Marshall Electronics / MXL are leading the pack in dynamic and multi-functional studio recording and performance microphones.
Equipment Review by Joseph Timmons – Xombiewoof Magazine
The Art of Studio Recording, the capturing of sound at its perfect moment- not only takes a great ear, but it requires you have the right tools of the trade. The studio recording industry, which includes the well-seasoned professional and the home studio user, is flooded with equipment choices, and when it comes to microphones, you see every type and every range of options.
Unless you went to a music academy, or grew up around musicians, the skill to select a unit for recording can be challenging and which one is right for which application, can a particular microphone catch the studios ambient tones, or will it set right near the percussion section or will there be tone values… the list of questions from simple to complex can be daunting.
I have selected 3 of the recent and extensive selection of microphones from Marshall Electronics, known internationally as MXL, a company that is known for its attention to detail, quality of design and longevity of product.
I want you to think of this not just as a review, but as a guide to what to seek out when creating a studio environment where you could do anything and everything you want to in recording with the confidence of an expert. As a musician myself, I have a small and humble recording studio at home, ok well, maybe not so humble, but it is budget conscious, equipment can be expensive, I find that MXL has not only a wide variety of choices in quality of microphones, but there is one that can fit every budget.
I had an opportunity to review the Tempo, a microphone made by MXL that was a high quality studio grade unit that was USB compatible, made for the user that would do podcasting or digital audio work; I used it for studio recording and found it able to do anything I wanted. The tempo performed well above and beyond expectations, so I looked back to see what MXL had or this new article.
Let’s look at these microphones in order of use, keep in mind that your “studio needs” will determine first choice, but knowing what possibilities are available, future need increases functionality concerns.
This may appear to be a general and all-purpose microphone, designed with a great solid construction, low handling noise and feedback rejection, the LSM-5GR is one for the toolbox. This microphone will fit in any application from vocal recording / broadcasting, standard design to fit in with a wide range of applications and delivers where it counts in any tonal range. The LSM-5GR includes added features include an independent “on/off” switch, solid bass and “low end” tones are replicated clearly, high range sounds come through without sounding “tinny” and even without a pop shield, no hiss or “air” comes across during use. We used it from vocal recording to sounding up a drum kit, a great multi-use microphone.
The Red Dot is a fantastic Microphone, like the Tempo, this is a powerful microphone with versatility, designed for use with either PC or Mac, integrates into the digital studio flawlessly. This unit is favored among podcast users and is also popular with voice over artists. Since this unit can be connected to computers, laptops and iPads, it is great for field recording, when other rigs would require too long to set up, this unit is truly “plug and play”. The Studio One comes with a durable carry case, microphone mount and stand, as well as a USB connection cable. I would like to have you consider this as an option when in the studio, since new mixing boards and most studio gear now comes with USB interface; this is also well represented in traditional recording areas. It has a built in headphone jack, but this is not a toy, a fully responsive unit; it carries a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20 kHz and is bus powered.
Saving the best for last, the CR30 is a powerhouse, any use, any application, flawless response and the clearest audio possible, definitely a pro microphone; the CR30 comes with shock mount and a hard shell case. Don’t let the small frame design fool you, the CR30 has a 32mm diaphragm capsule low noise FET preamp, a 3 position pad and can pick up every note you throw at it. Designed to fit into close quarters and “tight spots” the CR30 delivers a rich sound and a depth of range when used with vocals and can be used in group backup vocals with equal clarity. Wired with Mogami cable, the CR30 is the microphone to top the list for the studio. This particular unit was the most fun to use and it’s performance was excellent.
While researching for this article, I had a group come into the studio to do and interview and we talked about microphones they used on stage and in the studio, after much debate, I let them play with the CR30, they were blown away by its ability and versatility and I took them to the MXL website to show them more. A couple days later they called me to tell me they replaced their whole studio with MXL Microphones to do their next album, so I may have a great follow-up article coming this way soon for MXL.
Visit MXL and see for yourself why this company is an industry favorite as well as a favorite among home and professional studios.
Joseph Timmons – Xombiewoof Magazine