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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Feb 2019 > ASTON MICROPHONES


With the release of its new Stealth – described as “the world’s most flexible microphone” – Aston is taking on the big boys. In this Industry Gurus special, MusicTech catches up with the only British company to manufacture microphones to get the lowdown on this most audacious of new-product launches…

We get excited by gear here at MusicTech – probably a little bit too much. The idea of a studio festooned with the latest synths, software, outboard and controllers is something that fills us with delight, to the point that we write features about them month after month. But microphones? Don’t get us wrong, we do appreciate the attraction of a classic Neumann, the appeal of an AKG, the special charm of a Schoeps and the industry standard that is the Shure SM. However, let’s face it, microphones are not exactly breaking down barriers, as the technology behind them is largely the same as it was decades ago. So when a company such as Aston – a UK one at that – comes along and shakes things up a bit; well, maybe microphones can be as sexy as synths after all…

Aston has already caused a bit of a stir in the space of just three years. Origin, its large-diaphragm singlepattern condenser, was the company’s first release and that mic garnered a 10/10 in MusicTech back in 2015, with Mike Hillier stating that it was a “refreshing twist and a superb-sounding microphone for a variety of tasks”.

That was quickly followed by the multi-pattern all-rounder Spirit mic, and another MusicTech Award, with Hillier saying: “The Spirit is virtually a must-have – it performs well enough to add to any mic locker, and is also inexpensive enough to demand your attention.” Where these two scored on the ‘difference’ stakes was with robust finishes and unique designs, but the Starlight cardioid condenser grabbed even more attention with its laser-guided accuracy. “Every studio needs a pair of small-diaphragm condensers,” said Hillier, “and by offering three voicings in the Starlight, Aston is making a solid case to be the first mic you reach for when you do.”

With pop shields and the Halo reflection filter gaining similar praise, now it’s the time for a brand-new microphone, Stealth – but this one comes with even bigger ambitions. The new model is described as “the world’s most versatile microphone”, no less, and is the first with an autodetect function to sense 48V phantom power while also featuring a built-in Class A mic preamp. Add a ‘unique Sorbothane’ internal shockmount system and it’s a triple whammy of design firsts. We sat down with Aston MD James Young and designer Jack Munro – son of the legendary acoustic designer Andy Munro – who told us more, in this exclusive chat, direct from Aston’s UK HQ.

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About MusicTech

The first issue of MusicTech of 2019 is on sale now! This issue we’ve compiled the very best advice, insight, tips and general music making wisdom from our archive of interviewees to arm you with all the knowledge you need to enhance your compositions this year. We’ve also got the first part of a massive guide to scoring and orchestration, interviews with The Streets’ keyboardist Mike Patrick and industry innovators Aston Microphones, a huge review of Cubase Pro 10 and our usual mountain of tutorials, tips and guides. Enjoy the issue!