MXL Microphones
By Dave Schwartz

While at NAMM we stopped in at the MXL booth to talk microphones and some new additions to the MXL product line. The sales staff was happy to point us toward the new product as well as refresh us on some of the old.

iPAD Compatible Mics
The Tempo is a brand new addition to the MXL product line. It comes in two finishes, red / black and silver / black. The thing about the Tempo and the other mics that we currently make for the iPAD, we’ve reduced the current requirements of the electronics in them so that when you use them with an iPAD you won’t get that annoying message that comes up that says: “Requires too much current.” These mics all plug directly into the iPAD camera connection kit. They work with GarageBand and any other recording software that works on an iPAD. Price Range: $79 and up. They are available through all the major stores and distributors around the country.

There are numerous applications for this mic. Many people carry an iPAD with them daily. It can be used for taking notes as well as for musicians on the road. If a musician is in the tour bus after a gig and wants to work on a song, they can plug into their iPAD and capture ideas to be used later. It’s all extremely portable because you don’t require an external power supply. I’ve recorded both electric and acoustic guitars with this mic and it’s worked very well.

CR-24 Mic Kit
The CR-24 Mic Kit was put together with the amateur musician in mind. The large diaphragm mic in the kit is based on the MXL 2003A. It has been a stalwart microphone for us, has a very good reputation and is known for its very high sound quality. In this kit you get both a large and a small diaphragm microphone, shock mounts and a flight case to store them in. It’s a perfect combination for a singer / songwriter. They have a large diaphragm mic for their vocals and a small diaphragm mic for their guitar. This kit will work in so many applications. Apart from the quality of the mics, they look great too. The black chrome finish really stands out. MXL believes that a microphone that looks good as well as sounds good will always attract attention. 

V67 Series Microphones
The V67 series has been a very popular line for us. Let’s start with the only small diaphragm mic in the series, the V67N. This mic is different from MXL’s other small diaphragm mics in that it’s a transformer coupled output as opposed to the FET outputs on the 603 and 604.

MXL V67 MicrophoneNext we have the original microphone of the series, the V67G. This large diaphragm mic has been available for several years now. We like to be responsible to the our end users and customers. Users loved the sound but the most consistent feedback we received on this microphone is that we add a roll-off switch and a pad. So we’ve added a 6dB pad and a roll-off switch (6dB/octave at 150Hz) and retained the price of the original microphone. The V67 remains available for full distribution while the V67GS will be available only to the pro audio stores.

The next step up is the V67I. This microphone has two diaphragms mounted back to back within the microphone. The microphone has a switch on the front labeled “Warm” and “Bright”. I’m not sure if those terms really are indicative of the performance of the mic. On the “warm” side of the mic the performance sounds warm and intimate. If you switch to the “bright” setting, it’s not as much a case of the mic sounding brighter as much as it opens the sound, makes it sound more forward. In that I guess it could be perceived to sound more bright. The advantage of the microphone is that you have two mics in one package. If the “warm” setting isn’t doing it for you, just flip the switch and turn the mic around and you have an alternative sound available to you. It’s like have two mics.

Moving up from the V67I we have a stereo version of the V67 series, the V67Q. This mic uses two smaller diaphragm capsules arranged inside the head in a 90° X/Y pair. It comes with a Y cable that has a standard XLR connection for the Microphone and two XLR connects that go to the recording console or interface. This mic can be used for a lot of things. People use them for a drum overhead. I know someone who recently used one to record a grand piano. They angled it in such a way that one capsule was pointed toward the high strings and the other toward the bass strings. This microphone has pretty incredible performance for a mic that costs under $200.

The member of the V67 series is a tube mic. This mic is designed on the same principal as the V67I and is called the V67I Tube. It shares the same lineage and has the warm and bright switch on the front. This microphone runs a 12AT7 tube inside that gives it additional warmth and a characteristic sound that you can only obtain from a tube rather than solid state electronics. The 12AT7 is replaceable and is readily available online or in most music stores. 

Revelation Series Microphones
The Revelation series now consists of 3 microphones. The original Revelation mic was a continuously variable multi-pattern microphone. MXL Revelation MicrophoneThere is a large knob of the front of the power supply that allowed the used to sweep all the way from Omni to Cardioid patterns, all the way to figure 8 with little detents in between. So what ever pattern that you’re looking for, this microphone is capable of providing.

Another nice thing about the original Revelation mic is that all of the controls for the microphone are on the power supply. So once you position the mic in front of the artist or amplifier, you can control the mic from the power supply. All the pattern changes are done from there. There is an on/off, a phase invert and even a ground lift switch on the power supply for instances where a studio might have grounding issues. You can actually lift the ground without compromising safety in any way.

Next is the Revelation Stereo. It looks a lot like the original Revelation accept it’s a lot larger. The Revelation Stereo actually has two full size EF86 pentode tubes inside. The power supply for this doesn’t have any controls on it. Once again this is an X/Y pair of capsules set at 90°. The microphone really is a plug and play solution. You plug it in and then take the two XLR connectors from the power supply and plug them into your board and you’ll have a really truthful representation of the position where the mic is sitting.

Our newest addition to the Revelation series is Cardioid version of the Revelation and is called the Revelation Cardoid. It’s a cut down version of the original Revelation with a single capsule. When we put the original Revelation into production everyone loved the sound of it on the Cardoid. We were asked if we could make a Cardoid only version of the Revelation and so we’ve done so.

*** UPDATE ***  In our April 2012 issue of DaBelly we reviewed the Marshall Electronics MXL Tempo Microphone.  Check out the review here

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