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Aston Element revealed - shipping in October
Old 1st June 2020
  #1
News Desk Editor
 
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🎧 15 years
Aston Element revealed - shipping in October


Aston Element revealed as second round of voting opens

As round two of Project Element opens for voting at 6pm today (UK), Aston Microphones have released the first ever photo of the beautiful Aston Element.

Known as the ‘People’s Microphone’, Element is the first ever mic to have its final voicing decided by a public vote, through a series of blind listening tests of its prototypes alongside competitors’ offerings.

As you’d expect from Aston, Element is quite unlike any other mic out there, combining aesthetic elements of both vintage and modern architectural design. Aston have finalised the ‘look’ of this stunning mic, which will ship in September 2020, but the most important part of Element, its sound, is being decided by you!

More than 2000 musicians, engineers and producers out there have already had their say in Project Element, providing more than 36,000 data-points for the Aston design team to use in development and more are joining each day. With round two open for voting today, it’s not too late to make your opinions count as the project homes-in on deciding the final sound of the world’s first mic ever to be voiced by public vote.

The Aston team have painstakingly analysed the voters’ round 1 preferences and tailored round 2 of the voting process to make sure it will be another significant step towards creating something really special. The Element prototypes have now been re-voiced in line with the voting. Out go the worst performing mics from round 1 but some of the best of the competitors’ mics remain, alongside the Element. Again, voters won’t know which mic is which as Aston continue to remove any possible bias from the process, and the entire process is being peer reviewed by several key music technology publications.

Even if you missed round 1 of the voting process, you can join in for round 2. By joining the Aston Family Developer team you’ll get the chance to own the mic you helped create. The Voter’s Edition Element will be the first ever production run, which will ONLY be available to registered voters, at a 25% discount from regular price! Limited to 2500 mics, ach will be supplied with an official Aston Family Developer certificate, a letter of thanks from Aston CEO James Young, a special badge and a custom sticker.

Inspiration for the world’s first ‘customer-designed’ mic came from the Aston 33, a panel, now of more than 600 top audio practitioners and artists who have been involved in similar blind-listening tests on all Aston’s microphones to date, including the 2020 TEC Award-winning Stealth.

This way of ensuring each mic sounds best in class before its release is unique in the Pro-Audio technology industry, and it’s the reason Aston mics sound so good! Now, for the first time, the process is being rolled out to the public to have their say.

Get involved and have your say in the sound of the world’s first ‘People’s Microphone.’

Visit: https://www.astonmics.com/EN/product...roject-Element
Attached Thumbnails
Aston Element revealed - shipping in October-element-front-reflect.jpg  
Old 1st June 2020
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
This a great way to go about things, fantastic way to get people interested and to get people feeling like they'd want to own the mic after all voting is said and done. Best of luck with the final release though.
Old 3rd June 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
92 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
The wisdom of the crowd. Must say how much I've enjoyed using and reviewing the Aston mics.
Old 9th September 2020
  #4
News Desk Editor
 
The Press Desk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Update

After 18 months of research and development and 3 months of public listening tests with the help of over 4,000 Aston Family Developers. We are excited to show the world our brand new baby, the Aston Element.

SHIPPING OCTOBER 2020!

Old 10th September 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
looks like an air purifier
Old 14th September 2020
  #6
Gear Head
 
chriswalkerband's Avatar
I didn’t know Dyson made mics!
Old 15th September 2020
  #7
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Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
92 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I think Aston has always been bold with their design and innovation; they're eye-catching and worthy of discussion for sure - a good promo angle.

I've used and reviewed a few of their mics and personally, I liked the sound, particularly the Starlight...the laser mic!
Old 28th September 2020
  #8
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RightOnRome's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
so whats the deal with this little weirdo?

Old 24th October 2020
  #9
Gear Addict
So the Sound On Sound review is out, seems positive (but when is Sound On Sound not positive):

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/aston-element

So is the MusicTech review:

https://www.musictech.net/reviews/st...hones-element/

Anyone got to try one yet? I've preordered mine but still waiting for it to arrive...
Old 26th October 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Apparently, the design is not just to look different but it's more to function as they wanted. Music Tech say it's the quietest mic they have ever tested, so that alone could get it lots of fans. I think this could become the star of their mic lineup as it seems very versatile.
Old 29th October 2020
  #11
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Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
92 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Interested to read the reviews; Aston always bring the best out with their design and components.

