Five Common Microphone Mistakes

Over the years, we have encountered numerous mistakes people make when using microphones. We made a top 5 of the most common mistakes. Have fun reading this and don’t forget to add an example of your own in the comment box below!

1: Hanging microphones over the guitar amp

You see this technique used regularly as a substitute for missing mic stands. The problem is, when using a directional microphone, such as a cardioid, the frequency response of the microphone changes as you move around to the side and back. The severity of this effect can vary from manufacturer, but essentially, your microphone will sound better from the front than the side. Pay attention to the polar pattern of your mic – and use it to your advantage. Shure were in-fact the first microphone company to develop a truly unidirectional microphone in 1939, and the Shure Unidyne capsule (as used in the SM58) remains cutting edge to this day.

cuppingmic

 

2: Cupping the mic head

You might think you’re dope, or whatever the newest word for cool is. But, to your sound engineer – you’re their worst nightmare! Blocking the back of the microphone covers ports, which are vital to the microphone polar pattern and frequency response. Sounding the part, is surely more important than looking the part!

3: Using the Most Expensive Mic by Default

Everyone’s been there. You purchase a brand new posh microphone and use it on absolutely everything. But the truth is, there isn’t really a true correlation between microphone price and the end result. Of course you get what you pay for to some degree, however, although your expensive condenser microphone might sound great on one voice – you might find that with other voices sound better with a dynamic mic. As an example – every John Lennon vocal was actually recorded using the SM57.

4: Too Many Mics

It’s a common mistake to use lots of microphones, with the assumption that more microphones will produce a fuller sound. Unfortunately, due to phase cancellation, the opposite is often the case. Phase coherence must be taken into account when using multiple microphones or your end result will sound thin due to cancelled out frequencies.

lazymicplacement

5: Lazy Mic Positioning

Paying little or no attention to mic positioning, or taking the attitude of “We’ll just fix it in the mix” is a recurring issue. Modern recording software has made it very easy to hide poor recordings or make the best of a bad situation. My advice – save yourself a headache, get it right from the start! The result is always better and you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

Do you know any examples which you like to add to this list? Post it in the comment box below!

Expert advice

Dont want to make the same (or similar) mistakes?
Shure knows how: For almost every application there are specially designed Shure microphones and wireless solutions. This guide provides you with a basic overview on how microphones, wireless systems and in-ear-monitoring systems work, what you need to consider to select the best product for your requirements, and how to set them up and use them.

First look at the DC 5900 F Flush-mounted Discussion Unit

We at Shure are proud to introduce a new solution for installed conferencing applications. The DDS 5900 F Flush-Mounted Discussion Unit is an attractive alternative for those meeting rooms where there is a need for a permanent discussion system and the aesthetic is a priority. Working with our DDS 5900 series, it easily installs in a tabletop with all the cables conveniently hidden below.

DIS5900F

Take a “first look” at the DDS5900 F with Chris Lyons:

The DDS5900 F uses an innovative modular design that provides numerous configuration options. The complete unit consists of a base unit, front plate, button overlay, gooseneck microphone and an optional external loudspeaker. By selecting different combinations of components, the system can be configured with the controls, loudspeaker placement and alternate language selection capabilities that the installation requires.

For more information about the DIS 5900 Digital Discussion System, visit our website: for Dutch: shure.nl | For French: shure.be

Read more about conferencing systems in our previous post: Conferencing Solutions: When to Choose a Digital Discussion System.

QLX-D Digital Wireless video overview

QLX-D Digital Wireless SystemsShure recently launched the new QLX-D Digital Wireless Systems.
This system is packed with technology and delivers incredible wireless audio performance, allowing users to operate more channels on-air than any other wireless system in its class.

To give you an overview we’ve rounded up the videos of the key features.

QLX-D transmits accurate audio with extended flat frequency response

The antennas of the bodypack are detachable and easy to replace

Secure transmission due to the AES-256 Encryption Standard

19 inch rack mounting available with mounting kit included 

Remote monitoring and control of the system

The Bodypack Transmitter

The Handheld

Digital Wireless Receiver, featuring 24-bit digital audio quality and incredibly efficient RF spectrum usage

Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries reduces costs and extends battery lifetime

Transparent audio that captures every detail of the performance

More channels on air (up to 22) and solid coverage over the full 100m operating range

Automatically optimise the dynamic range for any level of input source

Wide selection of Mics

For more information visit our website:
In Dutch  | In French 

Shure SE846 Review Summary

The Shure SE846 is the flagship model in the Sound Isolating Earphones category and also the most expensive one.
The big question is, are they worth the investment?

