Shure SM57 not picking up sound loud enough!

Hello all. Just recently got Cubase 6, as well as a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 (firewire). I’m trying to mic my Marshall 4x12 cabinet, and I’ve got the mic placed right up to the grill, center of the speaker. The amp is set relatively loud, and I’ve got my input 1 (xlr) gain set to about 6. The problem is, when I try to record in Cubase, I am BARELY getting any audible playback. The levels its recording is exceptionally low, and I have no idea how to fix this. I’m using M-Audio Bx5a monitors.

Is there some type of “insert” or “setting” that will enable my Shure SM57 to actually pick up what I’m playing, at the volume I’m actually playing through the Amp? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Rick

Where do you start!

First check you have all the computer setup correct, correct driver, connections setup and all thats working.

Then I’m assuming you have a XLR to XLR cable from the 57 to interface and not a XLR to 1/4" jack ?

Swap lead? mic OK?

Does the focusrite have any input level metering on the unit…? Do you see plenty of signal getting in there for example? And any change if you really push the input gain to 8, or 9 say…? Is any signal being seen metering inside cubase (input channel and/or with the monitor button engaged on the audio track).

Just a few thoughts…

Are you setting input trim to 6 because you THINK it should be the right level, or because it IS the right level? What happens if you set it higher?

isn’t that what I’ve just asked in my post above yours…?

Basically, I have my gain input knob on my Pro 24 set to 6, and my Amp as loud as what it would sound like if I was playing live (very…very loud), and it BARELY picks up the dynamics of my amp. I’ve got the mic centered on a speaker, right up next to the grill. In order to actually pick up ANYTHING loud, I have to set the input up to 8/9, but I can’t play the amp that loud, and it still sounds garbled and easily clips.

There’s no reason that a SM 57 (what all of our favorite metal artists have been using for years to mic their cabinets) can’t pick up what I’m hearing from my cabinet.

There’s something I’m not doing right. Is there something more to Cubase than just “Create Audio Track, press record, start playing”? Obviously, the post-mix and EQ helps out sound, but come on…its going to sound like garbage from the get go?

I’m not sure I follow you, you say that there’s barely any input in Cubase with a high gain setting on your Pro 24, but that the signal you are getting is clipping and sounding garbled?

If so, I think you just need to do a bit of RTFM on the signal flow inside Cubase. Check that you haven’t accidentally moved the input gain knob or the fader of the input channel in the Cubase mixer.


You didn’t answer my question, what lead are you using to connect the 57 to soundcard? XLR to XLR or XLR to 1/4" Jack?

Where in the chain is the sound to low?
Check the level meter on the Saffire. Is the signal ok there or too low?
What channel on the Saffire are you using?
Are you using an XLR or 1/4" jack?
Are the channel set to line or instrument (channel 1-2)/hi gain or lo gain (channel 3-4)?

EDIT: Please notice that I actually have read all your posts before I decided to post this.
EDIT 2: In light of recent accusations of ownership infringement, I would like to make the readers of this post aware that I do not claim these ideas as my own.

Ah…! so the idea is to post in to threads, without reading any of the other responses first…! Got it now.

Or to read through the post the pinch other posters ideas and present it as theirs!!!

Guys, maybe you should check your blood pressure! Your are acting like babies. So what if I did post a more collected list of the qestions that he need to answer more clearly? No need to mark territory and get all hostile :unamused:

Split: Ah… so you are helping out here for the creds? Good to know! And for the record, I actually never claimed the ideas were my own.
Puma: I did read your posts. There, I have now acknowledged your presence, happy now?

I have made two small additions to my earlier post just to clarify some things.

Whatever :unamused:

Precisely my point. I’m glad we agree!

Umm, Folks!

Ponte’s got a question he’d like resolved, and, well, dissing each other isn’t helping him much! Although, in fairness, I note a few folks have asked some relevant queries about the signal chain.

Start with the mike (it appears the amp box is probably way louder than it needs to be), see if the pre-amp is getting a decent, undistored signal from the mike, and is able to provide adequate gain to drive the soundcard properly into Cubase. I suspect there’s either a bad mike cable, improper connection to the mike pre, or an improper setup on Cubase. The mike starts with an output around a thousandth of a volt (1 millivolt), and the pre boosts that to around a volt, which is then fed into Cubase via a sound card connected to your PC. If there’s not enough gain somewhere, or a bad cable, things can get a bit nasty. So, as indicated, start at the beginning of the signal chain, the mike, and work towards Cubase.

If that still doesn’t help, come on back here, and hopefully, folks will be more inclined to help you out, Ponte!