EDIT (after reading reviews): Wow, great price. Aston offering plenty of innovation and ergonomics again. The low-noise floor is cool.
Old 29th October 2020
  #12
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dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quite interested to hear this one
Old 3rd November 2020
  #13
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Dirt cheap, low noise, extended treble, and super directional? Sign me up.
Old 9th November 2020
  #14
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mljung's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I'm curious about this one, but can't find the tech specs only a smooothed graph

The low noise floor has been mentioned several times, but what are the actual figures? Aston doesn't seem to publish any details...

::
Mads
Old 9th November 2020 | Show parent
  #15
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung ➡️
I'm curious about this one, but can't find the tech specs only a smooothed graph

The low noise floor has been mentioned several times, but what are the actual figures? Aston doesn't seem to publish any details...

::
Mads
The mic is out in a few days. We’ll find out more soon I guess.
Old 9th November 2020 | Show parent
  #16
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
The mic is out in a few days. We’ll find out more soon I guess.
Still Aston is sending out promo emails where they want 'users' to vote for it?

Hmm - we'll see if it's worth closer attention...

::
Mads
Old 10th November 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung ➡️
The low noise floor has been mentioned several times, but what are the actual figures? Aston doesn't seem to publish any details...
Some numbers from the Sound On Sound review - this is from the subscriber section, so I'll add that it's worth considering subscribing to SoS (and I think their digital issues have been free during Covid anyway):

Quote:
The noise figure is impressive at under 4dB A‑weighted, which Aston say makes it one of the quietest studio mics available. No sensitivity figure was available at the time of writing, but comparing it with another microphone of known sensitivity, the Aston seems to put out around 12mV/Pa — which is higher than a typical passive mic, as you’d expect given the active electronics. Though there are no pad or filter switches, the mic is happy with SPLs up to 132dB, which should cover most eventualities.
Old 10th November 2020 | Show parent
  #18
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mljung's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyneRyder ➡️
Some numbers from the Sound On Sound review - this is from the subscriber section, so I'll add that it's worth considering subscribing to SoS (and I think their digital issues have been free during Covid anyway):
Thanks for posting, those figures are impressive, reckon they can't be far of when SOS publish them. Curious about distortion, off-axis coloration and overall sound quality. We'll see...

::
Mads
Old 10th November 2020 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung ➡️
Still Aston is sending out promo emails where they want 'users' to vote for it?

Hmm - we'll see if it's worth closer attention...

::
Mads
For the two awards it’s been nominated for. Hard to vote for something you haven’t used and isn’t released yet!
Old 10th November 2020 | Show parent
  #20
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mljung's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk ➡️
For the two awards it’s been nominated for. Hard to vote for something you haven’t used and isn’t released yet!
Exactly. It may be a fine microphone, but pretty rotten way to promote it 🤑🤮

::
Mads
Old 18th November 2020
  #21
Gear Nut
Anyone taken delivery of one of these Aston Element mics yet? They seem interesting from the reviews. I, like others have said, am keen to discover further specs details, such as distortion figure(s), etc...
Old 18th November 2020 | Show parent
  #22
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denta ➡️
Anyone taken delivery of one of these Aston Element mics yet? They seem interesting from the reviews. I, like others have said, am keen to discover further specs details, such as distortion figure(s), etc...
Delivery to the UK in a week or two still.
Old 16th December 2020
  #23
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
still waiting?.. I want to hear this little air purifier !
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome ➡️
still waiting?.. I want to hear this little air purifier !
There you go:



The tone is very unbalanced as it is and the noise rejection disappointing, but it has good treble extension and with some sturdy EQ'ing it could be made to sound pretty decent.

Overall pretty disappointing to me, though. I can't understand how this tonality won their shootouts. The massive boost at 5k is harsh af.
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
Overall pretty disappointing to me, though. I can't understand how this tonality won their shootouts.
I can still see how the Element won the shootouts. In that review I preferred the Element to every mic Podcastage compared it to (SE v7, Neat King Bee, Rode Procaster, SM7b, Beyerdynamic M160), though the M160 was very close. Every time he switched back to the Element, the proximity effect sounded like that voice-of-god Radio Announcer tone. I can see this being popular with podcasters.

