bad mic reviews

Saturday, May 12th, 2012 | by

A well-meaning but somewhat inexperienced gear reviewer submitted an article with the best sentence I’ve ever read in any microphone review, ever:

The Frequency response is also impressive with a range of 20Hz–20KHz that from my experiences is more than you can even use.

I tried my hand at matching the tone and style, and posted it to twitter under the #badmicreviews hashtag:

matthew mcglynn (@recordinghacks)

The microphone’s low-rolloff switch makes it perfectly suited to recording high-pitched instruments too!

Then the community piled on with some great replies:

Eric Beam (@rhythminmind)

The more the microphone weighs, the fatter the kick drum sound.

Jon Tidey (@theaudiogeek)

not sure how they did it, but this mic is cardioid AND a condenser

James Clausen (@NotTheSameMedia)

They were still working out some bugs in v57; by version 58 they’d created a legend.

Peterson Goodwyn (@PetersonGoodwyn)

An absolute must-have hi-hat mic.

James Clausen (@NotTheSameMedia)

The mic was manufactured in Australia. So if you use it in North America, you have to flip the phase.

Add your own, in Twitter or the comments below! We’ll pick a favorite, and send the winner a prize. (Excerpts from actual lousy gear reviews are fair game too!)

Posted in Reviews | 35 Comments »

35 Responses to “bad mic reviews”

  1. Dave

    May 12th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Another nice feature of this mic is the ability to record ghosts and other Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) by simply engaging the ‘Phantom’ switch on your pre-amp.

  2. Luka G

    May 12th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    “If I hang a mic upside down and sing into it, do I have to flip the phase in my DAW? Won’t the vocal be turned in phase by 180°??” asked by young assistant engineer.

  3. Jac Mandel

    May 12th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    This mic makes anything you put it on sound better than it actually does.

  4. D'Heirus

    May 12th, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Of course you can increase your mic’s output and range by using phantom power to give it a boost.

  5. Phil C.

    May 12th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    This mic is even better than my Craftsman hammer for driving nails!

  6. Darren Morton

    May 12th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    1 – “This is mic offers a Figure-8 pattern so that you can record stereo using only one mic”
    2 – “No need to gift-wrap – this mic comes with its own ribbon…”
    3 – (Harmony Central ver.) “Although somewhat pricey at $99, this might be the best tube mic you’ll ever buy for home recording. It yields a classic tone on-par with the best U47’s and 58’s…”

  7. Joe B.

    May 12th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I made a 15″ diaphragm condenser mic so my 15″ woofers would really kick.

  8. Ryan F

    May 12th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    This is my first mic, and the best one I own. Got it for $80, and it sounds just like a Newman. Gonna get it modded soon so it will be even better!

  9. Mitchell

    May 12th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This mic makes my voice sound like crap and out of tune.

  10. Mark T.

    May 12th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    This Germanically sensitive hydrocardiac microphone has so much air that it literally cuts through the mix!
    And, here’s a money saving tip: Make your own explosive filter by wearing panty hose! You’ll need it with this baby!

  11. Duncan

    May 12th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    So overall, the D112 is simply the best kick drum mic money can buy!

  12. Andrew MacDowell

    May 12th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I use the Nady SP1 as my vocal backup mic on stage. I like it because it has an ON/OFF switch and I have it turned off most of the time. Put volume up and ears hurt from reverb. Like a sonic-boom!

  13. Beefcake

    May 13th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    LOL, inexperienced people are LAUGHABLE – imagine not knowing what i know now back when i was starting out. WHAT an IDIOT!

  14. matthew mcglynn

    May 13th, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Lack of experience doesn’t make someone an idiot, IMO. The best way to learn is to DO, and extract meaningful lessons from the inevitable mistakes.

  15. Mads

    May 13th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    This is a rather tasteless and self indulgent post. “oh, look at me I’m a much better reviewer.”

    Come on! let kids be kids and act like professionals

  16. Paul

    May 13th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    “…this is a passive ribbon mic. So don’t yell into it or you might hurt its feelings.”

    “i was surprised to find out phantom power doesn’t mean it can run on ghosts which is bad because im prety sure my attic is hauntd”

    “I was really upset because this microphone is actually orange, not blue like the box said it was.”

  17. Sacha Muller

    May 13th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    This CAD mic’s sound is amazingly realistic; very “3D”.

    This RØDE mic is my favorite snare-bottom mic, because as you can note in it’s name, it is already phase-inverted.

