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Shure Beta 56A

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User Reviews

Kierkes's review

By Kierkes, 18/07/2011
The Shure Beta 56A is a microphone touted as a drum and instrument microphone from Shure, but I am not acquainted with anyone who actually uses these little beauties for anything but drum mic'ing. The first thing to note is the the microphones themselves are extremely compact, making their positioning on a drum set painless and easy, unlike the well loved Shure SM57, which, while also adept at being put on drums, can get in the way due to their size. This is never the case with the Shure Beta 56A microphones, which by the way, as per Shure's monstrous ability to make their microphones practically indestructible, is, yep, you guessed it: practically indestructible.

The Beta 56A is a dynamic, supercardioid microphone with a frequency response extended 1,000 Hz upward from Shure's well loved default. The Beta 56A has a frequency response of 50-16,000 Hz. Like the Beta 52A, it is mounted in a very convenient way for drums, and allows adjustments to be made without compromising the entire setup.

I have found that this microphone does add a bit of special juice to a drum sound, especially when compared to the workhorse SM57, which needs a truckload of EQ before it sounds nice on a drum set.

The microphone also, quite honestly, is one of the better looking microphones for a drummer to stare at (although I have never run into a drummer that is terribly bothered by these things.) And before I move on, I must mention the expected well handling of high SPL's.

OVERALL OPINION

The Shure Beta 56A microphone is a great solution to mic'ing drums, especially if you have the budget for it. The lower end PG56 at about one third of the price will also mic drums rather well, although there was something I couldn't quite place my finger on with the Betas. Combine these with a Beta 52A on kick and you have one nicely mic'ed up drum set!
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great for a good drum sound

By ericthegreat, 10/01/2012
I read another review on the Shure Beta 56A and had to have it soI bought this from Guitar Center from one of their closeout sales years ago. It is a dynamic microphone intended on kick drums and bass instruments like tuba. Although I have yet to mic a tuba with it, with the proper placement this mic can make a kick drum sound pretty sweet.


OVERALL OPINION

To make a kick drum sound full, this mic requires a little boost around 100-150 hz. Since I only paid $50 for it on a whim, I wasn't expecting it to sound amazing, but like I said, with a little EQ you can get some pretty good results for the money. Just like EQ'ing the low-end, some midrange EQ can bring out a really nice "thwack" out of a kick drum with this mic as well. That being said, I wouldn't spend much more than $50 for it new. Since I bought it 8 years ago, it's held up very well and not given me any problems despite seeing a lot of studio work, which is certainly a tribute to the build quality of Shure products. I've never owned another kick drum mic, having only used Shure SM 57's on the kick in the past. This produces a similar result, but with less emphasis on the high end, which of course you wouldn't want from a kick drum mic either. I've never used it to mic a bass cab, so I can't speak on how positive those results would be. If it finally croaked on me, I don't think I'd buy another one - unless I was able to snatch it up for a deal again - but would instead go for a higher end mic, like one of the Shure kick drum mics. Of course, those mics are much more expensive, but for someone on a budget this is a great kick drum mic!
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Great deal purchasing the 56A

By JimboSpins, 25/09/2012
The Shure Beta 56A is a super cardioid microphone that is made for drums and a few other instruments. I have only used it on drums, but I have heard it sounds great with some acoustic instruments. For the price of the Shure beta 56A it is most definitely one of the best in its class. The price is 160 online and in store, that is a very competitive price when it comes to a high quality drum microphone. The Shure Beta 56A can be used as a live microphone or for a recording instrument microphone.


OVERALL OPINION

The price point of this microphone is by far the best aspect of it, you wont find any other drum microphones that will sound as good as the 56A for anywhere under 200 dollars. I am very happy that my garage band has chosen to use these microphones for our drummer. We always get clean recordings with the 56A, we have used the Shure SM57 for a while before we purchased the 56A. Buying the 56A was a major upgrade and you can tell the difference in the quality when we lay down a recording. You can move this microphone around to fit in any spot that you need it in, because it sits on kind of a pivot type of stand. The grill on the 56A is also very heavy duty and can take some abuse without it getting damaged and not working. I highly recommend using the 56A by Shure if you are looking for a drum microphone. You can definitely afford this microphone. It sounds the best when hook to a snare drum, and all of the recordings will be very clean and you wont even need to touch the EQ that much, maybe just a little to cut out the really low end when you master your recording but besides that there will be no EQ needed. It will give you a very naturally sound without any effort at all. Thumbs up to Shure for this one!
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Good for drums

By chrislieck, 25/09/2012
Great mic for drums ala toms. I don't like them for snare. Use an SM57 over this mic. Great hard hitting low end bump at 200 hz. I do have to ad top end or a boost at about 5k. They are not clean sounding mics but they work for tom toms. Specs say 50 to 16k but I doubt this mic has anything going on about 12k. For just over 100.00 I think it is good for drums. I happen to use this mic on a horn track recently and I must say I liked the track and the mic a lot. I thought it did well for the most part. I do think that for the money it is not a bad buy and for live it is great. I used it recently for a tom toms and I liked the sound over all. I felt that the only real issues I had was the high end clarity from about 8K to 12K it seemed very dull. I had to add a great deal of EQ in order to get the sound that I desired from the toms and it took a while to get the low mid bump out well. I do think that if you are in the market for a cheap tom mic that could second as a kick secondary mic or even as underneath mics. It also was good for live. I have used this mic live and it does a really good job live. I also like the fact that they are tough mics and can take a real beating for live sound. I have had a set of them for a while now at the studio that we sometimes take out for live recording and they sound good and can take a great deal of input. I have had some of my students use these in their home studios and have brought the files to the studio. If the placement was right they sounded good for the most part. On our set up in the B studio we place them a bit away from the toms. I like micing the toms a bit back and not so up front or on top of the toms. I think that it sounds better for toms to get a bit of distance from the tom. I also have used it on a kick but as a mic that is not too close to the front of the head.

OVERALL OPINION

I would buy these mics for LIVE SOUND application and for a home studio application. I would not buy these for professional recording nor would I use them unless it was my only option. I would invest in some 421's if I am serious about tom mics. I think that for the money I would consider this mic for a home studio but not for a pro studio if you are real serious about your tom sounds.
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Shure Beta 56A tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Shure
  • Model:Beta 56A
  • Series:BETA
  • Category:Dynamic Microphones
  • Added in our database on: 03/29/2004

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Other names: beta56a, beta 56 a, beta56 a