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M-audio pulsar ii.M-Audio Pulsar II

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Carefully selected for their nearly identical response, matched pairs of Pulsar II microphones from M-Audio deliver superior stereo performance. The brass bodies are equipped with internal shock mounts and low-noise transformer less electronics. Each microphone offers a switchable 10 dB attenuation pad, plus an 80 Hz low-cut filter.4/5(6). The Pulsar II is a simple end-fire, cardioid ‘stick’ microphone, and is equipped with a 3/4-inch diameter, six-micron gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm. The capsule is housed in a brass body that’s 22mm in diameter, with an overall length of mm, and weighs g. There’s an integral shockmount system to isolate the capsule from any body vibration. The Pulsar II is an affordable cardioid pencil condenser available individually or in matched pairs. The mic features a 3/4” diameter, 6-micron evaporated-gold diaphragm, with transformerless class A FET circuitry. dB pad and 80Hz high-pass filter are available via small, recessed switches on the microphone body.

 

M-audio pulsar ii.M-Audio Pulsar II |

The Pulsar II is an affordable cardioid pencil condenser available individually or in matched pairs. The mic features a 3/4” diameter, 6-micron evaporated-gold diaphragm, with transformerless class A FET circuitry. dB pad and 80Hz high-pass filter are available via small, recessed switches on the microphone body. Carefully selected for their nearly identical response, matched pairs of Pulsar II microphones from M-Audio ® deliver superior stereo performance. The brass bodies are equipped with internal shockmounts and low-noise transformerless electronics. Each microphone offers a switchable 10 dB attenuation pad, plus an 80 Hz low-cut filter. A perfect pair. Matched pair microphones are critical for quality sound imaging. Carefully selected for their nearly identical response, matched pairs of Pulsar II microphones from M-Audio deliver superior stereo pe Show More.
 
 
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Review: M-Audio Pulsar II
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Discussion
M-Audio Pulsar II

Joe Albano on Feb 04, in Review 0 comments. M-Audio has always been known as a company that provides musicians and engineers with quality recording tools at prices anyone can afford, and their latest offering, the Pulsar II matched-pair stereo microphone set, continues this tradition nicely.

So what do you get for your modest investment? The Pulsar IIs are small-diaphragm cardioid condenser mics, with Class A FET circuitry, and are supplied as a frequency-response-matched pair, making them ideal for stereo recording tasks like drum overheads, string ensembles, or stereo room mics.

However, there’s no reason not to use them individually as well, on acoustic guitar, percussion, or other mono applications. The Pulsar IIs come packaged in a nice wooden case, along with mic clips, dust covers, and the foam windscreens. There’s also a stereo mic bar, which allows both mics to be mounted on a single stand, for stereo miking applications that keep the mics close together. The Pulsar IIs accept standard volt Phantom Power, and should interface properly with any mic preamp.

On the mics themselves, you’ll find a 10 dB pad, and a hi-pass filter with a low-end cutoff of 80 Hz. As you can see from the graphs below, the Pulsar IIs have a mostly flat response, with a gentle rise between around 5 kHz and 12 kHz, and a fairly uniform cardioid response. But, as we all know, specs rarely tell the whole story, especially when it comes to microphones!

So I set out to put them through their paces, both singly and as a stereo pair. I even did a comparison test more of a torture test, really with some studio mics well above the Pulsars’ modest price point.

So how did they fare? I first used a single Pulsar II to record acoustic guitar and some jangly percussion. Usually, the weak spot for condenser mics in this price range is the high end, which can sometimes be a little harsh. However, the Pulsars served up nice smooth highs, and a fairly neutral overall balance. The only weak spot was a tendency towards thinness'”a lack of heft in the lows'”and a slight midrange emphasis, though this could easily be compensated for with EQ, if desired.

To put them in some context, I compared the Pulsar with an AKG which is similar in sound to AKG’s classic , and an Audio-Technica , both also small-diaphragm mics, suitable for the same recording applications.

This reinforced my initial impressions'”the Pulsar II held its own in the high end, with an overall balance that leaned more towards the mids, along with somewhat thinner lows. In my tests, I didn’t perceive any undue budget-mic harshness, even with the percussion.

On the dreaded key test shaking keys in front of a mic can reveal poor transient response the AKG maintained a bit more detail, but the Pulsar II did very well indeed, with only a very slight edge to attest to its budget status.

All in all, the differences were not great, especially considering that both comparison mics are at least three times the price of the Pulsar IIs! I recorded the same instruments in stereo, utilizing the supplied stereo bar and spacer, with excellent results.

Both XY and ORTF positionings provided a nice sense of openness, with good imaging of the individual percussion instruments, no doubt thanks to the frequency-matching of the stereo pair. The stereo bar and spacer made it a cinch to get the mics lined up and angled just right for stereo, and is a very welcome inclusion, especially at this price point! In both the stereo and mono recordings, the Pulsar II’s cardioid pattern was effective at rejecting unwanted sound to the rear.

At one point, I noticed a passing siren that I was sure would invade the recording, but in playback the track was clean enough to use, even with the mic about a foot away from the instrument. So, overall, the Pulsar II mics, despite their ultra-low price point, deliver a level of performance that belies their budget status. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them, even in combination with more pricey mics and I’m a bit of a mic snob.

Whether you’re a home recordist on a tight budget, or an engineer who always seems to be a mic or two short for the session, especially for stereo applications, the Pulsar IIs are definitely worth a look. Pros: Excellent results for stereo recording at low price point, frequency-matched pair.

More articles by this author. Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. He’s also taught all aspects of recording and music technology at several NY audio schools, and has been writing articles for Recording magaz Read More. Create an account or login to get started! Audio is your ultimate daily resource covering the latest news, reviews, tutorials and interviews for digital music makers, by digital music makers.

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