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Old 01-26-2021, 06:36 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Default Shure Beta56 for home recording vocals

I just did my first recording with a Shure Beta56 that I bought used for less than $100 on eBay.

Here was my journey towards trying this mic:

I was using a AT 4050ST condenser but it picked up too much home ambience and noise. It's a great mic, just a bit sensitive for untreated spaces.

Then I went to a Shure SM7B, and that rejected home space noise and ambience well. But after experimenting, I found that I preferred it at a distance of about 18 inches, and to get enough gain at that distance I needed a FetHead or a CloudLifter. This was fine, but using phantom power for the gain booster dropped the time per battery charge on my Centrance MixerFace from about 8 hours to about an hour and a half. No big deal, but the preamps on the MixerFace are really good and have almost enough gain for the SM7B...but not quite.

Then I thought about the Shure Beta57. The closeup sound of the Beta57 is not the same as an SM7B (far more susceptible to plosives), but remarkably similar at distances of over a foot where the cage and windscreen shape are not factors. At this distance, the differences are that the Beta57 is hypercardiod (the SM7B is cardiod), and the Beta57 is about 6db hotter due to a combination of neodymium magnets and a transformer. This extra gain is just enough so that I can use the preamps on my MixerFace without a FetHead (turned just shy of all the way up).

But I loved the way the SM7B ran the cable close to the mic stand and away from the mic. Then I thought about how the Beta56 was the same mic element as the Beta57, but with ergonomics much like the SM7B.

I looked on eBay and got a lightly used Beta56 for just under $100 with shipping and sales tax.

This is my first recording with the Beta56 on vocals. The guitar was recorded through the Schertler AG6 with the added S-Mic. The S-Mic is turned all the way up (which works well for recording but would feed back live).

Both are recorded onto the MixerFace R4 Micro-SD card recorder. I added just a touch of reverb in post, but no EQ or compression. I was pleasantly surprised with the sound:

https://youtu.be/36W_wq65eDA
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:27 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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I assume the Beta56 picked up the guitar too (bleed), right?

Nice in your use that the Beta56 doesn't take up much of the foreground in your video vs what most other microphone choices would.
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Old 01-27-2021, 06:04 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
I assume the Beta56 picked up the guitar too (bleed), right?



Nice in your use that the Beta56 doesn't take up much of the foreground in your video vs what most other microphone choices would.
There is surprisingly little guitar in the vocal mic like that, though it is a part of the sound. I'd say the guitar is maybe 1/4 of volume of the guitar in that mic. It's separate enough to be able to get a nice mix, but not enough to edit or tune the vocals.

Yes, I really like how compact and uncluttered the Beta56 is in the shot. As compared to the SM7B that I often use: so much of the design of an SM7B relates to close miking: the extended cage with extra space in front; the extra large foam windscreen. These things matter when your mouth is close to the mic, but not at this distance. If you're going to distance mic, the Beta56 works about as well with a much smaller mic in the shot, and with the same hidden cable run.

Last edited by lkingston; 01-27-2021 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 01-27-2021, 06:40 PM
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keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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One of my favorite Nancy Griffith songs. Sounds pretty good.

I'm sure you explained a long time ago why you are doing all this microphone testing and swapping around in relatively a live space, but (i.e., instead of doing that), with not a lot of moveable treatment, the whole issue of using dynamic mics and/or having them close/in-frame can really become non-issues, right?
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Old 01-27-2021, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
I was pleasantly surprised with the sound:

https://youtu.be/36W_wq65eDA
Hi lkingston

Me too! Thanks for posting this…

I prefer to treat the room (I have a treated recording space), but if you cannot/won't then fitting your equipment to the situation is good.

I like the 'airy-ness'.





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Old 01-27-2021, 07:32 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Thanks for your responses guys. I am interested in moveable acoustic panels as well. I notice that wayfair.com has some. Do you guys have any other recommendations?
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:04 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Here is another song with the same mic. I really like the absence of any visible cables:

https://youtu.be/k8Yxm-6LvEY
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:02 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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...and another:

https://youtu.be/6Tx-_2m45Co
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:40 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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So, you're recording the VOCALS with the Beta 56 at that distance? Wow.

I was just about to order the Centrance MixerFace, and stumbled onto this review with a google search.

Impressive . . . I assume you're still happy with the MixerFace?
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:28 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
So, you're recording the VOCALS with the Beta 56 at that distance? Wow.



I was just about to order the Centrance MixerFace, and stumbled onto this review with a google search.



Impressive . . . I assume you're still happy with the MixerFace?

Yes, there is obviously some guitar bleed at that placement, but it is primarily vocals in the mic. I use just finger tips with no additional finger nails, so my guitar playing is soft.

On those videos, the MixerFace mic preamp is cranked all the way up. On the Zoom H6, I would have to use a FetHead (or Cloud Lifter) to mic at that distance. With an SM7B, I would have to use a FetHead even with the MixerFace at that distance. An SM7B does work well for close miking with the MixerFace and no FetHead though.

Yes, I am still happy with the MixerFace. The preamps are great, and since I can get by without a FetHead and phantom power, the rechargeable battery lasts for hours.
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Old 03-10-2021, 06:50 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Here’s another song done with the same setup:

Camera: Sony ZV-1
Guitar recorded from pickup: Schertler AG-6 with the S-mic attached and turned all the way up.
Vocal: Shure Beta56
Recorder MixerFace R4

https://youtu.be/RZSU_zWYBgg
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