You’ve heard of crowd-funding, well how about crowd-designing? That’s what Aston Microphones has in mind with its next project, as the company launches an ambitious bid to create the biggest ever panel of expert listeners to help shape its new Element microphone.
The UK firm, founded in 2016, already has form here, and has made rapid inroads in the competitive mic market partly, it says, thanks to its 'A33' panel design refinement process. With its first microphones, the Spirit, Origin and Starlight, the company drafted in 33 producers, artists, engineers and industry luminaries – hence ‘A33’ – to help hone their sound.
The members took part in blind listening tests throughout development, voting on audio files recorded using a selection of different mic prototypes and competitors. Aston then used their opinions to finalise the sound of its microphones – and you could argue that the process worked, as all three mics went on to win several awards.
The A33 panel then expanded to some 120 expert listeners when helping to design the company’s TEC-Award winning Stealth microphone, and now stands at a mighty 600. But even that is nothing compared to the numbers Aston wants in for its next panel, to help design the company’s new Element microphone.
By the people, for the people
This will very much be a microphone for the people, designed by the people, and you can get involved too as Aston has opened up the process to all producers around the world and is hoping to expand its panel to some 10,000 people.
Aston is offering several incentives to attract you and other producers to the fold. These include a discount of 25% off a special limited-edition Element mic, a certificate of participation, a letter of thanks from CEO James Young and limited edition stickers and pin badge.
The process will involve judging a number of sound files over three different rounds of voting. Aston will use the results to customize the tone of the Element microphone which will then be released in September this year.
Price and further details of the microphone are still under wraps but you can get involved by heading over to astonmics.com where you can register to be on the Element Panel, after which you will be directed to the voting page.
We’ll review Aston Element on its release in September so make sure you make your votes count.
Head to astonmics.com to get involved today!