There are few that can say they know microphones quite like Shure do. This is a company that has made itself known for its microphones in studios and on stages the world over. There is a Shure microphone for every application; it goes far beyond the SM58 for vocals and the SM57 for instruments, although most of us will have used these two time and time again. Now Shure have gone that extra step to tackle every possible recording option in the modern digital era where the mobile phone, tablet and laptop are now taking place of the studio in many circumstances. To meet this demand, Shure has released the MOTIV range of digital microphones and recording solutions for the mobile generation.
MV88 – DIGITAL STEREO CONDENSER MICROPHONE
This is one microphone that is going to appeal to songwriters and bands alike who want a quality stereo recording of their rehearsals and song writing sessions without all the fuss of setting up equipment. The super compact MV88 slots into the Lightning connector of an iPhone or iPad and offers a pair of stereo condenser microphones to capture the entire room at a distance, or a single instrument up close. The microphone capsules can be adjusted up to 90 degrees, so you can get the correct angle simply by placing your device on a tabletop in front of you. The custom windshield offers plenty of side rejection from unwanted environmental noise, but still allows for a clean and crisp audio capture. The only limitation is the Lightning connector, so older iPhone and iPads or Android users don’t get to enjoy the benefits of this handy little device.
MVL – LAVALIER CONDENSER MICROPHONE
This has got to be the simplest of all the devices in the MOTIV range, but that doesn’t mean it is without warrant or lacking in need. The MVL is a simple lavalier microphone that comes with a clip and foam windshield, ready to be mounted on your jacket, shirt or tie for discrete audio capture. The TRRS connection at the other end of the cable allows for connection to the communications port on most mobile phones that have a headphone/microphone function. This is perfect for recording interviews, public speeches or simply as a note-taking tool for those who like to work without a pen or keyboard when involved in the creative process. The cable is long enough to use with a device on a table in front of you, but not so long that it becomes a hindrance when working with a device on your belt or in your pocket. The ShurePlus MOTIV app – available for free at the App Store – makes audio recording with this compact microphone a joy, rather than a chore.
MV5 – DIGITAL CONDENSER MICROPHONE
Attention YouTubers, bloggers and podcasters, this is one microphone you may want to have a look at. I know you will all have seen your fair share of USB microphones as they have been available for many years now, but only recently has Shure delivered you an option with the MV5 digital condenser microphone. At first, I thought this was a spin-off of their Green Bullet harmonica microphone, but it is quite different indeed. Although, like the Green Bullet, it has been specially designed with a specific purpose in mind. The ball-shaped microphone sits atop an included stand that will not look out of place amongst any corporate giftware on an office desk, and it actually serves a purpose too. The lightweight frame has a very low centre of gravity so it sits firmly where you want it and the simple threaded adjustment mechanism allows you to angle the microphone to just about any direction. This is the perfect tool for anyone who wants high quality audio for their webcam videos and overdubbing on podcasts or similar mediums. It sounds like a microphone that costs several times its value and delivers excellent A/D conversion to get your signal into the computer. A headphone connection at the rear allows for playback or real time monitoring of your sound, along with a handy Mute switch and Mode feature that adjusts the EQ for vocals, instruments or simply left at. Classic Shure sound captured in a trendy desktop trinket; it’s not bad at all.
MV51 – DIGITAL LARGE DIAPHRAGM CONDENSER MICROPHONE
This unit is a bit of a different spin on the USB microphone idea. To start with, it looks somewhat like an old 50’s transistor radio, yet it delivers modern digital audio clarity and control. Designed to be used in a number of ways, with a number of audio sources, this is a real handy tool for someone wanting to record to their portable device or laptop. It has a clever little interfacing console that makes it easy to get your sound right no matter what you are recording. The Mode function is able to be set up for vocals, spoken word, guitars, speakers or simply left at with the gentle touch-screen operation. A headphone output on the rear allows for monitoring during recording and playback so you can hear exactly what is going through this microphone. Being a large diaphragm condenser, it excels at both vocals and instrument work with a detailed high frequency response and plenty of bottom-end to back it up with. But, the real genius of this is in the desktop kick-stand design. Set it up on your desktop or bench or even the floor at your desired angle and you are ready to record. But, if you unscrew the rubber end cap of the kick-stand, you will find a standard threading that will allow this to be screwed onto any microphone stand for a wider range of applications.
MVI – DIGITAL AUDIO INTERFACE
Here’s one for the guitarists in the group. Well, not exactly, it has something for everyone, but I can see guitarists loving this device. The MVi is a super compact USB audio interface that doesn’t even look like one. The small device – that looks like a micro bedside alarm clock – actually does the trick for those of you looking for high quality audio recording, with just one channel at a time. On the rear, there is a combination XLR/TRS connector that will allow a microphone or instrument lead to be plugged in and easily recorded to an iPod, iPad or laptop. Sit it atop your guitar amp and run a line out into it if you have one, or place an SM57 in front of the amp and you have a handy compact interface for recording. It shares the same touch-panel controls as the MV51 has, so you can easily adjust levels and set up an EQ mode for whatever you happen to be recording. Vocal microphones, acoustic guitars, guitar amps or any other instrument, you have a simple connection to your recording software now that will fit in your guitar case and can go anywhere with you.
For more details on the MOTIV range, head to jands.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Plenty of recording options
Great quality Shure sound
Heavy duty, tough build quality
Something for everyone
Some limitations with device compatibility