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The Brauner VMA is a hand-built variable-pattern general-purpose valve microphone that combines the sonic characteristics of both the VM1 and VMX microphones.
Uniting two sound designs, the Brauner VMA takes the clean, uncoloured sound of the award-winning VM1 model and allows you to switch it with the characterful and warm qualities of the VMX version, for maximum adaptability - and all in one microphone. Capable of immense subtlety using this design, the Brauner VMA can be both sweet and pristine, able to reproduce high frequency signals with utmost fidelity due to its Class A amp stage and yet offer smooth response with a soft, lower-end proximity effect for more intimate and personal vocal delivery, or to bring sounds closer to the speaker plane.
Careful attention to the signal paths, removal of all extraneous switches from the audio line, plus the infinitely variable pickup pattern ensure that the Brauner VMA gives you an unrivalled performance over the entire range of sound. Dirk Brauner put some serious thinking into creating the best microphone available when he designed the first VM1 model - he had a head start being from Germany, the home of the greatest microphones, but that just made him work harder and think more.
Two sounds requires two different microphones, right? Not for Dirk Brauner - the Brauner VMA shows that innovative thinking comes from looking at a situation afresh in a new light and then, chance favours the prepared mind, as someone once said.
Brauner VMA Overview:
- Equivalent Noise < 11 dB A (IEC651)
- Signal to Noise > 83 dB (1 Pa/1 kHz-Cardioid)
- Sensitivity 28 mV / Pa-Cardioid
- Pattern all, infinitely variable
- Frequency Range 20 Hz - 20 kHz
- Maximum SPL 142 dB SPL @ 0,3 % THD
- Power Supply 115 V or 230 V
- ON PERMANENT DEMONSTRATION
|Short Description||Variable pattern, switchable-mode general-purpose mono valve microphone with a VM1A position and a new super vocal mode.|
|Demo in Store||Yes|
|Valve / Solid State||Valve|
|High Pass Filter||No|
- Brauner VMA Review by KMR (Posted on 12/02/2013)
Perhaps the most incredible mic that you'll ever lay ear to, the Brauner VMA frankly packs Brauner's best of their "Natural" and "Charming" lines (the Brauner VM1 and Brauner VMX, respectively) into one fully featured microphone. Let's dig in...
The first thing that strikes you about the VMA when opening the fantastically robust and elegant case is the gorgeous metal work. Everything is precision cut out of very unique and forward thinking design. For starters, the shockmount is a tube that fits entirely around the body of the microphone. It's clasping system essentially is, again, a precision milled eliptical clamping mechanism which essentially closes via a simple turn of the hand to the precise size to securely hold the microphone at the top and the bottom of the mount. The 360-degree pop-filter totally surrounds the microphone's head-grille by attaching to the inside of the outer ring of the shockmount. This is a really revolutionary pop-filter design as it has the microphone covered for use in omni and figure eight modes. Also, all controls are on the microphone's mountable power supply and what is usally a -10dB pad is now the switch that allows switching between the VM1 and VMX modes. In the manual Brauner explains that the VMA can handle everything short of a jet engine, so the pad is not a necessity.
In one of my conversations with Dirk Brauner, he emphasised that there are no corrective filter networks to account for deficiencies in capsule design anywhere in his microphones. Basically, the custom, boutique, German-made capsule is about as perfect a capsule as you will ever find. When testing the VMA with musical artist Danielle Howle, I dialed between the various patterns with her singing on axis in each mode. Basically, the differences are not extremely radical from omni to figure-8, save for the actual pattern itself. Of course, there is a very slight bump in high frequency response as you move toward figure-8, which is the natural characteristic of that pattern. The pattern characteristics follow true to form when switching between modes, which is to be expected. Basically, each pattern was just another shade of what you'll swear is the best microphone you've ever heard. Now I'm begining to understand why I remember engineer (and 2008-2009 AES President) Jim Anderson always showing up at Clinton Recording in New York with a cache of Brauner microphones for his jazz dates.
The VM1 mode (lower position - red light) is the "Natural Character" position. At first listen, the sound is certainly not "wild", meaning that there is no fake bottom and top happening here - a character only achieved with excellent capsule design and construction and no corrective filter network.
Finally, the VMX mode (upper position - green light) takes the mic into a slightly more 'vintage' arena that adds a slightly emphasized presence boost to a softer bottom that will undoubtedly help a vocal to 'pop' out of the mix. All this is achieved without compromising the fundamental character, which is flat-out stunning.
When tracking a song for Josh Roberts (http://www.myspace.com/joshrobertsandthehingesrock), who for this particular song was playing acoustic guitar and singing simultaneously, I tended to prefer the VMA in the VM1 mode, simply for what it is supposed to give, the natural character (I also had the new sE Electronics RNR 1 Ribbon Microphoneon the acoustic). There was just a certain something about the focused clarity and extra detail that I didn't want to lose any of had I switched to the VMX mode. Though, truth be told, I could have recorded him in VMX mode and nobody would have been unhappy with the results. The VMA is really such a good microphone that it just flat out works and puts the vocal right up to the forefront of the mix without the need for eq or much compression if any at all.
Do you need ALL the flexibilty of the VMA? Well, I say Yes, if you can afford it - and if you want to be using it for mono background group vocals all around the mic. There is no denying that the VMA is a fabulously expenisve microphone, but it's a microphone that, as far as microphones go, is the equivalent of a car that cooks your breakfast for you. Maybe you have a partner who'll make you breakfast and you don't need another cook in the kitchen. Well, Brauner has the standard ala' carte' versions, the VM1 and the VMX, and have also released the new Pure Cardiod versions of the VM1 and the VMX, which reduces the out of pocket expense considerably... which helps!
Dirk Brauner has really come up with a special line of microphones that rival (and in many ways, exceed) the performance of the longstanding legends of the recording studio.
August 17, 2009 by Alan Moon
Video 1: Brauner - The Art of Microphones:
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