Item: The Golden Age Project R1 MKII
Price: $189.99 US, £145 UK
At A Glance: The Golden Age Project R1 MKII is a vintage-style ribbon microphone designed for use in the studio. Its design characteristics are inspired by microphones from the 1930s and 1940s like the RCA 44 and 77, making it a great choice for singers wanting an alternative to the more modern sounding condenser microphones that they would typically use. It comes with its own padded case and with a standard 3-pin microphone cable to connect to your interface.
High Notes: Considering the price of the microphone, it appears well built and looks great in any studio. When used on vocals it can at first sound a little “dark”, however the microphone responds extremely well to EQ and you can use large amounts of high frequency boosting without excessive sibilance becoming an issue or the sound feeling unnatural. The R1 has a very well-rounded low and middle frequency range that can help add warmth and definition to vocals, especially on male voices. As well as vocal use, The R1 Mk2 is also well suited for the recording other sound sources like acoustic instruments, strings, brass, wood-winds and choral groups.
Off Pitch: Like all ribbon mics, the R1 is not the ideal microphone if you like your vocals bright and forward. It requires a preamp that will give you a larger amount of gain than you would need with a condenser mic (generally 50-60db of gain on vocal recordings). Ribbon microphones will also pick up a fair amount of room ambience, which may be a problem for people recording in small “boxy” sounding rooms.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The R1 offers exceptional value for money, considering the price of higher-end ribbon microphones and the good performance it offers relative to them. It is also available as a higher-output active version, which is particularly useful if your preamp does not offer enough clean gain. When compared to higher-end ribbon microphones, the R1 is not quite as smooth and does need a little more EQ; however it still provides that natural-and-warm characteristic vintage vocal sound
Note: When using a ribbon microphone make sure to turn off phantom power as this can break the microphone – also when recording vocals it is essential to use a pop filter to avoid risking damaging the ribbon element.
Manufacturers Website: http://www.goldenagemusic.se