bova ball

Recently I bought a couple of the Sage Mic Pre’s and two of their Bova Ball Microphones.

I wasn’t sure what to make of those strange looking mics when I saw them online, but why not find out?

First, I have only used them on one session plus a little experimentation, not yet enough to say a whole lot; but so far, I really like the pre’s. They seem very transparent; quiet, solid sounding, somewhere in between the tight API sound and the somewhat grainy old Neve. But they are definitely hearkening back to that era in sonics. There aren’t a lot of “features,” basically just a volume control and a phantom on/off switch with indicator lamp, but who needs features, really? It’s the sound that counts for me.

Plus, the pre seems to take about anything you can throw at it, so a pad isn’t as necessary as on many pre’s.

The mics, however, are really out there…at least in looks. If you haven’t seen them, be sure to peruse. They could be alien space eyes looking back at you.

Seems to be a small diaphraghm (very small) condenser in omni, although by the laws of physics, they get a bit less omni at highest freq’s.

My first usage of this system was for some new acoustic + vocal Cat Power tracks. I put one mic/pre on acoustic guitar as the only pickup for that, and the other mic/pre combo on Cat’s vocal, in conjunction with a U-47 through an old Neve.

On both sources, the mics were amazing. Nothing else was needed on acoustic (about 4″ away pointing at 12th fret joint)…the omni pattern worked great, and I could move the mic in a bit more towards the sound hole if needed, without massive proximity buildup.

On the vocal, the Ball gave an excellent “airy” sound in conjunction with the 47. Once I had the two together (positioned as carefully as possible for phase issue avoidance), I could never listen to just the 47 alone…I had to add the Ball in there.

Anyway, I will be doing a lot more experimentation with these, and will report back if anyone wants.

Is anyone else using Sage?

Terry Manning
Compass Point Studios, then Nassau, Bahamas

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