Shure KSM42 by Richard Kasika
I was curious about the ksm42 mic in part because hardly anyone ever talks about it. In a world where hype and sheer mass (imports?) sways opinion, it's refreshing to find these little gems that just hide in plain sight, almost overlooked. And that is saying a lot, kinda classy, exclusive.
And I may be wrong about the popularity of the Ksm42, but still i've always wondered why Lynn Fustons huuge Sweetwater vocal mic shootout (and others), didn't include the KSM42. Such exclusion inspite of it being a VOCAL mic makes one curious.
So the spec sheet shows it has a fixed low frequency rolloff and I can't help thinking that this one feature precludes it from comparisons with other 'flat' mics - not that it isn't flat everywhere else, but this fixed rolloff is new, to me at least. And it's fine, conventional wisdom says buy a mic that can cover multiple bases. And whether this one can or can't is subject to the findings of whomever will be brave enough to put this on a kick drum or acoustic guitar or like it's siblings, on overheads. But if all you need is a vocal mic, this is probably better than many nice mics that people default to.
I couldn't test this before I bought it, but I pulled the trigger anyway coz it just oozes sophistication in its description, and I'll tell you; I'm glad I did. I'll skip the colorful language and tell you simply that this is a very very very good microphone. I'm coming from a background using 414's and the usual crop of imports (even the good ones), and still the Ksm42 is a very very good mic regardless. I haven't made any direct comparisons myself, and maybe I will, but judging from my own expectations, what I'm used to, and what everyone else is paying for that very special sound, I'd say the Ksm42 is a wonder - never mind price. I'm sure there are much better mics no doubt, but this is about the Ksm42.
Now that I've been recording through the 42 for a bit I can say that it's strength is that it doesn't call attention to itself. You don't feel like the lows are missing in a vocal because of that rolloff, and nothing sticks out in an awkward way, and the highs are sweet and subtle, it's not a harsh mic at all, nor a thin mic. I personally apply a 1.3:1 ratio on the front end and this mic is all I need for all the vocalists I've recorded with it lately (not that many honestly), but my point is it's not picky, it tends to just work well regardless who you put infront of it. I'm quite happy this being a well kept secret, but I can't help think back to when all I had was cheap get-by mics, and inspite of how much info is out there nowadays, I'd never have known such a discreet mic would be the one I fell in love with. And even though some day i'll want something nicer maybe to add to the locker; for the value here, I doubt that'll be anytime soon.
Finally, the ccessories are really quite nice and thoughtful, and everything is very well made.