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Slate Digital ML-1

Test & Review

A unique combination of recording hardware and software, the Slate Digital ML-1 appeals to all voice-over artists. Fans of acoustic instruments and condenser mics often call it VMS. But why such enthusiasm for a classic vocal microphone of this kind? I decided to test it and present my feedback from Slate Digital's ML-1 to you in this article.

Slate Digital ML-1 Full Review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Slate Digital ML-1 Microphone Overview

The Slate Digital ML-1 is an home studio condenser microphone

In fact, it is the central element of the VMS or the Slate Visual Microphone System developed by the brand.

In practice, I would translate it as a hybrid system using the assembly of several acoustic elements to record the voice.

This versatile system of sound and electrostatic recordings therefore needs several membranes to be able to function.

Slate Digital ML-1

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I cite in particular an extremely transparent wireless lavalier microphone to capture sounds and a neutral preamp.

Added to this winning combo is unparalleled digital processing which displays a unique and original dynamic description.

This processing comes from the use of specific software that easily recreates the frequencies of the , dynamic and condenser microphones

To put it simply, you are entitled to a trio of amps, professional microphones and highly functional sound software.

The three of them allow you to capture, condense, mix and convert any type of sound wave. In just seconds, your ML-1 stand mic produces excellent high-frequency or low-frequency tracks .

It defines itself as an excellent condenser microphone for home studio.
Picture from thomann.de

Focus on its manufacturing quality

I note that it has a large diaphragm operated by phantom power with 6 micron capsules.

Its audio interface can power dynamics and amplify dynamics through an operational FET circuit.

This circuit based on magnetic field via electric current offers correct sound quality .

After testing it on different sound sources, I would say that its response curve is linear, clean and flat.

Equipped with a recorder, amplifier, FET converter and switch, the Slate Digital ML-1 brilliantly records all kinds of waves.

Slate Digital ML-1

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Furthermore, using it to record the sounds of my acoustic guitar, I am very happy with its functionality without a sound card.

And in the recording studio, it even offers me the possibility of mixing different signals . Using its built-in voice coil, attenuator and speaker, the hand mic allows you to create multiple adjacent tracks.

A priori, you have the choice between using the studio microphone alone or with its integrated software . With the first option, you benefit from the sound pickup quality of a large diaphragm microphone with linear characteristics.

With the second alternative, you can play on several tones and types of sound system as you wish.

In any case, bandwidth is considered in the same way with cardio-type sound amplification .

The Slate Digital ML-1 brilliantly records all kinds of waves.
Picture from zzounds.com

Another test : You can also discover our complete test on the Blue Yeti Nano . A USB microphone that has a cardioid polar pattern. This guide presents you with all the complete details you need to know about the Yeti Nano microphone from Blue, as well as our opinion, and a user demo.

An original ambient microphone with good value for money

For years, the best dynamic condenser microphones and condenser microphones were only accessible to a certain profile of buyers.

In fact, they are only accessible at enormous prices. Most of the time, beginners and podcast and voice-over enthusiasts prefer to settle for low-cost models.

They choose a dynamic instrument at random on the web or in a store. Then, they no longer think about buying a microphone for singing to move to a higher level of studio recording .

This reality represents a huge blockage in the development of the talents of singers and voice-over enthusiasts. It is also to provide support to music professionals that Slate Digital designed its ML-1.

Slate Digital ML-1

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In fact, the brand mainly wants to offer a new model of studio microphone that is unlike any other model. And she succeeded in her bet, because it is difficult for me to use a microphone as versatile as this one.

I even reviewed all the types of dynamic mics and condenser mics I knew so far. But none of them can do what this external mic is capable of offering me as studio equipment .

This type of microphone produces unique, original and precise sounds with an excellent stereo output level. In addition, the ML-1 lavalier microphone quickly records all kinds of sound waves in its cardioid directivity axis.

And just like the Electro-Voice RE20 , it eliminates the proximity effect, that feeling of a deep voice as you approach the mic input.

The central element of the VMS or Slate Visual Microphone System.
Picture from amazon.com

Slate Digital ML-1 Condenser Microphone Setup

A priori, like the NT5 pro studio microphone from Rode , the Slate Digital ML-1 directional microphone is equipped with a large diaphragm with FET transformer .

Shockproof, this membrane reduces percussion and interference in gooseneck pickup using connectivity associated with the microphone.

Your professional studio voice recording microphone comes with a tripod for hanging support.

Moreover, it is easily attached to the latter and thus offers you a sort of highly operational microphone on a stand . I find this option much more advantageous than the clip attachments of some condenser microphones.

The ML-1 produces excellent high-frequency or low-frequency tracks.
Picture from Youtube.com

In principle, taking the microphone means connecting it to a sound source using a USB XLR cable . Featuring three pins, the connector uses a compact dual XLR jack input unit to operate your mic.

