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Author Topic: KM84 as live vocal mic?  (Read 5782 times)

klaus

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KM84 as live vocal mic?
« on: April 17, 2011, 09:48:05 pm »

Originally Posted By: Mark Lemaire on Thu, 01 April 2010

Folks-
 
In the never-ending search for a great live vocal sound, this idea recently came to mind. It was partially inspired by learning that the KM54 was used by the Beatles sometimes (not often) on close-miked vocals. Of course, one must use a good windscreen...
 
Anyone else do this? Any danger to the capsule (provided I use a foam windscreen? Note that my vocal style is mellow and not very aggressive. I tried it today on my PA and (after turning down the bass most of the way) found the sound pretty damn fine, no feedback issues to speak of.

Another note: I used to bring my U67 to play outdoor weddings!!

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Mark Lemaire
 
http://www.myspace.com/MarkLemaire
 
http://www.rubatorecording.com/
 Audiophile recording of your music. Anywhere. Anytime.
 
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Klaus Heyne
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rjc

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 03:27:30 pm »

No reason why not IMO, though you would perhaps be better off with a KM85 in this application.

The feedback rejection won't be quite as good as a hypercardioid might offer, and as you say, a decent windscreen will be essential. But I've found the '84 very versatile. The reason I'd suggest an '85 (which is also cardioid) instead is that its capsule has a built-in roll-off to tame the proximity effect of close-micing. If you use an '84 you might need to pull out some low end at the desk instead.
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Ray Cologon
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Mark Lemaire

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 12:27:07 am »

Perhaps an 85 would be better, but I don't have one. That said, the 84s are great! And I do roll off a lot of low end. But once I do that they work well!
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Gregory Thompson

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 09:34:10 am »

When one unscrews the windscreen from a Neumann KMS-105, the capsule hidden within looks suspiciously similar to a KM184.  Does anybody know for certain if that is the jump off point for the 105 capsule?

Why I ask:
It may be a good substitute for your KM-84 and is currently being manufactured, as opposed to the 84 which are in finite and dwindling supply.  I'd hate to hear about something bad happening to your KM84.

I quite like the sound of the KMS 105 but find its susceptibility to bleed to be prohibitive unless there are many factors working in the engineer's favor like monitor volume, bleed from loud instruments and the singer's mic technique.  In bad situations, I'd characterize it as a wandering overhead mic that may also contain lead vocals.

sorry if off topic/thread derail
-Greg
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Jim Williams

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 11:16:46 am »

You will need to protect the capsule from spit as well as wind blasts.
Once that is done, then you need to deal with the talent. Most vocalists are used to eating the mic, a no no with an 84.

To solve that problem, I would tape a pencil to the side of the mic with about 6" pointing out beyond the capsule. Place the lead part towards the talent. Do sharpen the point. That will "train" the talent not to eat lead.
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Mark Lemaire

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 05:51:26 pm »

Place the lead part towards the talent. Do sharpen the point. That will "train" the talent not to eat lead.

Luckily Jim, in this case I AM the talent, such as I am.

I have found that a standard puff-ball over the mic and lowering the bass response makes the mic pretty easy to deal with. No need for a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

It can be worked close, (lips occasionally touching the foam windscreen) with no wind sensitivity problems unless you really cup it or blow into it.

Still- I would not give it to a beginner or a rapper. They get the SM58- with no pencil.
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klaus

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 06:28:21 pm »

I have found that a standard puff-ball over the mic pretty easy to deal with.

...as long as you test the puff ball periodically for foam shedding: rub it hard over a white piece of paper. If you see flakes, off it goes into the trash-can (unless you don't mind paying for costly capsule restoration to extract the gooey mess from the diaphragm!)
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Klaus Heyne
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Mark Lemaire

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 08:10:29 pm »

A good reminder, Klaus. These are pretty new puff-balls. Wind-Tech, I think. And not expensive- maybe five bucks each. The Neumann version (which looks identical) is something like 35.00. But I hear they count all the little holes and make sure they total to a prime number. Or something.

So I guess I'm slumming it.
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Karl Winkler

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 03:42:14 pm »

When one unscrews the windscreen from a Neumann KMS-105, the capsule hidden within looks suspiciously similar to a KM184.  Does anybody know for certain if that is the jump off point for the 105 capsule?

Yes - very close. The KM185 capsule was the jumping-off point for what is used in the KMS105. The hypercardioid patter of the 185 becomes more like a supercardioid due to the effects of the basket.

I've never used a KM84 as a close vocal mic, but I have used it as an area mic for choir and it sounds absolutely terrific in this application.

I have used a KM140 for close-miking in a studio environment, for a particular singer. After trying several other mics with her, including some of the well-loved classics for this application (and not getting the results we wanted) we got out the KM140 and *Ding* it was the perfect mic for her voice on that song. Used a pop screen rather than a foam windscreen on that one.
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BobSchwenkler

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 03:47:45 am »

I've many times used the KM84 or KM86 on close mic'd recorded vocals and they sound great, so why the heck not in a live setting also?

Karl Winkler

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 09:36:46 am »

I've many times used the KM84 or KM86 on close mic'd recorded vocals and they sound great, so why the heck not in a live setting also?

The only challenges would be popping/wind/handling noise (it is a "studio mic" after all), and gain before feedback.
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In theory, theory and practice should be the same. In practice, they are not.

Mark Lemaire

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Re: KM84 as live vocal mic?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2011, 02:36:26 am »

No problems with gain before feedback on the shows I've been playing, though I'm sure that a hypercard would do even better in that regard.

BTW- last night, I was sharing the stage with a friend who had had his 105 stolen, and I suggested he try his KM184 for vocals. It worked well- after he rolled off the bass and popped on a puffball.
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