SM81 Condenser Instrument Microphone

 

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The legendary SM81 is an industry-standard, flat-response cardioidPicks up most sound in front of the microphone and some from the sides. It is less susceptible to feedback in high volume environments.Read moreGo to the glossary condenser microphoneCondenser microphones are more sensitive, give a smooth, natural sound and need to be powered.Read moreGo to the glossary, featuring a wide frequency responseThis is the range of frequencies, from the lowest to the highest, that a mic can pick up.Read moreGo to the glossary and low self-noiseElectrical noise in a system that is produced by the electronics in the system itself.Read moreGo to the glossary.

Best suited to:
Hihat, Overhead, Acoustic Guitar, Strings, Brass

Also great for:
Electric Guitar, Additional acoust. instr., Percussion

Condenser
Cardioid
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  • Description
  • Features
  • Specs
  • Downloads
  • Reviews

Description:

What is the SM81 best suited to?

The SM81 is the perfect choice for a professional musician or sound engineer who is looking to mic up acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar, piano and cymbals. It can ideally be used on stage and because of its high quality is also at home in the recording studio. 

What characteristics can I expect when using an SM81?

The SM81 has a flat response curve for accurate reproduction of the sound source and can also be modified via a bass roll off switch. The 0dB/10bB lockable attenuator switch gives you even more flexibility when miking up loud sound sources and it has a cardioidPicks up most sound in front of the microphone and some from the sides. It is less susceptible to feedback in high volume environments.Read moreGo to the glossary polar patternPolar pattern describes how well the microphone hears sound from different directions.Read moreGo to the glossary which isolates the main sound source while minimizing handling noise.

Features:

  • 0 Hz to 20 kHz frequency responseThis is the range of frequencies, from the lowest to the highest, that a mic can pick up.Read moreGo to the glossary
  • Flat response curve for accurate reproduction of sound sources
  • Low noise and high output clipping level
  • Low distortion over a wide range of load impedancesThis describes how resistant an electrical circuit is to the flow of electricity passing through it.Read moreGo to the glossary
  • CardioidPicks up most sound in front of the microphone and some from the sides. It is less susceptible to feedback in high volume environments.Read moreGo to the glossary polar patternPolar pattern describes how well the microphone hears sound from different directions.Read moreGo to the glossary, uniform with frequencyThis is how many times a sound or radio wave oscillates in one second.Read moreGo to the glossary and symmetric about axis, providing maximum rejection and minimum coloration of off-axis sounds
  • Low RF susceptibility
  • Selectable low-frequency response: flat, 6 or 18 dB/octave rolloff
  • 0 dB/10 dB lockable attenuator switch
  • Phantom powering (DIN 45 596 voltages of 12 to 48 Vdc)
  • Rugged steel construction for durability
  • Field-usable over wide range of temperature and humidity conditions

Specs:

  • Transducer TypeA transducer converts sound into an electrical signal. The two most common types are dynamic and condenser. Read moreGo to the glossary : CondenserCondenser microphones are more sensitive, give a smooth, natural sound and need to be powered.Read moreGo to the glossary
  • Polar PatternPolar pattern describes how well the microphone hears sound from different directions.Read moreGo to the glossary: CardioidPicks up most sound in front of the microphone and some from the sides. It is less susceptible to feedback in high volume environments.Read moreGo to the glossary
  • Frequency ResponseThis is the range of frequencies, from the lowest to the highest, that a mic can pick up.Read moreGo to the glossary: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • SensitivityThis is how mich signal a microphone produces for a given amount of sound.Read moreGo to the glossary (1 kHz): -45,0 dBV/Pa / 5,6 mV/Pa
  • Equivalent Selfnoise:

    18 dB(A)

  • Sound Pressure:
    • Pad off: 136 dB
    • Pad on: 146 dB
  • Weight: 230 g
  • Frequency ResponseThis is the range of frequencies, from the lowest to the highest, that a mic can pick up.Read moreGo to the glossary Curve:

Downloads:

User Guides

Reviews:

"Genuinely impressed with the SM81. I've been recommending getting a pair to clients since getting my hands on one. Sonically detailed and flattering for acoustic guitars or as a pair for drum overheads." Paul Stanborough, Producer/Programmer/Engineer (including sessions for artists as Kelis, Kylie Minogue, The Scissor Sisters, and Jamie Cullum)

Artists using the SM81

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A Brooklyn-based, dimple-faced rapper radiating intelligence and wit, Mos Def represented the next step in the evolution of the...
“Shure mics replicate the natural sound of my drum kit as I intend it to be heard, whether live or in the studio, with...
"I will never forget saving up my money from gardening and mowing lawns at age 13 to buy a Shure 57 microphone so the lead...

Technicians on the SM81

Video: Interview with Sound Engineer Mike Frondelli
Interview with Mike Frondelli, recording engineer and producer of artists such as Kiss, Rolling Stones and Billy Idol. Go...

Comparable Microphones

SM137
KSM137
KSM141 Instrument Microphone
KSM141

Optional Accessories

A53M
A81G
A27M

Video: SM Microphones

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Video: SM Microphones