Item: Aston Microphones Origin
Price: £189 (UK), $299 (US)
Quick Singer Assessment:
The Origin has impressive performance that aims to set a new standard for budget studio microphones.
At a Glance
The Origin is a low-cost studio microphone from UK based Aston Microphones. It is a cardioid condenser mic (requires +48v phantom power), and is fitted with both an 80Hz low-cut switch and a -10dB pad switch. To keep the cost down, many of its components are made overseas, however the design, assembly and testing is done in the UK to high quality standards. The Origin is placed at highly competitive end of the market; however, it holds its own and offers a couple of unique features to help it stand out from the crowd.
One of the microphone’s more unusual features is an integrated shock absorber and pop filter to help eliminate unwanted plosives on vocal recordings. The Origin’s build-quality is first rate and it has a distinctive visual design. The low-cut switch is useful if your interface does not have one, however some singers may find it takes too much low-end out of their voice. As well as recording vocals, the Origin can be used for recording a range of instruments such as guitars or percussion. Aston also ship their mics in 100-percent recyclable cardboard boxes in order to make the packaging more environmentally friendly.
The Origin’s cardioid pattern might make it less useful for some users looking for an all-purpose microphone, who may want to look at the Aston Spirit instead. Also, the transformer based des design of the Spirit can help tame the high frequencies when compared to the Origin. Although the in-built pop filter and shock absorber are a great addition, for best results it is still generally better to use a separate pop screen and shock-mount (Aston make a pop filter to perfectly match the microphone).
Audio-Savvy Reviewer Says…
The Origin is a great microphone for the price and has certainly won many fans since its introduction a few years ago. Its bright sound won’t be to everyone’s taste and can sound a tad harsh on some singers without additional EQ. I also found that sometimes it can be a little unforgiving and too detailed on higher-frequency aspects of vocals – such as emphasising lip smacking and sibilant sounds. That said, when looking at the competition at this price-point, I would happily recommend this microphone to anyone looking for a low-cost microphone for recording vocals at home or even for podcasts. – Chris Kennedy
Manufacturer’s Website: https://www.astonmics.com
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Chris Kennedy is a songwriter, producer multi-instrumentalist and freelance journalist from the UK. He has performed extensively over Europe and written and produced over a dozen albums. Chris also has a passion for music technology and was the principal product reviewer and tech expert of the original Voice Council magazine.