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CardioidStudio Projects LSM

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The LSM, or Little Square Mic, is a large-diaphragm condenser in a very small form factor. It has both USB and analog outputs. It was designed by Brent Casey as an entry-level condenser mic, in that it can be plugged directly into a computer, bypassing the need for a preamp.

(See the sidebar link to an interview with Brent Casey about the genesis of the LSM.)

The 34mm capsule is a true condenser (not electret). It uses a K67-style backplate and has a single 27mm diaphragm made of gold-sputtered 6-micron Mylar.

The rear of the mic has a mini XLR-3M jack as well as a mini USB jack, providing both analog and digital outputs.

Because the USB and XLR jacks are on the rear of the mic body, rather than the bottom, the microphone can stand on a desktop without additional hardware. The yoke mount folds back, making an effective desktop stand.

The onboard ADC outputs 16-bit, 48 kHz audio.

The mic was first announced at Winter NAMM, in January 2010. It will be available in multiple colors, and possibly with custom designs such as indicated by prototypes painted as R2-D2 and what appears to be the designer’s self-portrait.

Studio Projects LSM prototype painted as R2-D2Studio Projects LSM prototype

The mic ships with a USB cable, an XLR cable, and a printed owner’s manual.

We tested the LSM extensively in our $200 Condenser Shootout, which tested 9 microphones on 4 sources: sung vocals, guitar, VO/podcasting, and drum overheads. The LSM was one of the top two picks overall.

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The mic was released in 2010.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
LSM Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (25 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 27mm
Capsule diameter: 34mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 132 dB
Self-noise: 16.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
n/a n/a n/a
  • USB (1)
  • 3-pin mini-XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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