I have recently taken delivery of 2 new microphones for my voice over studio. In recent years I have taken an interest in the British microphone manufacturer Aston. They first appeared on the scene about 4 or 5 years ago with the quirky looking but very highly reviewed and rated Aston Origin. This was a side address large diaphragm condenser mic that was affordable but offered the kind of sonic quality usually only available from mics many times the price.
Since then Aston have released a number of new mics. During 2020 I joined a group of people who work in audio – musicians, sound engineers, record producers, singers etc to take part in a series of tests to help develop what Aston called The People’s Mic.
Over a number of months I, along with many others, took part in blind listening tests where we had to rate a series of recordings made with a range of mics – including many of the famous and long established brands we all know along with prototypes of the new mic they were developing. You can see more on this on the Aston website
The tests involved recordings of acoustic guitar, male singers and female singers but you had no indication which mics had been used in each case. Over 3 series of tests Aston were able to take the feedback data from all the participants to refine and tweak their new mic which eventually hit the. market at the end of 2020 branded as the Aston Element.
This is one of the new mics I’ve now got in my studio. Once again the appearance is eye catching and unlike anything else on the market in the affordable category (thats sub $500 according to Aston) or indeed in any other category. You can see it at the top of the page.
One innovation is the magnetic pop shield (see photo above) which just pops onto the body of the mic. I have not used the mic for VO work yet but I plan to do a head to head test with my usual VO mic the Neumann U87 and will post a review then. I can report that it worked well for a singer in a band tracking session – sounded great and with very little spill from the other sound sources.
I’ve generally used a Rode NT1 or AT4033 for tracking but I think the Aston Element may well take over on vocal tracking duties from now on.
The other new mic to the studio is another Aston – this time its the Aston Stealth – I will post a full review of that mic in the near future too.
Voice Over Artist