As with past shows, NAMM provided a wide assortment of interesting new mic designs, at prices nearly everyone could afford. Here are a few of our favorite debuts.
AKG Perception Groove Pack
Combining the sound quality of the P2 and P4 Microphones with a P17 condenser microphone, three mounting clamps and two stand adapters, AKG''s Perception Groove Pack offers drummers and percussionists an all-inclusive solution for live and recorded sound. The Perception Groove Pack comes in an all-metal carrying case with six microphones for bass, drum and overhead positioning.
Find out more about the AKG Perception Groove Pack
Audio-Technica debuted a new stereo mic, the AT2022. Designed to be easy to use with portable recorders, video cameras and other devices with 1/8-inch mic inputs, the AT2022 includes an XLR-to-stereo mini cable, a cut filter, a fuzzy windscreen and capsules that can adjust to two different stereo configurations. The mic requires a single AA battery. It ships in March 2011 with a MSRP of $439.
Find out more about the Audio-Technica AT2022
Blue Microphones Reactor
Blue Microphones'' Reactor ($499 MSRP) is a large-diaphragm condenser mic that combines large-format capsule technology with an innovative pattern-selection method and a swiveling rotatable capsule head for precise positioning. Featuring Blue''s premium condenser capsule and proprietary preamp circuit, Reactor allows for noiseless live switching between the three distinct patterns (cardioid, omni or bi-directional). It will be available this spring and retails at $499.
Find out more about the Blue Reactor
Designed by David Bock, this mid-priced vocal tube microphone features a high-frequency flat-or-minus switch, dedicated cardioid operation and outboard inductor-based power supply to drive the vintage-inspired tube circuitry. Users will note that the 241 offers a similar look and feel to the Bock 251 due to a revised body and head grille that better approximates the 251's sonic cardioid characteristics. The 241 will replace the 151 at the same price point. The Bock 241 is in stock and ready to ship. MSRP: $3,650.
Find out more about the Bock 241
DPA Expands Reference Standard Series
DPA Microphones'' new 2000 Series is the company's first mics for less than $1,000; the heads and bodies are separate, with the bodies being compatible with DPA's higher-end capsules for easy upgrades. The DPA 2006 omni and 2011 cardioid heads have twin diaphragm capsules that bridge the gap between DPA''s market-leading miniature microphones, which feature arguably the best miniature capsule in the world, and the ultimate Reference Standard capsules. Shipping is slated to begin in March.
Find out more about the DPA 2000 Series
Derived from classic design of the famed Electro-Voice RE20, the company''s new RE320 culls key features of the RE20 and RE27N/D mics into a versatile studio and live performance mic. Key features of this rugged dynamic mic include Electro-Voice''s Variable-D™ proximity control technology for tight and consistent tonal performance; a patented humbucking coil for noiseless operation; and a high-output neodymium magnet structure capsule that delivers fast, accurate transient response and pronounced high-frequency detail. The RE320 also adds a “dual personality” switch that essentially creates two mics in one. One setting of the switch engages a response curve that''s ideal for voice and most instrument miking; the other position activates a response curve designed specifically for kick drums, with dips and peaks exactly where kick drums need some attention. Street price is $299.
Find out more about the RE320
MXL Genesis II
MXL unveiled a number of new studio mics at NAMM, but this follow-up to its popular Genesis model grabbed our attention. The new Genesis II is a cardioid, dual-diaphragm tube mic, but adds a Warm/Bright setting that offers users a choice of two voicings, selectable from a switch on the mic body. Shipping is slated for April; pricing is yet to be announced.
Find out more about the MXL Genesis II.
Sennheiser MK 4
Sennheiser''s first large-diaphragm side-address mic, the new MK 4 is a cardioid, true condenser design. It features a nickel-colored finish and has a large 1-inch diaphragm sputtered with 24-carat gold, and the elastically mounted capsule suppresses stand-borne or handling noise. Specs include a maximum SPL of 140 dB and a low self-noise of 10 dB(A). The MK 4 will be available after NAMM and comes complete with a microphone clip and a protective pouch. Optional accessories include an elastic suspension, a foam windshield and a pop shield.
Find out more about the MK 4.
Telefunken CU-29 Copperhead
Telefunken's CU-29 large-diaphragm condenser mic has been in development for 18 months. It''s based around a unique circuit that features a New Old Stock (NOS) Telefunken vacuum tube, custom audio transformer and a fixed-cardioid, large-diaphragm capsule. Sonically, the microphone exhibits similar characteristics found in its R-F-T Series counterparts, the AR-51 and the AK-47 MkII.
Find out more about the Telefunken CU-29 Copperhead.
Telefunken M80-WH Wireless Head
Originally developed for Green Day, the M80-WH dynamic wireless capsule is now available for a wide variety of live sound applications. These capsule head replacements are interchangeable with any of the screw-on-style handheld transmitters that receive a 31.3mm/pitch 1.0mm threading, such as Shure, Line 6 or Lectrosonics. The M80-WH capsule's cardioid pickup pattern and wide frequency response yields a microphone that provides a blend of functionality, isolation and a pleasing tone. The new M80-WH is sonically open, requiring little or no EQ to fit into a live or recorded mix.
Find out more about the Telefunken M80-WH