My thoughts on demoing the Slate Virtual Mic Collection

My thoughts on demoing the Slate Virtual Mic Collection
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#1

The plugins themselves are far more usable than the mic. Too bad you can’t get them without buying that mic and preamp.

Also, unlike the Townsend Sphere, the plugins work without the mic, and they worked perfectly fine on the Blue Bottle. Matter of fact, I REALLY liked what they did. I like them better than the Townsend sphere. I have no use whatsoever for that DA converter.

So I think the plugins themselves would be worth about $250 is we presume they’re on the same quality level of the UAD Oceanway package. I think the mic itself is worth about $400 as a usable instrument/tool. The reason I say this is that thing (standalone) is about the quality equivalent of a Rode NT1 or an AT 4040. This is NOT NOT NOT a C414, Charter oak E700, or TLM 103 quality mic. I really don’t think that VMC one converter has anything to offer that a Scarlett solo does not. So I’m going to give that VMC converter thing a fair market value of $100 because thats what Focusrite sells theirs for.


#2

The purpose of the mic and converter is so that the software can operate in a controlled environment. The software knows what the mic and preamp sound like, so they can compensate and accurately model the other stuff. By providing the mic, they are taking out some major variables from the equation.

It’s perfectly possible that the software will sound better with other mics. That doesn’t seem surprising to me at all. But it will sound less accurate to what they were trying to do. But less accurate could mean a lot better (or a lot worse).


#3

So…my conclusion:

I’m going to say this IS a good overall package if you actually need the package. As in you don’t already have a Rode NT1 and a Scarlet. At $1000, you’re paying for innovation and versatility. No one including Steven himself is claiming that having a stereo pair of these would actually give you a $180k mic locker. What he says is that you have a very usable tool for an affordable price. That I agree with (again, if you need the tool).


#4

I did have my suspicions about that mic


#5

Alan, there’s not a whole lot to be suspicious of. This thing works. I mean, its a legitimately functional mic and there’s nothing that makes it unusable. Just don’t let anyone tell you it sounds as good as or sounds indistinguishable from a real C800. Steven doesn’t even claim that. He says…

"…I think the democratization of a lot of these tools is a fabulous thing. I think everyone should enjoy the art of creating music. Its a beautiful thing.

I’m not saying this mic is the same as having all these mics…but can that kid who’s 21 years old who just spent his life savings on re-capping an old crapy console - can he afford this stuff [referring to $18,000+ mics]? And if the answers no then I don’t like that. What can I do so that he can still record, but I can keep the lights on and feed the guys here? Ya know?"

Him and Brandon Drury had a thing or two in common about doing something to make recording realistic and affordable. After really listening to Steve Slate talk about this stuff, I’m convinced he’s genuinely interested in bringing an affordable and versatile solution to guys that don’t have the resources to go balls to the wall on top dollar mics.


#6

for the money its a lot of kit. virtual mic locker without repair bills?

the comparison to having old original Smithsonian Museum gear isnt going to happen for very many, but it always amazes me how much money that antique stuff costs. And as mentioned if you have to repair the classics for obvious reasons , like caps, theres all that cost and hassle.

even the hi-end mic locker with new versions of the Smithsonian Mic’s would cost a lot more (though probably not needing repairs very often due to being newer parts).

I guess someone needs to call Brandon for one more large shootout…he’ll have to spend about $200,000 in vintage mics to compare with Slates Virtual version… so we’ll know the truth. lol