Are you wracking your brain deciding on what to get the recording artist in your life for Christmas? It's hard to know exactly what a musician needs for their home studio. What type of music do they play? What do they already have?
Add to these questions the typically high cost of music gear, and shopping can be tough. Most people don't want to gamble when buying a gift. This is completely understandable—taking a chance on an expensive mixer or MIDI controller may be the wrong move, especially when the gift giver has only limited knowledge of music production.
There is one piece of equipment, however, that every home recording artist should own: The Shure SM57 microphone.
The SM57 is renowned far and wide as one of the most versatile and useful mics ever made. This is a microphone that ever recording studio and performance venue has on hand, typically in abundance. It works for vocal, instrument, and amp recording. It is especially rugged, and thus can be treated more roughly than other mics.
On top of its usefulness and resilience, the SM57 is inexpensive. It can typically be purchased for $80-$100 depending on the retail outlet.
There are no tricks and no rules to using an SM57; what you hear is what you get. It is often the first mic a home recording artist purchases, and will continue to be a go-to microphone for any artist. Unlike other gear in a musician's studio, the acquisition of an additional SM57 will always be welcome.
Anyone looking for a safe bet for an excellent home recording gift, look no further than the SM57.