Blue Microphones
has introduced a new product designed to impress home and project studios with Class A electronics and Blue’s distinct profile at an affordable price point. Set to be available this November, the Spark microphone ($199) is a solid-state cardioid condenser mic suited for use in a variety of applications on vocals and instruments.

Staying true to the claim that Spark gets results “right out of the box,” the mic ships with a recording guide with tips on mic placement and how to achieve different vocal and instrument sounds. Spark also includes a Focus Control button that allows the user to alter the sonic response of the mic without using any additional processing. I’ll let the manufacturer explain this one:

“A new feature found only on the Spark microphone is the unique Focus Control, providing two different usage modes at the push of a button: the Normal mode (out position) providing increased low frequency sensitivity for recordings with great impact and definition, along with the Focus mode, (in position) for even greater clarity and detail.”

Initially I assumed this was a fancy way of describing a filter switch, but it turns out the Focus Control affects the signal much earlier, changing the input driver of the capsule. Again I defer to Blue:

“The Focus control alters the voltage loading of the capsule, which alters the capsule’s dynamic frequency response, changing the capsule’s behavior in a way that’s more nuanced than a standard filter acting on a microphone’s output. The result is a change to Spark’s frequency response curve as well as the dynamic properties of the capsule (response to transients), providing two different mic characteristics.”

Spark ships with a custom metal pop-filter and shock mount as well as a wooden carrying case, and comes with a three-year warranty. Click here for Blue’s blog entry about the Spark.  –Mike Bauer