Sterling Audio ST69 Condenser Microphone Review

May 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By George Petersen



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Used close-up in the figure-8 pattern, the ST69 has a huge proximity boost with a low-end pump that provided an instant Barry White effect on vocals and a great sound on acoustic bass. With extended HF reproduction and nearly identical front and back lobe response, the ST69 is an ideal candidate for M/S miking, as well.

In the omni pattern, the ST69 was very flat out to 10 kHz, followed by a slight bump around 12 kHz and plenty of high-end response. Combining a single ST69 above a kit (with an Audix D6 kick mic for punch) offered a drum sound that was natural and balanced.

One thing that surprised me somewhat was that the ST69 picks up everything. Used as an ambience mic 10 feet up on an AiRR Support boom, the ST69 had no problem reproducing distant piano bench squeaks, page turns, rattling drum hardware and air handling noise — a combination of wideband problems that other mics may have missed entirely.

With a low $599 street pricing, I was initially skeptical about the Sterling ST69. But it sounds great and would serve equally well in a large studio collection or as a single mic that can handle almost any recording application.

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