I have a Shure wireless system, with an SM58 transmitter, and it is not loud enough. I have to hold the mic very close to my mouth and speak loudly. Do I need a different mic element, like the Beta 86?
The problem is not the mic element. The problem is a level mis-match between the wireless receiver output and the device to which it is connected. This scenario is common and the explanation is simple.
The audio output level of many wireless mic systems is "Mic level". This means the output level is the equivalent of a wired microphone, like a Shure SM58. A typical Mic level output is 1 to 3 millivolts (mV). This Mic level signal cannot properly drive an input that requires Aux level (100 mV), or Line level (1,000 mV or 1 V). When you speak loudly into the mic and hold it close to your mouth, the audio output level increases dramatically, and the system then works OK.
Your options are:
1) Connect the wireless receiver into a Mic level input of the following device.
2) If there is no Mic level input, connect the wireless receiver output into a Shure SCM268 or SCM262 mixer. The mixer will increase the audio level from Mic level to Aux level or to Line level. In place of the Shure mixer, you may use a device like the Radio Design Labs FP-MP1 Microphone Preamp.