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Review: KAM Instruments Atmosphere Microphone

Studio Sound: Live, On A Budget

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


KAM Atmosphere

KAM Atmosphere Microphone

Courtesy Kam Instruments
Ever since trying out my first KAM Audio product, the C3, I've been hooked on KAM's quality products that come without a heavy pricetag. At summer NAMM 2011, KAM Instruments released some more awesome products, including the Fidelio monitors, reviewed here previously. Now, we're reviewing the KAM Atmosphere -- a small-diaphragm condenser microphone perfectly suited for both stage and studio, offering excellent performance for vocalists and instrumentalists everywhere.

Digging In to Atmosphere

The KAM Instruments Atmosphere is an awesome small-diaphragm condenser microphone that can easily compete on much bigger fields than it's pricetag suggests. I'm usually very wary of condenser microphones for the stage, but the KAM Atmosphere quickly changed my opinion.

The KAM Atmosphere is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone sharing an exterior with the KAM RT1, a dynamic vocal microphone previously reviewed here. The interior circuitry is comprised of an advantage 4-transistor FET preamp section.

Understanding microphones is easier if you understand polar patterns; need a reminder? Check out the FAQ here.

While the Atmosphere is built like a tank, the true test of this stellar microphone is sound quality. Used on instruments, the KAM Atmosphere has an absolutely silky smooth sound signature. I've tried the KAM Atmosphere on high-hat, overheads, guitar cabs, and on percussion, and I've been very surprised every time. Cymbals come through with a brilliant presence; percussion cuts and displays both body and attack; on guitars, it sounds best with warmer blues-style amps, but when matched with the right amp, the sound is phenomenal.

Performance on instruments aside, the KAM Atmosphere shines on vocals, especially female. The mids are present but not over-pronounced, low end tight yet airy and natural, and the highs present but not brittle. On male vocals, the Atmosphere worked incredibly, although I tended to prefer it better for female vocalists.

The KAM Atmosphere is available now, and can be ordered directly from KAM Instruments' Website, or ordered from their eBay store. It's retail price is $159.

Specs & More Info...

Want more information on how to properly use microphones? Check out our Microphones 101 section.

Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20kHz

Sensitivity: -37 dBv

Max SPL: 134 dB at 0.5% THD

Self noise: < 17dB A weighted

Output Impedance: 250 ohms

Recommended Load Impedance: > 1000 ohms

Power requirements: 48v Phantom power

Included accessories: Soft Pouch, Heavy duty clip

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