CAS Quarterly

Fall 2019

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Page 62 of 87

C A S   Q U A R T E R L Y     F A L L 2 0 1 9   63 For good measure, I decided to throw a completely different microphone into the test, a Neumann U-87, one of the most popular microphones for vocals, but this one is a condenser and costs nine times as much. The Aston Stealth has a number of good selling points. It is a completely new and original design. It has already been nominated for a TEC Award at next year's NAMM and has received positive reviews in a number of other trade magazines. Among its unique features, perhaps the most interesting is that it can be used without power (as one would expect), but it also has a built-in preamp which they describe as "Class A." The microphone automatically detects if you are sending 48 V power and turns on the preamp. The preamp lights up a purplish ring light near the base of the microphone. This is the mode we tested it in. The Stealth also has four settings to choose from. Aston refuses to call it EQ, instead stating, "The voice settings are not EQ filters, they are contour networks, meaning the bulk of the signal does not pass through any sort of filter circuitry. The whole signal is slightly attenuated, with some frequencies being added back in at a higher level. This results in much lower phase distortion than conventional filter designs." The settings are chosen by turning a ring around the base of the microphone. The four settings are for Male Vocal, Female Vocal, Guitar "which is equally suited to Spanish guitar, electric guitar cab and steel string acoustic," and one labeled "Dark." The Dark setting is intended to sound similar to a ribbon microphone. We recorded a male and female singer both singing acoustic style of music using the male and female settings respectively. In a perfect world, we would have had a longer session recording with all four settings and with more performers. Dylan Kober Bonnie Clarisse Utter The team at the console comparing results.

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