BLUE The Blueberry, February 1999 - Mixonline

BLUE The Blueberry, February 1999

STUDIO CONDENSER MIC
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Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics (B.L.U.E.) has always been an
innovative company that does things differently. For example, its B7
Lollipop is a large-diaphragm capsule that attaches to the mic body of
AKG's C60/61/28/29/ 30/451/452 mics, offering an instant big sound for
a small $735 price. And B.L.U.E.'s Bottle Mic provides state-of-the-art
tube mic performance in a $4,500 package based on the shape of
Neumann's classic CV3.

Now B.L.U.E. has taken on the challenge of creating an affordable,
solid- state mic based around its handbuilt capsules. Priced at
$1,295—including velvet-lined wood box—The Blueberry is a
cardioid design combining a large-diaphragm,
single-membrane capsule with discrete, Class-A electronics and a
transformer output. But under The Blueberry's distinctly cool body
shape, it's evident that this is no "budget" mic; the construction and
workmanship are impeccable, and the parts used throughout are of the
highest quality.

I tried The Blueberry on various instrumental and vocal sessions and
must admit that I like this mic. My first session was four-string
dulcimer, which I miked from about two feet away. The Blueberry neatly
captured this instrument, with all the zing and complex overtones
intact. Results on banjo and acoustic guitar were similar, with a nice
balance between highs, lows and mids. Next, I recorded snare drum
cadences to be used as background effects on a CD-ROM. The result was
punchy and crisp and the mic handled high SPLs without problem. The
same session revealed just how clean The Blueberry's output is when I
used it to record Foley-style effects-a quill pen scribbling notes on
parchment. The mic's price may be low, but its performance is
definitely high-end.

Of course, the main application for a large-diaphragm mic is vocals.
The optional shockmount/pop filter is a clever yet simple design that
grips the mic securely in any position and provides excellent shock
isolation. The mic's mesh grille offers ample protection from all but
the breathiest vocalists, and I rarely needed the pop filter. Also, the
mic's proximity effect is fairly minimal, except in VERY
close quarters, so there's no worry about all your vocalists sounding
like Barry White. If you're looking for a vocal mic with a huge bass
bump and a presence boost, this is not the mic for you, but on both
male and female vocalists, The Blueberry provided an un-hyped sound
that was quite natural, with an uncolored off-axis response.

Overall, The Blueberry is an excellent all-around studio mic whose
natural reproduction, clean output and versatility make it a good
choice either as a first large-diaphragm mic for the novice or as an
addition to a well-stocked mic locker. Besides, who says all mics have
to look alike?

Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics, www.bluemic.com