AUDIO TECHNICA > 2050 / BLUE > Bottle Rocket

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This session brought together the most people I’ve recorded in this office yet. Tally up four band members with instruments in-hand, myself, a photographer, a manager, a band tech, one Davis Inman making sure every detail was addressed, and five mics with stands and cables. I think there were a few more people in the hallway. Once we got started, (I placed mics and got sounds and levels as the band tuned) they were no-holds-barred, and everything went as smoothly as it possibly could. It’s as if we’d all done this before. It reminded me of MTV’s Unplugged series.

AUDIO TECHNICA
2050
LIST PRICE: $369.00
Website: http://www.audio-technica.com

Workhorse is such an overrated term. I’m going to use Sweat Stallion! No, how about Labor Bronco? Exertion Steed? Opus Philly? Deed Mare! OK, OK, workhorse. The 2050 is a freakin’ workhorse. And we certainly need more of those around here, especially at this price-no joke. Audio Technica can pretty much cover it all with this inexpensive, large-diaphragm multi-pattern condenser with a pad (-10dB) and low frequency roll off (filtering down from 80Hz at 12dB per octave) to boot. These three polar patterns (cardioid, omni, and figure 8 ) can withstand sound pressure levels of up to 159dB, making this a great microphone for drum overheads, guitar cabinets, vocals, and softer sound sources such as strings and acoustic guitars. A frequency response of 20kHz to 20Hz and incredible assortment of options make this purchase a no-brainer. A shock mount and protective pouch is included. Audio Technica’s 20 series is putting the fine craftsmanship of a proven industry institution into the hands of projects musicians and recording aficionados, regardless of their budget. We used it on a variation of percussive instruments and an acoustic guitar. It performed triumphantly. A stout beast, indeed!

BLUE
Bottle Rocket (Stage One)
LIST PRICE: $899.00
Website: http://www.bluemic.com

Large diaphragm condenser microphones are a must-have in the recording studio. BLUE is introducing a very versatile and affordable weapon for your arsenal in its Bottle Rocket. The “Stage One” simply implies that this is the Solid State version containing the transformer-less Class A discrete transistor circuitry, as opposed to the “Stage Two” version which is tube-powered. This type of circuitry, as opposed to ICs (Integrated Circuits) or chips, allows the Bottle Rocket to have very low self-noise and a high output level. The package includes, but is certainly not limited to, the B8 cardioid capsule. This general purpose lollipop-style capsule can be utilized to a varying number of applications, and it can sound great on all of them. The coolest thing about this apparatus is the fact that it is interchangeable with all of the Blue’s Bottle Caps. For those unfamiliar, this is a host of about eight capsules (ranging in size from small to large, with polar patterns of cardiod, omni, and figure 8 ) already on the market. Talk about being equipped! When recording vocals, I found this particular combination (phantom-powered Stage One with B8 capsule) to have an exceptional high-end response with a very detailed mid-range. I would love the chance to try it out with some of the other capsules as its performance with the B8 alone sounded great on a vocals, acoustic guitar and as a drum overhead. The shock mount and slick wooden storage boxes make it complete.

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