Recording - October 2015 - 61

-38 dBV/Pa (12.7mV/Pa) sensitivity. It has a
slightly scooped low end from 70 Hz to 400
Hz, and it rises gently at 1 kHz where it
builds to a 5 dB peak 4 kHz and at 6-9 kHz.
Its frequency response then falls back slowly
to zero, then shows a slight 2 dB spike at 18
kHz before rolling off.
Sound and use
Compared to the PGA27, this mic is tighter
and more rolled off in the highs, with a noticeable upper mid forwardness. It also has a
more laid back low end. Interestingly I found
its top end similar to that of my KSM44 (a
high-end, multipattern version of the SM27).
The PGA181 is best suited to electric guitar cabinets, hand percussion, and drum
overheads, where it captured the kit well
and was just rolled off enough to keep the
cymbals nicely under control yet still punchy.
I also liked it on acoustic guitar, but it was
more of a tight forward rock'n'roll sound
suited to rhythm guitar. This is in contrast to
the more open jangly tone of the PGA27,
which I would choose for folk or solo
acoustic guitar recording.
Conclusions
In this arena there are a lot of entry-level
mics vying for your dollar. Nowadays, most
of them sound decent enough as starter mics
for your home recording needs. Beyond that,
your choices will come down to things like
looks, build, brand preference, and accessories in the overall package.
In my opinion, these new PGA models are
overbuilt in true Shure fashion; longevity of
use should not be an issue. They sound good
enough to want to own, and to keep using
even after you add more mics to your locker.
As to the packaging, in its class the
PGA27 is hard to beat. It comes with one of
the nicest shockmount designs at this price
point, beating many shockmounts on $1000
import mics. I also like the soft case it comes
with; it's much easier to store than your average low end aluminum flight case.
Dollar for dollar, I find the PGA181 to be
the real star of the PG ALTA line. For less than
$200, you can get a pair of these and you
will cover most of your non-dynamic instrument miking needs for a long time. I would
recommend a pair not only to home
recordists, but to churches, schools, and
clubs that need decent overheads and instrument mics that are rugged, long lasting and
won't break the bank.
This is a mic with a unique enough sound
that you will find other specialty uses for it as
your collection grows. I have been using the
PGA181 live for hi-hat, congas, and cajon
quite regularly since it arrived, with zero
complaints. That bodes well!
Prices: PGA27, $199; PGA 181, $99
More from: Shure, www.shure.com
RECORDING October 2015

61


http://www.pearlmanmicrophones.com http://www.pearlmanmicrophones.com http://www.clearsonic.com http://www.clearsonic.com http://www.shure.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2015

Contents
Recording - October 2015 - Intro
Recording - October 2015 - Cover1
Recording - October 2015 - Cover2
Recording - October 2015 - 1
Recording - October 2015 - 2
Recording - October 2015 - 3
Recording - October 2015 - 4
Recording - October 2015 - 5
Recording - October 2015 - Contents
Recording - October 2015 - 7
Recording - October 2015 - 8
Recording - October 2015 - 9
Recording - October 2015 - 10
Recording - October 2015 - 11
Recording - October 2015 - 12
Recording - October 2015 - 13
Recording - October 2015 - 14
Recording - October 2015 - 15
Recording - October 2015 - 16
Recording - October 2015 - 17
Recording - October 2015 - 18
Recording - October 2015 - 19
Recording - October 2015 - 20
Recording - October 2015 - 21
Recording - October 2015 - 22
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Recording - October 2015 - 24
Recording - October 2015 - 25
Recording - October 2015 - 26
Recording - October 2015 - 27
Recording - October 2015 - 28
Recording - October 2015 - 29
Recording - October 2015 - 30
Recording - October 2015 - 31
Recording - October 2015 - 32
Recording - October 2015 - 33
Recording - October 2015 - 34
Recording - October 2015 - 35
Recording - October 2015 - 36
Recording - October 2015 - 37
Recording - October 2015 - 38
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Recording - October 2015 - 40
Recording - October 2015 - 41
Recording - October 2015 - 42
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Recording - October 2015 - 46
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Recording - October 2015 - Cover3
Recording - October 2015 - Cover4
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