Recording - February 2013 - 36

B Y PA U L V N U K J R .

In 2006 Shure released the KSM9. While the KSM designation placed the microphone in Shure’s high-end studio line of largediaphragm condensers like the KSM44 and KSM32, the KSM9 was different. While it was indeed a high-end condenser mic, it came as a hand-held mic. The KSM9 offered a choice of two polar patterns, cardioid and supercardioid, and quickly became a favored mic for many touring acts, houses of worship and more. In essence, the KSM9, along with Neumann’s KMS 104 (released around the same time), helped establish a market of high-end, studio-quality condensers in hand-held form. Just a few months ago, at the 2012 AES convention, Shure introduced a brand new KSM9 variant, the KSM9HS, that offers two new pattern choices—hypercardioid and subcardioid. I was thrilled to try out this newest KSM model, on the voice and a few instrument applications. Looks and build Part of this review will be a refresher of the original KSM9, as it is the same as the KSM9HS except for the polar patterns. Visually the KSM9 is best described as elegant. While the original model was available in charcoal gray as well as the standard champagne color typical of the KSM line, the new 9HS is available only in black. The body is similar in styling to Shure’s older Beta 87, but sleeker and slightly more tapered. It features Shure’s vintage S logo embossed in silver on the front and the modern Shure logo on the back.

Shure KSM9HS
New patterns for new uses in a well-liked mic design
The mic measures 7.5" from top to bottom with a diameter just shy of 2". It comes with a standard Shure mic clip in one of the company’s proprietary mini aluminum flight cases. Tech and specs The KSM9 is an electret condenser design with a dual 1/4" goldlayered, low-mass Mylar diaphragm. Its circuit is a discrete class-A transformerless design and it makes use of a unique suspended internal shock mount design that decouples the capsule from the body. Polar patterns are changed by an internal toggle switch located just below the capsule and accessed by unscrewing the windscreen. The KSM9HS is documented as having a frequency response from 50 Hz to 20 kHz and a 145 ohm output impediance. The rest of its specs are different for hypercardioid/subcardioid patterns: Sensitivity –50.5/–53.0 dBV/Pa; self-noise 20.7/22.7 dB; Max SPL 150.9/152/1 dB (1 kohm load); dynamic range 130.1/130.6 dB (1 kohm load); S/N ratio 73.3/71.3 dB. Looking at its frequency plot you will see that in both patterns the mic is ruler flat across the mids. (This holds true for the two polar patterns of the original KSM9 as well.) In subcardioid mode it has a slight low-end dip after 100 Hz and it starts to rise slowly at 1.5 kHz and peaks strongly at about 15 kHz. In other words, open and bright. Hypercardioid mode is an overall less hyped, smoother and natural affair that has a small consistent rise between 3.5 kHz and 15 kHz.
36
RECORDING February 2013

In practice I am not much of a specs guy, but nosing around Shure’s web site I found a FAQ that does a fantastic job of highlighting the off-axis rejection of all four patterns, and this could help determine which of the two KSM9 mics would be the better choice for you: Subcardioid: –3 dB at 90 degrees off axis; –10 dB at 180 degrees off axis. Cardioid: –6 dB at 90 degrees off axis; under –25 dB at 180 degrees off axis. Supercardioid: –9 dB at 90 degrees off axis; under –25 dB at 120 degrees off axis. Hypercardioid: –12 dB at 90 degrees off axis; under –25 dB at 110 degrees off axis. To translate this, you can see that subcardioid, which is just shy of a full-on omni pattern, has the least off-axis rejection, and hypercardioid is really tight and narrow. Interestingly, this makes the new KSM9HS a microphone of extremes, built to solve problems of excessive feedback on one hand, and offering a wide-open pickup pattern on the other hand, suitable for multiple singers or sources sharing one mic. Sound and use I have been using a wireless KSM9 as our main vocal mic for the past six years at Grace Church in Racine, WI, where I run sound. I am very familiar with its character, which I



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - February 2013

Recording - February 2013
Fade In.
Contents
Talkback.
Fast Forward.
The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
Big Money Drums.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
Shure KSM9HS.
Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
Audio-Technica AT4047MP.
Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
Readers’ Tapes.
Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
Stereo From A Mono Mic.
Advertiser Index.
Fade Out.
Recording - February 2013 - Recording - February 2013
Recording - February 2013 - Cover2
Recording - February 2013 - 1
Recording - February 2013 - 2
Recording - February 2013 - 3
Recording - February 2013 - Fade In.
Recording - February 2013 - 5
Recording - February 2013 - Contents
Recording - February 2013 - 7
Recording - February 2013 - Talkback.
Recording - February 2013 - 9
Recording - February 2013 - Fast Forward.
Recording - February 2013 - 11
Recording - February 2013 - 12
Recording - February 2013 - 13
Recording - February 2013 - The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
Recording - February 2013 - 15
Recording - February 2013 - 16
Recording - February 2013 - 17
Recording - February 2013 - 18
Recording - February 2013 - 19
Recording - February 2013 - Big Money Drums.
Recording - February 2013 - 21
Recording - February 2013 - 22
Recording - February 2013 - 23
Recording - February 2013 - 24
Recording - February 2013 - 25
Recording - February 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
Recording - February 2013 - 27
Recording - February 2013 - 28
Recording - February 2013 - 29
Recording - February 2013 - Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
Recording - February 2013 - 31
Recording - February 2013 - AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
Recording - February 2013 - 33
Recording - February 2013 - 34
Recording - February 2013 - 35
Recording - February 2013 - Shure KSM9HS.
Recording - February 2013 - 37
Recording - February 2013 - Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
Recording - February 2013 - 39
Recording - February 2013 - Audio-Technica AT4047MP.
Recording - February 2013 - 41
Recording - February 2013 - Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
Recording - February 2013 - 43
Recording - February 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Recording - February 2013 - 45
Recording - February 2013 - 46
Recording - February 2013 - 47
Recording - February 2013 - Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
Recording - February 2013 - 49
Recording - February 2013 - DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
Recording - February 2013 - 51
Recording - February 2013 - Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Recording - February 2013 - 53
Recording - February 2013 - Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
Recording - February 2013 - 55
Recording - February 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
Recording - February 2013 - 57
Recording - February 2013 - 58
Recording - February 2013 - 59
Recording - February 2013 - 60
Recording - February 2013 - 61
Recording - February 2013 - Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
Recording - February 2013 - 63
Recording - February 2013 - 64
Recording - February 2013 - 65
Recording - February 2013 - 66
Recording - February 2013 - 67
Recording - February 2013 - 68
Recording - February 2013 - 69
Recording - February 2013 - Stereo From A Mono Mic.
Recording - February 2013 - 71
Recording - February 2013 - 72
Recording - February 2013 - Advertiser Index.
Recording - February 2013 - 74
Recording - February 2013 - 75
Recording - February 2013 - 76
Recording - February 2013 - 77
Recording - February 2013 - 78
Recording - February 2013 - 79
Recording - February 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - February 2013 - Cover3
Recording - February 2013 - Cover4
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