In this video review for Production Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the new Slate Digital ML-2 small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone with a 'Dynamic mode' switch and the latest VMC Classic Instrument Microphone bundle for the Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack (VMR).
The Slate Digital ML-2
The ML-2 is a small-diaphragm fixed cardioid pattern condenser microphone which is at just over 3 inches long and is the little sister to the original ML-1 large diaphragm condenser. The ML-2 ships in an environmentally friendly cardboard box and comes with a mic pouch and clip. What else does your growing mic collection need? Oh yes, it needs the software in the form of a new plug-in module for the Slate Virtual Mic Rack or VMR.
VMC - Classic Instrument Microphones Collection
In conjunction with the release of the ML-2, Slate Digital has extended the range of mic models with The Classic Instrument Microphones Collection, which is 18 of the most commonly used mostly small but some large diaphragm mics (Condensers, Dynamics and Ribbons) found, used and loved in recording studios all over the world. There are 18 different models to choose from including a vintage and modern sounding SM-57 model to a Royer R-121 Ribbon to studio favourites like the AKG- D112 and C414. The full list is available from the Slate Digital website.
Slate Digital ML-2 Microphone And Classic Instrument Mics Software Audio Examples
Alongside the video review, I have created a track recorded with four Slate Digital ML-2s and a single ML-1. You can hear two different high-resolution 48KHz MP3 files from the session below. The first is the mix without using any mic models, so you are listening to the bare ML-1 and ML-2s. I believe this demonstrates that the ML-1 and ML-2 are great mics in their own right. The second track is a mix using my choice of mic models from both the new Classic Instrument Mic collection and the Classic Tube Mic Collection.
Download A Free Session And Try Slate Digital ML-2 Microphone And Classic Instrument Mics Software
But if you want to take it a stage further and get involved yourself you can download un-processed stems from this session and either have a listen to the recordings in your working environment or, download the Slate Digital free trial software and have a go at mixing the track yourself and swap the mic models as you see fit. Once you have got the demo version from Slate Digital then you can download the stems from the session I used in the review so you can try it all out for yourself.
Using Slate Digital ML-2 Microphone And Classic Instrument Mics Software In A Recording Session - Bonus Content
The following two free video tutorials go behind how James used the Slate Digital ML-1 and ML-2 microphones. In these videos, James explains his ideas and reasons behind the recording setups for both his studio drum kit and the electric guitar recording rig.
One of the things I was slightly worried about initially with the Slate ML-2 is that the ML-1 was initially designed to work with the Slate ultra-linear microphone preamp.
Now we know that those mic pres may eventually end up in the Slate interface the Virtual Recording Studio (VRS), but I was slightly concerned how it was going to work with more conventional mic preamps, the sort of units we all have. There's only so far you can go with technology, but there's a certain amount of tailoring that might have gone on to make the system work better. So were my concerns valid?
I'm happy to report. I don't believe that is the case.
The Slate mics sound fantastic working through the preamps on my console. I've also tried the Slate mics with some Crane Song, API, and Neve hardware, and they all work really well.
You do of course get the character of the preamp you are using, but you get that when you are using any mic preamp.
I think these are very very usable they're great, they're nice and solid. I love the new models, I love the microphone model choices they've made and quite frankly whether you think they sound like the mics they're supposed to be, I don't believe it matters.
The Slate mic models sound good, are very usable, and they offer considerable variety, and that's what matters. The Slate Digital ML-2 Microphone And Classic Instrument Mics Software combination is a very useful and powerful tool. Check it out!
If you want to find out more about the new Slate Digital ML-2 microphone and the Classic Instrument Mic Collection head over the Slate Digital website.