A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Bard College, the alma mater of our fearless leader, Jonah. Once we crossed over the Hudson river and into the beautiful campus, which can only be described as seemingly the best place in America to settle down and start a family, Jonah took us on a tour of the arts center and recording studio.
The studio at Bard was a no-frills, two-room musical haven. The control room was about the same size as the live room, which was probably designed to accommodate as many students as possible, and thank you sweet baby Jesus for that! The live room was very well treated, roomy and was half hardwood floored and half carpeted. A very heavy curtain that could cover half of the wall space was very useful to balance acoustics.
All this preamble is necessary to give context to why the Avenson STO-2’s worked so well for our needs. For those of you not familiar with what these microphones are, they are “omnidirectional.” This means that no matter which way they are facing, they are receiving sound from all directions (think of a sphere surrounding the mic) from their respective positions. “Matched pair” refers to the selection process of the two that end up in the box –all microphones of the same make and model have their differences, so fancy testing things (excuse the technical term) match one microphone with another that very closely matches its frequency response.
We ran the Avensons through an Avalon preamp and straight into the audio converters. The live room provided the perfect setting for the instruments/musicians, the Avensons captured all of the character of the performance in a spectacular room, the Avalon preamps warmed up the signal beautifully, and the control room provided the perfect monitoring environment. I was impressed at the studio in Bard College, but I was really a fan of the these microphones when I got home and listened in a familiar environment. These babies kick ass! Next time I have $600 laying around I’ll grab a pair, matched of course.