  18. John B

    May 14th, 2012 at 7:37 am

    All those other mics take 48V phantom power, but this one can go to 49V.

  19. Yoav

    May 15th, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Anybody who tells you condensers are the best type of mics doesn’t have a soul. Dynamics are what give music life.

  20. Yoav

    May 15th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Never buy the MXL R144 condenser mic. You’d think they check if it works before it ships, but apparently they don’t.

  21. matthew mcglynn

    May 15th, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Yoav, the R144 is a ribbon mic. Did you plug in into your patchbay with phantom power applied? That could stretch or possibly even break the ribbon.

  22. Yoav

    May 15th, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    That exactly was the joke…

  23. Yoav

    May 15th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Just one more, promise…

    So in conclusion, the mic works well for cello as long as you position it relatively close to the bridge and supplement it with an SDC about a foot and a half back, a ribbon about 3 feet up, and an LDC pointed at one of the corners of the room, which of course needs to be very bright with many different delays to gain presence and warmth.

  24. B-ry

    May 30th, 2012 at 8:53 am

    got an At2020 and it said it’s a condenser on the box, does that mean I don’t need to use a compressor since it’s built in?

  25. Stephen Hobson

    June 3rd, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Turn the microphone upside down to give you a small quality boost.

  26. Sam Bryant

    July 3rd, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    This isn’t about mics but it’s a similar type question I’ve been asked before. “Which do you write first, the words or the lyrics?”.

  27. John Gravel

    July 10th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    …a mic that not only improved intelligibility dramatically, but also did so grammatically, correcting errors in sentence structure as I sang. Imagine the look of joy on my English teacher’s face as she listened to me sing “I Can Not Get Any Satisfaction” and “There is not Any Sunshine when She Has Departed.”

  28. Thurston

    October 15th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    This analog microphone is one modern vintage classic that’s ahead of its time!  Hand-wired by precision automation, most of the early quality-control issues seem to have been overcome at the factory. The construction is familiar and sturdy and similar to many modern Chinese mics. But its the crafted wooden case that really puts this microphone into the boutique category. And talk about vintage mojo – close your eyes and you’ll swear you are tracking through a blackface Adat.  

    Additionally, this is also an excellent live mic. The hyped upper-mids absolutely rip and will satisfy the ears of even the most veteran soundman.  A natural for talk-back or podcasting, this mic has also become my go-to workhorse on the studio floor when nothing else is available. 
    Transients are sharp and present, low boomy sounds are accurately rendered, while the noise floor is easily tamed by reducing gain. I did find sibilance to be a constant problem on vocals, although that was quickly solved with some generous de-essing followed by tight eq to avoid making the singer lisp.  I also tried a radical cut in the 2-20khz range and just loved the way it warmed up the sound. Very useful for keeping a track unobtrusively unnoticeable in the mix.

    Verdict: While sounding inexpensive out-of-the-box, this mic really shines when put back in-the-box. It is sure to earn a permanent place in your mic closet. 
    Rating: 4 out of 5 thumbs up.

  29. Dave

    October 16th, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    …….. and if you find yourself lacking gain, just flip on the phantom power switch as this active mic can take it!

  30. Mo

    October 17th, 2012 at 1:06 am

    “With the Phantom switch activated the mic signal really anchored itself in the centre of the mix. Incredible!”

  31. Weisssound

    October 18th, 2012 at 7:15 am

    The heart mode on this microphone really does sound warm and gentle. But circle mode sounds much rounder. I’m still not sure what two circle mode does.

  32. sleekitwan

    November 27th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    This sort of mic is so compact nowadays, it takes me back to where the name originally came from. literally, a microscopic telephone, invented for the ‘action man’ dolls.

    However, it proved almost impossible for ‘action man’ – even with real gripping rubbery hands – to grip after a while, due to the post-pubescent callouses that inevitably accompany the maturing of such a humanoid.

    Hence, the ‘cardioid’ was developed, to latch onto the cardigan of ‘action man’ and save embarassment of dropping his equipment in mid-flow.

  33. Mikey-Blue

    March 27th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    On acoustic guitar the this puppy sometimes seemed almost too warm.

    But a bit of light EQ and switching on the air-con soon fixed it.

  34. Jim Mooney

    May 26th, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I especially enjoyed using the 3-way switch that put the mic in “Omni” mode. This allowed me to use the mic with pretty much any source imagineable.

  35. James

    November 27th, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Howdy – loved this page of bogus reviews and comments.- and while I am sure the voting is long over, I vote for Thurston’s review from October 2012 as surely the best. Love it. James

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