AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - March 2, 2017

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Clay and Carlito spoke in turn about their respective companies to give context to the products they showcased tonight. Clay worked with Blue after graduating from CRAS in 2006, then left to work for Neat. He went through the history of microphones. In the beginning microphones were hand built, which proved to be inefficient, and inconsistent. When DAW and digital music came along, it gave enormous incentives for companies to invest inefficient manufacturing technologies. Today, high quality microphones are within the consumer-level budget.

Skipper Wise and Martins Saulespurens started Blue Microphones then sold the company. Gibson Brands contacted Skipper to start a mic company for the brand, and Neat Microphones was established.

Clay started with the Worker Bee, which is a medium diaphragm condenser. Flat response, with bump in the midrange. Good for vocals, guitar with Class A electronics, where everything is discrete. It has an attachable pop filter called Honey Comb.

The King Bee is a large diaphragm microphone with an output transformer, which removes noise, smoother transient, and tighter low end. It doesn't have as much midrange. The Worker Bee and King Bee are meant to work together, since they naturally keep out of each other's way frequency-wise.

The Bumblebee is a USB microphone with analog amplifier and headphone output. It is good for travel. The Beecaster has four capsules, which allows for various recording methods, such as Mid-side and Blumlein. The Beeline is a quad cable that reduces capacitance that opens the pathway, preserving the top end. Clay then played back demos of piano, guitar, drums, and vocals recorded on King Bee and Worker Bee.

Carlito's background is in setting up Pro Tools setups for studios. He stressed that if you can bridge between the mechanical engineering and audio, you will be in demand. KRK founded in 1986. Kevlar was only made in yellow, and it stuck, and made KRK iconic. KRK is the best selling speaker company with the Rokit 5.

KRK has soft and Kevlar dome tweeter, lightweight woofer. Front slotted bass port that extends far into the speaker to prevent low end reflections. Radiused edges minimizes phase cancellation from reflections. The Rokit has low frequency adjustments. The frequency response is very flat. The Rokit goes up to 10 inches!

The KRK 10s is the number one selling subwoofer. There is also an 8 inch option, up to 12 inches. The sub has an active crossover, which splits the low end into the sub.

The V series is the KRK returning to the pro studio market. The V series is available in 4, 6.5, and 8 inches. There are numerous EQ adjustments in the back to tune the speakers to the room. What is "flat" is dictated by the room. When installing a subwoofer, it also needs to be tuned to the room. Using the SPL meter with Pro Tools playing back a pink noise, and adjust the levels to 85dB. Carlito recommends the 6.5 inch V series as a starting pro-grade monitors.

After the the presentations, we were able to compare the KRK monitors and listen to the Neat microphones through KRK headphones. Neat Microphones generously gifted a matched pair of the King Bee and Worker Bee to each campus, along with two Beelines. KRK gifted a pair of white-body Rokit 5 monitors and two pairs of KRK headphones!

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