The Aston Origin Review
We had the good fortune of reviewing The Aston Microphones Origin. We did a “one mic challenge” where we recorded all of the instruments for a song (except the drums - they were programmed) with this single microphone.
The Origin was a great piece of equipment for this application. The idea was to test an affordable condenser microphone to see what sort of performance we could get out of it. It wasn’t a paid promotion, we were given it on demo from Giraffe Audio in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Distinctive and refined. The bottom half of the stainless steel outer casing is laser etched with the company’s logo and sports a blemished steel look - they call it a “tumbled” look. Two nipples either side of the front of the capsule allow for a low cut filter and a pad.
The capsule basket is suspended between two very thin rods, but it’s shielded by a fine removable mesh acting as a pop filter and a “waveform” outer guard. Aston say that this negates the need for a pop filter. The outer guard is quite clever too as it is meant to deform when knocked or bumped and is easily put back to it’s original shape by rolling it on a flat surface.
On the underside lives the XLR out and a US (5/8 inch) mic-stand thread - they include an adapter for European sized mic-stand threads too. There is a rather fancy Rycote shock mount available for the Origin, but we used it without.
Driving the Origin is a side-firing capsule with a one-inch diaphragm, utilising a cardioid-pattern. It offers a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz (±3dB) and operates its transformer-free electronics through standard 48 Volt phantom power (±4V). Its sensitivity is 23.7mV/Pa (at 1kHz into 1kΩ) with a max. SPL of 138dB with no pad engaged.
Aston also package their microphones with 100% recycles cardboard boxes, which are sturdy enough to keep and use to store bits in.
Its noise figure isn’t the lowest, with an EIN of 18dB A-weighted - but its more that suitable for most studio work and its comparable with other microphones of this type and budget.
What does it all mean?
It’s all very nice having these sorts of specs, but the truth is you can’t hear what it sounds like from these and they wont tell you how it performs. Enter - four sources, two guys, one song and a bumbling effort to ascertain this thing’s ability and quality.
We were really impressed. The origin gave us a really smooth, rounded sound for all sources we threw at.