Snapshot Product Reviews

Apr 1, 2008 12:00 PM

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AUDIX M1250

Micro Series Miniature Microphone

One of the latest trends in microphones is the miniature pencil-style mic. Somewhere between a lavalier and a full-sized, front-address mic, the M1250 transducer-on-a-diet from Audix is great for applications where sneaking in between cymbals to mike a tom or going under a snare can be difficult. Its size is also great for spoken-word applications, in which seeing the person's face on camera or at a podium is important. It also offers total immunity from RFI, making it a winner for use around GSM phones and devices. The phantom-powered Audix M1250 mic certainly fits any of the previously mentioned applications and more.

Although I tested versions with cardioid capsules ($419), Audix also offers hypercardioid ($439), omni ($419) and supercardioid ($459) capsules, making this one of the most versatile mics in its class. It comes with a 25-foot mini- to full-sized XLR cable, a mic stand adapter, hanging clip, foam windscreen and carrying pouch. Optional accessories include a 50-inch Microboom, stand adapter with rubber shock-mount, lug and drum-rim mounts, and goosenecks in three sizes.

Measuring just two inches long and a half-inch in diameter, this 0.6-ounce wonder has a frequency response of 80 to 20k Hz, and boasts being the smallest 48-volt condenser mic with an integrated preamp on the market. I tried two M1250s in a number of situations with varying results. I first used them on toms, and due to their size found them a breeze to place just right. The mics advertise a bottom end down to 80 Hz, but they needed some help from a bottom tom mic (flipped out of polarity) to get the sound I was looking for. They handle 150dB maximum SPL, so close proximity to a drum is not a problem. The attack of the stick on the tom was crystal-clear, and transient response was excellent. I did find them lacking as overheads, but these wouldn't be my first choice anyway. These miniature mics are better suited for tight, high-SPL situations — both live and in the studio.

Next, I tried an M1250 under a snare paired with a Shure SM57 on top. It brought out the snap I was looking for and was a perfect companion for the top mic. For spoken word, these mics shined. Their rolled-off bottom and ability to take high SPLs made them a perfect choice when used up close, especially with the included pop screen.

Although I did like using the mic in a variety of applications, I had a few problems with the optional drum-mounting hardware that Audix sent. I'm not big on this style for studio recording, but for live applications it helps to eliminate stage clutter. The clamps were robust, but I found the rubber shock-mounts to be flimsy and they broke easily after minimal use. However, the optional long and elegant Microboom floor stands are exemplary. I could see this mic being ideal for house of worship or other podium applications where you need good spoken-word coverage but don't want a large mic in someone's face.

Audix, 503/682-6933, www.audixusa .com.
— Kevin Becka






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