There are tons o’ mics out there these days, it seems, in this price range. But this one comes in a box that really bummed me out, proclaiming “FOUR MICROPHONES IN ONE!” Feh. Once I got over the cheesy packaging, though? Well, this is what I heard: A really cool condenser mic for not much money.
I mean I absolutely LOVE the GT MD1A large-diaphragm tube condenser, and I always thought the GT44 was a great small-diaphragm tube condenser mic. And this “convertible” mic (if you ignore the “convertible” part of it) is quite good. With the saturated “cheap condenser” market as insane as it is these days, I was already sort of primed to feel like this budget-priced GT would be just another entry into that world, so why bother?
But I was kind of wrong. . . .
This thing sounded really good on acoustic, nylon string guitar. Really good. Reminded me of a cross between an SM81, an AKG 451, and an Oktava MC012. Pretty cool! Especially for the $149 price tag. I didn’t even bother trying the thing with the windscreen on, BTW. . . . And as a mono ambient mic for drums, it actually was pretty awesome as well.
I also tried an odd assortment of mic pres that I know well, including a ManleyTube reference mono mic pre, a custom discrete pre in my console, a UA 2-610, and an Averill 1272. The mic worked well with all the pre choices, but it was really singing with the custom pre in my console. This single microphone, with a custom pre, and a Neve 33609 limiter into Pro Tools HD @ 88.2/24 bit was pretty amazing. Great transient response, good overall kit balance. . . . A surprisingly well-balanced room mic for drums, about four feet back from the kit, centered, at chest height. Up near the snare it really was shining, with a TON of usable top end that would really help out if used along side something fatter. Overall, this mic seems to be a winner if you ignore its “intended” uses much like the [Beyer] M88 on kick or guitars.
This mic is not something that will make you freak out and jump for joy no matter what you use it on, but I think you would be surprised at how good it sounds on lots of sources. Totally worth having around in any studio, even if you just use it for a “keepable” scratch vocal or something. Could wind up being that sleeper kick mic that rocks for something stupid specific, like a 20" kick with both heads on and no muffling. . . . Hit record. It’s what is in front of the mic that matters anyway. . . .