SE846 Sound Isolating Earphones

In the end it comes down to your own preferences and the following factors:

  • What is the quality of your existing sound source and gear?
  • How much do you prioritize audiophile sound quality.

If you currently own a top quality portable audio player, or are the owner of high end hi-fi equipment, the SE846 will ensure you get the most from your sound source.

To help you distinguish the difference between the SE846 and other high-end earphones, we’ve rounded up a few recent reviews below..
(To find out the main differences between the SE535 and the SE846, read our previous blog post “What’s the difference between the SE535 & SE846”)

What Hi-Fi Review

Rating: 5/5

“You’d have to spend thousands of pounds on speakers before you find as much detail.”

“It’s fair to say they’re the most capable in-ears we’ve heard.”

Read the full review

Wired.co.uk

Rating: 9/10

“stunning examples of what can be done with audio engineering in 2014″

Read the full review

TrustedReviews.com

“Bass rarely gets better than this. If you have the cash to spend and want audiophile earphones that can pump out the low end, you need to hear the Shure SE846.”

Read the full review

Mashable

“This is why the price is so high — the miniaturization of tech at this level wasn’t even available in 2012.”

Read the full review

Unbox Therapy

“The Best earphones I have ever heard”

For more information about the SE846 visit our website: in Dutch | in French

Multi-Pattern Microphones: What, Where and How?

Is it really a cardioid world? While the cardioid polar pattern is undoubtedly the most often used in live sound applications (after all, the Shure SM57 and SM58® microphones are both cardioid types), there’s a case to be made for models that, with the flip of a switch (or the changing of a head) offer directionality options.

Being able to custom-tailor what the mic picks up and rejects by understanding the pattern’s coverage angle can help you reduce feedback, isolate sound sources from one another, control proximity effect, and create a sonic image in both live and recording applications. Plus, if you have a limited selection of mics in your locker, a multi-pattern mic is really two mics in one.

Before we get into some specific benefits for the stage and studio, let’s review the basic polar (or pickup) patterns.  There are three basic types: omnidirectional, unidirectional and bidirectional (also called figure-of-eight).

Polar Pattern Refresher

Often misunderstood, a mic’s polar pattern defines how it responds to sounds coming from different directions. The polar pattern tells you how the mic should be placed to maximize pickup of the desired sound source while minimizing feedback or pickup of unintended sound sources.

Omnidirectional polar pattern

Omnidirectional Polar Pattern

An omnidirectional (or ‘omni’) microphone picks up equally from all directions since it has the same 360-degree output regardless of its orientation to the sound source. Its polar pattern is a sphere, and on paper, it looks like a nearly perfect circle. An omnidirectional mic can pick up a group of people sitting around a table, but it can’t be aimed to favor one source over another. That means it is also prone to feedback.

Unidirectional Polar Patterns

A unidirectional mic is most sensitive from sound coming from one direction (with one notable exception: the bidirectional mic, but more about that to come). A ‘uni’ mic picks up less ambient noise than an omni type and is less susceptible to feedback when used with a sound system. There are several different types:

Cardioid polar pattern

Cardioid Polar Pattern

The most common unidirectional pattern is the cardioid. It gets its name from its resemblance to a heart. It is most sensitive to sounds coming from in front of the mic and least sensitive directly behind the mic. A cardioid mic has a useful pickup angle of 131 degrees, so it can accommodate one or two singers and is forgiving enough to still pick up a vocalist with a wandering mic technique. The cardioid pattern offers very good feedback rejection.

Subcardioid polar pattern

Subcardioid Polar Pattern

Subcardioids, sometimes called “wide cardioids,” are only slightly more directional than omnidirectional mics and slightly less directional than cardioids. They are most easily distinguished by their rear sensitivity, which is 3-10 dB lower compared to their front sensitivity. The subcardioid pattern allows wide, even, natural pickup and can capture a group of instruments or vocalists with very little proximity effect. They are, however, prone to feedback.

Supercardioid

Supercardioid Polar Pattern

A supercardioid mic has a tighter pickup angle than a cardioid, but unlike the cardioid, it offers more side rejection. It is, however, slightly sensitive to sound sources that are directly behind the mic.  A supercardioid provides better isolation from room noise and nearby instruments and can be more resistant to feedback than a cardioid mic, but it requires the user to maintain a more consistent position directly in front of the mic.

