Our view of a nicely lit Hennepin Avenue at 6th St. (Insets) Studio “A” dressed up for the season

Well, it’s early December in the world of advertising and voice-over recording – cue up the loooooong, lethargic snoring sound effects please. This time of year is notoriously slow for recording studios and their brethren who pen and produce all that on air clutter you so assiduously TiVo whenever you get the chance.

While a lull like this might normally give most western capitalists the chance to enjoy a little downtown holiday shopping, go for long lunches, or get one’s Sudoku chops honed – we here at Babble-On are frittering away our brief down time checking out a few new microphones that we’d like to add to the quiver of our audio arsenal.

Mic shootouts are notoriously dull processes. One of us goes into the booth and reads achingly dry tech jargon from the manual at a variety of volumes to see how the mic responds. The others, (in this case John and I), patiently listen in studio for things like “transparency”, “flavor” and “transient response”.

Still here? Cool.

Currently, we’re testing out dynamic mics that can handle high SPL’s (yelling disc jockeys, small children and…others) with minimal deviation (sounding like shit). In a word, these are “beater” microphones. The 3.2 beer of the audio world. Mics you can lend to your ham-fisted uncle with the utmost confidence that even he can’t kill’em.

While we currently have a Sennheiser MD-46 that we like to use for this purpose we thought we’d try out a cool looking mic called The Ball, from B.L.U.E. , and the well known icon of this breed – the Shure SM-57.

After about two minutes of hearing Greg stumble and yell through such winning phrases as “enhanced microphone technology” and “inimitable styling” we’d had enough. This was Terry Thomas from Kerker all over again.

Visually, it went something like this….
Now, normally we like to share with you snippets of audio from our recording studio adventures. However, we understand that most people, let’s call them “normal”, would find this type of thing pretty damn dull. So, with respect to those sensibilities we took Greg’s performance, put a beat to it, and spun it into something completely absurd. Here’s, “whadduzit, whadduzit, whadduzit sound like?”

For the record, the SM-57 won out.

Gotta comment? Let us know below…..