NAMM 2017: In an ingenious move that's surely destined to become standard throughout the microphone industry, British manufacturer Aston has revealed the world's first, er... laser targeting pencil mic.
The Aston Starlight features a 20mm cardioid capsule "hand picked by a panel of more than 50 top producers in double blind listening tests", and a high-spec discrete mic amp circuit, enabling the connected mic preamp to work at lower gain for less distortion.
Voice Switching lets you choose between Vintage, Modern and Hybrid filter settings, for a tonal response appropriate to the source being recorded, while the tumbled stainless steel chassis and sintered metal head not only look awesome but make the Starlight about as tough and resilient as a microphone can conceivably be.
Ridiculously posh and no doubt superlative microphone aside, though, it's the laser that's the real story here. A Class 2 model (the kind used in laser pointers, rather than the kind we'll use to stave off alien invasions on the future) with on/off switch, it makes accurate recall of mic positioning effortless, and lets you precisely target the point on the source instrument likely to give the optimum response. Clever stuff!
Announced alongside the Starlight, Aston has also introduced a new edition of its Halo reflection filter. Made from the same patented PET felt but in charcoal black rather than purple, the Halo Shadow boasts the 360 degree filtering, light weight and proprietary Easy Mount hardware that's proven so successful in the original Halo.
The Aston Starlight will be available in February at a price yet to be confirmed, as a single mic with clip and wind gag, or a matched stereo pair with Aston Rycote shockmounts, wind gags and stereo mounting bar (all of which will be separately available to buy, too). The Halo Shadow is available now. Find out more on the Aston website.