afterglow479 09/28/2008

Neumann KM 184 : afterglow479's user review


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This is a small diaphragm condenser mic, often called a pencil mic. They are condensers so they require +48V phantom power in order to work. You connect them with a standard XLR mic cable. These have a set pickup pattern, which is cardioid. The KM line does come in other pickup patterns, so beware in case you are under the impression that these have switchable patterns, like I was for a while. These are pricey and very high quality, so if you take them out of the studio you will want to be very careful. I was once in a session where one hit the floor, and it was done for - so you can be sure that they are pretty fragile.


I have been using these for many years, they are somewhat of a staple in many studios. These are some of the best you can get for small diaphragm condensers. The sound you get from these is totally crystal clear, and putting up two of these and recording in stereo will get you a truly realistic stereo image. For that reason, they are also sold in stereo pairs. Since they are small diaphragm, these are great with high frequencies and transients. Because of that they are very well suited to use as drum overheads, and stereo mics for a piano. I especially recommend using these on piano - they can really help highlight those harmonics and overtones that can unfortunately can get lost with a lower quality mic. These will also usually come with a detachable wind screen, mic clips, and a nice wooden box from Neumann. These mics are also my secret weapon for recording acoustic guitar. Put one of these on the neck of the guitar, and a large diaphragm condenser on the body and you're in heaven! These are expensive but definitely worth it if you want the best. I would get them again in a heartbeat.