Austrian Audio’s MiCreator is more than just a USB mic. It’s an entire family of mics!
Sooner or later, it seems, almost all professional microphone manufacturers succumb to the temptation to produce a USB microphone. Margins are slim and the competition cut‑throat, but the potential market is vast compared with recording studios, broadcast or live sound. Understandably, the resulting mic is often derived from an existing product. Audio‑Technica’s AT2020USB+, for example, is a version of their very popular AT2020 outfitted with a USB port, a built‑in preamp and a headphone socket.
Austrian Audio are the latest manufacturers to climb aboard the good ship USB, but they’ve taken a very different approach. MiCreator is not a single product but a modular system, and it bears no resemblance either visually or functionally to any existing Austrian Audio mics. (Whereas Austrian Audio’s high‑end mics use capsules manufactured at their Vienna HQ, the more affordable MiCreator range is made in China and uses third‑party capsules.)
At launch, there are three principal MiCreator products, and the core of the system is the MiCreator Studio. Cosmetically, it’s a striking hybrid of ultra‑modern and ultra‑vintage; the headbasket design hints at the carbon button mics of the ’30s, but the overall vibe is unmistakably 21st Century. In practice, the ring‑shaped capsule mount offers effective built‑in shockmounting, and allows the capsule to be tilted through 30 degrees or so either side of vertical.
The body of the MiCreator Studio has roughly the proportions of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and is reassuringly weighty. It’s designed to stand upright on a table or desktop, but a 3/8‑inch socket in the base allows it to be attached directly to a mic stand. A 3/8‑ to 5/8‑inch adaptor is supplied, but there’s no easy way to attach it to a camera tripod, which might be a more valuable option for some of its target market. If the all‑black look is too solemn for you, it’s possible to switch out the front and rear faceplates for more colourful alternatives. Red plates are supplied as part of the System Set (see box), and it will also be possible to buy plain black and white ones that can be customised.
The faceplates are made of rigid plastic and attach magnetically. Holes and slots accommodate the MiCreator Studio’s various sockets and controls, of which there are more than you might expect. On what you soon discover is the rear panel, you’ll find a Type‑C USB port, along with mini‑jack sockets labelled ‘out’ and ‘in/out’. The former is, as you’d expect, a headphone socket, while the latter is the portal to the wider MiCreator ecosystem. It can serve as a second headphone port, but its primary role is for connecting a MiCreator Satellite, MiCreator Y‑Lav or guitar. (No additional outlay is needed in order to plug a guitar in, as a suitable cable is supplied.)
Turn to the front of the MiCreator Studio and you’ll see a three‑position sensitivity switch offering high gain,...