The Shure KSM8 Dualdyne microphone is the world’s first dual diaphragm dynamic microphone. This is pretty exciting stuff! Why? Well I should try to start at the beginning…sort of.
Okay, first you would know the difference between a dynamic and a condenser mic. You can review our post – What Is the Difference Between Condenser and Dynamic Microphones? to do that. Basically, if you see someone holding a mic while singing live, that’s a dynamic mic (almost certainly). So the new Dualdyne mic is one of those.
Next, as you may have guessed form the title of the post, dynamic mics have always had only one diaphragm, which is the thing inside the mic that vibrates when you sing into it. Shure has sort of led the way in dynamic mic design, starting way back in 1939 with the Shure 55 “fatboy Elvis mic” (no comment about anyone’s weight or anything:-P). It was the world’s first single-element unidirectional microphone. That mic was designed to reduce feedback on stage and really was the foundation for every dynamic mic that came after. You can get a modern version of that here.
Then in 1964, Shure came out with the SM-57 and the SM-58 mics, which are so ubiquitous (they’re everywhere) that I’d be surprised if YOU didn’t have at least one of them in your house somewhere. the SM-58 was the first ice cream cone-shaped hand-held mic and continues to be the most popular live mic around.
These directional mics had what is called a “cardioid” pickup pattern, which means it is most sensitive in the front (where you would bite the ice cream), and least sensitive (which means it rejects sound – good for avoiding feedback and noise) from the rear – the area at the point of the cone would be. But this creates a well-known phenomenon called “proximity effect,” which means that as your mouth gets closer to the mic, it sounds deeper and muddier.
Shure had been looking for ways to deal with this, among other improvements in the hand-held dynamic mic and came up with the idea to put a second diaphragm inside the mic. In so doing, they ended up having to redesign everything inside the mic to make it happen. And the result is the KSM8 Dualdyne microphone, which, as we’ve mentioned, is the first-ever dual diaphragm dynamic microphone.
I will be acquiring one for review purposes in the coming weeks. Until then, check out the video below from Shure about the new mic. And if you want to learn more or buy one right now, CLICK HERE.