While great ribbon mics are my favorites for unique flavor, they don’t always fit into every application—that’s where condenser mics shine. For vocals, over a drum kit, as room mics, close up on an acoustic guitar, piano or Leslie cabinet, they expertly cover the gamut. When contemplating a new mic purchase, you always want something you can grow with, meaning it will not only retain its value but its sonic character will stand the test of time.
Every fan of thrillers, action films, and horror and sci-fi flicks has experienced the emotional impact of a deftly executed riser and hit in a cinematic score. But all you have to do is listen to the grand finale for the Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” to realize how electrifying the technique can be for popular music, too.
Imagine 10 or 15 years ago if someone told you that they were going to take ribbon mics on tour to put in front of guitar amps onstage; the thought would have been absurd from every angle.
I use small-diaphragm condenser microphones everywhere—as room microphones, as overheads for drums, next to a dynamic to add that special snap, crackle and pop to a snare drum, and to capture a string quartet by way of one of the many stereo array techniques.
Since 1964, Coles has been manufacturing microphones and OEM speaker components for broadcast, studio and other uses. The 4038 is the company’s most popular and recognizable product, sporting its frying pan–styled head and magnets strong enough to pull in passing cars. Kidding aside, the 4030L’s ribbon is the same size and material as the 4038, but the mic employs different magnets that help tame the stray magnetism of the 4038. The 4030L is priced to bring Coles sound and quality to an affordable level. For this review, I had a pair of the 4030Ls and used them on a variety of applications.
The BLX Wireless System from Shure was designed to provide a professional level of audio and RF performance at an entry-level cost. Comprising three receivers and two transmitters, the BLX System enables easy setup and offers a choice of bodypack or handheld wireless transmitters. BLX bodypacks may be used with either a ¼-inch instrument cable or a variety of lavalier, headset or clip-on microphones, while the handheld transmitter is available with a choice of capsules including the industry-standard Shure SM58 and Beta 58. Several different BLX receivers are available: the BLX4 (single-channel) and BLX88 (dual-channel) receivers are designed for tabletop operation, and the BLX4R may be rack-mounted. Mix received the BLX4, BLX2 handheld transmitter with a Beta 58 capsule, BLX1 bodypack transmitter and WA302 cable for connecting the BLX1 to a guitar or bass.
LIVE VOCAL MICS ADD ARTICULATION AND WARMTH
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE MODELS OFFER VERSATILE USE, LOW PROFILE
CLEAN SOUND FOR HALF THE COST OF SIBLINGS
After more than 70 years in production, Shure’s (shure.com) Unidyne 55 Series is surely the longest-running product in audio history. The story begins in 1937 with Shure engineer Benjamin Bauer looking for a single-capsule approach to create a unidirectional microphone.
HIGH-TECH DESIGN OFFERS SMOOTHNESS, EXTENDED TOP END
SUPERIOR SOUND, MAC/PC MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, EASY OPERATION
FLAT RESPONSE AND INDEPENDENTLY SWITCHABLE TWIN CAPSULES