Low Gain with CI2 and Shure SM57

Hi all, I recently bought the CI2 and a SHURE SM57 dynamic instrument mic. The goal is to record my acoustic guitar and some vocals. However I am fining the CI2 does not have enough gain to produce a decent sound. I have to have the gain knob turned up till almost the maximum to get any decent level of sound which produces unwanted noise.

I have tried recording the acoustic guitar with the microphone as close as I can but this picks up way too much bass and sounds pretty awful.

Do I have something set up wrong or is the SM57 just a low output mic which needs a better pre-amp?

Appreciate any help as I know nothing about this stuff.



The Shure SM57 (great mic BTW), being a dynamic, is not the most sensitive. Recording from ambient distances is sure to require more gain and possibly introduce a slight hiss into the signal. Dynamic mics generally are known for being tough, durable, and friendly with the price tag. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but if you want to fix this, it’s gonna require a little cash. Here’s the mic I’m using.


This sucker is SENSITIVE, I NEVER use ANY gain. This is the cheapest condenser mic of any worthwhile quality you can find. Also, I use a dynamic, and I keep my gain all the way up. Still won’t clip for anything. :wink:

An inexpensive condenser mic will definitely help you get a nicer sound.

I have the Audio Technica AT2020 which I find very useful. It came in a set (called AT2041) with the smaller AT2021, also a condenser mic, which sounds great on acoustic guitar. Great value, I thought.

If you haven’t used mics like these before, they run on 48 V phantom power through the mic cable which can be selected via the switch on your CI2 - just be careful by only turning the phantom power on or off with the mic plugged in, ie don’t connect or disconnect it while power’s applied.

You’ll find these mics, or ones like them, nice and sensitive and detailed compared to the 57.

Thanks for the replies guys. I tried a friends RODE NT1A and this was amazing. Way more sensitive as you explained. I have sold my SM57 to him and I am looking into condenser mics at the moment. Don’t want to spend as much as a NT1A costs so I am still looking into things.

Samson, Shure, and Audio Technica all sell some excellent condenser mics. There are so many to try.