Hypercardioid

Hypercardioid Polar Pattern

Hypercardioids feature some of the characteristics of a bidirectional microphone (described below) in that they have more sensitivity to the rear; however, they reject sound well from the sides and are exceptionally good at rejecting feedback. Because they are so directional, they require very precise placement to the source. Like a supercardioid pattern, the hypercardioid provides extreme rejection of ambient sound sources.

Bidirectional or Figure-of-Eight polar pattern

Bidirectional Polar Pattern

A bidirectional mic, sometimes called a figure-of-eight, is equally sensitive to sounds coming from the front and rear of the mic and least sensitive to sounds coming from the sides. Bidirectional mics have a very narrow pickup angle, which makes them useful for isolating one voice, or instruments that are surrounded by other sound sources, as long as there is nothing directly behind the mic. They are useful for picking up two sources that are positioned side by side. The deep null rejects everything else.

Comparison of Polar Patterns

  Omni-
Directional
Sub-
Cardioid
Cardioid Super-
Cardioid
Hyper-
Cardioid
Bidirectional
Polar
Response
Pattern
Coverage
Angle
360° 150° 131° 115° 105° 90°
Angle of
Maximum
Rejection
(null angle)
180° 180° 126° 110° 90°
 

 

Specific Mics, Switchable Patterns and Typical Applications

Shure has four switchable pattern mics and they’re all condenser microphones.  Here’s how to use them.

Pattern KSM44A KSM141 BETA 181 KSM9/KSM9HS
Omnidirectional  
Subcardioid      
Cardioid
Supercardioid    
Hypercardioid      
Bidirectional    
How It Changes Dual-diaphragm design changes cartridge properties electrically via on-board switch. Mechanical rotating collar blocks side entry ports and acoustically changes pattern. 4 Different Interchangeable heads offered. Simply unscrew collar and remove head from body to switch out pattern. 2 Versions are offered covering 4 different polar patterns. Switch under grille electrically changes pattern using a dual-diaphragm design.

The Shure Multi-Pattern Line-up

Now, let’s look at them one by one.

Shure KSM44A Microphone

KSM44A

Large, 1″ dual-diaphragm side-address condenser, with switchable patterns.

Live Sound

  • Cardioid on drum overheads or guitar amps
  • Bidirectional between congas or toms
  • Omni for ambient mics for IEM mixes

Recording

  • Excellent stereo room mic pair in Mid/Side (cardioid/bidirectional setting)
  • Great spaced omni for piano
  • Bidirectional for two background singers on one mic, or omni in an isolation booth to eliminate proximity effect and reduce plosives

Information

For more information about the KSM44a visit our website: in Dutch | in French

Shure KSM141 Microphone

KSM141

Small pencil condenser with rotating collar that switches pattern.

Live Sound

  • Cardioid on hi hat, snare, percussion, or stringed instruments
  • Omni for an ambient mic in IEM mixes

Recording

  • An excellent orchestral/symphony live recording stereo pair or spot mic (cardioid in XY with A27M stereo mic adapter)
  • Great spaced omni pair for piano or room mics
  • Two set to cardioid for drumset in Recorderman technique

Information

For more information about the the KSM141 visit our website: in Dutch | in French

Shure Beta181 Microphone

BETA® 181

Ultra-compact side-address small-diaphragm condenser mic with interchangeable pattern heads.

Live Sound

  • Use them everywhere! Cardioid for drum overheads, bidirectional between toms and congas, supercardioid hanging on a guitar amp
  • A pair of cardioids can normally fit under the lid of a piano (using an A75M Universal Mic Mount) allowing you to close the lid and reduce bleed

Recording

  • With all available heads, a stereo pair can perform any stereo technique (XY, Mid Side, Blumlein, Spaced Omni, Recorderman, ORTF)
  • Brilliant on acoustic guitar and drum toms
  • Excellent piano mic

Information

For more information about the the BETA181 visit our website: in Dutch | in French

Shure KSM9 Microphone

KSM9 & KSM9HS

Dual-diaphragm handheld condenser mics with a variety of polar pattern options to further reduce feedback and handle a variety of challenging mic techniques.

