessed a helpless microphone being dropped, thrown and stomped at the hands of a sadistic philistine? Or did he simply feel it was undervalued? or in fact love how it didn’t imprint too much a mark on his goats hide wallet?
Whatever reason or combination it may have been I agree with Moses.
What other mic can make you feel like Hendrix, like Townsend, like every punk band guitarist who one day runs out of nostalgia for their first axe? None, and have you ever tried smashing a guitar? Heavy things! But an SM58? the deep clunk on impact, and the roll as the seemingly purpose made rim guides the mic in a hollow scraping arc to its fictitious demise, all with just a release of your grip.
What other mic can a technician stamp on an drop to show you it’s sturdy? All the while not caring if it does actually break this time because it’s cost around £60-80 pounds!
What other mic, since 1966, has worked through hordes and hordes of idiots not tightening stands properly, butter fingers and bad speed bumps?
You may think this is all just common knowledge – and you’d be right.
All this talk about Robust, budget friendly an indestructible construction, however true, still seems to be all we ever mention of the humble SM58. But I’d like to look beyond that and suggest why I think the 11th commandment should be heeded.
I currently reside in London, a bloody noisy place, so after many experiments I now record most of my spot foley sounds with an SM58 – there is no other mic that can give me the isolation and the quality that I get from it, at the same time. You may be screaming at your screen ‘ Get a hyper- cardoid’ or ‘ get some soundproofing you idiot’ but the fact is I’ve tried the prior and the SM58 wins hands down at destroying world bleed. You see sometimes a good mic can be too good.
I’m 22 years old, I rent. My landlord would not appreciate me applying any sort of sealant to my walls, so soundproofing is out of the question unfortunately. Frankly I couldn’t afford it anyway! But I can afford an SM58 and so can aspiring young bands, producers, MC’s an Vocalists. Imagine how many demos, how many amateur gigs this design has supported?
My point is, It’s not just unbreakable and cheap. It sounds Damn good, isolates well ( making it brilliant for noisy situations like the live shows it’s used in everywhere) and most importantly it’s accessible. accessible to schools, colleges, small studios, home studios, bands, karaoke clubs……..etc etc. Letting everyone have a taste of professional quality recordings and giving everyone a chance to make those crucial demos sound good.
So why I ask once we are more financially sweet than days gone by do these mics begin to gather dust? Is it because were scared of using what everyone else does? or perhaps the sound isn’t ‘good enough’ ?
Either way I ‘m sure when high end producers do yearn for the sound of an SM58 ( realising it does actually sound very nice for vocal recordings ) and don’t want go through the rigmarole of modeling the sound digitally they can rest assured that the dust will SHURE – ly not have had an effect on the on hidden away in the stores.
SHURE have not paid, sponsored or endorsed this article in any way…..although when I bought an SM58 they did give me a lovely pencil case to put it in!