As described in the main body of our MXL Genesis cardioid valve microphone article (/sos/jul10/articles/mxlgenesis.htm), we've started a new testing procedure for our mic reviews, whereby we run through a series of standard tests with the review mic alongside a more established mic (in this case, the AKG C12 VR). We've placed some short audio examples from these tests so that you can hear the results for yourself. Bear in mind that this is not a scientific comparison of the mics in question: they're for tonal comparison only, as they were not recorded under 'quiet room' conditions, and how good the mic sounds will always vary from one sound source to another. However, you should be able to get some appreciation of the overall sound character of the mics. Vocal tests were done using spoken word, which can be very revealing of a mic's character. Distances were set to minimise proximity effect and the mics were arranged as close to each other as physically possible, though some small variation due to mic position is inevitable.