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VIOLET DESIGN MICROPHONE REVIEW

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					       > VIOLET DESIGN MICROPHONE REVIEW
                                                                                                                          Reviewed by Eric Hester
                                                                                                                    Slothtrop Music, Madison, WI


Violet Stereo Flamingo, Violet Finger, & Violet Vintage Amethyst




                                                           Stereo Flamingo




                                                                           Violet Finger




                                                                                                                                           Amethyst Vintage


                          The first thing I have to say is that the Violet Microphones look
                         amazing, with a retro/modern feel that my artists found exciting.
                                            As the owner of a small independent            ever plugged it in. As the female singer noted immediately the Vintage
                                            record label in Madison, I spend most          Amethyst looked a lot like the maid “Rosie” from the old Saturday morning
                                        of my time trying to sell my Artist’s              cartoon series “The Jetsons;” with it’s unique square shape she hit the nail
                                        records. However, I am occasionally                right on the head. However, the mic I found most intriguing was the Violet
                          called upon to produce or engineer a session for one             Finger, a sleek black single medium diaphragm transducer mic that was
                          of my artists. I recently had the opportunity to try             shipped with an FRR Reflection Ring. This ring when placed on the body of
              Eric Hester out three different types of Violet microphones on a             the microphone was supposed to greatly alter the polar pattern, frequency
session for an up and coming Female/Male Pop Duo. While the recording was                  response, and sensitivity of the mic. That seemed like a lot to ask of a little
intended for limited release, the budget was tight so to save time we did the              ring of plastic no matter how cool it looked, I was ready to find out!
tracking in my small Pro Tools LE project studio. While I have a nice selection
                                                                                           First up was the Stereo Flamingo, which I used in this application on the
of lower end microphones and one mid-priced large diaphragm mic, this ses-
                                                                                           main Acoustic guitar. The manual helpfully suggested setting up the mic
sion had one song that was being requested for a small independent film, so I
                                                                                           about 10cm from the guitar at about where the neck attaches to the body.
wanted to improve my arsenal. I contacted the rental division at Full Compass
                                                                                           With that done I rotated the spherical heads into a stereo pattern and went in
and found they had some Violet microphones available. As I had been reading
about this company’s mics with great interest, I thought I had found the per-                        We tracked five songs with the Stereo Flamingo
fect opportunity to both improve my artist’s recordings and see if I should                                 and they all sounded amazing!
invest in a serious upgrade. For this session I used the Violet Stereo Flamingo,
                                                                                           to check the sound. It was GREAT – a warm full tone that filled the
Violet Finger, and Violet Vintage Amethyst.
                                                                                           room. I then tried several other placements to check and found the original
The first thing I have to say is that the Violet Microphones look amazing, with            placement seemed to offer the best sound and with a little more tweaking I
a retro/modern feel that my artists found exciting. The Stereo Flamingo                    was easily recording the best sounding acoustic guitar parts I had ever had in
looked like something right out of a sci-fi flick. Its large spherical cardorid            my little studio. We tracked five songs with the Stereo Flamingo and they all
condenser capsules had all of us convinced it would sound great before we                  sounded amazing!
> VIOLET DESIGN MICROPHONE REVIEW
                                                                                                                                          continued




Next, I used the Violet Vintage Amethyst to record the female lead vocals on this session as the literature aid it was particularly well
designed for the female voice. The artist I was working with has a great voice that some folks consider quirky and in the past it has been
difficult to get a natural tone for her. Not with this microphone, we got such a clear, crisp representation of her voice, it literally sounded
  ...we got such a clear, crisp representation of her voice, it literally sounded like she was standing right next to you.
like she was standing right next to you. While some folks pick a mic to add warmth or color to female vocals, if you already have a singer
with a great voice and want to capture it this is the microphone for you!
Finally, the Violet Finger with the FRR ring. I used this mic on the various other acoustic instruments we recorded that day (mandolin,
banjo, and violin) but was most impressed with what we got from it with the nylon stringed guitar track. Like many other folks, getting a
nylon stringed guitar to sound natural and “clean” when recording had baffled me. Even after reading countless articles and talking to some
really wonderful engineers my tone was still always more bassy and muddy then I wanted. Enter the Finger. Again I placed the mic in the
recommended position but this time when I checked the monitors I wasn’t as pleased with the results; after a few moments I located the
                                        The only word I can use to describe it would be WOW.
sweet spot, which in this case was about six inches from the guitar between the sound hole and where the neck joined the body. The
sound was very good (much better then my general recording tone) but still not quite what I was hoping for. I then placed the FRR ring
on the body of the mic and slid it down to where the “proximity” effect would be noticeable. The only word I can use to describe it would
be WOW. The tone changed in the most wonderful way; suddenly I was recording the sound I had always wanted. All the musicians
couldn’t believe the difference that little ring made not to mention the tonal changes you could achieve by simply moving
the ring up and down the microphone. It’s a wonderful microphone - really more like getting at least three or four different
sounding mics for the price of one. I didn’t want to return it the next day. This is definitely a mic I will be adding to my studio.
Thanks Violet, your mics turned my project studio into a world-class facility.




                                                                                    Eric Hester
                                                                                  Slothtrop Music
                                                                                    Madison, WI

				
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