the worst mic review

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 | by

We had a little contest late last week to see who could write a mic review that crosses the fine line between clever and stupid. The funniest contributions, in my opinion, expressed a deep lack of understanding of some common aspect of transducer technology or lore, and expressed that misunderstanding with total confidence. We’ve all done it before, but it’s funny this time because we’re just kidding.

Judging from the traffic to the #badmicreviews hashtag on Twitter, lots of people enjoyed it.

Meet the judges, and the winner…

Introducing the Judges

I invited a distinguished panel of audio bloggers to judge the contest. You know them, you love them, you wish you wrote as often and with such great headlines as they do. (Well, I do, anyway.)

Dan Comerchero is the brains behind Quiztones, an ear-training app you ought to have. He also hosts The Pro Audio Files.

Björgvin Benediktsson blogs at Audio Issues, and has authored two ebooks about recording and mixing.

Ian Shepherd is a mastering engineer and producer. Visit his blog at Production Advice for great tips on using whatever gear you have to make fantastic productions. See also his new Home Mastering Masterclass.

Dave Chick is best known for hosting the Inside Home Recording podcast, which recently posted episode 100 (!). Visit his blog, Cracked Up.

And the winner is…!

There were lots of great contributions, but thanks to the tireless efforts of our judging panel, one entrant emerged, through the counting, the recounting, and the coin-toss, as the victor. James Clausen, I hereby name you the worst mic reviewer. Congratulations!

Here is the winning (or is it losing?) entry:

James Clausen (@NotTheSameMedia)

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

The Prize

James wins an RK-47 microphone capsule from

James, if any of your badmicreviews were inspired by actual bad microphones, swapping in this capsule is an easy way to make the mic useful in the studio again.

Honorable Mentions

For those not on Twitter, here are a few more favorites:

Slau (@SlauBeSharp)

“Since condensers are sensitive to moisture, 30 seconds in the microwave is a good way to ensure a nice, dry capsule.”

Jon Tidey (@theaudiogeek)

“The omnidirectional polar pattern means you don’t have to worry about mic placement or technique.”

Posted in Reviews | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “the worst mic review”

  1. Randy Coppinger

    May 15th, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Good stuff. Thanks for the laughs.

  2. RJ | 2020k

    May 15th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I was wondering why @Theaudiogeek kept tweeting these obnoxious mic reviews your way. Was thoroughly confused for a good two days.

    One said something about the noise floor of a mic being so loud you won’t have to run a noise emulator on your tracks later…I wanted to cry.

    Laughing forever at the winner & the runner ups. Great contest!

  3. Dave Royer

    August 23rd, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    This is for Slau. . .

    Altec actually suggested BAKING the M-21 capsule in a 250 degree oven
    if it had moisture in it! JUST the capsule. Don’t forget that the M-21
    had a ceramic insulator for the backplate and a GLASS diaphragm
    so temperatures below something like 400 degrees were safe. . .

    Oh, by the way, are Australian microphone makers stubborn about wiring things “pin three hot” for some bizarre reason, or are acoustic waves
    180 degrees out of phase south of the Equator, like the flip-flopped seasons? (tongue firmly in cheek)


Leave a comment