The noise rejection does seem disappointing though, especially when the low self-noise was a selling point. That's less interesting if the mic is picking up everything in the room. It does seem like vocals will need a lot of high-pass filtering to sit in a dense mix.

I think the biggest disappointment for me - made in China?! I thought the whole point of Aston Microphones was that all Aston microphones are Made In UK. It's a lot easier to make a cheap mic if you move your manufacturing from the UK to China. As their own website says: "We could cut costs by having these PCBs made in the Far East, but the attention to detail and quality control we are able to execute far outweighs the benefits of any cost saving we could make."

My Element still hasn't arrived in Australia yet, though my Aston Family / Aston 4000 pack arrived just a couple of hours ago.
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #26
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyneRyder ➡️
I can still see how the Element won the shootouts. In that review I preferred the Element to every mic Podcastage compared it to (SE v7, Neat King Bee, Rode Procaster, SM7b, Beyerdynamic M160), though the M160 was very close. Every time he switched back to the Element, the proximity effect sounded like that voice-of-god Radio Announcer tone. I can see this being popular with podcasters.

The noise rejection does seem disappointing though, especially when the low self-noise was a selling point. That's less interesting if the mic is picking up everything in the room. It does seem like vocals will need a lot of high-pass filtering to sit in a dense mix.
Yeesh, there really is something for everyone in this world.
The top comment on the video is this:

"Listening to this mic makes me feel like my ears are clogged"

I concur with that. The proximity effect isn't the fat radio low-mids of the SM7, it's accentuating the "back of the tongue against throat" lows.

My main issue, however, is not the bass, it's the honky midrange and harsh lower treble, which sounds super spitty and phasey to me.

I actually downloaded the audio and played with EQ to see what I could salvage. I ended up with this crazy curve:



After comparing, that made it sound very similar to the SM7, albeit with better treble extension, but it was still harsher. The SM7 honestly sounds spot on, if as usual disappointingly dark above 10k. Even the King Bee was better for me.
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #27
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RightOnRome's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
Yeesh, there really is something for everyone in this world.
The top comment on the video is this:

"Listening to this mic makes me feel like my ears are clogged"

I concur with that. The proximity effect isn't the fat radio low-mids of the SM7, it's accentuating the "back of the tongue against throat" lows.

My main issue, however, is not the bass, it's the honky midrange and harsh lower treble, which sounds super spitty and phasey to me.

I actually downloaded the audio and played with EQ to see what I could salvage. I ended up with this crazy curve:



After comparing, that made it sound very similar to the SM7, albeit with better treble extension, but it was still harsher. The SM7 honestly sounds spot on, if as usual disappointingly dark above 10k. Even the King Bee was better for me.
so maybe its good for stuff like
-wood blocks
-trombone
-rack toms
-bag pipes
-handclaps
-maybe snare drum? (depending on off axis rejection)
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome ➡️
so maybe its good for stuff like
-wood blocks
-trombone
-rack toms
-bag pipes
-handclaps
-maybe snare drum? (depending on off axis rejection)
The only thing I could really see myself using this on is on bass instruments, so kick and bass cabinet. The rest will sound a bit shrill and bloated imo.

The bleed is way too big for snare drum; you’ll get massive amounts of dull hihat which is the last thing you want lol
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
RightOnRome's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
The only thing I could really see myself using this on is on bass instruments, so kick and bass cabinet. The rest will sound a bit shrill and bloated imo.

The bleed is way too big for snare drum; you’ll get massive amounts of dull hihat which is the last thing you want lol
mmmmmmm shrill and bloated .. wasn't that a STP song?.. LOL


well, interesting.. all that hype and its a POS trash mic .. or well a bass cab mic.. who were these thousands of engineers??
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #30
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mljung's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyneRyder ➡️
.....I think the biggest disappointment for me - made in China?! I thought the whole point of Aston Microphones was that all Aston microphones are Made In UK. It's a lot easier to make a cheap mic if you move your manufacturing from the UK to China. As their own website says: "We could cut costs by having these PCBs made in the Far East, but the attention to detail and quality control we are able to execute far outweighs the benefits of any cost saving we could make."...
But there you have it. Aston refers to it as "Peoples Microphone" - now we know what they meant: People's Republic of Chinas Microphone.

::
Mads
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