Review of the Tempo KR USB Condenser Microphone from MXL / Marshall Electronics
Price Point $ 79.95 USD
Music Recording and the advances in Recording Technologies have escalated hand in hand throughout the decades. We have seen that whether it is in professional studio or small / home studio situations the musician or artist has searched for equipment that enhances their natural sounds and talents while being flexible in use and matches their budgets. Today we have seen many technical advances that allow the use of personal computers, laptops, iOs tablets and smartphones to record anytime or anywhere. To meet this need, many companies have developed microphones to connect to the computer systems through their USB ports, some claim to be “plug and play” but require specific, hard to use or share software or is made from flimsy, easily damaged materials, making them a poor replacement for the standard microphones of the recording industry. Whether an artist is in the studio or in the home studio, the goal is crystal clear audio quality, ease of use / functionality and quick implementation or integration into existing studio systems. Musicians and Artists everywhere have found this to be a daunting, and at times, impossible task to achieve, even with large budgets.
MXL, a division of Marshall Electronics has risen to the call for a microphone to meet the needs of the professional artist, the home studio artist, and the technical savvy/experimenting artist with a revolutionary design in USB Condenser Microphone technology. The Tempo KR and Tempo SK USB Condenser Microphone series is the perfect blend of traditional – high quality, studio grade recording microphone and the flexibility of “Home Studio” or “On the Move” digital recording end user. We at Xombiewoof.Com Magazine received a Tempo KR USB Condenser Microphone to put to the test and evaluate for this review article, and we are seriously impressed.
The solid construction of the Tempo KR starts with an all metal body case and metal mesh surrounding the works make this a formidable piece of engineering genius. The Tempo KR has a built in headphone jack which make it perfect for mobile recording, podcasting and web/voice chatting. The Tempo KR comes with a small but durable table top / desk stand that can be easily positioned. The included USB cable is long enough to connect to any PC / Mac configuration yet provide the user the ability to set the Tempo KR up on any microphone stand, whether a floor or boom stand, it can be set up in any space. We investigated the competition to the Tempo KR for design, features and price, the Tempo KR was untouchable, with the best overall design features, affordability, and construction, the Tempo KR the best selection in a truly innovative microphone available at the price point.
Another feature of the Tempo KR that is a vast improvement over competitor products is that the Tempo KR is truly “Plug and Play”; it does not require any specific software or specialized programing. We connected to a windows desktop pc, a windows laptop, a Mac desktop and an iPad, no problems in configuration, set up or use. We used the Tempo KR with many of the popular studio programs as well at programs such as Skype, iChat and Facetime, all with no problems in connectivity, crystal clear audio and the flexibility to use with a broad range of programs and applications. We also connected the Tempo KR to a several recording devices, Digital DJ Equipment and sound / PA equipment that have USB interfacing; again, the Tempo KR was perfect in set up and use, no issues, no stress.
Ok, about now you may think we are just a bunch of review geeks that don’t know real time applications, well we do. For our final tests, we took the Tempo KR into the studio, single voice, duet, and trio / group vocals. The Tempo KR held up to the vocal testing with strong and consistent results, when we moved to recording instruments, the tempo KR also rose to the challenges, we found the Tempo KR to be especially great in recording with Acoustic Guitars and Percussion Instruments like Conga Drums. In fact, with every instrument we tried we could not get the Tempo KR to fail or show poor response. We did have one issue, while testing, the boom stand fell over and the Tempo KR hit the floor, HARD – at this point we thought it was over, WE WERE SO WRONG, the Tempo KR did not show any change in quality or signs of damage, no rattle, hum or static, simply flawless.
We encourage you to go to the MXL web site http://www.mxlmics.com/microphones/usb/Tempo and check out the Tempo Series USB Condenser Microphone from MXL / Marshall Electronics. We are sure you will be just as impressed with the quality and the new level of excellence developed for today’s recording needs. The Tempo Series will quickly become the new standard in digital recording technology.
Size: 1.85″ X 7.5″ (47mm X 190mm)
Sensitivity: -47 dB re 1 v/Pa
Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 18kHz
Metal Finish: Black / Red
A/D Converter: 16-bit Delta Sigma with THD%N – 0.01%
Power Requirements: USB Powered
Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz – 48kHz
Weight: 0.65 lbs (280 g)
Compatibility: Windows and Mac® OS
Output: 1/8″ (3.5mm) Headphone Jack / USB
USB Compatibility: USB 1.1 and USB 2.0