AB9IL.net: Podcaster Microphone: MXL VO: 1-A

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As a podcaster, the sound of your voice represents you to the world. Yes, your content matters, but your standards are represented by the quality of your audio. Clear, clean sound invites your listeners to stay and listen to you; tinny, muffled, or distorted sound can annoy your listeners and drive them away. The microphone you select is the first step in presenting your audio persona. Do you want top notch sound for your listeners? Sure, you do!

The MXL VO: 1-A, manufactured by Marshall Electronics, certainly is a pretty microphone, flat grey in color, with black lettering. It came about as a project of Harlan Hogan and Marshall. Believed to use a K67 capsule, it has a clean and natural sound, with low distortion and a broad frequency response. The VO: 1-A captures the band of audio spectrum suited to the human voice. Its response tends to slope upward from about 30 Hz, with the angle flattening somewhat near 100 hz, to a maximum sensitivity near 10,000 hz. Then the sensitivity decreases to the nominal value near 20,000 hz. Thus, the microphone has a crip sound, but is not at all shrill. Such a response is great for video narration, podcasting, or regular speech. It would need a bit of EQ if the user wants "big badass male bass." Likewise, a voice with a lot of sibilance may want to use EQ to reduce the high end response.

Take care when digitizing the audio from the VO: 1-A. It is beautifully clean and low in noise, but a mediocre ADC can degrade the distortion and dynamic range performance of your audio chain. It is not enough to simply convert the analog audio to 24 bit / 96k or 24 bit / 192K. The ADC really should add minimal noise and have an associated high dynamic range. Be wary of cheap USB to XLR converters which tend to be crude and minimalist in bringing audio into the digital domain.

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