Recording the String Arcade

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 | by Dren McDonald

Over the summer of 2013, I initiated a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a recording of video game music arranged for a string quartet. It was an ambitious idea, and I knew going into it that we would not want to record in a studio setting.

String Arcade session, location recording in a churchThe first reason was because I didn’t want a ‘dry’ room to record the quartet, as string players tend to feel more comfortable when they don’t have to wear headphones and can hear some natural room reverb while they play. The second reason was that I didn’t think we’d raise enough money to record in a big enough studio room to get that sort of reverb. So I knew early on that we’d probably want to field-record the sessions in a nice room. I found a nice room in a local church, and hey, setting up to record in a church is fun! (more…)

Introducing the Royer R-121 XL

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 | by matthew mcglynn

Royer Labs R-121 XL Ribbon MicrophoneBurbank, CA (April 1, 2014) — Royer Labs announces the availability of the R-121 XL, the world’s longest ribbon microphone. Featuring an 8-inch long ribbon, the R-121 XL delivers unprecedented proximity effect and low-frequency extension.

“We began with the R-121 ribbon motor,” says designer David Royer, “and just made it a lot longer. The commercial use of ribbon elements of this length ushers in an exciting new chapter in the development of ribbon microphones.”

Unlike short-ribbon mics whose elements necessarily resonate within the audio band, the R-121 XL’s frequency response is flat down to 5 Hz, making it the world’s finest microphone for recording 64-foot pipe organs or the movement of tectonic plates. (Royer Labs staff are finalizing the design of their XL-series companion subwoofer, a single 96-inch driver necessary to properly appreciate the full low end of the new ribbon microphone.) (more…)

New microphones at NAMM 2014

Monday, March 31st, 2014 | by matthew mcglynn

As I made the rounds at the NAMM show in January, two products were on everybody’s mind… two new products that seem to have captured people’s imaginations in a way that a roomful of inexpensive cardioid condensers will never do. Two products that made people ask, “Did you see that?” Followed immediately by, “You should go see that!”

One is a microphone that could have been made 40 years ago, with handcrafted, solid brass parts and a very simple tube circuit. The other is seemingly as modern and transparent as it could be… except that it is designed for digital filtering that makes it sound like a vintage mic. Or, rather, like a bunch of vintage mics.

Aphex Microphone X Review

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 | by Jordan Reynolds

USB microphones are an affordable and simple way to record audio into your computer or portable device. Just about every mic manufacturer and their grandma have released their own USB microphones. Some have even created USB versions of their most popular mics, such as the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB.

But what about a high quality USB mic that lets you simply dial in that perfect sound, right at the source, preventing you from having to fudge around with EQ and compression after recording? Well, Aphex has created the very first USB mic to do just that.

For all the specifications and features of the Microphone X, check out the Microphone X profile page.

Microphone X Features

When first lifting the microphone from its packaging, in the most non-creepy mic-drooling way possible, the first thing I noticed was weight and quality. This is no flimsy super-glued-together USB mic. It has the look, feel, and build quality of similarly priced XLR microphones. The silver and black colors add contrast to make it pop. Microphone X is definitely one of the sexiest USB mics I’ve laid my creepy blue eyes on. (more…)

New mics at AES

Friday, February 21st, 2014 | by matthew mcglynn

The Fall 2013 AES show introduced a handful of fantastic new microphones. This recap of same is a bit delinquent, coming after the 2014 NAMM show, but serves both to highlight some worthy products, and to illustrate an interesting difference between these two trade shows: the AES convention brings out all the little boutique manufacturers, who most often are the ones making the most exciting gear. (more…)

AKG D12VR Review

Monday, February 10th, 2014 | by Tony SanFilippo

I jumped at the chance to review AKG’s latest dynamic mic, the AKG Acoustics D12 VRD12 VR. I own a vintage D12e and I was quite curious about this mic. As many of you know the original D12 capsules are no longer available, so repairing a vintage model isn’t always an option. The new D12VR isn’t the same mic, though it does have some resemblances to the vintage model, both in looks and sound. I think the name D12VR (“Vintage Sound Reissue”) is a bit of a misnomer; as this is a new mic with a nod to a past model, maybe VR should mean “Vintage Re-imagination.” The original transformer is used in the new mic but there are many new, modern and pretty cool things going on. (more…)

Introducing the Colour

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 | by matthew mcglynn

My pal Peterson Goodwyn of DIY Recording Equipment is launching one of the coolest new audio products I’ve seen in a long time. Read on for the inside scoop on the Colour. It puts three stages of analog saturation into a shockingly affordable 500-series device. It might just be the perfect tool for taking the sterile out of your digital recording. (more…)

Recording Vocalists

Monday, November 25th, 2013 | by Stevie Adamek

Any recorded track lives or dies on the vocal: how it was recorded, how the emotion was portrayed by the singer and how the vocal sits in the track. Let’s explore how a producer, engineer and/or band can best serve the singer for maximum effect! (more…)

Studio Remodel, part III

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 | by matthew mcglynn

The third week of the studio remodel took, erm, three weeks. But I’m writing this update from the room in question! That means it has power, lights, and Internet. So that’s something.

Oh, you were expecting acoustic treatment and, I don’t know, microphones and instruments and stuff? Sadly, we’ll need another month before we get to any of that. (more…)

The Red Legacy – DW Fearn Documentary Review

Friday, October 11th, 2013 | by Kyle Snyder

D.W. Fearn is a phenomenally talented and humble individual with many related interests. We’re tremendously lucky that one of them happens to be high fidelity audio. Douglas got his start tapping out Morse code, a passion he still holds to this day, and that is one of many ways his meticulous design nature can be seen in his everyday life. This precision can be seen throughout our visit with Fearn: in the metalwork and paint for the iconic red faceplates, in his passion for flight, and in Doug’s insistence on building products that he would want to use on a regular basis. (more…)