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Microphone Talk: IK Multimedia Changeling Microphones “Shapeshift”

Mark ShanderDownload PDF

[January 2018] Choosing the best microphone for a purpose can be challenging. But what if the microphone itself is a changeling, capable of sounding like a number of different modes? That is almost our story here.

If you ask tenured broadcast technicians and engineers about the most common design differences found between consumer/prosumer (or industrial) audio/video production equipment and broadcast gear, you may not get the answer you think.

Likely you mainly are going to hear comments about price vs. features and functions before you hear about durability and reliability.

Both types of manufacturers are selling tools to their consumers. Both produce products for a particular niche, as someone who manufactures pottery – one makes pottery that goes into someone’s home for enjoyment and entertainment for example, and the other goes into the workplace for training and learning.

In the end, both results need to measure up to the same standard and look at least the same at minimum so they appear professionally produced, requiring at least a particular look and a particular sound.

Furthermore, you want to be sure whether or not the software/hardware will work well with the equipment you may already own – or at least the minimum perception of what is expected by TV viewers these days (and listeners, too).

Can They Work in Broadcast?

That is actually what makes the lineup of microphones from manufacturers like IK Multimedia so much fun to use and select from.

I have reviewed a few earlier products from IK Multimedia, My goal was to see if we could produce a portable mobile audio or audio and video production studio to do Electronic News Gathering (ENG) or Electronic Field Production (EFP) using IK Multimedias microphones and 2 software instead of the most popular workhorses of the industry. I wanted see if the resulting product sounded not only listenable, but if it was sellable, marketable, promotable and even competitive with product that was being produced by competitors.

We used iRig Microphone with the iPhone and iPad for one particular configuration, which came with a free recording Application for both the iPad and the iPhone, along with some trial options. There was an upgraded version of the App available if we liked through in-app purchasing.

The result was that with compelling content, I was able to show the iRig microphones output was very good.

New iRIG HD 2 and iRIG Recorder 3

One great way to really hear the ultimate clarity of sound in a portable microphone is to use the new iRig Mic HD 2, a much improved model over the original iRig Microphone.

Its ergonomic body makes holding the microphone by hand feel almost effortless. The builtin high quality pre-amp allows for an output level adjustment (and level indicator) right on the microphone, as well as a headphone level pot. The iRIG HD 2 comes with Version 3 of the iRIG Recorder program.

This version adds new features at no cost, like video sending, as well as audio.

Much of this is in direct response to customer comments and suggestions. The connector has been updated with a lightning plug for iOS devices right in the box.

You readily can see how much care and dedication IK Multimedia devotes to the satisfaction of its customers. It definitely makes customers feel as if they are directing the company and are being helpful. The suggestions from the field are geared more towards performance and response, as well as durability and flexibility – and IK Multimedia knows it.

iRIG Mic Studio

iRIG Mic Studio

The most amazing new features from IK Multimedia microphones are achieved with the iRig Mic Studio.

This iRIG Mic Studio package contains a one-inch large diaphragm condenser capsule, along with cables, shock mount and carry pouch.

However, it is the addition of the Talk Room plug-in for iRig Mic Studio product that send you to completely new level of functions. This product does what we really are looking for – USB microphone that not only records but includes a microphone modeling extension.

Now this is really a game changer!

Pick a Mic, Any Mic

Imagine being able to have about a couple of dozen of your favorite broadcast microphones along in your back pocket with you every time you sit down to record your show or your interviews or your podcasts.

In effect, you can when you run this software. You tell the software what microphone you are actually using to record with – and select your resulting processed recording to be a converted model, shaped as if you had recorded it originally with a microphone, perhaps with the tonal characteristics of a Sennheiser MD-421, for instance.

With the iRig Mic Room Plug-in, you can even use the iRig Mic HD 2 and, by selecting 421, the modeling will convert your voice track as if it had been originally created with a Sennheiser MD-421.

This capability is especially handy when you know the hardware that was used for a project is not available and you need to do corrective editing to reproduce the sound of your original source material.

Both the iRIG HD 2 and the iRIG Mic Studio come with cables and shockmounts, and now work on iOS mobile devices and Mac/PC desktops. (iRIG Mic Studio also works on Android products.)

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For more information, check out http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products

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Mark Shander, a computer show host and syndicator, is based in Phoenix, AZ. You can contact him at mark@shander.com

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