Antelope Audio’s New Edge For Mic Modeling
If you are like me, you have realized the first step of a quality signal chain is the microphone. But some of the classic tried-and-true microphones we all fell in love with during our audio careers can cost as much as a gold Rolex! A reasonable and versatile studio mic locker can cost as much as a small country. You could fill your mic locker with less expensive microphones but that would also lower the quality of your sound and is counter intuitive to everything we are striving for in the studio! Like they say “…garbage in… garbage out…”! Even the best preamps and converters can’t fix a low quality mic in your signal chain! Well, you could go all in on that one quality mic and use it for everything but all your tracks will have the same sonic character which compounds the mics particular audio signature. The folks at Antelope Audio took this challenge head-on and the team came up with a pretty cool solution, the EDGE Modeling Microphone! The Edge is a dual capsule large diaphragm mic in a very sexy black and copper design. My first thought was, can the Edge stand on its own as a premium high quality mic? There was no way is would be able to emulate the “Big 12” recording mics if it was not an amazing microphone in itself!
The Pudding…“The proof is in the pudding..” so I knew my next step was ask Antelope Audio if they would send over an Edge with the modeling preamp for me to play with for couple weeks. They obliged and it arrived from their corporate headquarters about a week later. The mic came with a sweet hard case wich included the shock mount and their proprietary pop filter. This was perfect for taking the mic with me to sessions at other studios that clients or labels send me to do my work. The Edge was solid and felt good in my hand. The copper-colored grill was super cool and gave the Edge its own hallmark look. The solid build made me comfortable that this mic would be in operations for decades. I set the Edge in its mount with the pop filter on a stand in the iso booth and ran it to the Dicrete MP modeling preamp. I set the software controls to neutral (not emulating another mic). I brought the signal from the preamp directly in
to the Orion 32+ interface without any other components in the signal path. I wanted to “hear” the Edge. I asked a background singer I had been working with that day if she would be so kind as to assist me with a little test. She kindly agreed and stood behind the Edge about 3″ off the pop screen. She launched into an R&B style rif full a-cappella and I listened from the control room. The Edge was very pleasing and had a sweet presence in the upper mids. We tried some off axis takes and a variety of distances and intensities. Overall I was quite impressed. I would be very comfortable using the Edge on my artists even without the modeling capabilities.
Model Behavior…The Edge is offered as a stand alone microphone or in a bundle with the Discrete MP (The Edge Strip). Discrete MP is a mic preamp that has been designed to perfectly match the frequency response of the large-diaphragm components of the Edge modeling microphone featuring dual edge-terminated capsules. This combination of the Edge and the Discrete MP is great for both my personal studios in the Miami and Fort Lauder area of Florida, but to bring with me on the road for projects out-of-state or in other countries. Furthermore, the Edge Strip bundle comes complete with a package of microphone emulations so you have a selection of options right from the start. Preamp emulations are also included in the package, together with the smooth Stay-Levin compressor, personally designed by Igor Levin with the team at Antelope Audio. I no longer need to bring an assortment of microphones from my mic locker but only need the Edge for all large diaphragm purposes. I just select the emulation (modeling) of the microphone I feel best suites the singer or instrument in any given set of conditions.
Both the Discrete MP and Edge are analogue, therefore I can use them with any audio interface and A/D converter used in any studio setup anywhere! Discrete MP allows me to explore the full capabilities of the Edge in both Antelope Audio setups or other brands of audio systems. The Discrete MP easily adapts to any studio setup I am working in.
The emulations are great! Having spent the last 20 plus years working in some of the best new and classic studios in the world, I can tell you that the quality of the Edge Mic Modeling is at a level you would be very comfortable using with any project and any artist. Antelope Audio has come up with incredible cutting-edge products over the years at prices that are well below their competitors. With the Edge/Discrete MP they have done it yet again! I have decided to purchase two Edge / Descrete MP’s. One for our Miami studio and one for Fort Lauderdale studio! This way, my South Florida production team can utilize this powerful tool.
Mic Emulations On The Edge…
Diaphragm: 34mm Large Condenser – Double sided with 6μm gold sputtered membranes
Polar Pattern: Multi-pattern
Freq. response: 20HZ – 20KHZ
Sensitivity: -35dB | 18mV/Pa (-1 to +3dB)
Output impedance: 50 Ohms
Power Requirements: 48V DC Phantom Power
Output Connector: 5-pin male XLR
Color: Black matte
Weight (mic body): 1.23 lbs. (560 grams)
Dimensions (mic body): 8.6″ x 2.1″ (219mm x 53mm)
Breakout Cable: 16.4′ (5meters) 5-pin female XLR to dual 3-pin male XLR (High grade OFC Y cable)
Mount: Shock absorber type with detachable pop-filter