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Blue Bluebird SL

Test & Review

Are you looking for a versatile microphone that can be used for vocal recording in a recording studio and also for use in recording various musical instruments? Opt for the Blue Bluebird SL condenser microphone. This condenser microphone is equipped with multi-functional switches, with a handmade capsule which has a fine gold-sputtered membrane. Discover in this test guide and review the complete details of this microphone.

Blue Bluebird SL

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Blue microphones are renowned for their atypical design and great versatility . Most of its microphones (to name only the Blue Yeti, the Blue Nano and the Blue Yeti X omnidirectional microphone) are intended more for presenters than singers.

For the type of microphone which will be the subject of this review and test, the Blue brand has decided to use it for studio recording for singing and for instrumental recording . The Blue Bluebird SL microphone model can therefore be used for single use dedicated to singers and musicians.

the Blue Bluebird SL microphone
Picture from Easyzic.com

Blue Bluebird SL Microphone Overview

The Bluebird model from Blue adopts a completely new standard for sound recording and the Blue Bluebird SL also benefits from this innovation. This is what differentiates it from most of Blue's dynamic microphones, to name only the Blue yeti, the Yeti X or the famous Nano (one of the brand's most compact microphones).

To offer a refined and more pronounced vocal tone with this microphone, the manufacturer has taken care to equip its Blue Bluebird SL with multifunctional switches . We thus obtain greater clarity and sound dynamism with vocal and instrumental recordings that are at once rich, detailed and nuanced.

Blue Bluebird SL packaging
Picture from Themicmaniac.com

The Blue Bluebird SL is above all a condenser microphone designed to offer more signature, footprint and clarity to the singing voice . The electrostatic microphone also includes a handmade capsule equipped with a fine gold-sputtered membrane to best resonate sound waves in high frequencies.

Above all, this allows for correct vocal recording (without compression) and to obtain optimal sound quality to be used for audio processing purposes on a mixing desk. The Blue Bluebird SL microphone also features an ingeniously designed backplate to provide , uniform and balanced sound pickup across its entire frequency range.

Added to this are class A mini-circuits . Their integration into this Blue Bluebird SL microphone will further provide greater precision and detail to your voice when recording it in a home studio.

Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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By the way, also discover our complete test of the Warm Audio WA-8000 . This test guide presents you with the complete details of this microphone, its functionality, its sound quality, its technical characteristics, as well as our opinion on the microphone, and some test demos.

Blue Bluebird SL: overview of technical functions

The Blue Bluebird SL is an atypical microphone , because it provides versatile use while giving a beautiful imprint to the singing voice and all types of instruments played. This fully switchable professional microphone is equipped with a 100 dB high-pass filter -20 dB attenuation pad to provide the flexibility necessary for rendering the different recordings you wish to have. All without loss of electrical signal emanating from its phantom generator, even when the microphone is held by hand.

This is all the more practical for nuanced vocal recording when singing with this microphone in hand. It is the same every time you want to make an instrumental recording using a Blue Bluebird SL type microphone.

Guitar recording with Blue Bluebird SL
Picture from Amazon.com

the audio recording of a unique vocal timbre in a nuanced and personalized way . And likewise, just like the Blue Spark SL microphone , this exceptional electrostatic microphone from Blue allows you to obtain a rich and qualitative sound reproduction for the sound capture of various musical instruments .

And this, in particular in almost all frequencies, and in particular in a response curve between 20 Hz and 20 kHz . The Blue Bluebird SL confers several advantages and particularities compared to other types of condenser microphones and condenser microphones:

  • Remarkable sound clarity in the treble and midrange whether for vocal or instrumental recording.
  • A , hand-crafted, large-diaphragm capsule design
  • The integration of a high-pass filter and a -20 dB pad (or attenuator) for greater flexibility and dynamism.
  • Optimal compatibility with a USB interface for greater ease of use in a home studio. All without the need to resort to the use of a motherboard or an external Atx . In addition, we will not (necessarily) need to connect a microphone of this type to an XLR socket .
Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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Note (in passing) that the Blue Bluebird SL is supplied with:

  • A wooden box to store it
  • Its own shock-absorbing suspension (instead of a Boom-type articulated arm)
  • Its user manual

I would have preferred that, like other condenser microphones, the Blue Bluebird SL was equipped with an anti-pop filter. I find this a bit of a shame given that we are dealing here with a fairly sensitive condenser microphone.

Note also that the fairly small size of the microphone head does not make it easy to find a suitable windshield. Regardless, the shock mount that comes with the mic is quite capable of reducing vibration and handling noise .

Using this microphone is also simpler compared to a condenser microphone with XLR connectivity. The Blue Bluebird SL requires very little getting used to to bring out exactly the sound you want when singing or playing your favorite instrument.

