This $199 portable recording studio is more than worth its price

The Austrian sound is not precisely a family title. It was fashioned in 2017 after the closure of AKG’s places of work in Vienna. They’re principally related to high-end microphones and headphones. Now the corporate is dipping its toes into extra consumer-friendly territory with a $199 price ticket Maker Studioa condenser microphone and USB-C audio interface in an extremely transportable package deal.

With dimensions of 155 x 60 x 37mm, the MiCreator Studio is kind of small, however I would say it matches in a pocket. It is also surprisingly dense. 13 ounces is not precisely heavy, however it’s greater than I anticipated the MiCreator to weigh simply by it. The heft makes it really feel like a strong, well-made machine. The one exception to that is the interchangeable entrance panels. My overview pattern got here with black and crimson panels, they appear good however really feel a little bit flimsy. The magnets that connect it to the perimeters are a bit weak and I might simply see them in the event that they had been thrown in a bag. No less than it comes with a gentle bag that you may put it in so every part stays in a single place even when it will get jostled.

Austrian Audio MiCreator

Terence O’Brien/Engadget

There’s a pair of rubber ft on the underside permitting the MiCreator to take a seat comfortably on nearly any floor with little fear of being jostled round. The microphone capsule is suspended by rubber shock absorbers, so vibration should not be a significant concern. If the lean head would not provide you with sufficient flexibility, there is a screw on the underside to connect it to the microphone stand.

The controls on the unit itself are comparatively easy. On the entrance there’s a change that adjustments the microphone from excessive achieve to low achieve or mutes it. And there is a knob to manage monitoring ranges or stability between two sources when you could have one thing linked to the three.5mm I/O jack on the again. Under this dual-purpose jack is a devoted 3.5mm headphone output, and above that may be a change that lets you regulate the enter stage for auxiliary enter.

The enter stage altering keys are in all probability my greatest challenge with MiCreator. The distinction between excessive and low settings could be very giant. Sure, clearly you possibly can regulate the degrees in your DAW and most of the people may have no downside doing so. However personally I wish to get my ranges as near the right stage as doable with out touching the achieve in my DAW for optimum flexibility.

Austrian Audio MiCreator

Terence O’Brien/Engadget

I additionally discovered that the excessive achieve setting nonetheless required me to get very near the microphone whereas talking which resulted in plenty of respiratory and mouth noises. That is in all probability precisely what you need when recording some ASMR movies, however it wasn’t excellent for podcasting. Once more, a lot of this may be simply corrected with a correct pop filter. However that is one other factor to hold and it reduces the portability issue a bit.

Except for these minor glitches, the microphone sounds nice. They’re very directional microphones, so, though they’re pretty delicate condenser microphones, background noise is never a difficulty. They choose up a wholesome quantity of mid and low vary. That is important for assembling a guitar amp, for instance, and tends to deal with my decrease register nicely. However many will need to decrease their voices in post-production.

Lack of adjustability of achieve is once more an issue when connecting an instrument on to the second enter. One thing like a synth with a grasp quantity that does not change the tone is nice. However going straight in with my guitar was a little bit of a hit and miss. Essentially the most dependable technique was to undergo a pedal board and considered one of UA’s amp sim pedals to present me higher management over quantity and tone, somewhat than counting on amp plug-ins within the DAW. Audio Audio will get plenty of credit score although for together with an instrument cable within the field although – that is customary 1/4-inch TS on one aspect and three.5mm TRRS on the opposite for connecting to the MiCreator. It could appear to be a small factor, however it saves you from having to trace down and order a considerably uncommon cable your self.

Austrian Audio MiCreator

Terence O’Brien/Engadget

The corporate additionally despatched up considered one of its MiCreator satellites. This can be a second microphone, with out an interface, designed to pair with the MiCreator. It prices $99 however provides plenty of flexibility. First, it is the identical microphone because the MiCreator, so you should use it as a stereo pair or for 2 individuals in a simplified podcast setup. However the included cable can also be lengthy sufficient to place one microphone in opposition to the subwoofer whereas choosing up some room tone with the opposite. Or you possibly can mic an acoustic guitar with one and sing with the opposite. And the satellite tv for pc is de facto small. This is among the smallest, if not the smallest, all-in-one podcast studios you will get.

If there’s one characteristic I might have preferred to see, it is a standalone mode. If the MiCreator had a small battery and a microSD card slot so it might perform as a discipline recorder, or seize an interview when plugging in your laptop computer or iPad is not actually doable, I might see it carving out a everlasting spot in my on a regular basis bag.

Nevertheless, for $199, or $299 when mixed with a satellite tv for pc, the MiCreator presents a stunning quantity of worth. Truthfully it is higher than it has any proper to be at this value. It is a wonderful USB condenser microphone and a strong (if easy) audio interface in a small, highly effective package deal. It may be a high-quality, go-anywhere podcast studio. Or be the first means a band data new materials whereas on tour.

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