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12 Gauge Microphones - Red12

12 Gauge Microphones Red12

4 4 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

When you got hit by a bullet, it’s time to say goodbye. Not this time. A new addition to the gearworld comes from the US. I ordered a pair. Now after several tests I am sure I made the right choice.

30th November 2011

12 Gauge Microphones Red12 by George Necola

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
12 Gauge Microphones - Red12

The microphone capsule is built into a bullet-shell. Maybe one of the most massive housings ever. As a following of a discussion on gearslutz, the microphone capsule is wired unbalanced to the XLR-jacks. As a result there could be a problem with certain microphone preamps. I didn’t experienced any problems at all with 4 different preamp models (daking, shadow hills mono gama, api 512c, symetrix).

Having the costs in mind (70 bucks + shipping) my expectations were quite low. What I used it on, was for recording drum room sounds, ambient vocals sound and guitars. Heavy electric distorted guitars.
It behaved well on drum rooms. The mic was not that much noisy (I usually slam and crush drum room signals with a chandler compressor) and it had an even balance of lows and highs. On electric guitars the mic clipped easily. I believe that’s due to the capsule (which might be a phillips capsule like in the earthworks microphones?). No problem I moved it some feet away from the speakers and recorded some ambience. Nice topend for a such a cheap mic, the mids were relaxed and the lowend was a bit boomy but in reality that might be my room + omni mic (I do not record much stuff with omnis).

Ambience vocal-recording turned out well. The particular female singer seemed to be well blent from the 12gauge to the close mic.

Not much to say. Buy it. Now.
Great mic, hand made in the US by Brad Martin, great sound, great price point. If you like to hunt something, you can impress your hunter friends, if not, it’s a good idea to avoid the police if you walk around with your freshly bought microphones.

26th December 2011

12 Gauge Microphones Red12 by Analok

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
12 Gauge Microphones - Red12

Being a budget driven recording hobbiest, I was on the lookout for inexpensive microphones to add to my locker (shoebox). Reading other posts within GS I stumbled upon these Red12GA microphones from GS Member Brad Martin (Member ID: Bradley802). At the small asking price of $35ea/$75pr I was quickly eager to try them. Within 7-10 days of payment, Brad safely shipped them at lightening speed (he builds upon payment).

The build quality is strong yet simple. The mic's element fits perfectly within the shell's butt end, just flush with the flange. The opposite end houses a male XLR plug, again fitting firmly within the shell's body & affixed with a set screw. Ingenius!!

I quickly set up my Mackie Blackjack interface to my laptop DAW and recorded a quick acoustic guitar riff, first placing one Red12GA about 15" from the 12th fret, playing the riff, shifting the mic towards the bridge and then re-playing the same riff.

Upon first impression I was blown away at how such a simple inexpensive design could sound so articulate!! It faithfully captured the lower registers of my lowly concert-sized mahogany Harmony, all the while reproducing my soft fingerpicking with great realisim. I quickly swapped out mics (I had bought a pair) and found the second mic to be in tight tonal quality with the first. Needless to say I was smiling from ear to ear over these puppies! So impressed in fact that I contacted Brad with high praise & immediately purchased a second pair!!

Later that year I captured an intense thunderstorm using these Red12GAs in an X-Y pattern. The results were hair-raising!! They even captured the intensity of the rainfall complete with puddling & run-off with spectatcular detail. However one major thunderclap blasted the diaphram of one mic's element, but it recovered without any residual damage I can tell of. So, chock one up for durability.

In short, these mics are a no brainer!! They're small, rugged, airy, articulate, and inexpensive! Add to the fact that Brad is an all around great 'Slutz-ster' that's not built up on hype & glitz but rather looking to share his designs at the not-for-profit level, and the equasion suddenly becomes confirmed. Just buy them without any regret whatsoever & be ready to get blown away.

Add'l Notes 6/14/12: Since I first wrote this review I've aquired add'l SDCs and found other preamps to toy with (I've caught the 'Altec Green' virus). In comparison, I'm finding the Red12GAs aren't the gainiest specimens out there, especially if they aren't pumped with a hearty 48V+ (the Altecs only provide a meager 15V+ for phantom-a bit whimpy for most real world purposes). In order to get Altec's 1592B VU meter to flex by even a few Db, I needed to place the Red12GAs really close to the source (once again my acoustic Harmony at the 14th fret/neck join area). However, the tone that I captured was warm & woody with not a single trace of boominess from proximity effect. And being this close up allowed for it to produce the soft yet percussive plucking of the phosphor bronze strings my Harmony's dressed with. As it turned out I found yet another voice from the Red12 that I doubt I'd obtain from my MXL24Cr-Ps or even my Little Blondies, but I attribute much of that quality to Altec's pale phantom supply coupled with their 1588C transformer modules. In the right environment, this combination provides a warm bouquet of deliciousness. It's fun finding these voicings, for they inspire one to build music around them. And they're unique enough to validate originality. In essence that's what it's all about, right?? Thanks in large to Brian's clever SDC design, I'm discovering more colors in the crayon box!! And at only $35 each, you can too! :D

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