In the studio you want reliability from your equipment that captures exactly what you hear (with your ear) with as little complication as possible. Here we review the SE Titan, a microphone that I have personally used in almost every single application you could imagine. With outstanding clarity and versatility SE electronics deliveries a multi-polar condenser (phantom powered) microphone that deviates away from the 'common' gold capsule design. In this little beauty we don't see any of that expensive gold but instead we bear witness to a titanium diaphragm that offers a superior transient response in comparison to the gold equivalent. With a fast transient response the sound is rather different than what we might expect.
The titanium captures the fast transients with a faithful tone, particularly with regards to stringed instruments, offering a new level of detail and clarity regardless of the preamplifier you use. With this being noted, it can be a fact that occasionally you may feel that the microphone has a sterile feel to it if you are using a FET based pre-amp. The way that the user can overcome this is by coupling it with a valve based pre-amp or use a valve simulator plug-in such as Waves 'Tube Saturator'.
Personally, I have used this microphone on vocals both male and female, acoustic guitars and percussion and every time I have been given excellent sonic capture. With vocals I find it allows great depth in vocal tracking, joined with subtle high-end detail. I have a few times used this mic on guitar amps, off set from the cone and around 2-3 inches away. This has proved effective. However I would have this lower on the list of microphones I would try first.
Now we come to some of the other additions that the mic offers. The Titan offers three useful polar patterns for different occasions, Cardioid (for general use to emphasise sound from the direction that the microphone is pointed to), Omnidirectional (for use of capturing ambient noise or where there are multiple musicians around the microphone - beware this tends to have a very unfocussed sound) and 'figure of eight' or Bidirectional (for use of picking up musicians each side of the microphone; although using two microphones often offers a far superior details including the ability to separate the sources). Next the Titan features a low end roll off which can remove any of that mic stand rumble or general bass muddiness as well as a 10db pad for signal sources that don't leave you with an awful amount of headroom. However, all of these features are extremely useful depending on your setting and use but in comparison to other microphones in the same price range this flexibility is unbeaten.
Now we come on to that fact that it is always important to notice the aesthetics of the microphone, while materialistic and purely subjective but I would say that the aesthetics can be pleasing with a 'golf ball' design or 'ice-cream cone'. In addition to this we shall discuss the build quality. It is indeed a case that there are many sceptics of the SE Electronics brand, simply because all of their microphones are machined and assembled in China but this makes absolutely no difference with this company. SE make sure that they are competitive and never fail on build quality and considering that more and more parts for premium brand microphones are being made in China I would say that in this case the SE brand is one to trust. No one can make mics like they do for the price. Saying this the SE Titan was once a microphone that was priced in the elite at £1000, now it hits at just under the £300 mark due to two reasons. Firstly, SE Electronics produced the Titan 2 and wished to sell its stock in bulk, to which the retailer Digital Village, acquired and slammed a 'deal of a lifetime' bargain on. This pretty much means that if you have just shy of £300 and you are into your microphones then you should buy one!
To conclude, I can always trust this mic, even if i’m trying something new in the studio I can rely on the SE Titan. All the vocals on Chris Pavey Studios content in the User Sounds page are tracked with the Titan, so please go check it out to hear the results for yourself. Its original price was just under a £1000, and is now just under £300 pounds makes it an affordable but professional quality piece of kit. Its durability and consistent clarity makes it a must have microphone to have in your mic locker. The Pro Audio Web Blog gives the Se Titan 5 Stars.
Edd Harris & Chris Pavey