Blue Microphones Woodpecker Active Ribbon MicBlue Microphones makes a number of good, solid active ribbon mics that are very colorful.  You won’t find boring, black mics with standard names here.  The Woodpecker, for example, appears to be made of paneled wood.   It’s Blue’s first active ribbon mic, but just because they haven’t made one before doesn’t mean it’s full of first edition problems.  This mic is high quality and quite useful.  It’s features a figure eight pattern and comes with a solid brass shockmount.  The mic weighs 1.6 pounds, so it’s pretty light, and it’s also sturdy enough to take a bit of a beating.

The Woodpecker is capable of recording a very even tone, and especially well suited for acoustic guitars.  While a ribbon mic generally doesn’t have the best high end recording, the Woodpecker is more open at the higher end than you’d expect.  Used with male vocals, the mic really doesn’t need much preamp gain at all to capture a really clear tone.  In fact, it beats out larger, dynamic mics in some cases.  It can provide more low end, a lower midrange, and more when used during live recording sessions.

Blue Microphones might have never made an active ribbon before, but you’d be hard to tell it from the high quality of the Woodpecker.  It renders everything with a clear tone and personality, and there’s no impedance mismatches to deal with.  It works well with low and high end preamps, and the output is amazing.  You get all of this for $1,299, a great price for a great mic.

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Blue Microphones Spark Condenser MicrophoneBlue Microphones Spark Condenser Mic is a FET-based, cardioid condenser mic that uses some of the same features found in Blue Microphones’ more expensive models.  However, while the Spark features a Class-A FET designs and is all-discrete, it doesn’t come with a high price tag.  The mic is made with as few parts as possible to protect against any mechanical resonance.  Few mic companies think about how extra screws may cause issues, but Blue Microphones considers every possible cause of resonance and works to prevent it.

The Spark is fairly compact and weighs only 1.75 pounds.  The nickel-sputtered diaphragm is mounted on a isolating sleeve made from rubber, which also helps keep out unwanted sounds.  The mic features two response curves that can be toggled on and off as desired.  The Focus control changes the input driver.  In normal mode, it works like a standard microphone.  When switched out of normal mode, you get an interesting response curve with a life between 8 kHz and 12 kHz.  The Focus button can be somewhat difficult to reach when you have the mic shockmounted. Read more

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