Can one record an acoustic guitar with a dynamic microphone such as the Sure SM57?


I have been trying to record my Martin GPC11E with an MXL 990 for quite some time. I used to have it straight to my Behringer  U-Phoria UM2 that connects to my laptop with phantom 48v supplied from there. I was having issues with electrical hum and I diagnosed the issue with a cheap transformer in my interface. In an attempt to correct this, I purchased a Yamaha MG06 Mixer with a better preamp and an ac power source. Unfortunately, the hum is still present. The hum is not from other appliances and led’s in the house. I know this because I made a little battery case that powered the mixer with the batteries instead of the ac adapter. I am now thinking about getting rid of the mixer and phantom power all together. I am going to try to buy a dynamic microphone to replace the MXL 990 and the Yamaha mixer. If you haven’t noticed, I am on a pretty tight budget. All of my equipment is under $100, so this new mic should follow suit. If anybody has any advice, tips, or recommendations, please let me know!! Everything is appreciated. Thanks!

5 Answers

  • zgraf
    Lv 4
    4 months ago

    OK, if you're getting a little bit of "hum" that may not be the end of the world.  You may be able to do a little filtering "after-the-fact" to cut down the hum.   If you record nothing (just the hum) what does it look like on the frequency display?   For example if there is just a little "peak" around 60 Hz, you could counteract that easily enough with a little parametric EQ cut, setting the [f] and [Q] as appropriate.  Does your Behringer UM2 come with any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) EQ tools?   Check them out!

  • Lance
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    The Sure SM57 is a good choice. The hum is most like caused by a " Ground Loop" or "Phantom Ground Loop" A ground loop occurs when equipment is not getting a proper ground, plug all your equipment into the same ground outlet using a surge suppressor or power strip. Try a different wall out let... Often with inexpensive equipment the way the manufacturer cuts corners to reach a certain price point is to leave out adequate ground characteristics You may be able to remedy this yourself by creating your own ground ...Run a wire from one of the screws on the equipment to a metal table leg or a screw on the electrical outlet.......its harder to achieve ground on a second story room but its the same principle you want the ground to lead to the ground somehow using a heater vent or electrical outlet...but remember if your ground has more resistance than the equipment its attached to its not going to work That's why you got a ground loop in the first place...Also separate power cords from line cords...Power cords and line cords should run separate paths, if they do have to cross they should do so at 90 degree angles...Also power supplies inside equipment should also be separated from one another.. Do not stack equipment on top of one another... There should be at least 3 inches separation between equipment power the magnetic fields create phantom loops....

  • 5 months ago

    Yes --- 

    it has been done tens of thousands of times before. 


    The SM57 is an excellent choice, 

    although there are others that will do about the same in terms of sound quality. 

    And they cost about the same money. 


    I prefer dynamic mics because they pick up less unwanted noise from the room.  

    Less, not zero: You still have to make sure the environment is as quiet as you can get it. 


    As for hum, there is no way to get rid of all of it 

    unless you can do your recording several miles from any power line. 

    Of course, all of your equipment would have to operate on DC.

    Using a generator or inverter would bring the hum --- 

    and possibly other noise --- right back. 

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Try moving the microphone. Sometimes it works to get rid of the hum.

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  • 5 months ago

    The Behringer interface should work purely off USB power, so you do not need a power adapter with it - so no transformer problems.

    The "hum" is some other fundamental problem with the way you have things set up; there is nothing wrong with the MXL 990 on phantom power.

    The battery power test proves that.

    It could even be just a faulty or miswired mic cable.

    Are you running the laptop on battery or AC power? 

    If it does not work with the 990, it may well not work with an SM57 either; you need to find the cause of the problem.

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