- Band Management
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Blue re-vamped part of their microphone line at NAMM, and the new Bluebird SL takes a lot of its cues from some of their more high-end microphones. Yet it delivers to a much more affordable price point, perfect for small commercial studios and home recording budgets.
The Bluebird, like the other SL models, is a Cardioid pattern condenser mic. The capsule is covered with a gold Mylar sputtered membrane, like their higher priced models. A -20dB pad and a 100Hz hi-pass filter are the only adjustable variables, which keeps things simple, yet tweakable.
It’s also a transformer-less design, meaning there’s no extra circuit path that can color the signal, or add any extraneous noise — perfect for clean vocal takes. With a max SPL of 138db, it can handle just about any volume thrown at it. The frequency response is 20Hz-20 KHz, meaning a very high frequency range to capture both high and extremely low ends without difficulty or loss of fidelity.
It has an excellent, sharp and positive attack, regardless of the sound source. Vocals are especially nice and tight, and acoustic guitars really have a wonderful richness; there’s still plenty of low end there, but it’s not over-coloring or detracting when it’s in the mix. Even with some varying mic placements on an acoustic guitar, the midrange and upper highs move a bit as expected, but there’s a presence of the low end that seems to shift with it. Overall it makes it a very “tunable” mic, adjusting the sound at the source, but not creating other issues in the process. Vocals work perfectly with this, and again tunable to the type of approach the singer is using, as placing the capsule towards or away from the head generates different responses, not better or worse, muffled or spiky, it’s easy to adjust and see what works best for the singer.
We are especially impressed with the versatility this can bring to a home studio’s mic locker. You’ve now got an affordable vocal mic, acoustic mic and room mic all in one, that looks and sounds much higher-end than the price tag lets on.
As it’s transformer-less, the signal to noise ratio is quite low, and can handle loud sources like horns or drums quite well. Blue suggests it’s great for snare drums; a pair of these would be great at capturing a room sound for a drum kit and for overheads to capture cymbals, as in our tests.
Included is a shock mount and a nice wooden case. For a serious vocalist, this could be a secret weapon to bring to a session, and might even give a pro studio’s mic locker a run for its money.
Tight overall response, tunable. Excellent in loud volume situations.