Live Sound

  • A good choice for switching between IEM singers and floor monitor singers
  • Cardioid for IEMs allows a little ambience and supercardioid offers better gain before feedback in a floor monitor
  • Hypercardioid setting offers great rejection for unconventional stage and PA placements (e.g. PA behind the stage)
  • Subcardioid setting is perfect for Q&A mics, broadcast interviews, or TV show host mics
  • Offers a forgiving wide pattern

Recording

  • Hypercardioid offers exceptional rejection and large-diaphragm condenser-like sound quality, allowing a scratch track to be used in the final mix
  • Cardioid is also a great snare and bass amp mic
  • Good for an artist who is comfortable holding a mic while tracking
  • Handling noise and plosives are not issues and vocals sound like they were recorded using a stand-mounted, high-end large-diaphragm condenser mic

Information

For more information about the the KSM9 visit our website: in Dutch | in French

 

Understanding Mic Specs

Multi-pattern mics offer exceedingly specific sound isolation that will allow you to tailor the mic to the sound source or even the vocal style of the singer.  They can be used to reduce feedback, control bleed in live recordings, and create sonic images using the full spectrum of stereo-miking techniques. According to pro audio expert Hugh Robjohns, “The one big advantage of a multi-pattern mic is that it affords the opportunity to experiment easily, so make use of that opportunity whenever you can. You’ll be surprised at how often cardioid really isn’t the best choice!”

Check out this Shure educational video for a discussion on polar patterns:

Top 8 Microphone Myths Exposed

There are microphone myths just like there are urban myths. And their longevity rivals Bigfoot, Nessie and that mysterious Roswell incident in 1947.

Right here, right now, we’re setting the record straight on mic folklore that we’ve continued to debunk over the years. Check each one of these off your list, and when the subject comes up (yes, it will come up), you’ll be the expert.

Mic Myths

1. There are wireless microphone frequencies that are completely free from interference.

False.  This is a myth that is being propagated by some pro audio manufacturers. The fact is there are no frequencies that are completely free from interference because there are no frequencies that are reserved only for wireless microphones. Even if there were, you could still have interference from other wireless microphones occupying that frequency band.

There are no “safe frequencies”.  All of the radio spectrum is allocated for different uses by different types of equipment. Every wireless microphone operates in a frequency range that contains other devices.  There is no exclusivity in the radio spectrum for wireless microphones.

Our advice: use wireless equipment that is as broadly tunable as possible.

2. Condenser mics are not as rugged as dynamics.

False.  In the days when this myth came into existence, condenser microphones were very expensive, studio-grade models.  The microphone they were compared to might have been a dynamic like the SM58®. If the ultra-expensive, circa 1930s vacuum tube microphone were dunked into a glass of beer or dropped on the stage ten times, or even one time, it probably would stop working. It will become a paperweight while the SM58 will survive all that.

Today, all of our condenser microphones are engineered to hold up to exactly the same abuse as an SM58. They go through the same exact environmental testing. Drop testing. Temperature testing. Humidity testing. Salt spray testing.  Vibration testing. Electromagnetic testing. They have to pass the same battery of tests, and they do.

The SM81 was introduced around 1978 as a studio condenser microphone. But because it is made from a machined steel handle and has the same sort of milspec environmental capability as the rest of our microphones, it was quickly embraced by the touring sound industry. There are SM81s out there on tour today that are probably fifteen or twenty years old. You can drive over them with a truck. Drop them on the floor. Hit them with a drumstick. And the same is true of all our condenser vocal mics.

So, in the modern era, the fragility of Shure condenser microphones is just a myth.

Shure ULX-D Wireless Mic with Beta 58 Cartridge

3. A louder microphone is better.

False.  Some microphones are more sensitive than others, but microphone sensitivity is not inherently related to quality. In musical applications, when a mic is placed very close to the sound source, the sensitivity of a microphone is not important. There’s more than enough signal even from a less-sensitive microphone to provide a PA system with an adequate signal.

If the microphone is overly sensitive, it just means you have to dial in more attenuation on the mixer channel so you don’t overload the mixer. If you’ve got a mic on a snare drum that’s 10 dB more sensitive than another mic on the snare, you’ll have to turn down the one that’s more sensitive.

Extra sensitivity is not related to the sound quality.  In the days when neodymium magnet microphones were introduced, it was a common demonstration technique to line up several microphones, connect them to a mixer and set each channel level the same. Each microphone was tested, and when it came to the neodymium magnet microphone, it was noticeably louder than the alnico magnet types.

Psycho-acoustically, listeners tend to equate louder with better, and that’s been a common sales technique used in selling stereo speakers. If one pair in a store demo is turned up a little louder than the others, customers tend to think they sound better. Or are better. It’s the same with microphones. It’s a loudness difference, not a quality difference.

