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Audient Mico

Audient Mico

4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 7 Reviews

Dual Channel Microphone Preamp w/ Vari-Phase and HMX Harmonic Sculpting


23rd December 2011

Audient Mico by Zoot

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Audient Mico

Audient's Mico is a great little piece of gear. As far as bang for the buck goes, I highly doubt that you could find a better deal in the $650 price range. Clean Preamps, DIs, -10dB pad, 3 Filters, HMX and Vari-Phase, Clean A/D conversion over lightpipe or coaxial, Word clock in. All in a half rack space.

Both channels are super clean with plenty of gain and awesome filters set at very useful frequencies (40, 80 and 120). The buttons are a bit close together to allow super easy access, but it is a half rack space, so what can you do. You do not need elvin fingers like you need on some 500 series stuff.

Upon hearing it in action, you will realize that Audient managed to put a lot of quality (and very useful) parts into this preamp. Aside from the dual pres, one channel has HMX harmonic sculpting, which is good, but not nearly as good as SSLs VHD, and the other has Vari-Phase - which is awesome.

The Vari-Phase is what I would like to focus on more so than the HMX. I believe that it is the best feature of the Mico. It is great for dialing in room microphones to be totally in phase, or getting the bottom snare to be perfectly in phase with the top. It is not my choice of preamp for acoustic guitar, but if you wanted to use it for that, I imagine that the Vari-Phase would be great for double miking an Acoustic. I have two Micos, so I run my room microphones into the Vari-Phase channels of each. That way I can place the Room microphones where they feel and sound the best, and then dial in the phase after the fact.

The A/D function is just an added bonus. It blows away the A/D conversion of anything Digidesign or Avid have in their MBox of 003s. Maybe not night and day, but noticeably better conversion. The ability to expand any system with two channels of clean preamps and A/D conversion for $650 is a tough feat. Audient nailed it.

I would like to see Audient release a Mico with 2 channels of Vari-Phase. The HMX is just OK in comparison to how useful the Vari-Phase is. Although, if I really had it my way, I would like Audient to make a 4 channel version of their Vari-Phase - it would certainly give Little Labs a run for their IBP money!

  • 1
4th March 2012

Audient Mico by mranderson1983

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Audient Mico

I was recently in the market for a new pre-amp to take the front end of my DAW system to the next level. For around £400, you just can't go much wrong with this pre. I rarely use my stock soundcard pre-amps anymore.

There were two great selling points for me with this one...

Firstly, the pre-amps themselves and the fact they're the same ones you will find in the Audient ASP008 and the ASP8024 mixing console. Audient have taken what works well at the top of their product line and put it into this compact creature with no serious compromises. Therefore, the quality is immense. I don't think this is a "character" pre, but more a clean, full sounding transparent pre, with plenty of clear gain on tap.

Secondly, the idea of a variphase function seemed like a real luxury. Sure, it's no excuse not to get mic positioning right in the first place, but it's amazing to be able to tweak in a great tone. So far, I've used this function on electric guitar recording. I just put up a couple of mics; a dynamic on the grill and a ribbon around a foot away. Without much thought to placement, the results were infected with phase problems, but, a little tweak of variphase saw the bottom end return and the overall tone become fuller. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but add to that some more thought out mic placement and this is a real luxury element to behold.

That's not all to be said here. The addition of well placed filters, phantom power, welcomed pads and the option of adding a little colour on channel 1, with the HMX dial, this little pre is feature packed for the money. The instrument input is always a welcome sight, for an instant high quality D.I. The Digital output is great for anyone who doesn't want to take up any analog inputs on their soundcard. In my case, my Saffire Pro 40 now has an extra 2 inputs because of this.

I'd say that this preamp would make the perfect first upgrade for a standard DAW setup. The quality is pure bliss for the money and the features make for an incredibly flexible preamp.

19th April 2012

Audient Mico by DanBrokenfor

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Audient Mico

Recently bought this for a really good price as part of a bundle. It was already a good price before the bundle deal as well though!

I've used it on a couple of tracks so far, DI input and mic inputs as well as feeding some tracks from my DAW back through it to try out the HMX and Variphase functions.

So far so good. Very clean and detailed sound, smooth detail across all the frequencies as well. The Variphase is very useful to sort out phasing issues when you just don't have time (or can't be bothered! Tut tut...). The HMX is interesting, on some things it makes a good difference others it is not noticeable as much. I'm not sure if I'll use it very much probably only when I'm set on that being the "sound" I want within the mix. Nevertheless I was going to save up some more money for the Sytek pre that people love on here with a couple of the Burr-brown opamps which apparently sound more tube like, but I think this will do me just fine!

The conversion is brilliant as well, have been running it via SPDIF into my EMU 1616m, no jitters or problems so far - even forgot to set it as the master sample rate clock on a couple of recordings and it seemed to be fine, totally in sync.

The low cut filters are useful as well, do a good job of removing unwanted low frequencies and I'm sure that I'll find a use for the -20db pads as apparently it's better to use the ones built into preamps instead of on the mic when you're in need of lowering the input gain. And of course the phase reverse button is useful as well. After using built in soundcard pres in my EMU 1616m and Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 for a while, having the ability to low cut, phase reverse/shift and so on is really useful.

