Microphones

 

Sennheiser MD 441-U

 
 

Introduced in 1966, The MD 441-U is acknowledged as the most accurate and versatile dynamic mic available. It has a nearly textbook perfect super-cardioid pattern (larger emphasis on picking up sounds directly in front of it - good for single instrument recordings), a five-position low frequency contour switch, a two-position high frequency switch, a critically damped internal shock suspension, and a hum bucking coil (provides a “fatter”, richer tone). It has impressive sensitivity, but is more than able to handle loud instrument levels.

  • Excellent feedback rejection
  • Record little to essentially no background noise
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Spring capsule mounting provides low sensitivity to handling noise
  • Hum compensating coil
  • Five position bass roll-off switch
  • Brilliance (treble boost) switch
  • Integral pop filter
  • Perfect for vocals and virtually every instrument.
  • Testimonials: “a must have on drums” “ages like wine” “extremely well built, a work of art, really” “it doesn’t get much better than this” “nothing else will do what this mic does well”

Used by: Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Elton John, Three Dog Night

 

 

 

 

Sennheiser MD 421 U-5

 
 

One of Sennheiser's most popular dynamic mics for over 35 years, the large diaphragm, dynamic element handles high sound pressure levels, making it a natural for recording guitars and drums. The MD 421's full-bodied cardioid pattern and five-position bass control make it an excellent choice for most instruments, as well as group vocals or radio broadcast announcers. One listen and you'll know why it's a classic. It’s been a fixture in recording studios since its introduction in 1960. It’s one of the best-known microphones in the world. Walk into any drum booth in any major studio and you'll most likely see Sennheiser MD 421 mics on the toms. Talk to just about any seasoned FOH or recording engineer about their drum miking preferences for toms and percussion and the Sennheiser MD 421 mic's name invariably comes up. Its excellent sound qualities also enable the MD 421 microphone to cope with the most diverse recording conditions and broadcast applications. 

  • Rugged professional microphone
  • Five position bass roll-off switch
  • Effective feedback rejection
  • Clear sound reproduction
  • Easy handling due to pronounced directivity

 

Testimonials: “Gives a nice, full-bodied sound, especially for my nasal tenor voice” “most flexible mic I’ve ever used” “it doesn’t just do good, it does great” “Exceptional Mic” “One of the toughtest mics out there” 

 

Used by: Pere Ubu, The Greatful Dead

 

 

Western Germany Neumann Microphone Type U67

 
 

 

For the past three-quarters of a century, the Neumann name has been synonymous with excellence in audio. the U67 was introduced in 1960 and is a multi-purpose microphone that has been used for recording, broadcasting, and sound reproduction. It is a very versatile mic,  so well known that the sales reps were able to release an effective ad with only a picture of the U67 and the words “ask anyone”. The understatement was enough. Owing to its quality, versatility and shape, the Neumann U67 became the very symbol of a high quality microphone, often imitated, but never duplicated. These mics value at $8K USED!

 

Used by: Everyone

 

 

 

 

AKG Acoustics MD D20

 

AKG, most widely known for developing the first ever two-way cardioid microphones and portable reverb unit based the D20 off of their first mic, the D12. Introduced in 1953, the D12 was the world's first dynamic cardioid mic, that is, it had a "unidirectional" design that served to reduce the amplification of extraneous sound and the production of feedback. By the 1960s, AKG had established a solid reputation as a producer of high quality sound equipment. 

  • Bass Cut Switch
  • Bass Filter
  • Provides a smooth, deep quality
  • Best suited for applications where loudspeakers are within close range or where sounds from the rear must not be picked up
  • Very rare, discontinued. 
  • Usually used on Drums

Often used by Norman Smith and Geoff Emerick as drum overheads on Ringo Starr’s drums on the Beatles recording sessions. Specifically, used on “Abbey Road’s” Native Instruments 60s kit. Alan Parsons

 

 

 

 

Neumann&CO. Gefell i.V. Type UM57

 
 

 

Introduced in 1957, the UM 57 microphone is a high-quality and universally usable condenser microphone with switchable directional characteristic. Omni, cardioid, and figure of 8 directional characteristics can be switched on by remote control. The change of the directional characteristic makes the most favorable adjustment possible to existing acoustic imaging conditions. The microphone capsule is a pressure-gradient transducer with two gold sputtered diaphragms. . The UM 57 is overall a very good sounding Neumann microphone, which doesn't get much love because it gets compared to some of the other Neumann microphones, which are some of the best ever made. 