4. USB mics have inferior sound quality vs. their analog (XLR) counterparts.

Not always true.  Many USB mics feature the exact same condenser mic element as the XLR version used in studio recording. USB models provide the same high quality sound signature; the primary difference in the models is the interface to the next device. The analog-to-digital converters in the USB mic also affect the quality of the recording.

5. USB mics create latency problems when recording, especially when multi-tracking.

Not always true.  Some USB mics, like the Shure PG42-USB and PG27-USB, have built-in headphone amps and provide direct monitoring of the input signal before the analog-to-digital conversion. This also provides an alternative to using your computer speakers for monitoring playback during multi-tracking.

 

Shure Wireless Microphone Reach

6. Some microphones have more reach than others.

False.  Reach is not a specification of a microphone. Mic users have a concept of reach as the ability of a microphone to reach out and grab the desired sound in the midst of some ambient undesired noise conditions. They believe that some microphones can pick up from farther away than other microphones.

The reality is that microphones do not reach out and grab the sound from a distance. They merely measure pressure variations right at the diaphragm itself. The microphone doesn’t “know” anything about what is happening at any distance from itself.  For this reason, if you try to characterize a microphone’s “reach”, it’s almost completely dependent on the ambient acoustic conditions around the microphone.

Here’s an example: Take a microphone to the Superbowl on a Tuesday morning at 2AM in the middle of July. There’s nobody there. They’ve turned off the air conditioning, and it’s a huge quiet box. You put your microphone at one side of the stadium and drop a nail on the concrete on the other side of the stadium. Yes, the microphone will pick up the sound of that nail a couple hundred yards away because there’s no ambient noise. Go back on Superbowl Sunday in the middle of the fourth quarter when the opposing quarterback is lining up to call the play. Put your microphone down on one side of the stadium, clear out the beer vendors and drop the same ten-penny nail on the concrete. Can you hear the nail? What changed? Same mic, same nail, same concrete, same building. But the ambient noise level is now 100 decibels higher.

The reach of the microphone, if you can even call it that, is mostly dependent on the ability of the microphone to pick up sound in the middle of all that noise. No microphone has a “reach” that is defined independently of ambient noise.

The one specification of a microphone that loosely corresponds to the concept of reach is directionality or the microphone’s polar pattern. The directional characteristic of a microphone describes how much sound it picks up from ambient sources compared to how much it picks up on-axis.

The numbers are there, but they’re not huge. The difference between how much ambient noise an omnidirectional and a hypercardioid microphone will pick up in the same conditions is only about 6 dB.  (The hypercardioid mic picks up 6 dB less ambient noise than an omni.) Because of the Inverse Square Law of Sound, if the distance between the sound source and the microphone is doubled, the level of the sound source drops by six decibels at this greater distance. The ambient noise stays the same.

If an omnidirectional microphone picks up a certain ratio of ambient noise to on-axis sound at one foot away from a sound source, then a hypercardioid microphone can be used at two feet from the sound source and still pick up that same ratio.  This is not because the hypercardioid is more sensitive to the on-axis sound but because it is 6dB less sensitive to the ambient noise.

In that sense, the hypercardioid has more “reach”.  But neither one will work at great distances in the presence of any significant background noise. They only measure the sound that travels to the diaphragm.

7. Phantom power and bias voltage are the same thing.

False.  Many users of professional audio equipment believe there is no difference between phantom power and bias voltage. Not true! Phantom and bias are not interchangeable.

Phantom power is a dc voltage (11 – 48 volts) that powers the preamplifier of a condenser microphone. Phantom power is normally supplied by the microphone mixer, but may also be supplied by a separate phantom power supply. Phantom requires a balanced circuit in which XLR pins 2 and 3 carry the same dc voltage relative to pin 1. So if a mixer supplies 48 volts of phantom, XLR pins 2 and 3 of the microphone cable each carry 48 volts dc relative to pin 1. Of course, the mic cable carries the audio signal as well as the phantom voltage.

Mixers that supply phantom power contain current-limiting resistors that act as control valves. If the microphone or cable is improperly wired, these resistors limit the flow of current to the microphone and thereby prevent damage to the phantom supply circuit. A balanced dynamic microphone is not affected by phantom power; however, an unbalanced dynamic microphone will be affected. Although the microphone will probably not be damaged, it will not work properly.

