Mobile Recording: Alesis Hooks XLR Mics to iPod; Edirol R-09 Adds Storage; Tascam DR-1 Review

The mobile recording space keeps rolling along. Alesis is the latest company to try to turn the iPod into a usable digital recorder. With up to 160 GB of storage, the fact that the iPod is a mobile hard drive you may already own certainly has some appeal. But what about quality? The Alesis ProTrack attempts to bridge that input divide with internal mics and XLR inputs: XY pattern stereo condenser mics (they look a lot like the mics on the Zoom H4) XLR and 1/4″ inputs (line/mic) with 48V phantom power 1/4″ stereo output, making this interesting as a …

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Preview: Blue Snowflake, US$79 Portable USB Mic You Can Clip to Your Laptop

Blue’s Snowflake USB claims to be the "first portable USB microphone to hit the market." (I thought they were exaggerating, and then picked up the "USB" bit — okay, fair enough.) It’s just US$79, plug-and-play on Mac and Windows, bus-powered, and comes in a cute case that doubles as a stand or screen clip. Blue’s mics are quite nice — I’m just a little skeptical in terms of how this performs in terms of quality, given its bargain price and small size. Hope to get one of these to try out, and we’ll see. Oh yeah, that and it costs …

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Shure SM58 Mic Torture-Tested: Takes a Licking…

The classic SM58 vocal mic has stood up to abuse before, but the Scandinavian-based Studio TV takes it to a new level. Photo of another well-used SM58 by Trendwhore, via Flickr. Us Americans are wimps. Scandinavians know how to test music gear. As a metal soundtrack pounds away in the background, a Shure SM58 gets subjected to some serious torture testing, including: Being used to hammer nails Dropped a couple of meters Frozen Dunked in water Driven over by a car And then something really nasty happens involving Heineken and a microwave.

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Microsoft Details Vista’s New Mic Array Features

I’ve found the Windows Vista Team Blog to be largely disappointing in terms of actual OS information, but they’ve got an interesting post this week from Windows Vista audio team Program Manager Richard Fricks: Using a microphone array to enhance sound capture Microphone array recording is a technique for improving recording quality by processing signal from multiple microphones. Compare the signal, and you can more easily focus in on the source. The application here is really not music and “pro audio” — in this case, I think they’re targeting consumer-grade mic arrays that would replace, say, the lousy built-in mics …

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CME: Plug Mics, Guitars, MIDI Directly into USB

Manufacturers have attempted to make USB connections for audio and MIDI more transparent before. We’ve seen mics with USB cords instead of XLR, and USB cables with little humps in the middle with built-in circuitry for MIDI connections. But new cables announced this week by Chinese manufacturer CME go further: a USB/MIDI cable that’s as thin as a standard USB connection, a USB mic interface with integrated +48V phantom power, and a guitar/bass/keyboard USB interface.

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AES: Beautiful “Redhead” Red Type A Mic, with Interchangeable Tube Capsules

Sometimes it’s really hard to be rational and dispassionate about high-end audio gear. Some of it is just ridiculously pretty. And every time the AES show rolls around, you can be sure your right brain’s neurons are going to get all hot and bothered about Blue and Red Microphones and their lovely, vintage-style designs.

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Tube Mic on a Budget: M-Audio’s New Sputnik

Say M-Audio and you probably think of plastic keyboards or USB audio interfaces, but M-Audio’s latest creation is a multi-pattern, large diaphragm studio condenser microphone, with a retro design and a military-grade vacuum tube. The Sputnik is not M-Audio’s first microphone — they make a line of budget-minded condensers — but M-Audio is crowing about it in a big way. By budget, we’re talking US$699.95 list. But it’s the mics to which M-Audio is comparing the Sputnik that might get some interest. M-Audio claims that “top Los Angeles recording engineers . . . observed [in side-by-side comparisons] that Sputnik exhibited …

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Circuit-bent Lightbulb Music at Tokyo Dorkbot; Tokyo Writer Wanted!

If you missed the evolving Dorkbot event in May, you missed some fantastic flourescent light bulb performance and djing with human bodies as electrical swithces. (The former I’ve heard done by a different artist; beautiful, wild sounds.) You’ve got a second chance: Dorkbot is due again on the 2nd of October with bending circuits apparently the theme: Dorkbot Tokyo Taking Off [English, WWMNA] May Dorkbot coverage in Japanese: RealTokyo, RadioLife May Dorkbot summary in English: Dorkbot.org, plus photos Upcoming Event info [Japanese only, but hey, it is in Tokyo] Tokyo correspondent wanted! Readers in Tokyo, want to keep us posted …

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HHB: The Mic that Records; High-End Recorders

The hunt for mobile recording solutions continues, and yesterday brings breaking news: flash memory has even found its way into a microphone: New HHB FlashMic Is World’s First Digital Recording Microphone [HHB PR] Fasinating, but not terribly useful to musicians: you’re limited to mono recording, since the mic is the recorder. Some interesting features, though: Mac/PC configuration of defaults, powered by AA batteries, single-button recording, USB connection, linear .WAV support. No word yet on pricing or availability. Now if they’ll just make a stereo mic version . . . HHB comes highly recommended as a portable recording vendor, as a …

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