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AudioMedia Microphone Guide 2010


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Audio Media magazine's Microphone Guide 2010 // Audio Media dergisinin 2010 Mikrofonlar kitapçığı

Audio Media magazine's Microphone Guide 2010 // Audio Media dergisinin 2010 Mikrofonlar kitapçığı

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  • 2. The route to agreat recordingThere was a time when a truly great microphone cost an unreal amount ofmoney. Then came Røde, and no-one could believe how a range ofmicrophones that performed so well could cost so little.Today, discerning producers, engineers and recording musicians choose Røde not just because they’re great mics for the money, but because they’re great mics – period. Discover more about Røde microphones at It’s your route to a great recording. Exclusively distributed in the UK & Ireland by Source • • T: 020 8962 5080
  • 3. Welcome to Microphones 2010, an International contents Buyer’s Guide. We’ve scoured the ever-widening market of professional microphone products for4 Ribbon Mics: Fact or Fiction? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . your convenience, and thrown in a few informative and hopefully thought provoking articles from experts in the field.6 An Engineer’s Guide to the Orchestra . . . . . . . . Now updated and refreshed, this guide is a collection of promotional articles looking at some of the world’s leading microphone manufacturers and their product ranges. Inside you’ll find the stories behind the gear – the ethos’8 AKG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and design ethics that go into producing one of the core components in professional audio – and details of the products themselves. In addition, we’ve collated a massive directory of mic manufacturers, and included three articles around the subject of microphone technology and technique for the audio pro.10 Audio Technica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whatever your field of work, the quality of your product depends heavily on the quality and method of acquisition. This is why microphones are so important, and why this genre of audio gear probably generates more passion than any other. While the range of basic principles in microphone technology is relatively12 Beyerdynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . small, the variations on these themes are incredibly numerous – we’ve listed over 80 manufacturers in our directory, from all over the world, most offering choice across several transducer or electronic approaches. You might be a film or drama location recordist, a music studio14 Blue (TC Electronic) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . engineer, a Foley editor, a radio journalist, a member of an ENG crew, a live sound engineer – any, in fact, of the hundreds of very specialised roles that require not only a theoretical grounding in microphone technology, but also intimate knowledge of the ‘art’ of microphone practise, placement, and choice.16 DPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You might even just be starting to build your microphone stock and need a place to start. Are you aware of recent advances in all areas of microphone technology? Are you familiar with a handful of high-profile manufacturers, but would like a greater18 Mic W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . breadth of awareness when it comes to the ‘alternatives’? Whatever your needs, Microphones 2010 should be able to help. It should be a place to begin your search. Microphones 2010 is a project developed by Audio Media Worldwide ( Audio Media concerns itself20 Prism Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . with the business of production and production technology for professional creatives, operators, technicians, and engineers everywhere. Paul Mac, Editor22 Sennheiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Shure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AUDIO MEDIA (UK) Tel: +44 (0)1480 461555 - Fax: +44 (0)1480 46155026 Telefunken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sales Manager Editorial Manager (Europe) Graham Kirk Lanna Marshall Editor In Chief Design & Production Manager Paul Mac John-Paul Shirreffs28 Violet ........................................... jp.shirreffs@audiomedia.com30 Manufacturers Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mic www.nbmedia.com34 Microphone Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The contents of this publication are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or in part, whether 10 mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care is taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this publication but neither NewBay Media nor the Editor can be held responsible for its contents or any omissions. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Publishers or Editor. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or artwork. © 2010 NewBay Media. All rights reserved.
  • 4. + + FACT OR FICTION? + + + + FACT OR FICTION?+ + + + FACT OR FICTION Ribbon Mics: Fact Or Fiction? ANDREW GRAEME explodes the bare truth behind common ribbon microphone myths... I t seems strange in today’s digital world, perfect recordings every time. recordings were made using tape but just a few years ago, avoiding noise was But we still have cupboards full recorders and the ribbon mic was everything! And the one piece of equipment of condenser mics that were “I think all but forgotten and in 1976, RCA that added more noise than most was the tape ideal at overcoming the effects ribbons stopped making ribbon mics. recorder. Early tape was noisy and bouncing tracks of tape. meant losing the top end. have The Difference So I suppose it was inevitable that we would forget the poor old ribbon back in the 60s and Time to Take a New Look at become The idea may not be high- tech, but the biggest physical Ribbons! 