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.
Reviewed: Soyuz SU-023 Bomblet Handmade Condenser Microphone
Ah Mother Russia, what strange, terrifying and wondrous secrets are hidden behind your borders? We in the western world are snuck glimpses of your treasures every now and then, and truly and more often than not they change the way we think about so many things. Your Big Muffs are thicker and more intimidating than our measly Yankee ones, your vodka more potent and life affirming, and now, with this Soyuz Bomblet SU-023 on a mic stand in front of me, you might just have changed what I expect from a large diaphragm condenser mic.
Reviewed: Audio-Technica ATM350a microphone
I do enjoy coming across a new microphone that offers better solutions to previous applications that haven’t been addressed properly before. There are plenty of microphones on the market all trying to achieve the same purpose, but it’s great when a manufacturer takes a step outside the box and considers how a microphone needs to be used in practical placement when designing not only the capsule, but also the housing. This is exactly what Audio-Technica have done with the ATM350a and its associated attachments. If you’re looking for a quality condenser microphone for drums, percussion and other instruments that requires precise placement and far from standard mounting, this is going to be worth a look.
Reviewed: sE Electronics sE2200 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Those of you who have not come across sE Electronics’ microphones by now must have been living under a rock. Their range of studio and live microphones covers just about every application. They have a microphone to suit your needs no matter what you need to record and no matter what your budget. But for now let’s focus on just one, the stalwart of the sE range, the sE2200 cardioid condenser microphone. It’s a casing that many of you will be familiar with, as several versions of the 2200 have been available over the years, but this month I got to unbox and test out the cardioid patterned version.
Reviewed: Sennheiser HandMic Digital
Nowadays it seems everybody with half a brain and a mixed bag of opinions wants to be a podcaster. Not only has The Internet Age brought about an army of bedroom producers and engineers, but it has also given rise to the concept of DIY journalism, and as usual technology has followed suit. As with music recording, the demand for products that make it cheap and easy to be Brian Naylor or Stephen Colbert from the comfort and safety of your own home has been met with haste by some manufacturers. Others, however, have taken their time in developing a product that meets the quality quotient as well as that of quantity. Take a company like Sennheiser for example, who has made home stereo and recording equipment with a steady and unfaltering eye on fidelity for decades. Would they dare rush to market with a second rate, throwaway mic just for the sake of rising to a trend? Not a chance.
Reviewed: sE Electronics sE8 Stereo Condenser Microphones
There is a lot to be said for quality when it is delivered at a price that is well below expectations. Let’s face it; the team at sE Electronics have proven that they know how to build a good microphone. It’s something they have been doing for a while now and these guys continue to kick goals. But, they also continue to bring out lower priced microphones to meet market needs. To be quite frank, I was initially a little put off by this new microphone set from sE Electronics, purely because of the price-point that it came in at. One gets a little worried when something just seems too good to be true. Considering what I would expect to pay for a quality pair of matched pencil condensers, this set is an absolute steal, coming with all the accessories and none of the cutbacks in sound quality.
Reviewed: Sennheiser MK4 Digital Condenser Microphone
It’s been a number of years since Sennheiser first unveiled their original MK4 studio condenser microphone and raised the bar for large diaphragm microphones in a new, lower price-point. This has continued to prove itself to be a very solid workhorse. I use one for a wide range of applications and just love the consistent and level sound it delivers. Well, it’s been around long enough for the team at Sennheiser to consider an upgrade and with that, they have delivered a new take on this quality microphone, making it even more usable to a wider range of musicians. Now, you don’t have to suffer from a poor capsule just because you are not using a dedicated interface with phantom power. The new Sennheiser MK4 Digital gives you the capsule we have come to love, with A/D conversion built into the housing for great quality plug and play use.
Reviewed: Blue SL Microphone Range
The new SL range of microphones from Blue takes a very distinct look at three sounds of condenser microphones. The three models in the range are the Spark SL, Bluebird SL and Baby Bottle SL. Each has a particular price point covered as well as capturing a certain sound and style. Ultimately - for those of you able to do so - owning all three would be an ideal solution for a plethora of vocal and instrument applications, and would certainly make a very solid foundation for a serious microphone collection to cover a range of genres, styles and recording applications.