Blue Kiwi Studio Mic
Featuring Blue’s world renowned B6 capsule, the Kiwi delivers the detail of its sonic signature all at once with lots of top end (without being too in your face!), along with lots of mids and bottom end, without being too forward. Designed to set the standard for solid state microphones, the Kiwi yields lush vocals, stunning acoustic guitar and gorgeous piano sounds from nine different polar patterns (Omni, Cardioid, Figure of eight and everything in between). This is the Blue microphone.
At the heart of the Kiwi is a multi-pattern variation of Blue’s B6 Bottle microphone capsule. To provide a consistent response throughout the range of pickup patterns, two single backplate, large diaphragm capsules are acoustically matched, then measured in our anechoic chamber for opti- mum performance. The end result is a handcrafted and hand-tuned dual backplate capsule, delivering a modern tone with a smooth extended top-end. Though designed primarily to achieve a world- class contemporary vocal sound, this capsule can be utilized to add a glossy, produced sheen to sax- ophone, piano, electric guitar, and other lead instruments. In omnidirectional and figure of eight patterns, or when miking at a distance, the Kiwi delivers every nuance in the room, with finely focused resolution and clear, musical frequency response — ideal for distant acoustic guitar recording, ambient percussion miking, and uncon- ventional vocal treatments. In its cardioid patterns the Kiwi excels at delivering a vocal or solo track right to the front of the mix where it belongs, with detailed highs, smooth midrange, and minimized proximity effect (a bass boost inherent in all unidi- rectional mics).
The Kiwi system includes Blue’s custom The Shock suspension shockmount, along with a velvet-lined cherrywood box which houses the microphone. The Shock is designed to isolate the Kiwi microphone body from low frequency vibrations when mounted on a stand. To fit the Kiwi into this assembly, first open the wire latches on the upper and lower circular padded bands situated inside the shock mount frame. Then simply slide the Kiwi into the bands, make sure that the pattern selector switch is accessible, and close the wire latches to tighten the bands around the microphone. The angle of the mount assembly can be swiveled and adjusted with the large thumbscrew, which will normally be positioned at the rear of the mic.
Once you have the Kiwi secured in its shockmount, you may find it easiest to attach the assembly to a stand by 1) loosening the boom stand arm or threaded end of the mic stand, 2) grasping the mount assembly in one hand, and 3) screwing the mic stand threads into the mount, without over-tightening. This procedure will eliminate any possibility of damage to the mic. NOTE: Forceful positioning of The Shock without loosening of the thumbscrew can result in damage not covered by warranty. To get the most out of this, or any quality microphone, it is essential to pair it with a good microphone preamplifier. Most pro- fessional recordists prefer to have out- board preamps on hand, and will choose solid-state or vacuum tube models based on their unique characteristics. To maintain the integrity of your signal, try using Blue’s Cranberry, Blueberry or Kiwi high-definition mic cable along with Blue’s outstanding Class-A vacuum tube mic preamp, Robbie. And, whenever possible, connect your pre’s output directly to your recorder or A/D convert- er, bypassing the mixing board and any unnecessary components. The Kiwi requires +48V phantom power, which is provided by most mic preamps, mixing consoles, or separate phantom power supplies. It is important to note that some units, though rated at 48 volts, may supply insufficient or unstable phantom power, which can result in distortion and/or degraded performance when used with the Kiwi. To avoid damage to audio components when connecting phantom power, follow this simple procedure: 1) turn down the mic preamp gain, headphones, and your studio monitors, 2) connect microphone cable to the Kiwi and microphone input jack, 3) turn on phantom power, 4) turn up the mic preamp gain, etc. To disconnect or re-route the Kiwi, 1) turn down the mic preamp gain, headphones, and your studio monitors, 2) turn off phantom power and wait 10 seconds before disconnecting the mic. L-R: The Pop; Blueberry, Cranberry, & Kiwi cables; Robbie the Mic Pre To secure the delicate capsule during transport and shipping, three brass set screws are provided. These screws should be mounted in the solid metal ring around the circumference of the grille when you first take the microphone out of its case. Remove these screws before using the microphone, and replace them if you will be transporting or shipping the microphone. NOTE: The Kiwi will not work properly if the security screws are not removed.
Capsule and Pattern Characteristics
When recording in a unidirectional pattern, the active, on- axis diaphragm is on the same side of the microphone as the Blue logo. The pattern selector switch is located at the rear of the microphone, and is easily adjusted by hand, with no special tools required. In addition to the standard cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure of eight patterns marked on the selector switch, there are 6 intermediate gradations of sub-cardioid (between omni and cardioid) and super-cardioid (between cardioid and figure of eight) patterns to choose from. You will notice that the sound of the Kiwi capsule changes when adjustments are made to the nine-position pickup pattern switch on the microphone body. In general, the omnidirectional pattern offers the flattest frequency response, with an absence of proximity effect. As the pattern becomes more directional (by clicking clockwise through the switch settings, towards the figure of eight position) bass frequencies increase proportionally due to proximity effect, and subtle changes also occur on the high end response. These shifts in overall timbre can be used to fine-tune the frequency response of the Kiwi, as well as for creative ends.