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jaykadis

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Posts: 2,391 Member Since:24/01/2011

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Apr 6 16 4:57 PM

Timely article - I just ordered a Shure KSM8 dynamic vocal mic. The dual-diaphragm dynamic design is the first significant design advance from Shure since the Unidyne design. It claims to tame the proximity effect and greatly improve off-axis response with a flat overall response. I'm hoping it lives up to its promise.

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mikerivers

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Posts: 2,448 Member Since:13/10/2012

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Apr 6 16 7:40 PM

jaykadis wrote:
Timely article - I just ordered a Shure KSM8 dynamic vocal mic. The dual-diaphragm dynamic design is the first significant design advance from Shure since the Unidyne design. It claims to tame the proximity effect and greatly improve off-axis response with a flat overall response. I'm hoping it lives up to its promise.


Geez, AKG did that 40 years or so ago. I have a pair of D-224s that I still use when I run out of KM84s. I dunno, maybe Shure did it better, or designed a mic specifically for vocals that used two diaphragms (one of which is passive). I'm sure it's a fine mic and I don't mean to put it down. In principle, it's not far off from the E-V Variable-D concept of putting a rear port where it minimizes proximity effect.

Most people's concept of a "vocal mic" today is either a hand-held SM58 or something big like a large body condenser or classic ribbon. Inspiring the vocalist is as, or more important than capturing every slight sonic nuance of the voice. It's the singer that makes the vocal track (or speaker in the case of a "voice-over"), not the microphone. 

But then, Alex Case is into history.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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maarvold

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Apr 7 16 9:38 AM

mikerivers wrote:
...Geez, AKG did that 40 years or so ago. I have a pair of D-224s that I still use when I run out of KM84s. I dunno, maybe Shure did it better, or designed a mic specifically for vocals that used two diaphragms (one of which is passive). I'm sure it's a fine mic and I don't mean to put it down. In principle, it's not far off from the E-V Variable-D concept of putting a rear port where it minimizes proximity effect...
 

Shure also developed the [almost forgotten] SM53 specifically to be a high quality dynamic mic that minimized proximity effect.  I don't know exactly what they did but, evidently, the capsule design is quite complicated.  

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jaykadis

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Apr 7 16 10:23 AM

I have a pair of SM-54s that I used for years after seeing them on Austin City Limits. I never recognized their reduced proximity effect - I'll give them a try too. The KSM has 10 dB higher sensitivity than the SM-54 and a slightly flatter 3-6 kHz region that might be helpful in my application.

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jaykadis

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Apr 11 16 9:54 AM

Got a chance to try out the KSM8 yesterday in a rehearsal - so far it seems to live up to the claims: very clear flat vocal sound with no obvious difference in timbre even with significant movement by the singer.

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snokdogg

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Apr 12 16 2:52 AM

My (very short) experience with the KSM8 and proximity was that it doesn't have less low frequency boost really close, but the lows doesn't decrease much either within a normal working distance either, making it much more consistent than an SM58. In turn, that makes the proximity much more manageable.

We have one at the concert hall were I work, so I'll have the chance to get familiar with it..

Endre Njøs.

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barry hufker

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Jan 21 17 5:03 PM

What I find interesting is that, according to Shure's specifications, the KSM8's high frequency response is a steady roll-off just before 10K and continuing.  Is there an audible lack of high frequency response?

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scullyfan

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Jan 21 17 6:37 PM

I don't know the answer to that question Barry, although the frequency response drops off pretty dramatically over 10K according plot furnished by Shure. I've never even seen (let alone heard) a KSM8.

I do think Guy Torio and Jeff Segota's white paper on the "Unique Directional Properties of Dual Diaphragm Microphones" is worthwhile reading for techies and recording enthusiasts.

Last Edited By: scullyfan Jan 21 17 8:21 PM. Edited 2 times.

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jaykadis

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Jan 22 17 11:31 AM

barry hufker wrote:
What I find interesting is that, according to Shure's specifications, the KSM8's high frequency response is a steady roll-off just before 10K and continuing.  Is there an audible lack of high frequency response?

Have not noticed any lack of highs when used on live female vocals. The SM-58 plot looks quite similar but boosts significantly from about 2kHz.

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klaus

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Jan 22 17 5:14 PM

If I interpret the exploded drawings on the Shure KSM8 site correctly, they added a (passive) diaphragm on the bottom, which, through its specific placement, cancels certain low frequencies and puts them out-of-polarity with the same frequencies entering the active, top, diaphragm system.  That is a system quite different from that used in the AKG 224 with its two active, dissimilar-sized diaphragms  used to distribute and process incoming frequencies separately. 


I remain skeptical of acoustic phase treatments of a sound source. That always seems to come with unpleasant sonic side effects germane to any phase shifting, or other forms of sound additions or subtractions.


Besides: why badmouth proximity effect? All good vocal mics make this effect available as an additional creative tool for the experienced vocalist.

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maarvold

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Jan 28 17 7:15 PM

For 20 minutes at NAMM, I talked to Tim Vear (Lead Engineer, Systems Support from Shure) and his buddy who was a live sound mixer about the SM53 and the KSM8.  I came away thinking that there was a bit of similarity in the design goals of the 2 mics.  The live sound guy really liked the mics... said they sounded good--maybe a bit big in the low mids, but easily EQ-able and really good-sounding when they were EQ'ed.  He also said the proximity effect was less radically different between really close and somewhat further, which made it much easier for him to deal with singers and speakers who worked the mic in an overly-dramatic fashion.  I'm pretty sure he said he was also getting around 6 or 8 dB better gain-before-feedback than he was accustomed to with other mics when people walked out into the house with a handheld.  

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