Sounding off

DPme.com reviews some of the best mics on the market today.
Beyerdynamic
Beyerdynamic
Electrovoice
Electrovoice
Shure
Shure
Rode
Rode
AKG
AKG
Neumann
Neumann
DPA
DPA

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Beyerdynamic

Beyerdynamic MC 900 small-diaphragm condenser microphone series features a tremendous diversity due to the sound neutrality and painstaking construction of its models. Designed for both the studio and stage, the models MC 910 (omnidirectional), MC 930 (cardioid) and MC 950 (supercardioid) are ideal for all applications where high-quality pickup or transmission of acoustic signals is crucial. The MC 900 microphones are particularly suitable for natural pickup of choirs, orchestras (as main microphone in various stereo arrangements or as a spot microphone) and solo instruments (e.g. guitar, wind instruments, drums). With the WS 101 wind screen, the models MC 930 and MC 950 can be used as microphones for speech and vocals.

Special features of this series include a high open-circuit voltage and a wide balanced transmission range without a narrow-band resonance rise. In the MC 930 and MC 950 models, the switchable bass roll-off filter (6 dB/octave below 250 Hz) compensates for the proximity effect. All models operate from a phantom power supply of 11-52 V and can hence be used with nearly any microphone amplifier for studio and live applications.

www.beyerdynamic.de

Electrovoice

The RE20 is a professional-quality dynamic cardioid microphone created specially for recording, broadcast and sound-reinforcement applications requiring essentially flat response over a very wide frequency range. The wide frequency response, coupled with excellent transient response, make the RE20 easily comparable to fine condenser cardioid microphones and an easily operated “bass tilt down” switch corrects spectrum balance for use in longreach situations or other applications where bass attenuation is needed.

The RE20 offers greatest rejection at 180º off axis - directly to the rear of the microphone.

Pattern control is so consistent that the frequency response is nearly independent of angular location of the sound source, creating virtually no off-axis coloration, yet providing greatest possible rejection of unwanted sounds. An integral blast and wind filter covers each acoustic opening on the RE20. In recording sessions or on stage, singers can “close talk” the microphone, singing with their lips almost touching the grille screen with no worry of “P-pops” or excessive sibilance. Part of the filter also shock mounts the internal microphone element, reducing the transfer of vibrations from external sources. The exceptional performance of the RE20 is achieved by using a large Acoustalloy diaphragm in combination with an exceptionally low-mass aluminum voice coil. Using this diaphragm assembly, the RE20 is capable of reproducing extremely high sound pressure levels with no fear of the overload and distortion often experienced with phantom-powered condensers. The RE20 will also continue to function flawlessly in high humidity and elevated temperatures that would seriously degrade competitive condenser microphones.

www.electrovoice.com

Shure

Shure has enhanced its KSM series of microphones with two new ribbon models – the KSM353 and KSM313, two ribbon microphones intended for capturing vocal and instrumental performances, both in the studio and on stage.

The new KSM353 and KSM313 use a patented ribbon material known as RoswelliteTM, which offers higher tensile strength and more resilient shape-memory properties than a traditional foil ribbon. While conventional ribbon microphones can be damaged by loud sounds, the ‘shape memory’ of Roswellite ribbons enables it to withstand very high sound pressure levels over extended periods of time without damage.

Hand assembled in the USA from state-of-the art transducers, transformers, and metals, the KSM353’s ribbon assembly provides rich low frequency response, natural midrange, and a rising response in the upper range for superior presence. And, it’s bi-directional polar pattern is extremely uniform and symmetrical.

The KSM313 uses a “Dual-Voice” ribbon assembly, which enables the user to choose from two different sound signatures – addressing the front of the microphone delivers a warm, full sound that is ideal for many instruments while addressing the rear of the microphone results in a bright, articulate sound that compliments vocals.

www.shure.co.uk

Rode

The NTG-3 provides the professional broadcast and film industries with an affordable yet uncompromising microphone, claims Rode.

Using a technology known as RF-bias, the RØDE NTG-3 is almost completely resistant to moisture, making it a significant option when recording in any demanding environments where condensation is an issue.

In addition to its robust properties, the NTG-3 combines very low weight (163g), a durable anti-glare finish and incredibly low handling and self-noise (13dBA) to become RØDE’s premier A/V microphone.

When not in use, the NTG-3 can be stored away in the included weather resistant aluminium storage cylinder, providing additional protection when travelling and storing the microphone.

Key features include ability to withstand adverse environmental conditions, 50% less self-noise than the majority of shotgun microphones, true condenser (externally RF biased) features, extremely low handling noise, high level of immunity to radio frequency broadcast and superior broadcast sound quality.

www.rodemic.com/

AKG

AKG’s new C 414 XL II is the successor to the C 414 B-TL II. It reflects the unique sonic signature of the popular AKG C 12 which enables lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed even in a dense mix. The up-front sound is also well-known for distant miking applications like classic music recording or drum ambience miking.

The XL II version differs from the XLS version in one major respect - the capsule. Both, the slight presence boost and the impressive spatial reproduction is similar to the legendary C 12 microphones.

AKG claims that its C 414 family is one of the world’s most widely-used and respected studio and stage microphones in audio history.

The new models C 414 XLS and C 414 XLII offer nine pickup patterns which enable to choose the perfect setting for every application. For live-sound applications and permanent installations all controls can be disabled easily for trouble-free use. A Peak Hold LED displays even shortest overload peaks.

The C 414 comes complete with carrying case, pop filter, windscreen, and spider-type shock mount.

www.akg.com

Neumann

Neumann claims to have defined a new generation of studio microphones with the launch of the TLM 102, which is both compact and cost effective. Inside the mic is a newly developed large-diaphragm capsule (cardioid) with a maximum sound pressure level of 144 dB which permits the recording of percussion, drums, amps and other very loud sound sources. However the most important applications are in the realm of vocals and speech; a slight boost above 6 kHz provides for excellent presence of the voice in the overall mix.

Wolfgang Fraissinet, President of Marketing/Sales at Neumann Berlin commented: “Due to its flexible field of application and price, the microphone will certainly be at home in ambitious home recording and project studios, as well as in the broadcasting area, particularly if priority is given to clear lines of sight to the speakers. We have recently received an increasing number of requests for this type of capability.”

The TLM 102 is available in black and nickel, with a stand mount.

www.neumann.com

DPA

The DPA 5100 is a new mobile surround microphone that is designed to bring surround ambience to sport events, documentaries and other ambience applications especially in HDTV production. No external signal processing is required. The versatile 5100 can be mounted on a camera or microphone stand, suspended, or simply handheld via a hand grip. Extremely lightweight and portable, the unit sports a robust build quality that is also highly resilient to inclement weather conditions.

A completely self-contained “plug and play” solution for 5.1 audio capture, the 5100 employs five miniature pressure transducers that exhibit extremely low sensitivity to wind and mechanical noise, low distortion, highly consistent low frequency response and large dynamic range. Appropriate channel separation and directionality are achieved through a combination of DPA’s proprietary DiPMic (Directional Pressure Microphone) technology, which mounts interference tubes on the L/C/R omni capsules, and the use of acoustic baffles that further preserve the accuracy of levels between the discreet analogue output channels.

www.dpamicrophones.com

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