The Colares large-body condenser microphone is specifically designed and tailored for vocal recording--it uses a transformer-coupled JFET (Junction Field-Effect Transistor) circuit that is said to deliver the sound of a vintage tube microphone. This hand-made, cardioid-only studio microphone measures 208 X 60-mm and weighs 850 grams.
With an equivalent noise of less than 12dBA (quiet), it will produce a musical and harmonically-rich, saturated sound that will enhance any vocal and/or instruments. It uses an edge-terminated 34-mm diameter, 3-micron thick Mylar capsule and has a unique dual-voicing feature by way of the attenuator pad switch.
Besides reducing output level by 10dB to enable recording loud sources, the pad switch also reduces the mic's harmonic coloration for a cleaner overall sound; you would just increase your mic pre-amp gain by 10dB to make up the level loss. In addition, the Colares mic has a deluxe, three-position high-pass filter with: flat (-3dB @ 25Hz), a rumble filter (-3dB @ 60Hz), and a more drastic filter (-3dB @ 150Hz). This feature is great for dialing in just the amount of proximity effect you'd prefer for singers who work very close to the mic.
My very first test was for a male singer singing and playing acoustic guitar at the same time. He was close to the Colares and I used my Pete's Place Blast Filter to protect the mic. I set the mic completely flat with no filter or pad. For the pre-amp, I used a Retro Instruments Power Strip Channel and recorded without EQ and a low ratio compression. The results were remarkable!
I got the presence and size I usually acquire from multi-thousand dollar vintage tube microphones. His voice was thick and warm but not boomy; the proximity effect was not bad as he is used to working the microphone close in to add dramatic effect. The sound was true to the source and not overly bright. Just a touch of EQ was required when I mixed the track.
Next during the same session, I tried switching the 10dB attenuator pad in and cranking up the mic gain. There was a thinning of the overall sound (given the same mic distance) and a smaller, cleaner sound as compared to the mic when it was "wide open." Even though my singer was so close, he literally ate the Colares mic, the sound remained good and undistorted. It's a nice option to have especially for recording loud singers or a group of loud singers.
Every Colares is hand-built, tuned, and tested in Roswell Pro Audio's Northern California headquarters. The mic ships in a custom, heavy-duty flight case and comes with a Rycote shock mount.
The Colares sells for $1,259 MSRP and is a great choice for an all-around general-purpose condenser microphone that will perform excellently for years!
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com