Unlike phantom power, bias does not require a balanced circuit. Bias supplies power to a Junction Field Effect Transistor (JFET) connected to the output of an electret condenser mic element. The JFET acts as an impedance converter that is a necessity in any microphone design that uses a condenser element. A condenser element has a high output impedance (>1,000,000 ohms). The JFET input loads the output of the condenser element with an even higher impedance (>10,000,000 ohms) to minimize loss of signal level. Also, the JFET output provides a low source impedance (1,000 ohms) to feed the microphone preamplifier.

In some condenser microphones, the bias voltage must be supplied on the same conductor as the audio. Condenser elements with a built in JFET use this configuration and employ a single conductor, shielded cable. Other condenser microphones utilize separate conductors for bias and for audio. It’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s data sheet to determine the exact wiring configuration.

A dynamic microphone should not be connected to an input that supplies bias voltage (such as a wireless transmitter) because the audio and the bias voltage will travel down the same conductor. If this occurs, the frequency response of the microphone may be altered or the audio signal distorted. If a dynamic microphone must be connected to an input with bias voltage, a blocking capacitor must be used.

In a typical electret condenser microphone, it is the JFET that requires unbalanced bias and the preamplifier that requires balanced phantom power. This means that a condenser microphone requiring phantom power will not work with an input that only supplies bias, e.g. a wireless transmitter.

Phantom power and bias voltage are not interchangeable!

Shure KSM 313 Ribbon Mic

8. Ribbon mics are too fragile to handle high sound pressure levels and live performance.

False.  This is not the case with many current models on the market. Improvements in design and materials over the years now allow ribbon mics to handle high sound pressure levels.  The Shure KSM353 and KSM313, for example, are distinguished by their use of a patented material, Roswellite®, for the ribbon. Roswellite is extremely strong, with low mass, high conductivity, and shape memory, enabling the mics to handle significantly higher levels and more challenging conditions in terms of wind blast and plosives, while retaining the characteristic warmth associated with ribbon microphones.

Many ribbon microphones are now intended for capturing vocal and instrumental performances on stage and in the studio to meet the market demand that they be used in a broader range of applications. Shure uses high-quality materials (carbon steel, stainless steel, sterling silver, nickel and gold plating) and robust internal architectures, all hand-assembled, to ensure that the products will stand up to the abuses encountered during road use.

What are your favorite microphone myths?  Share them below!

The SM63: A Go-To Mic for Outdoor Applications

Shure SM63

From the researcher who wants to record the sound of singing birds in the extreme humidity of the Amazon Rainforest, to the minister who wants the outside bell to be heard at the end of a service, there are plenty of applications that require a microphone to be mounted outdoors—even in inclement weather conditions and extreme temperatures. While all Shure products are manufactured to be durable and long-lasting, we’re often asked which microphone is best suited for outdoor sound capture.

Our answer? Your go-to mic for “environmental” sound applications should be the Shure SM63. A compact and lightweight yet durable handheld microphone, the SM63 offers both a professional sound and an elegant appearance. Wondering what makes it an ideal choice for outdoor use? Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Reason #1: It is a dynamic mic—the dynamic element of the SM63 means it can tolerate extreme temperatures or humidity. It also means phantom power is not required for operation
  • Reason #2: It has an omnidirectional polar pattern and design—the omnidirectional pattern of the SM63 means the mic can respond to sound coming from any direction. The omnidirectional design also substantially reduces the level of wind noise
  • Reason #3: It has an internal shock mount and an internal hum-bucking coil—when mounted outdoors, a mic typically has to endure structural vibration. Fortunately, the SM63’s internal shock mount provides isolation to reduce unwanted noise pick-up. The hum-bucking coil is able to reduce hum interference that often results from overhead power lines

Although it’s extremely rugged, the SM63 must still be sheltered from rain, sleet, snow, and other precipitation when outdoors. In short, it can be damp but it does not like being wet. For added durability, we recommend you cover the small air gap between the female connector and male connector at the XLR connection point with heat-shrink tubing. The supplied foam windscreen should also be installed.

If the mic location has extreme winds, use the A81WS windscreen.  It can be fastened to the SM63 by using self-adhering VELCRO® (the hook portion) on the upper part of the mic. The hooks of the VELCRO will grab the open cells of the A81WS foam. By using the A53M shock mount you’ll also supply additional isolation from structural vibration, if required.

Whether you’re trekking into the depths of the jungle to research the sounds of wildlife, or just sitting inside an insulated beach home wanting to hear the sound of waves crashing, the SM63 will serve you well.

The SM63 is available at Authorised Shure Dealers, find out where (and for more information) on our website: shure.nl / shure.be.