Neumann KM 184
The Neumann KM 184 is a state-of-the-art small diaphragm condenser microphone with a uniform, frequency-independent cardioid polar pattern. Its very natural, transparent sound with very low self-noise and high SPL capability have made the KM 184 a worldwide stage and studio standard for many applications ranging from classical piano to heavy metal drums.
While many microphones, these days, are designed to add some sonic imprint of their own, there are many applications that require a faithful reproduction of the original acoustic event, without adding or removing anything. That’s where the Neumann Series 180 comes in.
The Neumann Series 180 consists of three members with different pickup patterns: KM 183 (Omni), KM 184 (cardioid), and KM 185 (hyper-cardioid), thus covering the majority of stage and studio applications. Because the Series 180 microphones are non-modular, they are more cost-effective than the modular Series KM A and KM D (which offer a wide range of interchangeable capsule heads for analog and digital output stages).
Despite its attractive pricing, the Neumann KM 184 offers state-of-the-art Neumann engineering. It’s cardioid pattern is frequency-independent; rejection of rearward sound (180°) is excellent, even at low frequencies. In practical usage, there is no sound colouration over a wide pickup angle, which is crucial in multi-microphone setups and for precise stereo/surround imaging. The KM 184’s frequency response is very smooth and linear with a slight treble lift around 9 kHz for added brilliance. Its innovative transformerless head amplifier offers a wide dynamic range of 125 dB and is carefully designed to maintain the capsule’s sonic integrity. The KM 184 has a very low self-noise of only 13 dB-A and can handle high sound pressure levels of up to 138 dB free from distortion. Due to its low impedance output stage, the KM 184 can drive long cable runs of up to 300 meters (1000 feet) without transmission losses.
The Neumann KM 184 is a universal microphone for studio and stage applications. Its transparent sound makes the KM 184 a superb microphone for acoustic instruments, such as piano, percussion, drums, acoustic guitar, upright bass, violin, cello, woodwinds, and brass. The KM 184 can be used for soloists as well as ensembles. Thanks to its superior off-axis behavior, the KM 184 is an excellent microphone for stereo and surround recording with perfect imaging. Although the KM 184 is not specially optimized for the human voice, it is often used for classical vocals and whenever sonic authenticity is paramount. Due to its small size, the KM 184 is visually unobtrusive and well suited to TV and radio applications.