music gear shure ksm8 microphone

Music Gear Review: Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Cardioid Dynamic Mic

The Shure KSM8 Dualdyne is the world’s first dual-diaphragm dynamic handheld microphone. Primarily designed for live vocals, it features reduced proximity effect and exceptional off-axis linearity for better rejection of unwanted leakage from other instruments, monitors and front of house mains.

For live vocals I found the KSM8 to “p-pop” less severely—plosives still happen occasionally but most of the low frequency energy is greatly reduced. Another immediate difference is that the mic has a much “dryer” sound with less room tone and other off-mic sounds mixing in with the vocal signal. Compared to other dynamic mics it sounds like I’m in an acoustically treated space surrounded by absorption panels.

Along with the dryer sound comes much less handling noise—again there’s a little but compared to typical dy- namics, it is vanishing low in level.

The KSM8 also has an overall smoother sound with less mid-range “peakiness”—generally a good thing for most singers. On guitar cabinets, I found the KSM8 was also smoother with a slightly less gritty mid-range boost than my usual dynamic mic.

A great new choice for either studio use or live sound, the KSM8 starts at $499 and is available in either black or brushed-nickel finishes.

BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contribut- ing editor for Mix Magazine.