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Old December 30th, 2016, 09:29 PM   #1
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SM58 home recording snafu

I'm recording panic tracks in case I get sick and my voice has problems at a band concert. (Some keyboard effects require a click track, so the timing would work).

I'll be performing with an SM58, so it makes sense to record on an SM58, but I have it plugged into a Zoom H2n. I'm getting a ton of noise, so I'm assuming I need to power the SM58?? It's tempting to sing into the Zoom H2n, as it sounds remarkably clean. I just don't want it to sound different from what the SM58 would sound like live - or will they record/sound close enough??
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Old December 31st, 2016, 12:38 AM   #2
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

An SM58 doesn't need power. It's a dynamic mic...

With an XLR output. But an H2n doesn't have an XLR input.

Though an XLR-F to 3.5mm TRS-M cable *can* work, many of them are wired incorrectly for what you want to do. You might need to try another one.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 05:56 AM   #3
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

I'm afraid the Zoom H2n pre-amp may not be quiet enough for a dynamic mic like the SM58, which has a much lower output level than the internal electret (condenser) mic capsules of the Zoom.
So you're likely to get quite a lot of 'hiss'...

The internal mics will sound quite different from the SM58, which is designed as a 'singing' mic, so it would be better to try and use the SM58 if you can.

If you have access to an audio mixer, you could try and use the mic input on that ... and connect the output of the mixer to the Zoom at line level. That should be quieter, 'hiss' wise....
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

Quote:
...will they record/sound close enough...
As noted above, they will sound different. So only you can judge whether or not they are "close enough."

The SM58 is designed as a vocal mic, and has significant proximity effect if used within inches of the mouth. Vocal entertainers use this to good effect to achieve they sound they desire.

The H2n Mic/Line input is stereo and a simple XLR-to-stereo mini phone adapter may just record out of phase audio on each channel if fed from a balanced source such as the SM58 output. It designed input level is as low as -39 dBm, but the SM58 output is roughly 20 dB lower. Also, the 2.5 volt power it can provide is not appropriate for the SM58.

I agree that using a mixer to provide mic gain is a good option.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:49 AM   #5
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

In your live setup, can you route your mic through your mixer to the zoom's line in - then just record your voice live. In my current production, we've done a backup of everyone critical, so if one day they lose their voice, we just switch to the recorded version. Works a treat, and sounds exactly the same. Only caveat is that they need to be the predominant source - so any distant miking falls down, but lips touching a 58 grill? Perfect!
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:52 AM   #6
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

I think you're all right. I have a small mixer, but with no XLR inputs. http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjAwWDgwMA==/z/Uw0AAOSwe-FU5zOH/$_32.JPG

It sounds like I need to stay with XLR to avoid hiss. Even a little hiss makes me cranky.

The only thing I have around are my video cameras with XLR inputs. That would add the unnecessary video component, but if I came away with a clean recording from the right mic, it might be the thing to do.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

The SM58 is primarily a live performance microphone. If the sound source is more than a few inches away, it usually will not sound very good. (search "proximity effect"). Dynamic mics also inherently have a lower sensitivity than powered (electret and condenser) ones.. Most low cost recorders have POS mic preamps as well.. but if the talent is there (starting at the source), it should sound ok.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 08:27 AM   #8
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

That's a good heads up. I'll be eating the mic (pop filter). I hadn't thought of the preamp. Would an M-Audio Mobile Pre USB preamp have the quality I'm looking for?
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Old December 31st, 2016, 01:17 PM   #9
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

If "Zoom H2n... sounds remarkably clean" why go to all the trouble (and expense) of trying to get the SM58 to work with the Zoom recorder? You say " I just don't want it to sound different" but it sounds like the "difference" is POSITIVE. I don't get it?????
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:16 PM   #10
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

Hiss is mainly due to pre amp noise. XLR connections in and of them selves will not solve hiss, but if part of a balanced system they provide rejection of noise that is induced into the cables by nearby electrical and magnetic fields. Also, XLR system tend to be higher quality corresponding to their higher cost, and higher quality usually means a lower noise floor.

Because the SM58 (and most other dynamic mics) have lower output than comparable quality condenser mics, their signal is closer to the noise floor of the pre amp, and thus the hiss will be more apparent in the recorded signal. (Note that modest quality condenser mics also tend to have a higher noise floor.)

The SM58 is a very rugged mic. I've used its close cousin, the Beta 58, to record large wind ensembles in field environments and the results were good for the application. The key of course is to select a mic, including pattern, that fits the event you are recording.

The proximity effect is a significant base boost for sources within inches of the mic and is common to all directional mics. It is often desirable for vocals. The overall frequency response pattern is fairly flat out to about 15KHz once the source is more than a foot or two from the mic (see the attached graphic from the Shure web site). The SM58 can be used as a PA mic as well, but the form factor is not optimized for that application.
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SM58 home recording snafu-proxeffecte.jpg  
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Old December 31st, 2016, 08:59 PM   #11
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

I love the cleanness, but the proximity effect is important, too, as I want to sound big. I'm guessing the recorded sound of the Zoom played through a PA would sound noticeably different than my live SM58 through the same PA. But without a nice preamp the recording would be too noisy.

If that is the case, will my M-Audio Mobile Pre USB be enough if I record to a laptop? Should I rent something?
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Old January 1st, 2017, 07:15 AM   #12
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

An SM58 and virtually any of the popular interfaces isn't going to have noise as a problem. The gain control on most sensible products only gets hissy when you are recording quiet things at a distance. An SM58, lips on the grill is not going to strain any of the products commonly spoken about. These all have better noise performance than your PA and you don't find that hissy. The issue is that your zoom is mainly a useful, all in one microphone for recording stereo in spaces - the line input is for, well, line inputs - the hiss comes from trying to make that low gain input work like a proper mic level input, which it isn't!
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Old January 1st, 2017, 08:40 AM   #13
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

Quote:
...will my M-Audio Mobile Pre USB be enough if I record to a laptop?
It should work, but try it to be sure before you do a money shoot.

It looks like the H2n has directional pickup patterns, and thus would also have proximity effect if close to the source.
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Old January 1st, 2017, 12:07 PM   #14
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

Per your collective wisdom I'm going to go with the SM58 with the preamp. I think that my panic tracks will sound identical to my live SM58 at the raw level. Then once I add the same effects to both channels, I'll be gravy. I am SO appreciative of your help everyone!
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Old January 1st, 2017, 04:57 PM   #15
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Re: SM58 home recording snafu

Looking at it from a slightly different angle, if you are intending to use your recording in the event of not being able to sing live, how will you sync the recording to the click track? You will be able to listen to the music and presumably the existing click track while singing to the recorder, but you will then need to sync the recording back to the rest of the music. Unless you are recording onto the same master recording as the click track, I'm puzzled how you will make that work.

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