The Shure SM57 is the most popular all round instrument mic in the world. It's most commonly used to mic up snare drums, toms, guitar amps and often brass instruments - you even see some vocalists using it (female vocalists often prefer the tone of the SM57 to the SM58). Although it can be used for miking up quiter instruments, like an acoustic guitar, you'll generally get better results if you use a condenser mic, which is much more sensitive than an SM57.
Here's what Shure say about the SM57
The legendary Shure SM57 microphone is exceptional for musical instrument pickup and vocals. With its bright, clean sound and contoured frequency response, the SM57 is ideal for live sound reinforcement and recording. It has an extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern which isolates the main sound source while minimizing background noise. In the studio, it is excellent for recording drums, guitar, and woodwinds. The SM57's outstanding performance, legendary reliability, and diversity of application make this workhorse the choice of performers, producers, and sound engineers worldwide.
- Multi-purpose Shure microphone with contoured frequency response for clean sound reproduction of amplified or acoustic instruments.
- Professional-quality reproduction for drum, percussion, and instrument amplifier miking
- Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while reducing background noise
- Pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise
- Extremely durable under the heaviest use
- Frequency response: 40 to 15,000 Hz