Vintage Audio Technology for the Modern Studio
131st AES Demo Event
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Matt McGlynn Checking out the Blackspade Mics

131st AES NYC Demo Event

One of the challenges with showing microphones at a consumer or trade show like the AES Show is that it is what do you do?  People don't buy microphones based on looks (well maybe a little bit...) they want to know what they sound like.  While there are many microphone manufacturers that provide listening set ups at trade shows we don't believe that they're very helpful.  Ideally, to audition a mic properly you need to hear the microphone in your own studio on multiple different sources through multiple different pre-amplifiers to get a true sense of what a mic can deliver.  Unfortunately, you can't recreate that on the floor of a trade show.  And while sticking some headphones on and saying "check one, check two, sibilance" through a mic may give you a rudimentary idea of what the mic sounds like, it's also equally possible that hearing every passer by through the microphone and the 300th replaying of Michael Jackon's Beat It from the booth next door might make you hear something that causes you to go "huh, I'm not impressed".  So while you can't bring your recording studio with you, we thought this year we'd bring you to a studio to check out the two lines of microphones that manufacture as an OEM product. 

Fortunately for us, we have friends in NYC!  Scott Clark who owns Mercy Sound Recording Studios also happens to own several CS-1 and CS-4 microphones.  Having spoken to him numerous times over the last year I was able to explain our situation and he pointed out that there where Mercy Sound is located, there are actually two other studios located on the same floor.  He then introduced us to Paul Cox of Metaphonic Recording Studios and they were gracious enough to provide their facilities to us for the evening for the event.  Both studios love using the Lucas mics and wanted to check out the Blackspade mics as well.  Thanks to Scott, Paul and their engineers they set up the studios for trying listening to the mics, arranged for some musicians to drop by the studio and even helped us order pizza!

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Matt Castillo and Slau Halatyn at the board

Metaphonic Recording Studios

We put the Blackspade microphones into Metaphonic Recording Studio's sound booth.  Engineer Matt Castillo set the UM17, UM17R and UM25 up so that we could record and listen to the source on the same performances.  This worked great for both the saxophone and acoustic guitar but was a little tricky on the female vocal.  For that we moved mics around to give each one a good chance with the vocalist.  The mics were run through an API 3124 and then brought back through the Metaphonic's Control 24 mixer.  Folks took turns at the board switching between mics and we all played the "guess which mic is on now" game as we cycled through the performances.  The reaction to all of the Blackspade mics were very positive and it was a great way to showcase there characteristics.

 

    

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John Notar at the helm with Barry Hufker, Terry, John Whynot and Keith Bird in back

Mercy Sound Recording Studios

The Lucas mics were run in Mercy Sound Recording Studio's sound booth since Scott already owned a Lucas CS-1 and CS-4 that we used for the demo.  Unfortunately, we did not have a working CS-3 for the event but hopefully that will be available for something next year...  Engineer Jon Notar set up this room for the Lucas mics as he gets to use them on a regular basis in that room!  The same musicians that we used to audition each of the Blackspade mics were rotated through this room with one exception.  Tamara, wife of John Whynot, was on hand to do some singing into the microphones as we waited for the scheduled female vocalist to arrive.  I think John left the studio on the CS-1 waiting list after that audition...

    

    

Overall, it seemed that the guests who were there enjoyed the event.  I have some ideas for improvements for next time but all in all it achieved what we wanted to do- provide folks with an opportunity to hear these great mics in an environment that feels more like home than a trade show floor.  It was also great to make new friends.  Thanks again to Paul Cox, Scott Clark, Jon Notar and Matt Castillo and all of the folks who attended the event!  For those of you who are in need of studio space and services in NYC look these guys up to see if they can handle your needs.  The whole staff was great to work with.

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Paul Cox of Metaphonic Recording Studio
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Blackspade with vocalist
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Scott Clark, Matt Castillo and Barry Hufker
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Nice Mics!- CS-4, CS-1, UM25 and UM17R