Show 101 – Recording Harmonica and Transfering Vinyl

In this week’s show, Jesse records some Harmonica and Ryan talks about transfering vinyl to digital.
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Audacity to vinyl transfer

9 thoughts on “Show 101 – Recording Harmonica and Transfering Vinyl

  1. Guys, not to nitpick, but I need to make a minor correction to your comment the SM 57 and 58 are the same mic except for the pop filter on the 58. If you go to the Shure website and look at the spec sheets for both mics,

    http://www.shure.com/idc/groups/public/documents/webcontent/us_pro_sm57_specsheet.pdf

    http://www.shure.com/idc/groups/public/documents/webcontent/us_pro_sm58_specsheet.pdf

    not only is the frequency response for the 57 listed as 40 to 15,000k and the 58 50 to 15,000k which would seem to indicate the 58 has a different bass frequency roll off, they also have substantially different response curves which correlates the sites descriptions which say:
    SM57: The legendary Shure SM57 is exceptional for musical instrument pickup and vocals. With its bright, clean sound and contoured frequency response, the SM57 is ideal for live sound reinforcement and recording.

    The SM57 has an extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern that isolates the main sound source while minimizing background noise. In the studio, it is excellent for recording drums, guitar, and woodwinds.

    SM58: The legendary Shure SM58® vocal microphone is designed for professional vocal use in live performance, sound reinforcement, and studio recording. Its tailored vocal response for sound is a world standard for singing or speech. A highly effective, built-in spherical filter minimizes wind and breath “pop” noise.

    They also have different sensitivity figures. I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt all these differences are simply due to the pop filter. I always thought a pop filter was simply to reduce “plosives”….I’ve never heard anyone say using a Neuman U87 (or any thing else for that matter…) with a pop filter alters its response enough to make its response curve “tailored” more for vocals than instruments….but again, I could be wrong….

  2. I have to agree with Ryan on this one. There is a difference, but it’s not really noticeable to the human ear. Find someone out there who sings below 50 Hz and if you find them, tell them they need to use another microphone. The 57 or 58 is not your ultimate answer to all recorded sources, but they are a very good start.

  3. Of course Shure’s going to say that the 57 and 58 are different – that way they can lower their costs by producing the same mic and put it in different packaging. :p

    Seriously though – a post I found from “Shure” (can’t vouch for authenticity, but they’re using big words and it sounds good):

    “It is true the SM57 and SM58 microphones are based on the same cartridge design. The main difference between them is in the grille design. The SM58 was designed for vocal application and it uses a separate grille with a very effective pop filter. The SM57 was designed as an instrument microphone where smaller grille size is preferred. In this application the pop and wind are not usually a concern. The SM57 uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where grille is actually a part of the cartridge. These two grille designs place the diaphragm of the microphones in a different acoustical environment. First of all, the distance from the top of the grille to the diaphragm is significantly shorter on the SM57 compared to that of the SM58. This allows for closer sound pickup with even more pronounced proximity effect. Secondly, a different resonator/grille assembly design of the SM57 is responsible for its slightly higher output above 5 kHz.”

  4. Ryan, you’re probably right about splitting hairs, but they definitely have very different response curves and this description from the article you cite seems to indicate that there is in fact a design difference:

    “The SM57 uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where grille is actually a part of the cartridge. These two grille designs place the diaphragm of each microphone in a different acoustical environment. The distance from the top of the grille to the diaphragm is shorter on the SM57 compared to that of the SM58. This allows for a closer miking position with a more pronounced proximity effect. The different resonator/grille assembly design of the SM57 is also responsible for its slightly higher output above 5 kHz.”

    So there is a difference in proximity effect and frequency output. Like I say, I wasn’t meaning to nitpick but if you have a good ear, these are in fact noticeable differences and I would suggest the increased proximity effect of the 57 does make a tonal difference, especially when recording drums. I agree they aren’t always the ultimate answer, but they are fairly predictable and it is easy to get a good sound out of them and frankly for the money you really can’t do any better, maybe as good but different, but not any better.

  5. PS: Because the topic comes up so frequently on your show, have you considered doing a show on how to tune drums? Just a thought…

    • We certainly are not the ones to tell people how to tune drums. I have an interview lined up with a top notch drum tech, but he is always on the road. I wish someone would do a podcast on tuning drums. I would listen.

  6. Here is a link to a really good drum tuning site for your listeners. Obviously there is room for a lot of variation and a lot has to do with the sound an individual is going for, but Prof. Sound’s drum tuning bible is a great place to start and gives very detailed instructions including things like how to deal with snare buzz and specifics on tuning kicks, etc. Hope it is helpful!

    http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/

  7. Hello from England. Another great show! Jesse’s segment on recording harp was great – I always recorded straight into the mic but the 3 foot in front and above is a good tip. Any chance of a segment on Reaper at some point? I use an Akai DPS 16 hard disk DAW but at some point I will move to PC and Reaper seems a nice product. Waddaya think? Happy Christmas all.

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