Behringer B-2 Pro Review / Test

Today we're looking at a "higher end" microphone from the budget company Behringer; the Behringer B-2 Pro

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 10:30. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Hardshell Storage Box

  2. Microphone

  3. Shockmount (Includes: 5/8" & 3/8" adapter)

  4. Foam Windscreen

  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional

  3. Sensitivity: -37dB to -34dB

  4. Max SPL: 137 / 149dB

  5. Equivalent Noise: 16-18dBA

  6. Impedance: <100-ohms

  7. Power Requirement: +48v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels fairly average for mics in the $100 price range. It has an all metal body as well as a somewhat flimsy feeling metal mesh grill. On the front you will find a 3-way polar pattern selection switch to move between the cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional polar patterns. On the rear you'll find the high-pass switch that rolls off at 6dB/octave at 150Hz, as well as a -10dB pad if you're recording loud sound sources. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. We're only going to focus on the cardioid polar pattern response here as it's the most used pattern. It has a surprisingly flat response from 1kHz and below with a slight roll off beginning at 150Hz, which reaches -2dB by 50Hz. From 1kHz and up there's a gradual boost that hits +2dB at 7kHz, and then there's a large boost which reaches +5dB at 10kHz and gradually rolls off until it hits 0dB at 20kHz.

The overall performance here was decent. On the electric guitar, the low end felt a little loose, but did not get muddy, and then the treble air boost provided a nice amount of liveliness to the recording. The acoustic guitar sounded too focused in the high end, and left the strings resonance sounding dominating and a bit of a grating tone all around. For singing, the mic added a breathy quality to the voice as well as a bit of extra grit. For spoken word, I think the high end is a detriment to the microphone as it accentuates mouth noises, breathe, and sibilance a bit too much.

Pros

  • Relatively flat low mids and lows

  • All polar patterns are pretty usable (Rare in this price range)

  • Nice build quality

  • Plenty of nice accessories

Cons

  • Shrill in the higher end

  • Susceptible to plosives

  • Relatively high noise floor at 16-18dBA

cardioid
Omni.png
Bi.png

Conclusion

Although this microphone would not be my first choice in any use case, for the price I think it's a pretty good deal. Therefore, if you're looking for your first mic to record music in your home studio, I think this would be a fine option given the plethora of accessories that are provided with the microphone, and the clean and clear tone you can get out of the microphone. Just make sure to pick up a pop filter along with the microphone.  

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Behringer B-2 Pro
US: https://amzn.to/2L3nqAU
UK: https://amzn.to/2zvQRui
CA: https://amzn.to/2N4g29d
DE: https://amzn.to/2uarcC0

 

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

AKG P220 Condenser Microphone Review

Today we're looking at another microphone from AKG's 20 series microphones, the AKG P220.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 12:30. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Hardshell Storage Box
  2. Microphone
  3. Shockmount (Includes: 5/8" & 3/8" adapter)
  4. Extra shock mount eleastic bands

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-34dB
  4. Max SPL: 135 / 155dB
  5. Equivalent Noise: 16dBA
  6. Impedance: 200-ohms
  7. Power Requirement: +48v +/- 4v

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels awesome. It has an all metal body that feels very robust in your hand, coming in at over 1 pound. The grill also feels very sturdy and does not bend when squeezed with fingers. On the front you have two switches, a high pass filter, which rolls off frequencies at 300Hz at 12dB/octave, and a -20dB pad.

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. Unlike most microphones, this does not have a natural roll off in the low frequencies. Instead it has a minor dip around 150 hz and a boost from 150 down to 500Hz peaking at +4dB, which is then rolled off at 50Hz and down.  The mids are very flat from 100Hz -  4.5kHz at which point a gradual boost begins which ends up peaking at +4dB at ~11kHz, and then rolls off up to 20kHz.

The overall performance of this mic left me a bit underwhelmed. I did really like this microphone on the acoustic guitar as it had a nice full body and then the treble and air boost added some nice percussiveness to the tone. However, on electric guitar, spoken word, and singing, I did not enjoy the mic, and the dislike all stems from the treble and air boost. The boost led to the treble frequencies sounding a bit overpower on the electric guitar, while it left the spoken word and singing sounding top heavy, a bit brittle, breathy, and sibilant. 

Pros

  • Nice flat mids
  • Awesome build quality
  • Nice shockmount & storage box provided

Cons

  • Relatively high noise floor at 16dBa
  • Fairly sibilant

Conclusion

I was not terribly impressed with this microphones performance. The treble & air boost on this thing added some very unfavorable characteristics on the vocals and electric guitar. Although I did personally like this mic on the acoustic guitar, i think the tone is very specific and not very versatile. With all this being said, I don't think I can really recommend the microphone. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the AKG P220
US: https://amzn.to/2tuNbDi
UK: https://amzn.to/2lwNRng
CA: https://amzn.to/2tuRAGx
DE: https://amzn.to/2tEzwcj

 

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Telefunken M81 Dynamic Mic Review

Today we're looking an awesome microphone from Telefunken, the M81.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 3:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $250.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Carrying Pouch

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 30Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-60dB
  4. Impedance: 250-ohms
  5. Max SPL: 140dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is outstanding. It has a great feeling machined metal body that has a really good amount of weight to it, which feels nice in the hand. It has a shiny metal mesh grill on the top which seems sturdy enough to handle the abuse of stage use. Inside the grill there is a substantial amount of foam, as well as an additional piece of foam to attempt to curb plosives.

The frequency response is listed as 30Hz - 18kHz. The frequency response on this mic has a slightly recessed mid section that helps with clarity, but avoids having a v-sound or scooped mid sound. The presence boost on this mic helps you cut through a mix, but immediately after the boost, the air frequencies are rolled off drastically to help battle shrill higher frequencies. Lastly, the low end is controlled well. It allows for some decent proximity effect without getting overly boomy or muddying up your mix.

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. The off axis coloration on this thing is incredible. At 90-degrees the tone is almost the exact same as at 0-degrees, just quieter. At 180-degrees the rejection is impressive as well. In my tests there was minimal keyboard noise from my Cherry MX blues, and I think would translate great to a live venue. 

The overall performance of this mic is excellent. On spoken word you're getting great clarity with a nice warm sound even with the slight mid-cut while the low end allows you to utilize the proximity effect without ruining a recording. One draw back to this mic is that it did not handle plosives well at all. Therefore if you plan on using this mic on a singer, you may want to add an additional windscreen. The company states that this mic is a great option for taming brighter vocals and guitar tones and for fattening up percussion, horns, and thinner sounding sources. 

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Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 6.41.27 PM.png

Pros

  • Amazing off-axis coloration
  • Great rear-rejection
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Decent job with handling noise

Cons

  • Did not handle plosives that well
  • A bit expensive in comparison to other handheld dynamics

Conclusion

I think this is a great mic to have in your live mic locker. When comparing this to the industry standard SM58, the slight mid cut and the less prominent low end makes for better clarity in singing/guitar, as well as offering a more forgiving sound for performers with less than optimal microphone technique. The presence boost will also help stick through a mix, and the air roll off will keep the harshness from overwhelming your mix. If you're just looking for a new tone to add to your live sound, I think this would be a great option.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Telefunken M81
US: http://amzn.to/2FE7Tcj
UK: http://amzn.to/2FYio9G
CA: http://amzn.to/2FD6YIQ
DE: http://amzn.to/2IufmZd

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV