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Single vs. Multi-pattern mics

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Barkingdogstudios, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    I own a SHURE KSM32 which I'm quite happy with. I am considering getting a second one. However, I'm wondering what recording situations I'm going to short change myself on by not moving up to the KSM44 which has more available patterns. If possible can somebody tell me stuff like "if you want to use it as a drum 'room' mic, you'll want more than the simple cardioid pattern ..." and maybe some other examples ....?

    I guess the simpler question is, what are the advantages of having multiple patterns available? I understand about that omnis suffer less from proximity effect when they're close to the source but what else? I would almost exclusively be using the mic in a studio environment although I did use the KSM32 once for a drum overhead for live recording. So far I've only used cardioid pattern mics.

    Opinions? Humorous anecdontes? Emotional outbursts?
  2. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    If you have a nice sounding room, omni is a great way to include its tone in the picture you're recording.

    I was recently micing a 4x12 cabinet for a rock/punk band cd. I went through all my dynamics until I settled on the 421. Then I went through all my condensors to give the "oomph" and "sizzle" needed. Nothing sounded right until I tried the AKG C4000b in omni. It picked up enough of the room to make the sound. Go figure.

    A circle of singers in omni.

    Two (or more) singers in bi-directional.

    A singer/guitarist who wants to perform and sing at the same time. Two bi-directionals came be set up so that one of them hears mostly the voice and the other hears mostly the guitar.

    M-S stereo needs a bi-directional and a cardioid and is sometimes the absolute best stereo image for drums, Acoustic instruments, etc.

    The more tools I have, the more I can build.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Your asking way more than can be put into a single reply. I suggest you do the smart thing and buy a book on microphone techniques and applications where you will not only get the answers to your questions but a lot of other related info that every serious recordist should know.
  4. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    I dunno Gaff, Mr.Cruz seemed to do just fine.
  5. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    Here is a nice place to expand the knowledge without cost:

    DPA Microphone University

    I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject, and one thing I noticed was a comment about multi-pattern mics really work best with a dual diaphragm capsule. Something about the off-axis coloration being more uniform.

    One of the downsides of switchable patterns are flimsy switching mechanisms, typically slide switches. Heavy use wears them out. Some mics use reed switches which are gas-sealed and magnetically operated.

    The alternative is having replaceable capsules or specialized mics with different patterns. The omni types offer advantages not found in the directional types. And disadvantages, too.

    Reading is a good thing.

    [ February 26, 2004, 09:27 AM: Message edited by: bgavin ]

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