The only problem I've had is reaching round the back to get the cables in and out, I'll be buying some 1m XLR patches to stop me from having to reach round every time I want to plug a mic in!

I have used this pre on some low output ribbons which need lots of gain on quiet sources. I had the gain control almost all the way up and there was minimal if any noise (more likely room noise from PC fans etc.) on the recorded tracks even with comping. Very clean as well, no distortion.

I would definitely recommend this to desktop users looking for some higher quality pres with useful features and for a great price. I had been looking at the ISA one digital or Sytek but I'm happy with the Audient.

Good stuff!

22nd March 2013

Audient Mico by Call_me_Switters

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Audient Mico

I consider Audient Mico a huge bargain. With 700$ you can add to your setup 2 great channels of stellar preamp and conversion.

It's a fairly clear preamp. With enough gain for almost everything and handy features. The saturation option and the phase knob are nice gifts but nothing you cant live without. The multiple digital outputs (SPDIF optical and coaxial, AES, ADAT) give huge versatility and the pad options are welcomed.

But there are 3 things that prevent this unit from being the total success.

First of all is the external power supply.
Secondly the lack of auto lock with the DAW sample rate without word clock out from your interface.
And third (and most annoying for me) the fact that you can't chose between Mic and line in signals easily. The unit is equipped with combo inputs that work as Mic inputs with an XLR cable and as Line with a jack. So in a permanent patched situation like mine I can't send line signals through it because I need to go behind and change the cables!

But in any case this is a nice step up for a project/home studio from the common interface preamps and I am generally very happy this gizmo!

12th January 2015

Audient Mico by Silent Sound

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Audient Mico

This is an excellent sounding preamp, both on the analog side and the digital conversion. The sound is very neutral with just a touch of warmth in the highs without being harsh or brittle like on so many other cheap clean preamps. The unit is very quiet even at high gain levels and has a decent amount of gain. If you're looking for two channels of clean audio with digital conversion for under a grand (US dollars) then this should be your choice!

It's fairly easy to use, mainly because there are so few features. The HMX control is kinda useless. It's more of a color knob than a distortion knob, and the color it adds is a bit harsh. Maybe in small amounts it could be useful, but I've got other preamps (RNP, BLA Auteur, 2 ART MPA Golds, and 2 rack mounted channel strips from an old Midas console) that do color better, but none do clean this well (the BLA is closest). The variphase is okay in that it works fine, but in this age of DAW's, it's more of a time saver than a must have feature. All of the inputs and outputs are on the back, which can be a bit of a hassle, but they wouldn't fit on the front without making it a full rack space unit and probably increasing the cost. Plus, smaller things are easier to find space for. It also has DIP switches for things like sample rates and WC options. Those would be nice to have on the front as well, and not be DIP switches, but for my setup, I won't be messing with them any, so that doesn't really bother me.

The one thing that does bother me about the unit is the DI. It sounds great (once again, if you're looking for a really clean sound), but it overloads pretty easily with a hot guitar and the -20 dB pad doesn't seem to effect the DI. Of course, you can turn down the guitar, but I don't like doing that.

I bought it to replace my ART Digital MPA (with Telefunken 12AX7's) which lost the ability to sync word clocks with my Delta 1010. The ART has it's uses (color and DI), but the Mico is in a whole different league. Both the preamps and the converters in the Mico are a noticeable improvement in fidelity by a fairly large margin over the ART. Price wise, it's closer to the DMPA. Sound quality wise, it's closer to a Millennia (but not quite there). Bottom line, if it didn't have stellar digital conversion at this price, it would still be a bargain. But with the conversion, how can you go wrong? If you can't make a quality recording with this preamp, you don't know what you're doing.

30th June 2015

Audient Mico by Chris Dover

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Audient Mico

Great sounding Preamp, won't ever use the variphase and i don't believe that will be a selling point. But the HMX is super cool! I will be an Audient customer in future due to the quality at this price point for sure. I have a few decent pre's UA, Gap, Warm and for clarity the audient wins out. Very detailed. I really look for clarity when dealing with fast paced tracks for super fast drum hits and stegato guitar playing etc. The audient just seems very snappy to me. Love it

1st February 2016

Audient Mico by neilneil

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Audient Mico

I've had this wee guy for a good few years now. I mainly use it these days as a pre-amp for a pair of Shinybox ribbon mic's going into a Metric Halo 2882. The 2882 has quite noisy pre's when you crank the gain and the Mico is just so clean and quiet. The A>D on the Mico isn't quite as nice as the Metric Halo, so I just go into the 2882 line inputs, but I don't mind when I need the extra Metric Halo pre's and use the Mico A>D and AES output.

I recently compared the Mico to the pre's on the SSL AWS924 and an API 3124+ at my work. We were recording a very old Steinway grand piano through a pair of DPA 2006a's. The Mico was able to give just an extra touch of clarity to the slightly dense/dull sounding piano. Everyone in the room agreed that for this piano + mic combo the Mico was the right choice.

When I bought the Mico, I was after transparent, high quality, clean gain. I think everyone needs a pre-amp like that and I couldn't be happier.

 
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