I believe I first heard about Braingasm Lab microphones from listening to Sylvia Massy talk about them. I was rather intrigued and did some research that required me to recall enough Italian to navigate the company’s website and find the contact form. Fortunately for me, Braingasm Lab founder Teodoro Pizzolante speaks English pretty well. He was gracious enough to answer my questions about the product line and how it all started.
During the course of my email exchange with Teodoro, he shared some of his background and the story behind the company. The short version is that Teodoro worked as a sound engineer but got into repairing high-end microphones at his shop in Rome. After a while, his reputation grew so much that many high-end microphone manufacturers would refer their customers to Teodoro’s shop for repair work and others came seeking custom modifications. In the process of doing microphone repairs and custom mods, he talked with some notable engineers and producers and considered their concerns with commercially available microphones. Teodoro then began development of his own prototypes.
I heard that there was a ribbon mic early on. Teodoro focused on condensers after that and the current product line has solidified around three models: Ferro, Magnitube and Multi-Deluxe. Ferro is a classic J-FET based, transformer-coupled LDC designed for high-SPL sources so that it can be used more like a dynamic mic with the sonic texture of a condenser. Magnitube is a multi-pattern, U47-esque tube LDC with some very unique and thoughtful features. Multi-Deluxe is a FET-based, transformerless, multi-pattern LDC. While I have all three models for review and I could speak a lot about the other models, this review is focused on Multi-Deluxe.
Inside a nice wooden box with lined memory foam rests a big microphone called Multi-Deluxe. While the body and head basket are black powder-coated, it should be noted that the hexagonal mesh of the head basket is hand-woven brass that has been carefully designed to be strong and transparent but also mitigate phase issues commonly induced by reflections bouncing around inside the head basket of a condenser microphone. The mic simply has two switches: a three-position switch to select the polar pattern (Omni, Cardioid, Figure-8) and a pad switch. A Rycote shock mount was supplied for stand mounting.
I tested the Multi-Deluxe in several tracking sessions. I mainly used it on vocals and acoustic guitars. I also used several preamps: a Mercury AM16d, a Daking MIC Pre One and an Avedis MD7. The Multi-Deluxe performed well with all three preamps and really allowed me to hear the character of each one.
I have to say that it’s one of the best all-around condensers I have used across the board. The capsule has been tuned to be a little darker than some other condensers which helps the midrange to shine and there is clarity without the more common sizzle that I can’t stand with so many condensers. Multi-Deluxe is great on guitar but one of my favorite condenser mics for female voices. I just love the tone, presence and focus it brings. It’s not a remake of a U87 but sounds somewhat like a vintage U87.
All of the Braingasm Lab mics are killer: so thoughtfully designed and handmade in Italy with mostly Italian parts – including the capsules! I have high regard for a number of boutique gear manufacturers but only a very few have my respect like Braingasm Lab.
Learn more on the new English version of the company website: www.braingasmlab.com