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The New QSC K.2 Series Hits it Out of the Park!

Posted: August 16, 2017

Producing a sequel is risky business, especially when the original was a hit. Expectations run high and the pressure to top the predecessor without abandoning the original concept can ruin a franchise's credibility faster than you can say The Phantom Menace. Luckily for us all, QSC decided to go more in the direction of 'The Empire Strikes Back' and wow us all with a sequel that far outshines the original with the new K.2 series. No using of The Force required.

The Hopeful Original
QSC's original K series speakers were a giant step forward for powered PA speakers and became an instant classic: tons of power for its size, great coverage range, flexible i/o, and sounded great straight out of the box. This made them the ideal choice for gigging musicians and DJs who didn't have the luxury of tuning their PA to whatever room they found themselves in that night. Not only that, but QSC chose to use the lighter weight ABS mold for their cabinets rather than the heavier wood cabinets of old. These speakers were so light and compact, you could throw them (literally) in the back of your compact sedan and set them up at your gig without all the grunting and subsequent chiropractor visits like back in the glory days.

The QSC Strikes Back
Leave it to QSC to not be satisfied with the status quo. The new K.2 series came rushing onto the scene with a gaggle of new features we didn't even know the K series needed. To start, they doubled their wattage from 1,000 to 2,000 watts, and matched their power modules to high-performance woofers and compression drivers. This, coupled with their Intrinsic Correction voicing make these speakers sound rich without losing any of the crisp, yet not at all harsh detail in the high frequencies that the original K series were so popular for. QSC then took it a step further by incorporating Directivity-Matched Transition technology, ensuring smooth coverage across the entire listening area. This means less off-axis attenuation in the high frequencies without sounding harsh when listening on-axis.

My first listening test came while demoing a K10.2 for an interested customer. I had no time beforehand to study the manual or even visit the QSC site for helpful information. Turns out, I wouldn't need it. The speaker was easy to set up with a brand new user-friendly digital display. Here I found helpful, application-specific presets to get the most out of the speaker. I plugged my phone into the 3.5mm jack, selected 'Floor Monitor' from the presets, hit play and stepped back. The very first thing I noticed was how great the projection to desired listening areas was, while minimizing bleed from behind. This is huge for a floor monitor, as you don't want your monitors to wash out your mains. Typically the first few rows at a venue get treated to an often puzzling mix as they're hearing the artist's mix rather than the mains as intended. QSC has taken huge steps to negate that issue with the new K.2 series.

QSC hit it out of the park with this one. Swing by for a demo and hear the difference for yourself.
🔗 QSC K.2 Series Loudspeakers
The New QSC K.2 Series Hits it Out of the Park!

August's Mic of the Month: Shure SM7B

Posted: August 03, 2017

What do Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow, John Paul White and Sammy Hagar have in common? They've all recorded vocals on Shure's legendary SM7B microphone. I'm not saying that a microphone should be defined by its pedigree, but being featured on Michael Jackson's Thriller definitely doesn't hurt it's credibility, am I right?

The Shure SM7B has essentially permeated throughout the recording industry since its inception, and with good reason: this microphone is one of those rare 'do it all' vocal microphones. Not only does it shine on vocal styles from light and airy folk, to pop divas and heavy metal, it's also widely used in the voiceover and broadcasting industry. While the SM7B was designed primarily as a vocal mic, it's also a spectacular choice on instruments, as well. It's a great choice on the business end of a high SPL brass instrument, Leslie cabs, bass cabs, hi hats, or for beefing up the tone on a guitar cab or snare drum.

So why would producers and engineers choose such a relatively affordable microphone when they could have chosen something with a price tag easily three times as high? In my experience, the SM7B is forgiving, and that goes a long way. Some condenser microphones can take on a brittle character when faced with a high SPL or particularly sibilant source.

While the SM7B is a comparatively low-gain microphone, we have recently been gifted with solutions like The Simply Sound Company's SS-1, which takes a 48v phantom power source and converts it into an additional 20dB of clean gain. This enables home recordists with sub-par preamps to take advantage of the SM7B's rich, warm sound without introducing noise into an otherwise ultra-low-noise circuit design, which means this microphone is a necessity now more than ever.

If you'd like to join the elite ranks of people who own awesome microphones, follow us on Twitter (@perfaud) and enter our giveaway, laugh at our ridiculous gifs, find exclusive deals, and read helpful articles.
🔗 Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone
August's Mic of the Month: Shure SM7B

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