Blue Bluebird SL with shock suspension
Picture from Djcity.com

Blue Bluebird SL: for perfect vocal and instrumental recording

One can get better use of the Blue Bluebird SL for recording vocals and for recording the sound of a variety of musical instruments.

The Blue Bluebird SL displays a unidirectional polar pattern , i.e. a cardioid polar pattern . This means that it only picks up the sound wave that comes from the sound source placed in front.

The Blue Bluebird SL also has the particularity of offering as beautiful a proximity effect as one could have with moving coil microphone . To add fullness and provide more roundness to low voices, simply place this condenser microphone at a distance of between 3 and 15 cm depending on the tone and volume setting of the microphone.

Blue Bluebird SL with complete kit
Picture from Soundfun.co.kr

The ideal distance will be between 20 and 30 cm for high-pitched voices . To provide a beautiful signature to the voice, you could also tilt this microphone to sing:

  • Towards the forehead (for better opening)
  • Facing the mouth (for better clarity)
  • Facing the chest for more roundness to the deep voice

To offer more dynamism and flexibility to the voice, but above all to avoid any risk of sound saturation (since we are dealing here with a static microphone) we can very well manually configure the microphone to activate the pass filter. high or the attenuator.

Due to its versatility, its dynamism and its great flexibility, the Blue Bluebird SL also meets a variety of uses for instrumental audio recording , whether acoustic or electric instruments.

Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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For audio pickup of an electric guitar , you can place the Blue Bluebird SL microphone capsule towards the center of the speaker (at a distance of approximately 20 to 30 cm ) to capture the highs.

When using an electric guitar equipped with a distortion or effects pedal, you should place the Blue Bluebird SL microphone approximately 25 cm from the speaker and position it towards the edge of the speaker. You can also optimize the use of the Blue Bluebird SL to perfect the sound recording of various other instruments such as the harmonica, the accordion and the celestial organ.

If necessary, you can always activate the high-pass filter of this condenser microphone. When picking up an acoustic guitar, you should place the microphone centered where the neck meets the body of the guitar (i.e. between the 12th and 14th fret ).

Blue Bluebird SL in studio
Picture from Delamar.de

You can also guarantee more sound ambiance by deciding to place the Bluebird SL condenser studio microphone above the instrument and directly in front of its head. Once again, you should not hesitate to activate the high-pass filter (if necessary), because this allows you to offer more flexibility and dynamism to your entire instrumental and vocal recording.

As for other types of instruments, it should be noted that this ambient microphone provides quite surprising recording quality. So, for instrumental pickup of a violin or cello , I recommend placing the Blue Bluebird SL above the instrument and pointing it toward the bridge to get better resonance.

Since this type of instrument generates quite high sound pressure, it is appropriate to activate the high-pass filter and attenuator built into the Blue Bluebird SL.

Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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Equipped with a greater capacity to offer a wide range in high frequencies with an ability (to withstand sound pressure) well above average, the Blue Bluebird SL microphone also ideally responds to the sound pickup of various types of sound. wooden and brass . This is particularly true of instruments such as the flute and the saxophone .

For the instrumental audio recording of a saxophone , this will mainly depend on the type of saxophone in question (soprano, alto or tenor). To perfect the sound of a soprano saxophone, you should activate the high-pass filter and place the Blue Bluebird SL centered in the middle of the instrument. You can do the same if you play the clarinet.

For other types of saxophones, that is to say for all those which impart a lower tone (alto and tenor), the ideal would be to position the Blue Bluebird SL in front of the lip of the bell at approximately 5 to 15 cm depending on the microphone volume and the tone of the instrument.

You can also optimize the audio quality by slightly orienting the capsule towards the mouthpiece to provide more openness to mid-range sounds and more precision to high-pitched sounds . For more softness and sound dynamism, you can even (maintaining this configuration) tilt the capsule of the Blue Bluebird SL slightly downwards.

Blue Bluebird SL
Picture from Woodbrass.com

Focus on the sound quality of the Blue Bluebird SL microphone

Compared to other professional studio microphones, including the AKG P420 condenser microphone , Audio-Technica AT2035, or the most famous Neumann TLM 103, the Blue Bluebird SL will delight a large number of artists and musicians. due to its impeccable sound , its great versatility and its high recording performance . Its integrated and entirely handmade capsule provides impeccable treble clarity , more sound dynamism in the mids and more fullness in the bass.

You can perfectly use a microphone of this type for vocal recording, and I admit that this provides an unrivaled listening experience, whatever the vocal timbre. With the Blue Bluebird SL, each voice will find its own identity and signature.

The directional microphone itself is equipped with a high-pass filter and a -20 dB to configure the sound of all your recordings without risk of saturation in the highs, mids and bass. The Blue Bluebird SL is equipped with a large diagram to ensure greater aperture in the capture of high frequency sound sources for vocal and instrumental recording.

