The latest offering from acclaimed manufacturer Blue Microphones is Ember, an XLR condenser studio microphone for recording and live streaming. Though it comes in at just under $100 ($99.99), the Ember is an exceptional microphone irrespective of cost.
The small-diaphragm, side-address condenser microphone’s tight cardioid polar pattern provides excellent off-axis rejection, and its sleek profile provides ease of use in tight miking applications. The 8.6-inch x 1.5-inch mic offers a 38 Hz–20 kHz frequency response while handling sound pressure levels up to 132 dB. The mic weighs 0.84 pounds and features a beautiful metallic blue-grey body with a black metallic capsule screen. The mic includes a sturdy swivel mount but no bag or case.
While Ember’s strength is no doubt in capturing vocals (I’ve successfully used it to record both female and male vocals), the mic is equally suited to recording musical instruments. I used it to beautifully capture a Taylor 514-CE acoustic guitar. The narrow pickup pattern makes it easy to simultaneously record guitar and vocal without significant vocal bleed in the guitar mic or vice versa.
The mic also works well on electric guitars in most instances, especially when recording cleaner tones. Blue designed the mic to meet the needs of video content creators. Its side-address design makes it is easy to position in a video shoot, allowing it to be placed for the ideal sound without being obtrusive.
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When recording drums and percussion, I’ve used the mic on hi-hat, snare top (the mic does an exceptional job of recording brush work), snare bottom and tambourine. Many home/project studios are initially limited to a single mic—I can’t imagine anything fitting the bill better than Ember.
Ember’s low profile and sleek, smart look make it an ideal option for video, yet its sonic performance makes it a strong mic option for a project studio or a great mic locker addition for a studio of any size.
Blue Microphones • www.bluedesigns.com