Reviewed: Audio-Techncia AE5400 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Audio-Technica is a company whose name brings to mind style and quality, having produced reliable, professional audio equipment since its birth in 1962. Headphones and microphones are two mainstays of the Audio-Technica line, with a massive range of top-tier professional audio equipment and budget bedroom gear behind them. To me, the AE5400 condenser is another product destined for greatness. Admittedly, the AE5400 visually and sonically reminds me of a Shure Beta 57, seemingly the blue-embroidered successor of the SM57, but with the AE5400’s additional dials to sculpt a usable, true-to-source sound. Don’t be fooled though: the AE5400 is a directional condenser with a few little additions to get a better sound at the source before any post-processing.
Reviewed: Blue Microphones Yeti Pro Studio Microphone
This is the microphone that can do it all, for musicians, podcasters, engineers, interviewers and just about anyone else. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a manufacturer focused on producing a microphone that’s ideal for beginners, yet still delivers the quality that would be expected by more advanced users. Anyone serious about audio quality and looking for ease of use should consider the Yeti Pro Studio from Blue Microphones.
Reviewed: Audio-Technica AT4050 Condenser Microphone
Audio-Technica have been delivering quality microphones for longer than I care to remember and they continue to do so with models that fit every budget and every need. I’ve tested, tried, used and abused all number of AT microphones over the years, but I always enjoy getting a model to try out that I haven’t had a chance to in the past. As I opened the box of the AT4050 this month, I knew I was in for another Audio-Technica treat, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.
Review: sE Electronics Rupert Neve Designs Signature Series Microphone
Rupert Neve is arguably the biggest name in pro audio. From the early ‘60s until today, Rupert Neve and Neve Electronics have been producing high-end analogue recording equipment such as preamps, mixing consoles, EQs and compressors that are quickly identifiable. More recently, the company has branched out into the more contemporary Rupert Neve Designs that retains Neve’s analogue quality, but with some modern embellishments. RND has teamed up with Shanghai-based microphone company sE Electronics after Rupert Neve and sE CEO Siwei Zou met in the mid-2000s, resulting in the three-piece sE/Rupert Neve Signature Series of microphones.
Reviewed: Audio-Technica AT4033a Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Audio-Technica has a large stable of microphones to suit just about every need. When it comes to large diaphragm condenser microphones, their expert team has worked hard over the years to deliver microphones to suit every price point, from a first microphone right up to a professional studio centrepiece. This is why you know before even hearing one of their microphones that you’ll get excellent quality within the price point. When it comes to the AT4033a, you soon realise that this is a standout capsule for the price. There are very few microphones that offer what the AT4033a does for under $1000, and this guy does it at a price quite below that.
Reviewed: Sennheiser EW100 G4-835 Wireless System
There is no doubt that when it comes to wireless microphones, Sennheiser is one of the world leaders. Their systems can be found being used at the local pub every weekend, to large scale tours, broadcasts and some of the biggest events around the world, like the recent Eurovision contest. It’s because of the quality of build, reliability and flexibility that Sennheiser wireless systems offer that they get chosen for so many large scale events. And with that, there is no reason why you too can’t have the same quality of wireless transmission and exceptional audio quality, no matter what size your audience. With the recent release of Sennheiser’s G4 wireless systems, it is now even more affordable to have the best quality wireless system in class. Let’s have a look at the EW100 system.
Reviewed: sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 Ribbon Microphone
I know there are many of you who simply own one studio microphone - or worse, have several yet still fall back on the same microphone time and time again. Going with the safe option on a microphone, you know it can have its pros and cons. Yes, you understand how that microphone works and can get a good result with it, but usually the results are all the same. There is no variation in colour or tonal texture, which is why I always recommend using several microphones in different ways for any application. Whilst the large diaphragm condenser is the staple for studio recording, the benefits of a ribbon microphone usually stand out in the mix when added for some tracking. It’s because of this that the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 is such a clever option for the home studio recording kit.
Reviewed: sE Electronics V7 BFG Billy Gibbons Dynamic Mic
ZZ Top occupies a strange place in the pantheon of modern music. If you asked the everyman on the street what they thought of the band, nine times out of ten the best reaction you could hope for is to have “SHE’S GOT LEEEEGS…” screeched in your face. Their comical, Muppet-like appearance and oversexed, bikes n’ babes subject matter tends to lead most people to drop them in the box marked ‘novelty’. Unbeknownst to many, however, their influence is a little further reaching than you’d expect. The seemingly simple, fuzzed out guitar wizardry of the one and only Billy Gibbons has garnered a cult following that far outreaches the few songs you know from karaoke bars the world over, and modern rock bad asses like Josh Homme and Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes count him among their key influences. All that being said, even the most avid Top fan would scarcely call him a singer’s singer, so it seems odd that sE Electronics would etch his signature on the side of their V7 dynamic microphones.