I also notice the presence of switches which provide the connection with a mixing desk . This table is particularly essential for obtaining a good phantom magnet power source.

Also, just like the Shure SM7B, or the Sennheiser MKH 416, the stereo microphone can subsequently produce excellent sounds and a high-level frequency response. In terms of treble and bass, its TRS and XLR audio outputs are very useful to me.

I also use an adapter to increase the sensitivity of the microphone to any acoustic and sound pressure.

Slate Digital ML-1

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And as for its general appearance, your omnidirectional microphone is designed according to precise standards.

The same goes for its preamp which eliminates handling noise and background noise.

carefully finished recording equipment with capsules that are more than shock resistant.

Moreover, I can only appreciate the presence of its suspension support which makes it easier to handle the directional micro USB .

Slate Digital ML-1: a reproduction of the best studio microphones.
Picture from Twitter.com

Slate Digital ML-1: a reproduction of the best studio microphones

Sometimes I have the habit of comparing every lavalier mic I have on hand with the best studio mics . And I admit that the Slate Digital ML-1 could not escape this habit.

Imagine that with this wireless microphone, it's as if you were in front of the essential microphones of recording studios .

This is explained in particular by the presence of its sound processing software included in the pack.

Slate Digital software reproduces the different recordings provided by 8 and condenser microphones

So, I have the choice between 8 different recording modes depending on the type of sounds I want to reproduce.

Slate Digital ML-1

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In front of an ML-1 microphone, I can record voices like with a Neumann U67 pro microphone , a Sony 800G, a Telefunken, AKG or even Shure microphones .

This multipolarization allows me to vary the quality of my sound productions and to perfect my recording technique.

In addition, the presence of a module controller makes it easier to change characters between these different records as desired .

Therefore, I can quickly switch from a close electrical signal to the U67 and Sony 800G in just a few seconds. No other directional mic can do this.

In fact, most studio microphones on the market simply reproduce sounds from a single specific microphone level.

Slate Digital ML-1 is mainly used for recording vocals in a home studio.
Picture from marcellodecarolis.com

Slate Digital ML-1: zoom on its preamps

I had to take an interest in the two preamps of the ML-1 to complete my test on this microphone for singing. And just like its built-in software, they reproduce the sound effects of the best preamps on the market.

Using them for different recordings, the sound pressures obtained seem to come from a Telefunken or Neve 1073 valve.

Slate Digital ML-1

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Moreover, it is possible to use these preamps at the limit of acoustic distortion of the electrical signal. The resulting voice recording will probably delight voice-over fans.

However, I regret the presence of a high pass filter, pop filter and wind filter which could have improved the bass. The radio microphone therefore remains in a neutral range that is less impressive at low frequencies.

Perfect for podcast enthusiasts and voice-over artists.
Picture from ameblo.jp

By the way, also discover our complete test of the Manley Reference Cardioid microphone . This guide provides you with the full details, reviews, and technical specifications of this condenser microphone.

Using the Slate Digital ML-1 Mic

The Slate Digital ML-1 condenser microphone is mainly used for recording vocals in a home studio . You can use it both to capture instrument sounds and to record human voices.

Furthermore, nothing stops you from testing its performances as a duo or in a group.

You will probably be surprised at how similar its sound pickup is to the best condenser microphones on the market.

Podcast enthusiasts and voice-over artists will also appreciate this micro-USB.

Slate Digital ML-1

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In addition, the different models that the Slate software takes into account make it possible to obtain take variations depending on the nature of the sounds.

Some modes adapt better to masculine, bass sounds while others highlight female voices and high notes.

In any case, you are free to test its cardioid acoustic directivity on several sound sources using headphones.

Also, the ML-1 easily adapts to any type of sound environment, including outdoor settings. It can therefore compete with a high-end dynamic microphone , without being as expensive as the latter.

The microphone offers a bridge between classic microphone and high-end microphone.
Picture from gearnews.com

Technical characteristics of the Slate Digital ML-1

  • Type: condenser microphone
  • VMS system: 1 microphone + 1 software + 2 preamps
  • Directivity: cardioid
  • Microphone emulations: FG-47, FG-800, FG-800M, FG-M7, FG-269, FG-12, FG-67, FG-251
  • Preamp emulations: FG-73, FG-76
  • 48 Volt phantom power supply
Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,0 /5
4/5

Value for money

4,8 /5
4.8/5

Global mark

4,5 /5
4.5/5

Our opinion on the Slate Digital ML-1 microphone

In short, the Slate Digital ML-1 condenser microphone offers a bridge between classic microphone and high-end microphone. It combines the performance of the best condenser microphones while being accessible at a good quality/price ratio.

Slate Digital ML-1 Demo

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Slate Digital ML-1

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