As previously reported, Aston Microphones is currently in the testing phase for its brand new microphone, the Element, and has recently completed the first round of these blind microphone listening tests with its audience.
The second round has already begun but Aston has been kind enough to share with us some of the raw and unvarnished data from this first round, giving us a deeper insight into how the Element has been augmented following these results. You can join in the tests yourself by heading to astonmics.com/en/product/mics/aston-microphones-project-element.
Pitted against five other high-quality microphones from some of the biggest names in the microphone universe, the first round indicated that the Element, still in its prototype stage, now requires some additional enhancement to tailor its sound towards the majority of the voter’s preferences, making it as robust and tonally pleasing as possible ahead of launch. For Aston, discovering that there is more to be done is good news, and was in fact the very purpose of these tests.
Aston CEO James Young told us that the idea of this first round was multi-fold; both establishing what the participants like or didn’t like about the raw sound of the microphone via the subjective commentary boxes, coupled with the overall voting on microphone preference. This enables the company to streamline the options for round 2. James explained that the comments sent in to the company as part of the test (for each microphone) are read through individually, and commonalities – both positive and negative – are found between them that can further inform Element’s enhancement before launch.
Element of surprise
Though the company remain tight-lipped as to how many microphones now go through to the second round of voting, Aston stress that the worst performing mics have been ejected and the very best of the competitor microphones remain, plus Element. Major developments have already been made to the microphone’s sound, focusing its sonic direction towards what its users prefer, harnessing the unique capsule design (which features warm, extended bass response and very fast transients) to improve performance levels compared with the competition.
This second round repeats the principle of the first round, in that users once again listen to takes for three different audio sources – male vocal, female vocal and acoustic guitar, which have been recorded on the various microphones, you simply select your preferences by dragging to order the labelled sound clips.
If you haven’t taken part yet, then there’s no time like the present! Register to participate in the second round by heading to astonmics.com/en/product/mics/aston-microphones-project-element.
We’ll update you further on Aston’s innovative Element testing progress as the rounds proceed.
Read our interview with Aston CEO James Young about Element and the audience testing.