So for the Sydney studio, I decided to get a new mic (great excuse to get new gear!). However, there were a few important criteria that it needed to satisfy.
* Compact in size - My Sydney home studio is incredibly small, and so I needed a condenser mic that didn't take up much space when set up.
* Easily portable - In case I get a job which requires vocal work when I'm on the road
* Sound good - no need explanation here! Actually, it just needs to sound good with my voice ;)
* Easy to set up and break down - No extra power sources with extra audio cables.
So when I was in back in KL, I contacted the lovely folks at SMX Malaysia to talk about microphones. I had heard about this new microphone company called Lewitt and as luck would have it, SMX are the Malaysian Lewitt mic distributors. Even though I had read reviews on the products that Lewitt makes, I still needed to test it out personally. A microphone can be good, but the ultimate test is how it sounds on my own voice. The lovely folks at SMX were kind enough to loan me the Lewitt 440 Pure so that I could test it out and at least compare it with my KL studio mic, the SE Electronic 2200T.
The Lewitt LCT440 Pure is amazingly compact even with the shockmount and pop filter attached. It's really dwarfed by the 2200T.
Upon further inspection of the shockmount, I found that the pop filter is integrated to the shockmount array and is made of metal, so it will be easy to clean with a wet cloth. The pop filter for the other mic is the standard nylon mesh stretched across a circular frame, which has never been cleaned, and probably contains 10 years worth of accumulated bacteria!
An even more innovative feature of the LCT 440 Pure's metal pop filter, is the way it can be attached to the shockmount; magnetically.
I know this really has nothing to do with the actual technical ability of the microphone, but it sure looks cool! Plus, it makes the whole set up very compact, which is also a feature that appeals to me.
Also bundled in the box is a traditional pop filter mic guard which, although looks cute, I won't really be using at all. Also included is a leatherette back to keep the mic in when not in use. Although it is nice to have a hard case, in order to keep the cost down, and to ensure the price of the mic went to the build quality of the enclosure and the actual internal circuitry of the mic, I'm totally fine with that.
In comparison, the physical dimensions of the 2200T dwarf the Lewitt in every way.
As shown in the short video below, Lewitt also included this wristband in the box which is kinda cute I guess.
The frequency response of these two mics are rather similar, with the 2200T's response curve being relatively flat till about 6 kHz where it rises gradually, peaking at 12 kHz. The Lewitt's curve starts to rise at about 5kHz and peaks at 13.2 kHz. It should be noted that since the 2200T is a tube mic, there are characteristics of tube warmth and body that's added to my voice but it does so subtly so the crispness of the vocal is still very evident. The only thing that is inherent in tube mics about is the fact that you have an additional power unit that has to power the tube inside the mic (See photo above). There is also an extra stage in the cable connection into the audio interface. In my mic's case, this connection is a 7-pin connector which looks rather delicate and probably could be easily bent if handled roughly. The 440 Pure being a straight ahead condenser, doesn't need to have it's own power source since it takes the power from the phantom power of the my interface, making it much less cumbersome to set up.
I was very pleasantly surprised that my voice was so well complemented by the Lewitt, and its performance was on par with the 2200T, while being compact in size and costing about half the price. It doesn't have some additional features that the 2200T has, such as a -10dB pad and high pass filter switches built in, but those aren't deal breakers for me by any means. What was interesting to me was the fact that in essence, the innards of the Lewitt 440 Pure is the same as those higher in the Lewitt mic range, just minus bells and whistles, such as high pass filter and other cool things like switches to change the polar pattern of the microphone. Again, features that I can live without.
So my studio in Sydney can look forward to the new Lewitt 440 Pure condenser mic, a mic that really ticks all the boxes in my list of criteria, and really punches way above its price point! Thanks to SMX Malaysia for letting me test it out before buying it. For great prices on awesome audio gear, with after sales service that's second to none, SMX is the place.
To read more about my sE ELectronic 2200T, and how I came to acquire it, please click here.
To read about my first ever professional mic, please click here.