Warm Audio has taken the pro audio industry by storm over the last 10 years thanks to its philosophy of releasing low-cost quality versions of beloved vintage audio gear. The prices were always very affordable, almost to the point of wondering how they could make any money considering the low prices they were charging. The company has gone even further though with a new spinoff company called 512 Audio (named after their Austin zip code), created to develop an even lower priced option aimed more at a consumer level. One of its first products is the new Limelight dynamic microphone.
A quick look at Limelight will give you a hint of what to expect, as it’s somewhat modeled after the revered E/V RE20. The RE20 has been a favorite for broadcasters and vocalists since its introduction in 1968 and that’s the area that Limelight is intended for – broadcasters, podcasters and streamers. Of course, lots of great vocals were recorded with the RE20 (most notably Stevie Wonder on his early albums) and you’d expect that from Limelight as well.
Limelight uses a dynamic element with a hypercardioid pattern, which is perfect for rejecting those unwanted reflections when used in a less-than-ideal acoustic environment. It has a fairly wide frequency range of 50Hz to 15kHz, although no frequency response graph is evident so it’s hard to say much more about that. It also has a 12dB/octave rolloff filter at 100Hz, which can be very helpful when vocal or dialog recording.
What’s most significant (at least to me) is that it has a max SPL level of 138dB. One complaint I hear about Warm Audio microphones is that they work great most of the time, but get a really loud belter of a vocalist in front of them and they tend to break up on the peaks. This is not meant as a criticism, just a caution flag, since most inexpensive microphones suffer from the same problem.
The mic is fairly light weight at less than a pound, and comes with an adjustable swivel mount and protective carrying bag.
But the price is what catches one’s eye at just $199, much cheaper than an RE20 at around $375.
Unlike Warm Audio products, 512 Audio products (there’s another microphone and some accessories) are meant for the mass market so you’ll find them for sale in a lot more places. Despite the consumer focus, given Warm Audio’s reputation these products are worth checking out.
You can find out more here, or watch the video below.