Jun 21, 2010

Blue Bluebird condenser mic Review


Years ago large diaphragm mics whether dynamic or condenser were really expensive, easily costing near or over $1000 dollars and, not the easiest to setup since distance from the talent and proper pop-screen positioning not to mention the quality of the pre-amp were all critical in getting really good sound.

Today with newer technology all around the audio world that's changed, drastically.  Now you can get a really good sounding large diaphragm condenser mic for less than $500 and it's not so finicky with it's setup.  The Blue "BlueBird" most definitely falls into the category of affordable, great sounding mics.

Based on BLUE's branded "baby bottle" design the unit comes with it's own clamp-on pop-screen (really too small for practical use but better than nothing) and ships in a gorgeous wooden slide-cover case, which looks surprisingly similar to a cedar-box turkey call hunters use to lure the big birds.  At least that's the first thing I thought of when I saw it; others might have a flash-back and say, "Hey man... you can stash your weed in there!"

In use the BlueBird sounds as good at it looks (not that I think a baby bottle is a thing of beauty, mind you); it's very airy with an accurate midrange through 1.5Khz and lends itself well to vocals that don't have a growling low-end.

Connected to a Mackie mixer with Onyx preamps the mic really comes alive but also responded very naturally to a 3-stage tube pre-amp from ART.  I even tried the older model Mackie 1202 VLZ PRO and the BlueBird sang just like.... a songbird!  Imagine that.


Mics respond very differently to different voices and hardware setups, no doubt, so it's not entirely accurate or scientific to review a mic based solely on vocals rather than pink or white noise generators.  But what human do you know sounds like pink noise when they speak or sing?  OK, that's probably a question better left unanswered since I can think of an ex who had a voice like a piece of sandpaper but...

It's hard to find anything wrong with the BlueBird at all; for the price it's nearest competitor would be either an AKG Perception 400 or RODE NT1-A but in both cases the BlueBird is more natural, has a flatter mid and low-end response but doesn't sound "tinny" as many mics in this price range do and is definitely my pick versus the competitors.

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