 

  • Has a thick sound
  • Works better with female vocals

Testimonials: “works great on vocals, so smooth” “one of the best mics in my studio” “very elegant sound when it’s right...there’s a soul in there for sure” “my favorite mic i’ve ever heard on my vocals” “In one word: MAGIC” “Sounds wonderful on almost every single instrument I’ve ever used”

 

 

AKG D 112 

 
 

 

The D112 has earned a well-deserved reputation worldwide as the best kick drum microphone ever made. Heavy-footed drummers are thrilled with the D112´s ability to handle up to 160dB SPL without any distortion. The diaphragm has a very low resonance frequency to maintain a solid and powerful response below 100Hz. A narrow band presence boost at 4kHz punches through dense mixes with forceful impact - no additional EQ needed! The D112 is also an excellent choice for use with bass cabinets and trombones.

 

  • Bass resonance volume chamber
  • for unique, punchy sound
  • Large diaphragm dynamic microphone: delivers accurate ultradeep frequencies
  • Reference dynamic capsule
  • withstands extremely high sound pressure levels up to 160dB SPL
  • Integrated hum compensation coil
  • for the cleanest sound
  • Established as an industry-standard kick drum microphone
  • on stages worldwide, day by day for over 30 years

 

 

AKG C 12A

 

 
 

 

 

This mic is not for the faint of heart. Released in 1964, the C 12A is the sister of the C 12, namely one of the best microphones ever made. These mics are very fragile, and only used in professional setting now more than ever due to their extreme rareness. Though the product has been discontinued for decades, it is still revered as the “crown jewl” of recording studios all over the world.

 

  • Versatile and great with VHF and UHF performance
  • Used in everything from color TV sets to high-fidelity radio and recording equipment
  • A historic microphone that represents innovation, dependability, and veratility
  • Great for floor toms and Acoustic Guitar
  • Clear and Rich sounding

 

Oktava MK219

 

The Hugely popular Oktava MK219 is a fixed pattern, cardioid microphone featuring a large diaphram capsule with a low noise discreet preamlifier circuit designed in 1986. With an extremely thin, gold plated diaphram built to classic deisgn, the mic is equal to or out preforms models many times its price, not only on subjective sound quality but also, in many cases, in terms of sensitivity

  • Adds warmth to vocals, but doesn’t hinder the naturalness of the voice
  • Works best with pop filters when close miking vocals
  • Can also be used on acoustic guitars, piano, and for ensemble recordings
  • Sounds almost identical to the Neumann Microtech UM70

 

Electro-Voice RE20

 

The RE20 dynamic cardioid microphone is truly an industry standard, a firm favorite among broadcasters and sound engineers worldwide. Its popularity also extends into music production as a premium grade instrument microphone. Its Variable-D™ design and heavy-duty internal pop filter excel for close-in voice work, while an internal element shock-mount reduces vibration-induced noise.

  • Variable-D™ for minimal proximity effect
  • True cardioid with no coloration at 180-degrees off-axis
  • Voice tailored frequency response
  • Studio condenser-like performance
  • Large diaphragm
  • Great for loud voices as well as bass and guitar. 
  • Huge capture on low end sound on sources such as kick drum and electric bass amp

 

Testimonials: “best mic in broadcasting” “my go-to vocal mic for nearly any performance male or female.“What a GREAT mic” “absolutely amazing” “stunning” “REALLY shines on singers who have not developed mic technique yet”

Used by: Mick Jagger,Stevie Wonder,Paul McCartney,The Black Keys

 

 

 

Equitek II Condenser Mic

 
 

 

The Equitek E200 from Conneaut Audio Devices is a multi-pattern side address microphone designed for recording, broadcast, and sound reinforcement. the E200 provides a remarkably high level of performance with a profound blend of transparency, ballistic integrity, natural openness, and detailed imaging. It has become a popular choice for overhead and room miking applications. Handles the Hi SPL that drums requires, yet can handle vocalists--solo or duets and can do guitars and sound fx.

