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Shure pretty much invented the modern dynamic mic, and when they come out with a new one, they don’t follow trends, they set standards. The new Shure KSM8 Dualdyne microphone delivers on their history of quality sound and design, and we were excited to get our hands on one after seeing the splash they made at NAMM.
Form wise, at first glance it doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary, but under the metal windscreen is a dual-diaphragm cartridge, which eliminates the proximity effect of a lot of dynamic microphones. What that means is, as a microphone moves away from a sound source, like vocals, the low end drops off, and a lot more “airy” high end starts to flow in. Ever hear a presentation where the mic is lowered from the speaker, the sound drops, and feedback starts to creep in? That’s one situation – another is a singer getting really on top of the mic, to the point where it gets super bassy and flubby. With this new “from-the-ground-up” design from Shure, those issues are a thing of the past.
The response is incredibly consistent, and performers will find that there’s not a lot of adjustment necessary to find the sweet spots for their particular voices. Hip-hop performers who love that deep bass response will realize there’s almost no limit to how low you can go. Divas can control mic position as a volume control, and not worry about losing body or depth. The Dualdyne design has another great feature, as well – a reduction in pops that can really be annoying in any situation. Ultra shrillness gets capped off, and responds well to all high frequencies.
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While it’s really meant as a live tool, it’s no slouch in a studio environment. As it can handle these extremes, it’s great for vocals, as well as live instruments — no worrying about mic placement as far as a tonal adjustment, looking for that perfect distance in miking an amp cabinet. For cymbals or hi-hats, this can be a godsend, capturing the depth and clarity, while eliminating excessive brightness and high end.
It’s not as inexpensive as a lot of other Shure mics, with a street price of $499, but for vocalists looking for “their” microphone, this is it. Sound engineers looking for that special weapon for singers who really beat on a mic, in a musical sense, this is it. In fact, even though it’s clearly being marketing for vocal use, we couldn’t find a situation where it wasn’t “it.” So we encourage you to experiment, like we did, with guitars, drums, acoustic piano, basically anything you can mike up live. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything the new KSM8 can’t handle perfectly.
Excellent sound quality, super-flat response, eliminates proximity effect.