Excited having received our first shipment of Aston microphones, we were lucky enough to do a quick shootout recording acoustic guitar with a couple of other large diaphragm condensers; An Audio-Technica AT4050 and a beautiful vintage Neumann U87 (circa 1979). Perhaps an unfair comparison! Especially against microphones that cost just under $700.00. However, after listening back in the Sounds Easy show room, we all felt that the Aston Spirit faired pretty well, especially given the price point.
The test was conducted at Church Street Studios, thanks to Sean Carey in studio C. We tracked into Pro-Tools via a Neve 1073LB connected to a Universal Audio Apollo 16 (original silver-face model). We recorded finger-style acoustic guitar, spot-miking the guitar with each microphone at the neck/body join about one meter away from the instrument.
Probably the most impressive discovery was that the Aston Spirit wasn’t overly bright. This has become a common characteristic of many cost-effective large diaphragm condenser microphones that; seemingly overcompensate their inability to smoothly capture low-mid frequencies, by giving it a nice boost in the high frequencies - therefore sounding crisp and bright straight out of the box.
The Aston Spirit is a multi-pattern microphone, and can record in cardioid, omni and figure-8. Whilst it doesn't ship with a shock-mount, the Spirit attaches to the stand directly, via the internal threading at the bottom of the microphone. This, along with the in-built pop-filter for vocals, are handy features. Especially if you need to right up close to it.
We love the look of the Aston Microphones! But it's not all about looks, a microphone has to perform too. As you'll hear from the recordings below the Spirit has plenty of high end detail without being overly bright or thin sounding. At under $700 it's a no brainer. We look forward to seeing the new Aston Halo refection filter which is coming soon too.
We have uploaded the recordings to our SoundCloud page where you can gauge the results for yourself.
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