I do enjoy getting my mits on a microphone that I’ve previously not tried out. So, it was a pleasure, and a delight to have the Audio-Technica ATM230 end up on my desk this month. I get so many vocal microphones for stage and studio to try out; it makes for a pleasant change when I get an instrument specific microphone turn up, and so the ATM230 was winning already, even before I pulled it out of its packaging.
Of course, I can’t help but pull any new microphone apart to see what’s going on under the hood. It seems to be a habit of mine that I cannot shake, and always gives away a few things right from the start. Removing the grill from around the capsule told me a lot about this Japanese made microphone. It’s impeccably assembled, with threading that’s perfect and seals tight, with no vibration in or around the capsule and housing. The elongated grill serves to protect the extended capsule form errant drum sticks quite well, enabling the capsule to be placed well in front of the electronics to achieve the desired pickup pattern.
It’s in this mounting of the capsule that gives the ATM230 its hyper cardioid pickup pattern. There’s plenty of grill area behind the capsule to allow for phase cancellation and side rejection to ensure that this microphone only picks up the sound of the drum it’s being pointed at. That’s what it’s been designed to do, work in a tight space around a drum kit aimed at either the rack or floor toms. The compact size allows for this placement and the side rejection of the hyper cardioid capsule gives you the sound of just one drum per microphone. Of course, you can place them right up near the skin and the ATM230 will capture the sound perfectly as it can handle very high SPLs without audible distortion or distress on the capsule.
The inbuilt stand attachment allows the microphone to be screwed directly onto most microphone stands or drum mic mounting hoops without the need of a separate microphone clip specifically shaped for this unit. The angle adjustment bushing is extremely secure so you can seat this microphone at any angle to achieve any target of sound and know that it will not sag or slip in any way. In all, it’s a solid unit that offers a clean and crisp sound from a source that’s only inches away. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any overhead microphone pair to give each drum around the kit that extra definition and punch.
For more details, head to audio-technica.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Compact and easy to mount around cramped drum kits
Very direct audio capture with little side spill
I can’t pinpoint any really