They say first impressions count. I'm still trying to find out who "they"are. My first impression of this mic was, "Oooo! it's purty". You've got to hand it to the folks at Shure, they really know how to package a microphone to make it look sexy. Even when presenting these mics to the lay person, the response is the same,
The KSM32 comes in two flavors. The full studio version, Model KSM32/SL, features a champagne-colored finish and comes standard with a ShureLockTM elastic-suspension shock mount, a locking aluminum carrying case, ShureLock swivel mount, and a protective velveteen pouch. KSM32/CG is the same mic but with a non-reflective charcoal grey finish, ShureLock swivel mount and a padded, zippered carrying bag.
The KSM32 is a cardioid condenser mic with transformerless preamp circuitry. It has a 20" gold-layered, MylarŪ diaphragm which is pruposrted to handle spl's up to 133db which a frequncy range of 20-20kHz.
The elastic-suspension shock mount is fantastic. The mic slides easily into it's holster. Five turns later you are set to go. What's really neat about the shock mount is that you can't strip the threads by turning too much. Once it's seated the base moves with the mic making positioning a breeze.
The first thing I like to do to a mic I'm testing is to blow into it. The KSM32 handles breath flushes just like you'd expect a pro mic to handle them. The added bonus is that the body also takes well to handling. This is a very well built mic and it only weighs a little bit over a pound.
The pickup patter is a true cardioid in that it pick up great in front. As you move to the side, the signal becomes duller. The back of the mic also picks up well but it sounds as if you rolled the treble off on your home stereo. I would have prefered a bit brighter, albiet lower volume pickup from the back of the mic but this dull sound is crazy enough to work.
The booklet mentions several different applications of thsi mic, mainly voice, acoustic instruments adn ambient mic techiniques like overheads for drum kit. It w\also mentions low frequency instruments like Bass or Kick Drum. "What's that? A mic that sounds good on a kick and on a voice? Prove it." I was a little worried abiout putting a mic of this calibre in a kick drum so I yelled, "Don't look Ethyl!" It was too late, she'd already got a free shot. Luckily, this mic comes with a -15db pad switch right on the back of the mic. I compared to to the D112 and although I think I'll stick with teh D112 for kick, the KSM32 kicked ass in the low end department. Teh kick was round, fat adn moved considerable air on the sub woofer. Onl;y time will tell if the diaphragm will hold up to repeated punishment.
One experiment I tried to test the focus of the mic in an ambient setting was to place it at the end of 100ft hallway that connects my studio to the outside world. I played a tape deck which was making all manner of feedback madness while the Climax Golden Twins went plink a plink on the roachaphone and ukelele. With all the racket that tape deck was making, the plink a plinks could still be discerned. And if that were
Teh first thing I tried it on was vocals. My first impression was,"This thing sound pretty good but it doesn't sound twice a good". I was comparing it to a mic that was half the price. Then I tried it on several other istruments and found the key factor for this mic. The KSM32 sounds warm, smooth and full of life. Maybe you would prefer to have a bit more of an edge on your guitar tracks or percussion track, but if you want a fairly accurate picture of your source with the rough edges taken off, this be the place!
The Shure website (www.shure.com) yeilded a set of quotes from notables in our field.
The KSM32 incorporates a 15 dB attenuation switch for managing extremely high SPLs. Performance is further enhanced by its extremely low self noise (less than 13 dB typical, A-weighted), resulting in the increased dynamic range required for demanding recording applications. Given the KSM32's high output capability, noise potentials are reduced even further by eliminating the need for large amounts of microphone preamp gain.
As a safeguard against unwanted noise, the KSM32 is additionally equipped with an internal shock mount, integral three-stage pop filter, and a switchable low frequency filter which can be adjusted to reduce mechanical vibration and HVAC noise, or to counteract proximity effect.
With an open, natural, extended frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the KSM32 is ideally suited for use with vocals, acoustic and wind instruments, ensembles, and the overhead miking of drums and percussion.