Home » News » ATC Monitors Serve As Vocal Surrogate In The Audio Test Kitchen

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 2019: If you’re going to properly compare 250 microphones, you have to make sure the source is identical 250 times. But because no human is capable of singing the same every time into 250 microphones, using an actual singer might cause you to falsely attribute vocal performance differences to microphone differences. With support from ATC’s U.S. Distributor, TransAudio Group, the accuracy of ATC monitors helped Audio Test Kitchen solve this problem by serving as a consistent ‘surrogate’ for the human voice.

Audio Test Kitchen’s unbiased audio product comparison website AudioTestKitchen.com enables users to clearly hear the true personality of a piece of gear and to compare it with other gear in the same category. They have carefully eliminated all variables in the source and signal chain so that the only difference heard is due to the gear in the spotlight. It’s a true “apples-to-apples” comparison. To accurately represent characteristics of large diaphragm condenser microphones, Audio Test Kitchen recorded singers in an anechoic chamber, then reproduced those voices through an ATC SCM45A loudspeaker one at a time into each of 250 product microphones.

“The idea to use loudspeakers to reproduce the human voice consistently every time came from our many conversations with the microphone manufacturers themselves who use this technique in their own R&D process,” said Audio Test Kitchen co-founder, Alex Oana. “We spent months developing the ideal human voice reamplification system by finding the right combination of high-resolution microphones to “bottle” the human voice and loudspeaker to reproduce the voice as its surrogate. The ATC SCM45A was one of two systems able to accomplish this. We were lucky to receive the full support of ATC’s U.S. distributor TransAudio Group, whose rep Zach Winterfeld provided us with all the ATC speakers we needed for testing over many months at many studios and an acoustics lab.”

He continued, “Thanks to the inherent sound and symmetrical driver arrangement of the ATC SCM45A and our collaboration with the research team at Harman International’s Northridge, California testing facility, we were able to close that final 5% gap so that we could no longer distinguish which was the live singer and which was the reamplified one. Users auditioning the sound of microphones through various vocal sources on Audio Test Kitchen can be sure they’re hearing the true characteristics of each microphone.”

n October 2019, Audio Test Kitchen is launching their debut equipment comparison category, large diaphragm condenser microphones, which totals more than three-hundred physical microphones, capsules, voicing settings, and virtual microphone models.

Audio Test Kitchen will be expanding to include additional professional audio and musical instrument categories with the goal of, in the words of Oana, “establishing a new, critical information layer in the industry that empowers musicians and audio creators to make confident decisions about the gear they rely on.”


TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.


ATC Loudspeakers is a UK manufacturer of professional studio monitors. For more information on ATC Loudspeakers, please visit http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/professional/

For more information on Audio Test Kitchen, please visit https://www.audiotestkitchen.com/

TOP PHOTO: Testing the ATC SCM45A in Harman’s anechoic chamber. © 2019 Alex Oana

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