Soyuz Microphones The Launcher by ShelGef
The premise is simple. You've a collection of dynamic & ribbon mics that you use for a variety of purposes. Let's say you have ten different mics in this category. You've gotten used to their signature sound. Enter The Soyuz Launcher. Now, all of a sudden, you have access to 20 different sounds, and I have every reason to believe that you're really going to like those ten new sounds. It really is that easy a concept to grasp.
In its role as a 48V phantom-powered “buffer amplifier / microphone output booster,” The Launcher will make your mics louder by about 25 dB or so; your results may vary. But what The Launcher does beyond that is … well, sonic alchemy.
My first test mic was an Electro-Voice 635A omni, connected to a Mackie Onyx 402-VLZ4 mixer, and run totally flat. The difference in sonority was obvious & immediate. Of course, we're talking about admittedly subjective criteria here – but to summarize, I would have to call a “Launcherized” 635A the “635LRC” – for “Louder, Richer, Creamier.”
The same held true for every microphone I introduced into the Soyuz Launcher world. That list included several more Electro-Voice dynamic workhorses: The RE-10, -15, -16, -55 … and the PL-9 / DO-54 [which is, in essence, “The RE-55 Short”]. The Shure SM-53/54 and SM-63. The Heil PR-30 and PR-40. And finally, a ribbon: The Beyerdynamic M-500. In each case, the Launcher imparted a nuanced-but-noticeable dose of smooth “vintage mojo” character that simply made the microphone's sonic signature more “pleasant and listenable.”
For me, The Soyuz Launcher is a “Totally No-Regret Purchase.” It has earned a permanent place in my dynamic microphone signal chain. Mechanically - physically, it is well-built “like a tank,” heavy & sturdy – a high-quality piece of equipment.
As of this writing, I have not introduced The Launcher into a signal scenario that includes one of the several “expensive, boutique” microphone preamps I am fortunate enough to own. Based on its performance with the Mackie Onyx, however … I have no doubt that the Launcher will continue to impress & amaze when connected to these other “more serious” preamplifiers.
As far as company support is concerned, you can't do any better than Marc Kuzio at Soyuz Microphones. He is prompt, courteous, professional – and enthusiastic about answering any questions you may have about The Launcher. [Marc_SoyuzMics].
Let me give you an example. I asked Marc about using the various Shure In-Line XLR Barrel style adapters with the Launcher – the various hi/low pass filters, presence adapter / response shaper and so forth – and which “side” I should place the filter on – the microphone side or the preamp side of The Launcher …
With his permission, I am reprinting his answer – as you may find it quite useful:
"So, those Shure in-line devices … and really any others like them – pads included – can be used, guided by your personal taste. There really isn't a right or wrong way to put them in the signal chain, but they will likely have different results depending on what side they are on.
It's kind of like a guitar pedal signal chain. Do you put distortion into chorus? Or chorus into distortion? If that analogy makes sense ... Basically, for filters – I would just try it both ways and see which you prefer. Do you want the Launcher to respond to a filtered input? Or do you want to filter the effects of the Launcher?
For in-line pads, I would suggest using those between the pre and Launcher, so you can push the transformer hard and get more color."
In summation, I don't see how you can go wrong buying a Launcher & putting it to use with whatever dynamic & ribbon mics you have in your collection. You'll use & appreciate them more – and you'll certainly appreciate your Soyuz Launcher forever, for making all of that possible.
[At the risk of being called a self-plagiarist I will be posting this same review on various websites associated with the sale of this product.]