Budget Babe

February 2011

Another low-cost little gem…


…being rediscovered during the last recording sessions – Electrovoice Cardinal (Cardioid Capacitor Vocal Mic) is beautifully engineered, impressively stylish, and sounds good to boot. The frequency response of the Cardinal is flatter than that of most large-diaphragm mics, as the presence peak is less pronounced and quite broad, but there’s also a hint of low-end lift at around 70-80Hz, which gives the mic a very subtle ’smile EQ’ characteristic, the practical outcome of which is that the sound is mildly flattering but still very natural sounding. There’s nothing thin or edgy about the sound and, because there’s no excessive inherent coloration, it responds well to EQ — you’re not constantly trying to fight the mic’s in-built character. Of course you don’t get the fudgy warmth of a tube mic or even a transformer-coupled model, but to our ears this makes it easier to place the vocals at the front of a mix without using excessive volume, and there’s certainly nothing budget (except the $199 price tag) or second class about the sound of this little beauty

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