We recently met with the fantastic Alex Oana at Gold-Diggers in Los Angeles to check out his rather amazing endeavors with Audio Test Kitchen!
Audio Test Kitchen is a free online resource aiming to change the way we audition microphones. They’ve partnered with top pro audio manufacturers to provide the most comprehensive gear comparison platform ever! At the core of what makes Audio Test Kitchen such a valuable resource is the elimination of the many, many variables in typical mic shootouts. You’re able to hear 225 different mics exactly as they are on a variety of different sound sources!
Audio Test Kitchen provides a totally natural way of amplifying microphones’ personalities.
One of the very interesting things Alex talked shared with us is the idea of what he calls sound of ownership. In many cases we save up to buy the best mic we can afford; whether it’s a really great all-around tool is irrelevant because we use it on everything anyway.
With Audio Test Kitchen, you can hear exactly what one microphone sounds like on multiple sources in a full mix. This is a great way to really hear the different characteristics of a mic because you’ll be hearing 10 of them stacked on top of each other! And, as Alex has pointed out, it’s a means of highlighting a mic’s character without any additional processing to color the actual sound.
Users can audition mics on songs in multiple genres in the Taste Test area.
As it currently stands, Audio Test Kitchen provides songs in 4 different genres. For each song you can listen to a selected microphone on individual elements or the whole mix.
The Taste Test’s incredible interface also shows you a picture of the mic, the make and model, and even the price tag!
Audio Test Kitchen painstakingly positions the microphones at the recording stage for consistency.
As you can see in the video, the Test Kitchen team uses lasers to pinpoint the capsule placement across the board for every mic. They also use a number of reference tones to ensure each microphone’s gain is the same as well.
You can see in the clip that they’ve even gone so far as to rig a kick drum beater so that it hits the same way every single time! The painstaking attention to detail, in an effort to eliminate any variables, is what sets Audio Test Kitchen apart.