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Shure Nexadyne

Dual-capsule Dynamic Microphones By Sam Inglis
Published July 2024

Shure Nexadyne

Shure’s R&D department have delivered another breakthrough with the dual‑capsule Revonic transducer.

Over the years, Shure have produced microphones using all of the mainstream operating principles. Their current range includes the highly regarded KSM353 and 313 ribbon designs, as well as numerous large‑ and small‑diaphragm capacitor models. But if there’s a particular technology with which the Shure name will always be associated, it’s the moving‑coil dynamic mic. Many of the most important developments in dynamic mic design originated with the company, perhaps most notably the Unidyne cartridge — the first moving‑coil capsule to have a native cardioid response. All of the hundreds of millions of directional dynamic mics in daily use today owe their existence to this 1930s breakthrough by Shure designer Ben Bauer.

What’s more, unlike some contemporary manufacturers of dynamic mics, Shure are continuing to innovate. They don’t see the moving‑coil microphone as a mature technology to be endlessly repackaged, but as a field where development is still ongoing, and one where cutting‑edge research into electro‑acoustics and materials science can still yield measureable and audible benefits.

This research bore rich fruit in 2016 with the KSM8, a stage vocal microphone that debuted Shure’s novel Dualdyne capsule. As the name suggests, the Dualdyne capsule extended into the moving‑coil realm a concept that has long been standard in the design of large‑diaphragm capacitor mics: the addition of a second diaphragm at the rear of the capsule to help control directionality and proximity effect. As Hugh Robjohns explained in his review of the KSM8 this was an extremely impressive feat of engineering on Shure’s part, and one that required seven years of research.

All of the hundreds of millions of directional dynamic mics in daily use today owe their existence to this 1930s breakthrough by Shure designer Ben Bauer.

Doubling Up

Eight years on, we are now seeing the next stage in this development. The Nexadyne range employs another breakthrough Shure capsule design, which the company are dubbing Revonic. The rear diaphragm in the Dualdyne capsule is passive, in the sense that it modifies the acoustic properties of the system but does not itself act as a transducer. By contrast, the Nexadyne assembly actually includes two entire capsules: a conventional one at the front of the mic and a second one behind it.

With the standard Braunmühl‑Weber capsule used in most large‑diaphragm capacitor mics, it makes sense to think of the front and rear as being more or less independent cardioid elements, and indeed, variable‑pattern small‑diaphragm mics such as the Neumann KM88 and KM86 actually feature two completely self‑contained cardioid capsules mounted back‑to‑back. The directional qualities of the mic as a whole are modified by combining these in different amounts: for example, summing them equally delivers an omnidirectional response, whilst summing them equally in opposing polarity gives figure‑8 pickup.

The dual forward‑facing capsules are clearly visible in this cutaway view of the cardioid Nexadyne 8/C.The dual forward‑facing capsules are clearly visible in this cutaway view of the cardioid Nexadyne 8/C.

The two capsules in the Dualdyne assembly are summed in opposite polarities, but it would be misleading to think of them in the same way. For a start, both of them face forwards, and they’re not designed to be operated or addressed independently. Instead, they form a complete system that has a fixed polar pattern. Within this system, and in comparison to a conventional single‑element mic, the second capsule has several important functions. It plays a very significant part in defining said polar pattern, and especially in making this consistent throughout the frequency spectrum. Connecting it in reverse polarity eliminates the need for the humbucking coil found in single‑element mics,...

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