Although we are dealing here with an electrostatic microphone , it can still withstand an acoustic pressure Spl which can go up to 138 dB . With a greater dynamic range of 126.3 dB , the Blue Bluebird SL also provides greater versatility for capturing the sound of a very wide variety of instruments.

Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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This microphone can actually be used on a Class A amplifier , even without a transformer to offer more signal precision without the presence of parasitic noise. The sound heard at the microphone input comes out as it is at the output of headphones or a speaker to amplify the sound dynamics of all types of voices and instruments .

The Blue Bluebird SL also provides a tone that makes it suitable for both vocal and instrumental recording: acoustic and electric guitar, violin, cello, bass, double bass, drums, flute, harp, clarinet, trumpet, trombone. , harmonica, accordion, bagpipes, etc.

The Blue Bluebird SL also features a shock mount that isolates from very low frequency resonances Note that the Blue Bluebird SL requires the use of 48 Volt , but it can also work very well with the USB interface of your PC or Mac.

vocal recording with the Blue Bluebird SL
Picture from Gear4music.ch

Just like the Neumann TLM 193, note that the Blue Bluebird SL also displays a cardioid directivity which allows sound to be rejected off-axis and only to capture the sound wave coming from the sound source located in front of it. To take better advantage of the capabilities of this directional microphone to withstand high acoustic pressures, you can activate the -20 dB pad .

This will especially help to attenuate the strong pressures of percussion instruments of different types (snare drum, bass drum, cymbal, drums, etc.), acoustic guitar riffs and the sound of a double bass. As for the rest, I would like to remind you that adjusting a condenser microphone is an art and is more a question of preference than a purely technical question.

Then, it will also be necessary to take into account the configuration of the room , the isolation from external noise and the possibilities of taking advantage of the sound echo of a room (if necessary).

Otherwise and especially to optimize the quality of sound recording in (uncompressed) mode, it will be better to invest in the purchase of specific insulators alongside the purchase of your sound equipment. This will allow you to get off to a good start with a clean sound that is practically easier to mix .

Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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Superlux S502 microphone test guide . It is a condenser microphone optimized for ORTF Stereo recording. Apart from the test, you can discover in this guide its technical characteristics, some demos on using the microphone, as well as our opinion.

The technical characteristics of the Blue Bluebird SL

  • Microphone type: electrostatic “condenser”), and large diaphragm
  • Style: vocal microphone
  • Directivity: cardioid (or unidirectional)
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Mic sensitivity: 28.5 mV/Pa at 1 kHz (1 Pa = 94 dB Spl)
  • Output impedance: 50 Ohms
  • Rated load impedance: at least 1 kΩ
  • Maximum sound pressure: 138 dB Spl
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 82.3 dPa
  • Dynamic description: 126.3 dB
  • Power supply required: phantom power supply (48 Volt electrical current)
  • High pass filter: 100 Hz, 12 dB per octave
  • Attenuator (or Pad): -20 dB
  • Dimensions: 222.5mm x 47.5mm
  • Net weight: 455g
Blue Bluebird SL package
Picture from Nashvilleusedmusic.com
Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5
4.9/5

Value for money

4,7 /5
4.7/5

Global mark

4,8 /5
4.8/5

Our opinion on the Blue Bluebird SL microphone

The Blue Bluebird SL differs from other microphone models from this brand, to name only the Nano, the Yeti and the Yeti other types of condenser microphones such as the Neumann TLM 102, the Rode Nt1 dynamic microphone (which can operate via analog jack), the Rode nt USB, the Axis T8353A from Axis and the Aston Microphones Origin from Origin.

These microphones are intended for use in presentation, broadcasting, monitoring and voice-over audio recording. This is not the case with the Blue Bluebird SL which, in addition to being compatible with a computer USB port, adapts more to the needs of singers and musicians than to those of presenters.

The design of this large diaphragm microphone and the presence of an entirely handmade internal capsule also make it a quality microphone that is built to last. The microphone is equipped with an attenuator and a high-pass filter to provide great dynamism and more flexibility to the sound of your instruments.

In all honesty, I recommend purchasing this stereo microphone to anyone who would like to take care of and refine the recording quality of their vocal and instrumental recording in a home studio. Above all, this will make it possible to optimize the digital signal processing or DSP process (filtering, compression, extraction, etc.) for both the audio interface and UHF video.

Likewise, I recommend that anyone who wants to invest in good studio equipment purchase the Blue Bluebird SL microphone as an alternative to purchasing an external microphone or boom microphone. This type of audio recorder (for outdoor use) is more intended for videographers. However, the Blue Bluebird SL will find great use in the studio rather than outdoors.

Blue Bluebird SL Purchase
Blue Bluebird SL

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Blue Bluebird SL Demo

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Blue Bluebird SL

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