Blue Microphones first came onto my radar about 15 years ago when I first tried the Blue Bottle Microphone. At the near £5000 price tag this microphone is out of the reach of most people. Based on the 1928 Neumann CMV3 the Blue Bottle is still considered by some to be one the finest microphones available today. Like the Bottle, the Blue Bottle Rocket Mic Locker fits the same interchangeable capsules that fit the Bottle mic but is at a much more affordable price, so at Pro Tools Expert we thought it was about time to review it.
The Mic Locker comes packaged in a 100% waterproof SKB hard shell case, to keep your microphones safe. In the case there is the microphone body, a spider shockmout and 4 interchangeable capsules.
The Microphone Body
The mic body is transformerless Class A, while not as impressive looking as the huge Bottle microphone, It still feels like a quality product that will last you a lifetime.
The Bottle Rocket Stage 1 has a low self noise specification - less than 7.5dB - and a very high output level at +12dBu. Instead of using integrated circuits, the Stage 1 uses a transformerless Class A discrete amplifier circuit, which has been designed to give it as accurate and nose-free signal as possible.
It is a bayonet-style mic, which means it has a large post on its top side where the lollipop-style Bottle Caps attach with a spring-loaded push and twist. A great feature of this mic is that the capsules are hot-swappable. They can be changed and auditioned while the mic is plugged in, even with phantom power engaged.
Here is what Blue say about each included capsule, and the recommended use.
Cardioid large diaphragm, The Ultimate Big Vocal Sound. Superior bright, silky, and intimate presence. Suggested Applications: Background and lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, percussion; any source where extended top end is featured.
Cardioid large diaphragm dual backplate, The Blue Standard, The Modern Presence Vocal Sound. “Larger than life” sound — enhanced lows and high frequency presence
Suggested Applications: Lead vocals, background vocals, voiceovers, percussion, piano, vibraphone, accordion, clean electric guitar, jazz guitar, and distant miking of acoustic or resonator guitar.
Cardioid large diaphragm single backplate, The Classic Vocal Sound. Classic vintage detailed mids with airy presence. Suggested Applications: Lead vocals, background vocals, saxophone, flugelhorn, clean or distorted electric guitar, pedal steel and slide guitar, organ, conventional jazz recording.
Cardioid large diaphragm, The Versatile Capsule. The best choice if only using one capsule - crystal clear sound quality and excellent detail for a wide range of recording applications
Suggested applications: Male & female lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, drums, drum overheads, percussion, piano, horns and strings.
I have spent a couple of weeks trying out this mic and its range of capsules and i've got to say i'm very impressed. This is a great package for anyone who is looking for a variety of microphones at a fantastic price. I found the B0 capsule perfect for acoustic guitars or backing vocals that you need to sit in a dense mix. The top end of this mic reminds me of the Manley Reference Microphone. The Cap B6 I felt was perfect for finger picked guitars where you wanted them as more of a feature part, It still had a very modern top end that also worked well for modern lead vocals. Cap B7 was more of a vintage sound more like a U47, whilst the B8 was my favourite for male lead vocals.
I have created a downloadable Pro Tools project where you can hear the different capsules and compare them. You can download that here.
I really like this Microphone and its range of capsules. As well as being a fantastic go-to studio mic, for me its a perfect mobile mic rig, where you need a range of quality microphones but you don't know what you are going to be recording. All the capsules sound fantastic in their own right, I have found a use for each of them and i would hate to have to decide which capsule I could do without. I can see this being a wallet drainer as I now want to try the other 5 capsules that you can also buy. Full marks Blue on another triumph!