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GEAR REVIEWS

PROS

Neutral sounding, excellent on acoustic instruments and vocals. CONS

None. STREET PRICE

$399

ROSWELL PRO AUDIO Mini K87 Condenser Microphone

M

ost audio gear falls into two categories; devices that color the sound with a signature touch, like a Neve board, for example, or items that don’t alter the sound at all, providing transparency to the source. Great microphones don’t often color things, it’s the first thing in the chain after the performer, after all. Roswell’s small-format Mini K87 is a reasonably priced condenser that packs the same punch as much higher-priced units. Let’s take a look… It’s a large (34mm) diaphragm capsule that’s been gold plated. It’s taken its inspiration from the classic Neumann K67 and K87 mics, which are very desirable and of course, expensive and at times, unobtanium. The circuit does not employ a transformer in its design, which cuts down on noise and distortion, making it very transparent and an excellent go-to for vocals and acoustic instruments. The overall unit is very robust, with a heavy, solid casing and grill, and even includes a shock mount and case to round out the package. That’s a nice plus, especially under $400.

46 APRIL/MAY 2020 PERFORMER MAGAZINE

We tested out this unit first by doing some acoustic guitars. With placement about a fist’s distance from where the body meets the neck, we got the brilliance and body we were looking for all in one shot. Some mics tend to be a bit a bit off, one way or another at this starting point. Some tend to be harsh, or even dark, depending on the mic, but here, the starting point was the end point. Re-positioning the mic to find a sweet spot left us finding that there weren’t any spots that WEREN’T sweet with this little unit. It certainly took the hassle out of doing that track completely. The small size was also welcome here, as it was easy to move into position in a tight studio space. Condensers always work in capturing that extra atmosphere and applying this to electric guitars as well was quite nice, especially a few feet away from the cabinet to add some ambience and room sound to the track. Working with vocals, during playback we realized it had a touch of high end, nothing that

was a problem, but just a nuance that we didn’t catch at the time. Not a bad thing. In fact, we realized it enhanced the track with a touch more air than we had anticipated. Now we also realize it could be our singer’s natural tone and approach, but we found it to be a benefit in our application. Noticing this upon playback, we were able to place the mic a bit further from the vocalist and did another track. It gave us a much more natural approach and sounded better than the applying EQ to the other track. Sometimes positioning is key, and will save you from having to “fix it in the mix.” Get it right the first time, and you’ll save everyone the headache. Overall for the cost, it’s a fantastic workhorse condenser that exceeds expectations. It’s certainly a studio mic that singers want to have in their arsenal if they do a lot of recording, and any studio would be wise to add to their mic locker. Studios may even want to look into a pair of these, using them as overheads for drums, or as room mics. Highly recommended.  Chris Devine

Profile for Performer Magazine

Performer Magazine: April/May 2020  

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