 

  • smooth, silky-bassy sound
  • more bass rather than more bright

 

 

 

 

Telefunken U47 

Telefunken U47.png

 

Since its original development in 1946, the TELEFUNKEN U47 has been the microphone of choice for generations of recording professionals. The first condenser microphone to offer selectable polar patterns (cardioid and omnidirectional), the original U47 also featured the famous M7 capsule which had been developed in 1928 by Georg Neumann. To this capsule was added an amplifier built from military surplus VF14 tubes (they had been used in field and aircraft radios), and BV8 output transformers. The combination of these components created a sonic quality that was absolutely unheard of in the English speaking world of the mid-1940s when darker sounding, less detailed ribbon microphones were the standard. The introduction of the U47 brought a new level of fidelity to the audio world, and is still considered to be one of the finest microphones ever produced. Everything, from vocals to the loudest of guitar sounds, full on orchestral recording, beautiful backing vocal arrangements, or a chamber ensemble will benefit wildly from the rich and vibrant tone of this stunning microphone. Range anywhere from $8k-$12k

 

  • Provides a smooth and sweet sound similar to that the classic crooners of the 1950s brought to life
  • Has a robust low end and an airy high end
  • Good for decca tree stereo mic arrangements
  • Captures the beauty of any sound source you throw at it 

 

Used by: Paul McCartney, Green Day, Andrew Cole, George Martin (Beatles producer), Elvis, Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra

 

 

 

Royer Speiden SF-12 

 
 

 

The SF-12 is uncanny for creating "you-are-there" stereo recordings that capture not only the instrument being recorded, but, depending on positioning, the acoustic environment as well. If you pay careful attention to the sound of an instrument or ensemble in the recording environment, you will likely find a place where it sounds best to you. 

Position the SF-12 in that place and you will capture that sound. An SF-12 is actually two matched ribbon microphones placed one above the other; each aimed 45 degrees from center in the classic Blumlein configuration. The frequency response is excellent regardless of the angle of sound 

  • striking the ribbons and off-axis coloration is negligible.
  • Excellent for drum overheads (creates a powerful, dynamic drum track) 
  • For a Jazz setting, it provides extremely natural sounding cymbals, tom-toms, and snares.
  • For Rock and Pop, puts more air on the cymbals to help them cut more aggressively
  • Takes EQ very well  -Generates virtually no self-distortion
  • When boosting frequency, you can bring up only the musical response you’re looking for with out unpleasant distortion 
  • Primarily used for instrumentals, but can be used in Background vocals/Choir and for 

    Ambiance

     

    Recommended applications include: Stereo and dance miking, Choir, Orchestra, String Sections, Drum Overheads, Room miking, Percussion Instruments, Brass instruments, Horn sections, Woodwind instruments, Stereo acoustic piano, Harp, Acoustic guitar, mandolin, Stringed instruments

 

 

 

Royer R-122

 
 

The R-122 is a compact, monaural, phantom powered ribbon microphone - the first ribbon microphone of its kind. Sonically similar to Royer's R-121, the R-122 exhibits a flat frequency response and a well balanced panoramic sound field, but it is 13 dB more sensitive, its transient response is faster and its electronics provide an optimum load to the ribbon element at all times. Like the R-121, the R-122's ability to withstand high SPLs makes it ideal for applications that were previously considered off limits to ribbon microphones. R-122's are able to deliver 100% of their full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic-pre. Due to the low-impedance output, Active Series mics can also be used with extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss. The R-122 is as sensitive as condenser microphones, allowing you to use practically any mic preamplifier or board preamp (even those of nominal characteristics).

 

Recommended Applications include: Electric Guitar Amps, Acoustic Guitar, Drum Overheads, Percussion Instruments, Brass and Woodwinds, Horn Sections, Acoustic Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Harp, Solo Strings & String Sections, Choirs and Orchestras, Commercial Broadcast, Voice Over

 

Testimonials:  "The R-121 blew me away in 1999 and now I'm blown away again. The increased gain and the clarity of the R-122 is ridiculous - this is an amazing development in ribbon microphones!" Ross Hogarth (Grammy winner - Jewel, Roger Waters, Keb Mo, Coal Chamber, Black Crowes, REM, Shawn Colvin)

 

"God, I love these (expletive deleted) things!!!" Ed Cherney (Grammy Award winner, Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton)

 

"These are the first mics I've ever used on guitars that give me exactly what I want. Huge low end with no eq." Jerry Finn (Green Day, Rancid, Blink-182, Pennywise)

 

"Great sounding natural room ambient mics. And they won't blow up - we tried!" Andrew Scheps (Rolling Stones, Robbie Robertson)

 

 

RCA 44 

 
 

Designed in 1931, The RCA 44 ribbon microphones have remained an essential part of studio life well after RCA stopped manufacturing them in 1955. This bi-directional ribbon microphone was intended for the broadcast studio and was used for orchestral and band music, vocals, and news and public affairs broadcasts. Then called a ‘velocity’ microphone, it was also used in live broadcasts of comedy and drama productions; its 'figure-eight' pick-up pattern enabled actors to face each other during performances. The sound and response of the 44 B/BX were unlike anything else available, and was cherished for its smoothness, forgiving nature and unique tonal balance. This attributes had the 44 quickly embraced by engineers and producers of all the major radio networks.

Used by: Elvis Preseley, Dolly Parton, James Moody, Chet Baker, The White Stripes, Frank Sinatra, Jammie Foxx,

 

 

Cole 4038

 
 

Manufactured in 1974, The Coles 4038 Studio Ribbon Microphone is a British Broadcasting (BBC) design for broadcasting and recording applications. It is used where a clear smooth wide range frequency response, absence of transient distortion and relatively high sensitivity is essential. The 4038 is a proven performer, and is used all around the world by broadcasting networks such as the BBC as well as top engineers and studios on hit recordings. It is one of the world’s best-known ribbon microphones and is also one of the most unique sonic characters of [ribbon] mics. With a very pronounced midrange peak, it sounded amazing on drums, even in mono. For female voice, it had a nice presence without much high end. In the world of sound, the BBC has always been the leader, and is still regarded as the 'setter of standards'.

 

  • Excellent transient response
  • Natural clear balanced response to sound signal
  • Body shape to enhance acoustic performance
  • Clear natural high fidelity sound reproduction
  • Smooth sonic textured response
  • All microphones factory tested in free field conditions
  • low distortion

 

Testimonials:  “The Coles was smooth, with controlled mids, and the top end wasn't phasey. It had a very nice body, with a lovely, solid mid-range”. 

 

 “It was immediately obvious why these microphones are the de facto standard for drum overheads in many people's books. Punchy yet warm, the kit sounded 

vibrant and balanced, if a touch dark”

 

"On clean guitar this produced a very nice, balanced sound, with good transient response and clear highs; also clear on distorted guitar. One of the most detailed ribbons on guitar, it seems to pick up less of the room somehow. Punchy on heavy, palm-muted, distorted guitars. Big bottom end, but without being muddy."

 

Used by: the Beatles and Led Zeppelin as overhead mics on the drum kit

 

 

RCA 77 

 
 

Introduced in the early 1950s, The RCA 77 series, which resembles a large pill of the capsule variety, has become THE iconic shape of a microphone, and remains so over 20 years after it was discontinued in 1973. The 77 Series was used in countless radio and TV studios in the 50s and 60s. Though rarely seen by the public, its excellent tone was certainly heard by millions, especially in the case of the most famous broadcaster of the period, Edward R. Murrow. Furthermore, The RCA Type 77 series microphone has become a powerful and universally recognized symbol of broadcasting, and has appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” 

 

  • Great on horns, guitars, vocals. Rich Lows. Silky smooth mids and highs. A must for every collection - from RCA, the inventors of the ribbon mic. 
  • Defined the sound of the 50s and 60s 

 

Testimonials: “It's probably the most sonically flexible ribbon mic ever made. With its variable infinite baffle design, it represents the pinnacle of ribbon microphone design” “a microphone and a work of art” “It's a show stopper. Like I went into a time machine set for 1963 and returned with it”

 

Used by: Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole 

 

 

AKG C414 B-UL S

 

The C414 B-ULS is THE reference microphone for almost all comparative microphone tests and one of the most used condenser and celebrated microphones in the world. It is the microphone of choice for miking up vocals, grand pianos, percussions, and any other sound sources with complex waveforms.

Four selectable polar patterns allow the microphone to be used for every recording technique. This mic meets the highest professional standards as well as remarkable operational flexibility and will withstand normal rough handling in studio applications. It has a well-deserved reputation for flawless performance and uncommon flexibility in the most demanding studio and concert sound applications. The crisp, full-bodied, and naturally open character of the C 414 B-ULS makes it a preferred choice for critical recording or reinforcement of vocals, piano, percussion, and other instruments with delicate transient content

 

Found to be good when used:

  • Under a snare 
  • Pointed at the snare when using brushes
  • Over-Head and room mic for drums
  • Acoustic guitar (better for soloing rather than rhythm)
  • Clean guitar amps

 

 

 

Shure SM58 

 

The legendary Shure SM58 vocal microphone is designed for professional vocal use in live performance, sound reinforcement, and studio recording. Its tailored vocal response for sound is a world standard for singing or speech. A highly effective, built-in spherical filter minimizes wind and breath "pop" noise. A unidirectional (cardioid) pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while minimizing unwanted background noise.The Shure SM58 gives you three of the most important things a microphone can deliver: quality, consistency, and durability.

  • Accentuates the warmth and clarity of lead and back-up vocals
  • Handheld microphone ideal for live vocals
  • Dynamic cartridge with cardioid polar pattern
  • You a can stick one in front of any kind of vocalist (and most instruments, for that matter) and get excellent results. 
  • Frequency response tailored for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass rolloff

 

 

VTL CR-3A 

the VTL CR-3A was eleased in 1990. It is a large-diaphragm capacitor mic with a fixed cardioid pattern and an FET preamp styled quite unashamedly on Neumann's legendary U87.

  • Has the familiar natural yet flattering tonality typical of most large  diaphragm mic
  • Best used close up for vocals or instruments where room reflections are dominated by the direct sound.
  • Critical mid-range information is handled accurately
  • Bright, clear high-end with plenty of headroom. Useful for guitar cabinets, crisp vocal and acoustic instruments.
  • Plenty of detail in the sound, but also a lot of warmth, which can make for a very 'big' vocal sound.
  • Gives a full, confident sound
  • Bright, clear high-end with plenty of headroom. Useful for guitar cabinets, crisp vocal and acoustic instruments.

 

 

 

Shure Beta 52 

 

The Shure BETA 52A is a high output dynamic microphone with a tailored frequency response designed specifically for kick drums and other bass instruments. It provides superb attack and "punch", and delivers studio quality sound even at extremely high sound pressure levels. 

  • Frequency response shaped specifically for kick drums and bass instruments
  • Built-in dynamic locking stand adapter with integral XLR connector simplifies setup, especially inside a kick drum
  • Studio quality performance, even at extremely high sound pressure levels
  • Superior rejection of unwanted noise
  • Hardened steel mesh grille that resists wear and abuse
  • Advanced pneumatic shock mount system that minimizes transmission of mechanical noise and vibration
  • Neodymium magnet for high signal-to-noise ratio output
  • Low sensitivity to varying load impedance
  • Legendary Shure quality and reliability

 

 

Neumann U47 FET 

 

Released just after Neuman discontinued the original U47; Georg Neumann’s attitude was unambiguous: “Don’t try to bend the laws of physics in pursuit of a particular sound. If people want the sound of the U 47, it’s up to them to try to get hold of one.” the Neumann U47 fet quickly became a favorite especially in broadcast circles. 40 years on it, and it’s still one of the most revered vintage mics and is now almost as collectable and sought after as it's valve predecessor.

  • lovely top end and the bottom end is really round and full
  • Sounds great on bass guitar, can be good with a piano, work well with vocals
  • Legendary Shure quality and reliability

 

Testimonials: 

“I haven’t heard anything that's as good on bass guitars. I just use it every time as it just seems to have it all for the bass”  “The U-47fet is a great kick drum mic.... Musicians have been astonished to see me put one on a kick , but it can take “  “vocals tend to sound perfect through them”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sennheiser MD 409 U3 

 
 

 

The MD 409 U 3 is a dynamic microphone, especially suited for use with percussion and brass instruments.

  • Undistorted transmission of powerful instruments and instrument amplifiers due to large surface membrane
  • Extremely good feedback protection due to pronounced directional characteristics
  • Good acoustical separation of the individual instruments, e. g. when recording percussion
  • Insensitive to handling noise due to shock-mounted system
  • Sound inlet basket made from stainless steel, therefore very robust
  • Needs only a little space due to flat, rectangular design

 

 

 

Electro Voice 666r 

 
 

 

The Model 666 is a cardioid microphone of the dynamic type. The Model 667 is a Model 666 microphone used in conjunction with an in-line transistor preamplifier. It’s an all-purpose microphone designed to fulfill requirements of wide-range reproduction under a great variety of conditions. Because of its excellent uniform polar response, it is especially useful in locations where ambient noise and severe reverberation exist.

 

 

 

 

AKG D 12 E 

 
 

The AKG D 12 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. This means that it “hears” best what happens in front of it while rejecting sound from the sides or rear. The sound entry of the D 12 is bright nickel plated. The large diaphragm provides full, rich bass and ensures clean, undistorted reproduction at high sound levels. Its shock mount prevents pick-up of impact and structure-borne noise. A compensation winding rejects hum induction (from power lines, amplifiers, etc.) and a built-in windscreen eliminates pop noise. Its unique sound established the D 12 as the world’s standard microphone for bass drum and bass instrument pick-up.

 

  • Full, punchy sound due to large diaphragm and special “Bass Chamber”
  • Excellent reproduction of low-pitched instruments
  • Handles high sound levels without introducing distortion

 

“This vintage microphone is one of the three all time great dynamic cardioid kick drum mics.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

AKG C12 From Capitol Records

 
 

The AKG C 12 is a studio condenser micro­phone of the highest professional quality. It has been specially designed for use in sound recording and broad­casting studios, and is the choice of many studios both at home and abroad.

 

Nine different directional characteristics can be selected by means of a remote control unit without any change in frequency response or sensitivity. In addition to three basic characteristics, omni-directional, cardioid and bi-directional, six intermediate patterns (including hypercardioids) are available. The S 12 control unit is connected to the N 12 power supply unit by the RL 12 remote control cable, and the power supply unit to the microphone by the MK 12 mic cable. The AKG C 12 is considered “the holy grail” of microphones by audio engineers for its beautiful three-dimensional vocal quality—a result of the combination of its hand-tensioned, edge-terminated AKG capsule and the rare GE 6072 triode tube. By the 1980s it had achieved cult status and original C 12s regularly sell for $15,000 and upwards, in fact, original C 12s regularly sell for $10,000 to $15,000 and some have fetched upwards of $30,000—many times their original price (even factoring inflation) thanks to its combination of rarity and high performance, the C 12 is still influencing the art of large-diaphragm condenser recording micro­phones more than fifty years after its introduction. Samson C15 Condenser  Mic. These mics are extremely rare and you’re very lucky to get your hands on one.

 

 

 

 

Microtech Gefell GMBH M295&294 

These microphones are designed for a universal applications in professional recording and sound reinforcement and meet the requirements of modern technics. The M295 is precision cardioid condenser pencil microphone with an extended bandwidth for the utmost in natural sound reproduction.

 

The Gefell M294, like the M295, is also a precision cardioid condenser pencil microphone with an extended bandwidth for the utmost in natural sound reproduction. Both Gefell condenser microphones of today are still manufactured using the original techniques and exclusive processes developed by Georg Neumann. They both exhibit  extremely low membrane distortion of the pure nickel diaphragm even when subjected to extreme sound pressure levels assures a c