This is a short test of the Avantone CK-1 Condenser Microphone. I was interested in the performance of this microphone, given its very low cost. It typically sells for $149 online, with 3 Capsules & Shock Mount Included. It's a lightweight microphone as well, so with all of those things in mind, it seemed to me like it might be a good candidate for an inexpensive Hyper Cardioid microphone for film/video production, when using this mic on a boom. Hypers are typically favored for indoor shooting locations, over super-cardioid shotgun style mics...but there are very few true hyper cardioid offerings in the sub $1000 market. The Rode NT3 is one, but it is quite heavy for a boom. The Oktava MK-012 is another, so I felt this might be good competition for the Oktava, especially given its price.
This test was done in my home, not in a studio, I did the best I could in terms of mic placement and getting the house as quiet as possible. I live on the 12th floor with a busy street next to me, so there was some ambient noise.
The first bit is the audio exactly as it came out of the Zoom (only recompressed for vimeo), no correction of any kind was done to it.
The second bit of the audio is the same exact clip, but edited in Adobe Soundbooth for noise reduction, compression, equalization, and some minor adjustment of the output level.
I think this microphone generated good quality audio. Once I removed the noise using Soundbooth, the audio sounded quite good.
Tip: I did a lot of testing today, and the noise reduction in Soundbooth works much, much better, with much less artifacting and distortion if you record in 96/24, it was much more effective when I did this and resulted in much cleaner sound. The noise reduction seemed to have a harder time with 48/16 and 48/24 files. I think that the added resolution may have really helped it pick out exactly what I wanted gone, and remove it without distorting the parts I wanted to keep.
Let me know what you think. This is just a first test but I think this mic (once edited) sounds pretty good, and given its price, opens up a lot of opportunity for filmmakers with limited budgets.