Audio-Technica have announced two new dynamic instrument microphones for studio and live use. The AE2300 has a cardioid polar pattern whilst the ATM230 is a hypercardioid. Audio-Technica are drawing attention to their high-frequency sensitivity, and ability to cope with high SPL levels. Are these SM57 sound-alikes, or a new standard?
Looking at the AE2300 first, this uses something called a ‘double-dome diaphragm construction’; Audio-Technica claim it is excellent at reproducing high-frequency and transient-heavy content. In addition, the design allegedly keeps off-axis colouration to a minimum. If these claims are true, this will be a very versatile microphone for many musical instruments. The AE2300 also offers a switchable low-pass filter for pulling back the extra sensitivity in the high-frequencies. This is an unusual feature to be found on any microphone, but suggests the frequency response is very detailed for a dynamic mic. I’d be keen to try this feature on electric guitar and brass recordings, for example.
The ATM230 appears to be less versatile, but more suited to close micing of drums and percussion. Audio-Technica write that it has a “big, warm low-frequency response with excellent attack” and that it “handles very high SPL at close range”. This suggests it will be best suited for tom and snare micing. With its hypercardioid polar pattern, the rejection of other nearby sound sources such as parts of a drum kit should help isolation.
I can’t find official RRP pricing to quote here, but initial suggestions are that the ATM230 will be a similar cost to an SM57, with the AE2300 being almost double that. Not bad if the sound quality is twice as good!
More Information on the AE2300: http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/products/product.asp?catID=1&subID=2&prodID=4823
More Information on the ATM230: http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/products/product.asp?catID=1&subID=2&prodID=4824
Here’s a YouTube video from the NAMM 2016 from the A-T booth: