Recording - November 2009 - 34

B Y PA U L V N U K J R . Shure SM27 & Shure SM137 Shure creates microphones that are the very definition of “workhorse”. I don’t think I have ever set foot inside a recording studio or on a stage that did not have Shure microphones on hand. With a line that still includes wellrespected models, some of which are decades old, Shure takes its sweet time in development before bringing a new model to market. The two newest members of the Shure line are the SM27 largediaphragm condenser and the SM137 small-diaphragm condenser. The SM designation places them above Shure’s budget PG-series in performance and quality; our tests show that they come very close to the level of the flagship KSM line. SM27—a familiar face with a new coat of paint If the SM27 looks familiar to you, it is because it is essentially a KSM27 with a new black finish, minus the letter K. Comparing each microphone’s specifications on paper reveals that they are indeed the same microphone, with two small improvements. The new SM27 sports higher maximum SPL handling, and less self-noise, from 14 dB down to 9.5 dB. For those unfamiliar with the original, the SM27 is a side-address (the first to ever grace the SM line) cardioid condenser mic with a 15 dB pad and a 3-position bass rolloff switch (flat / –6 dB @ 115 Hz / –18 dB @ 80 Hz). The SM27 comes with a large ultrapadded zipper case and a custom mic mount. An additional shock mount is available for an extra $30. (It is worth noting this came stock with the KSM model, but the padded case did not.) As you would expect from a workhorse-class microphone, its build quality is exemplary. I compared the SM27 side-by-side with the KSM27 and I will confirm that they are truly the same microphone. [We reviewed the KSM27 in April of 2002.—Ed.]. I won’t belabor the point other than to say that in the past 8 years I have used a pair of KSM27s and now the SM27 at my church in both live situations and in our music director’s studio, to capture voiceovers, lead vocals, large choirs, orchestras, backing vocals, violin, acoustic guitar, saxophone, drum overheads, congas, ride cymbals and electric guitar cabinets, and this microphone excelled in each instance.RECORDING NOVEMBER 2009 Condenser Microphones A new look for an old favorite, and a new favorite that’ll soon be a classic This SM27 has a full, clean and open sound with a forward top end. Although it is easy to associate “neutral” with “boring”, I have yet to hear it sound bad on anything I have thrown at it—again conjuring up that one word: workhorse. SM137 While there is also a KSM137, the SM137 is its own beast and not a copy or re-branding of the other model. I cannot tell you how it compares, as I was not able to get a hold of the KSM version for this review. If you think you’ve seen this microphone before, interestingly it does share a body with the PG series PG81, but be assured, the similarities end there. The SM137 is a permanently biased small-diaphragm condenser mic with a 20 to 20,000 Hz frequency range. It has a recessed 15 dB pad switch and ships with a vinyl bag, plastic clip mount, and foam windscreen. The SM137 is a very forwardsounding microphone. The mic’s frequency response chart confirms the evidence of my ears: it rolls off its low end starting around 300 Hz, while accentuating the highs at both 3.5 and 8k. This makes the SM137 a great choice for sources needing clarity, definition and punch, things like drums, jangly acoustic instruments and even guitar cabs. Another star of stage and studio As such I tried the SM137 on acoustic guitar, percussion and drum kit. Unlike the utilitarian SM27, the SM137 is definitely more sourcespecific. My first use of the SM137 pair I received for review was as overheads on my church’s drum kit. Once they were in place I accidentally forgot about the review at hand, and there they stayed, service after service for close to 2 months. Why? Because these mics seem tailor-made for this application. The 8k boost makes the cymbals come through brightly and clearly defined, while not sounding overly harsh; the 3.5 bump highlights the top

Recording - November 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - November 2009

Recording - November 2009
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Les Paul Speaks
Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Radial JDX and Phazer
Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Eventide PitchFactor
Recording’s Guitar Column
Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Readers’ Tapes
Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Recording - November 2009
Recording - November 2009 - Cover2
Recording - November 2009 - 1
Recording - November 2009 - Fade In
Recording - November 2009 - 3
Recording - November 2009 - Contents
Recording - November 2009 - 5
Recording - November 2009 - Talkback
Recording - November 2009 - 7
Recording - November 2009 - Fast Forward
Recording - November 2009 - 9
Recording - November 2009 - 10
Recording - November 2009 - 11
Recording - November 2009 - Les Paul Speaks
Recording - November 2009 - 13
Recording - November 2009 - 14
Recording - November 2009 - 15
Recording - November 2009 - Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
Recording - November 2009 - 17
Recording - November 2009 - 18
Recording - November 2009 - 19
Recording - November 2009 - 20
Recording - November 2009 - 21
Recording - November 2009 - 22
Recording - November 2009 - 23
Recording - November 2009 - The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Recording - November 2009 - 25
Recording - November 2009 - 26
Recording - November 2009 - 27
Recording - November 2009 - 28
Recording - November 2009 - 29
Recording - November 2009 - 30
Recording - November 2009 - 31
Recording - November 2009 - Radial JDX and Phazer
Recording - November 2009 - 33
Recording - November 2009 - Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Recording - November 2009 - 35
Recording - November 2009 - Eventide PitchFactor
Recording - November 2009 - 37
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Guitar Column
Recording - November 2009 - 39
Recording - November 2009 - Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording - November 2009 - 41
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Recording - November 2009 - 43
Recording - November 2009 - 44
Recording - November 2009 - 45
Recording - November 2009 - 46
Recording - November 2009 - 47
Recording - November 2009 - 48
Recording - November 2009 - 49
Recording - November 2009 - Readers’ Tapes
Recording - November 2009 - 51
Recording - November 2009 - Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
Recording - November 2009 - 53
Recording - November 2009 - BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Recording - November 2009 - 55
Recording - November 2009 - Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Recording - November 2009 - Advertiser Index
Recording - November 2009 - 58
Recording - November 2009 - 59
Recording - November 2009 - 60
Recording - November 2009 - 61
Recording - November 2009 - 62
Recording - November 2009 - 63
Recording - November 2009 - Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Cover3
Recording - November 2009 - Cover4
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