It’s week 3 of our focus on Small Diaphragm Condensers, and just over a week since the BT202 pair was announced. Not only has the weather been exceptional here in the UK, along with some very productive sessions, but the response and excitement towards these mic’s has been wild!
Understandably, you’ve all been asking for some stereo comparisons since last weeks mono examples were made available, and so I have done exactly that with the BT202 pair and a couple of other branded mics for you to hear the difference for yourselves, but there will be even more next week on even more sources; for now there's 3 pairs in overhead and room setups for a clearer picture for you all. On that point, however, I want to talk about my own considerations as to what separates the BT202’s from the crowd, and so that’s what we’re going to do.
Let’s dive in!
It’s really as simple as that. There are many SDC pairs I have used over the years which just haven’t lived up to the hype of expectations I’ve had when using them. I remember one pair in particular (a pair that are also in the examples I’ve done this week for you all) which were used on the drums as overheads when my old band went to record our first professional single. When we were recording, it wasn’t as noticeable, but upon hearing the track finished they were shrill and uninviting to listen to in general let alone at loud volume.
A few other examples which I only have as mono options unfortunately (as I would’ve liked to have shown off a few more examples for you all) also fall into a similar bracket where there are too many cons and not enough pros to warrant working against the grain and trying to make them fit into the mix later on. Instead, I’ve reached for a large diaphragm condenser, or a dynamic mic that's bright but in control which admittedly adds another problem of the space taken up compared to the slimline nature of a typical pencil condenser.
The BT202 really is in a league of its own and there's only one mic that is slightly comparable which we’ll be extending our stereo sample set against next week on some classical source so you can all listen to them against each other. But there is also a caveat to that microphone as well; it’s from a bygone era of recording where there’s not been any real innovation for years since it was first released. The BT202 not only has the handcrafted quality you would expect from JZ Mics but also utilizes the Golden Drop Technology we invented, as well as new components fashioned in a unique way to breathe a lot more life to recordings, rather than rely upon old technology to try and do a much more modern task.
Last week, as I mentioned I showed some mono applications for the BT202 for you all to listen to (you can also find them here should you want to have a listen), and this week I have some stereo setups for you to hear in your own environment yet again by clicking here.
Just in these two sets of examples, with many more on the way next week as well, it’s clear to see that the BT202 really is able to hold its own on several demanding sources such as overheads, room mics, on guitar cabinets, acoustic guitar, as a cymbal spot mic, ukulele, and more. Many other SDC mics, to me at least, seem to have been made with perhaps only a couple of tasks they are going to be useful on and that's about it, whereas the BT202 has been designed to fit into all applications.
Our community member, Alexandros from Voodoo Project Studio in Athens is kindly helping with some samples which you can look forward to next week!
A few of you emailed me recently (which I very much appreciate) and one such email asked if they’d be able to do Foley or ADR style recording for film and sound design - and the answer is simply that they’d be a perfect choice. I mentioned last week that the sound of this mic sits somewhere between the V67/Amethyst and the V12 to my ears and all of those mics would excel on that application too; but that's also why the BT202’s would shine on all the same applications you’d put those mics in front of in general, just in their own way with their own identity!
Working In Pairs
So, by now, some of you may be thinking to yourselves why would I need a pair of SDC mics when I have some LDC mics that already do a wonderful job? Well, the plain answer is that they give you more options and more tools to choose from when crafting your sound. The BT202's, albeit sounding incredibly close to the sound you’d likely expect to hear from a LDC mic, do also have their own sound and style which works in tandem with a LDC pair as well.
A good example of this would be the way the low end frequencies are shaped by the BT202’s compared to say using the Amethyst; the Amethyst still has a tight, controlled, but full picture of the low end frequency content recorded, whereas because it’s a smaller capsule, the BT202 has a slightly tighter roll off on the low end allowing it to focus the sound naturally rather than in post with a high pass filter. This is especially useful on overheads or as room mics in a slightly less than desirable room for drums where the low end from the kick or the floor tom can bounce around overshadowing some of the important low-midrange you’d likely want to hear from the snare or rack tom.
But having both options available also means that you can start to switch up what pairs are used on what application, such as having a pair of V67’s as room mics, and the BT202 pair as overheads, or having both the V67’s and BT202’s as overheads but slightly different spacing or heights so you can capture the shells a little more with the LDC pair, and the cymbals with the SDC pair; a technique commonly used today as it allows for some more separation within the recordings.
However you choose to use the BT202’s I’d love to hear what you create as always, so if you have any questions or want to share your projects, please feel free to reach out to Harri@jzmic.com - until next week though, stay creative!