NAMM 2017: Aston Microphones Starlight - Pencil Microphone
February 07, 20172 translation missing: en.blogs.article.read_time
Aston have introduced the Starlight - a small diaphragm condenser microphone, at NAMM 2017. The most striking feature is a class 2 laser that runs along the top of the microphone body. The laser has been implemented for precision microphone placement, enabling you to zone in on the sweet spot - literally with a laser light-beam! You could then take a picture, and have a visual reference to reproduce the exact same mic-position at a later date. Very handy!
On the microphone front, the Starlight features a 20mm small diaphragm capsule, housed in Aston’s trademark 1.5mm stainless steel chassis. Relatively standard features include an attenuation switch, with - 10 or - 20dB settings. There is also a low-frequency roll off fixed at 80 or 140 Hz. Both very useful features for tracking.
You also have the choice of three different recording modes. Vintage, Modern and hybrid. These modes alter the interaction of the capsule with the mic-amp circuit - effectively offering slightly biassed or altered frequency response to suit different sound sources such as vocals, percussion etc. Crucially, this switch is at the front end of the design, minimising unwanted noise into the signal. Aston claim the Starlight is capable of very high SPL up to 150 dB.
Above you can see the recording mode settings, pad switch, and low frequency roll-off. There is also an on/off switch for the laser which uses phantom power to operate.
The Sintered Metal Head:
Close up of the sintered head on the Starlight by Aston Microphones. The black case on top of the body is the tip of the class 2 laser.
The other visually interesting feature of the Starlight, is the Sintered Metal Head. Sintered Heads, are not a new innovation but rather a design that’s been revisited. The head on the Starlight is made up of thousands of tiny ball-bearings that have been fused together. Aston state that they used the sintered head to tune the capsules.
These discontinued AKG microphones are earlier models that incorporated a Sintered Meatal Head.
You will be able to purchase the starlight as a single unit that includes a mic-clip, or a factory-matched pair. The stereo pair will ship with a specially designed stereo miking bar that includes two adjustable shock mounts by Rycote. UK pricing for the stereo pair will be £599. Stay tuned for updates and Australian pricing.