Less than half the size of my iPod Touch, the Mikey 2G is an external coincident stereo microphone for most iPods. Mikey 2G is designed for musicians, cub reporters, students and anyone who needs to capture high quality audio on the spot with their iPod.
The product ships with a plush lined black cloth pouch, and a bilingual French/English printed user manual almost small enough to fit in the bag as well. Mikey 2G comes with a free companion download from the iTunes Music store, Blue FiRe, a simplified version of Audiofile Engineering’s FiRe field recording application. Blue FiRe includes an audio quick start file built in, which walks you through the major features and functions while you play the file.
Using Mikey 2G is darn easy. Plug it in to the Dock connector, launch the app, and start recording though I found it best to shut down my ’Touch, plug in Mikey, start things back up, and launch Blue FiRe. Blue claims “Compact Disc quality recording directly to your iPod” and, you know what? They’re right!
After receiving the second generation Mikey, I trotted over to the lovely Studio Trilogy, where co–owner Justin Lieberman and assistant Alex Knickerbocker had X–Y stereo pairs of very costly Neumann KM 84 and Schoeps CMC 6 small condensers already set up in their big room. I brought along my pair of MCA SP1s, fave condenser of audio bottom feeders everywhere.
We patched all six mics into their API 1608 desk, while I set up my 3G iPod Touch with Mikey 2G on an improvised mic stand. We enlisted Alex to play some wide dynamic material, David Lanz’s Vesuvius, which we recorded flat to Pro Tools HD while I recorded Mikey using Blue FiRe at highest quality, 44.1/16. After recording, we easily FTP’d the Mikey 2G files over WiFi to the Mac, using Blue FiRe’s built in server, and sync’d everything up in Pro Tools.
Listening back, we were frankly amazed at the timbre, clarity and directivity of the Mikey 2G. I had brought my SP1s since the pair is very close in cost to Mikey. After some critical listening, we agreed that, believe it or not, the Mikey sound was closest to the Neumann’s. The frequency response was very good and the amount of direct versus reflected pickup was just right.
Since this rant is about Mikey 2G, you may be wondering what's with Mikey the 1st? The first generation Mikey didn’t have a line input, direct monitoring or passthrough USB. The gain switch was hard to access, and the product didn’t include any container to store it in. Some user complained about the gain settings as well. Oh yeah, the mic could only swivel 180º, sometimes making placement difficult.