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Aston Microphones - Project Element

Aston Microphones - Project Element

 

 

We want YOU!

…to help our team at Aston Microphones design a new ‘People's Microphone’.

Session 2 now open for voting!
Session 1 is now closed but it's not too late to have your say! Session 2 is now open, so get involved and help us create something really special.

 

Every Aston mic to date has been developed in conjunction with the Aston 33 panel, a 600 strong group of many of the top industry professionals in the business who, through a series of blind listening tests, have ensured that each mic we have produced has outperformed all the competition, including big brand mics costing 10 times as much.

Now it’s YOUR turn! Aston Element will be the world’s first microphone to have a sound crafted by you, the musicians, engineers and producers, who will eventually be using it to create your own musical magic. We have taken the mic to prototype stage – now here’s your chance to have your say on how the final version will sound.

 

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Read on to find out more…

Project Element - Get involved!

Aston Element – Help us create YOUR sound

Session 2 now open for voting!

Following Session 1 the Aston team have painstakingly analysed the voters’ preferences and developed a new voicing for Aston Element. With your help we’re creating something really special. Out go the worst performing mics from round 1 but some of the best of the competitors’ mics remain, alongside Element. Again, you won’t know which mic is which as Aston continue to remove any possible bias from the process.

In Session 2 you will again be able to listen to takes for each of three different audio sources, male vocal, female vocal and acoustic guitar, recorded on prototypes of the new Aston, alongside a number of competitors’ mics.

This is a unique chance for you to contribute to the sound design of a professional studio microphone. Help us create YOUR sound!

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Read on to find out more…

Become a part of the ‘Aston Family Developer’ team

Every participant will not only be able to call themselves an official ‘Aston Microphones Developer’, you’ll also have the opportunity to pre-order a highly collectable ‘Limited Edition Voter's Element’ at 25% off list price (limited to one mic per customer). These will ONLY be available to members of the Aston Family Voter Panel and will come complete with a certificate signed by Aston’s CEO, James Young, special edition window stickers and a special edition Aston pin badge, as well as digital logos for panel members to display on their own social media posts and web pages. 

To participate you will need to have access to a DAW or recording device plus good quality monitor speakers or headphones.

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Read on to find out more…

The Aston 33

So where did the idea for the world’s first ‘customer-designed’ mic come from?

Actually, Aston have created all their award-winning mics so far using a similar blind-testing process with hundreds of the top producers, engineers and artists in the world… But now it’s time to let everyone in on the action! Here’s the history…

The ‘classics’ of the mic world differentiate themselves by having their own subtle yet recognisable sonic character, and this is subjective. So how do you know in advance if your new mic design is going to please the ears of the world’s top music and audio professionals?

Simple. You ask them. In fact, Aston went further and invited them to participate in the R&D right from the start of every mic project. The resulting panel of experts, affectionately named the Aston 33 after the original 33 panel members, now comprises more than 600 top producers, engineers and artists from around the globe, 120 of whom took part in the testing procedures for the development of the 2020 TEC Award winning Aston Stealth.

No other brand develops their microphones this way, in fact it is unique in the Pro Audio technology industry, and it’s the reason Aston mics sound SO good. Aston work with the very best ears in the industry. And now it’s your turn!

 

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Read on to find out more…

Aston Element – How the audio files are recorded

The sound files are being recorded by completely independent professional musicians at Soho Sonic Studios, one of London’s leading recording facilities.

At each stage 5 iterations of Element and other market leading mics, are used to record audio files for male vocals, female vocals and acoustic guitars. A separate track is made for each mic, with gain levels pre-balanced such that record levels are the same.

Although takes aren’t identical using this method, our artists do their best to make them as consistent as possible. Our own experience, and advice from our A33 panel, has shown that this is the best way to ensure a level playing field. Trying to record one take using multiple mics close together inevitably ends up with proximity and/or off-axis response colouring the sound of one mic differently to the next. Using pre-recorded vocal/instrument material to play into the mics, although ensuring identical takes, relies on having used a mic already to make the recording, thus colouring the original source with the sound of that mic.

The final recorded files for each source are labelled A-E (with a separate key denoting which number relates to which mic known only to the test team). The files are then randomised prior to uploading for voters to audition, so, for example, Mic A is not necessarily always the same product between different sources… this, again, avoids voting bias.

Then it’s over to you, the voters, to decide which version you like best, which second best, and so on.

 

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Read on to find out more…

Meet the Element performers

Those of you on the voting panel will probably be curious as to who you are listening to as the voting stages progress! Well we’ve teamed up with some seriously talented and versatile professionals from our ever-growing Aston family of top artists, engineers and producers. Here’s the low-down on our Element performance team…

Charlotte Berg (Iceberg), whose vocals you’ll hear on the female vocal takes, has had her singles chart in both Europe and the USA and is backed by 20 years classical training and a wealth of touring experience. As well as a performing singer, Charlotte is a song writer, and also a producer and engineer at Soho Sonic Studios in the heart of London. She is also founder of her own company, Glassnote Productions. With a penchant for indie, rock, pop, ambient and folk, she brings the versatility needed for the Element project, and what a voice! Charlotte engineered both vocal sessions for Project Element.

Our Male vocalist, Matt Terry, has an amazing vocal talent and that’s not just our opinion; he was crowned winner of X Factor in 2016 and has gone on to enjoy a number of chart successes, including the winner’s single ‘When Christmas Comes Around’, written by Ed Sheeran, and ‘Súbeme la Radio’ a collaboration with Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul. Matt also writes his own material for himself and other artists. He has seen chart success with his solo work, including tracks from his debut album ‘Trouble’. He has more than 150+ million streams to his name.

We are also fortunate to have stellar engineer and producer OJ (Ofer Shabi) as part of team Element. OJ has written, produced and engineered music internationally for both established and emerging artists and to accompany film, TV and theatre productions, amassing an impressive client list including Diplo, Usher, Lewis Capaldi, the BBC and The National Theatre UK. OJ and his business partner Yaniv Fridel run one of London’s most revered recording and mixing Studios Soho Sonic in the heart of London. Together OJ & Fridel produced and mixed albums for leading artists across the globe including Arrow Benjamin, Idris Elba and Lisa Stansfield. OJ played and produced the acoustic guitar samples for the project. Find Soho Sonic on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Roxy Yarnold has been a professional singer for more than 15 years. At an early age she supported Westlife and Shane Ward on their UK arena tours. After appearing on The X Factor in 2011, Roxy continues to perform whilst working for a number of studios as a session singer/songwriter. She is also currently one of Boy George & Culture Club’s backing vocalists. Join Roxy on Instagram.

Our heartfelt thanks to Charlotte, Matt, OJ and Roxy for their help in bringing the world’s first ‘People’s Microphone’, the Aston Element, to life.

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