70s. After all, condensers sounded so much Back in the 19th Century, more difference has to be the brighter and sharper and we needed that to Werner von Siemens discovered extremely low mass of the ribbon overcome the effects of tape. The subtlety, that vibrating a thin sheet of important when compared to other types purity, and open sound of a good ribbon microphone was often lost under all that tape conductive material suspended to me, since of membrane. This low mass means that transient response at in a magnetic field created a noise of earlier recordings. The condenser had very small current. At the time, I have been all parts of the audio spectrum enough top-end for tape, and some of us even should be better. The ribbon can preferred a bit of a presence peak. this was of no practical use, but with the advent of sound recording in follow the smallest movement But then along came digital and a new beast raised its ugly head: digital harshness. reproduction, Harry Olson, an digital.” of the higher frequencies better engineer working at RCA, was and, at the same time, cope That presence peak was no longer as desirable able to use this principle to build Bruce Swedien (legendary better with the large movements as it once was. Our initial pleasure of a life good quality microphones. engineer) of bass notes and the thump of without noise was somewhat diminished by In the era of direct-to-disc kick drums. the new bugbear of a harsh top end caused by recording, the ribbon did a good job, but by For this reason, it has been distortion. Today, better digital filter designs the end of the 60s, all popular commercial my experience that a good passive ribbon mic and fewer clocking problems gives us nearly will show up the difference between a good and a poor mic pre-amp more than other The Phantom Killer types of microphone, particularly on drums A long time ago, a producer was making my life and the life of the musicians in the studio, as and percussion. You will need more gain than difficult as possible. He didn’t like the desk, he didn’t like the acoustics of the room, he didn’t a comparable condenser mic, and larger reserves of current to cope with deep notes like the way the musicians were playing and, to cut a long story short, we didn’t like him. He and sudden thumps. certainly didn’t like the microphones, but he had a solution: he brought out his own ribbon Perhaps the most noticeable difference to mic and plugged it in. Leaning over my shoulder, he started fiddling around with the channel condensers is the almost universal absence of settings, as in his view, I hadn’t got those right either! In doing so, he inadvertently switched sibilance and other HF distortion problems. on phantom power to his ribbon. “Oh good,” I thought. “He’s broken the damn thing!” As one student in a work group put it, “I don’t Sadly, this was not the case. get essing problems when I hear someone And so I learned: if everything is correctly wired and phantom power is uniformly applied singing next to me, so why do we have to use to pins 2 and 3, then the ribbon has no reason to move at all. a de-esser with some condenser mics?” However – if you plug your ribbon mic into the desk via a jack or TT socket and phantom The answer is that they (or something in power is on, for a just a split second, 48 volts is applied first to one pole of the ribbon and the signal chain following them) are distorting, then, as the wipers in the socket pass from the tip to the sleeve, to the other pole, making it and the better transient response of ribbons means that they are far less likely to cause this. jump first one way, then the other. The output transformer limits this effect, but these jumps There just is something about the way a ribbon can stretch and therefore damage the ribbon. reproduces sound that is just closer to the way The same thing happens if there is a momentary disconnect on either pins 2 or 3 caused, the human ear behaves. for example, by a loose or dirty connection. So if you do inadvertently switch on phantom For a long time, the Coles 4038 and power whilst using a ribbon, it is best to just switch it off again. Do not plug or unplug the mic the Beyerdynamic M160 were drum overhead whilst phantom is on, as pins 2 and 3 are unlikely to make and break contact at exactly the standards, along with a select few condensers same time. that were not quite as harsh as most. 4 FACT OR FICTION
  • 5. microphones 2010N?+ + + + FACT OR FICTION?+ + + + FACT OR FICTION?+ + + + FACT OR FI there are many other excellent ribbon mics on Ribbons Sound Dull and Have Very Low Ribbons Break Easily the market, but I just have not got round to Output We were told that a small puff of wind trying them all – not yet, anyway! There was a time when many ribbon mics will tear the ribbon, and sudden jolts, did indeed sound dull, but today’s mics or even storing them on their sides Transformation range in tone from ‘warm and vintage’ The tiny voltage that occurs at the ribbon will cause the ribbons to sag. All of the (that’s dull by some standards) to being is considerably less than a millivolt – even major manufacturers have been working almost as bright as any condenser. Indeed, if you shout right at it at point-blank range. diligently on making their ribbons far more a very few users even complain about For this reason, a transformer is used to robust than they once were. The old RCA a handful of models being too bright. generate something more useful. ribbon mics, such as the 77DX, were said As for low output, the ribbon mic has a Doing this also puts a load on the ribbon, to have noticeably more bass when tipped transformer that brings the output up which reduces its ability to respond to high to make the ribbon sag and doing this was to about the same level as most other frequencies. In other words, the addition sometimes known as the ‘warmth tilt.’ of a transformer acts as a filter. The better dynamic mics. They have, of course, a I do not know if this was ever true using the quality of the transformer, the less much lower output than condensers, but old ribbon material, and one suspects that filter effect there is and the smoother it screaming into a ribbon gives you about this effect had more to do with a change of is. For this reason, better ribbon mics 20mV, the same as for an SM58. The use very high quality transformers, angle than with sagging ribbons! difference is that ribbon mics are usually typically, from Lundahl or Cinemag, with Some ribbon mics using older designs used as an alternative to a condenser and larger manufacturers using transformers and materials may be still somewhat have a lower output in comparison. specifically wound for each model, and of fragile, but many of the technical advances course sE has Rupert Neve on the case. made in the past few years have been Unfortunately, the wholesale price for a in the ribbons themselves and several But now, with the advent of modern full range good transformer is about the same as the models would seem to have ribbons that ribbon mics that cover every part of the audio wholesale price of a cheap ribbon mic, including are about as robust as you could wish spectrum, we are able to use them for anything the box, the wind-sock and a suspension and everything, from lead vocals to being the them to be. Even those models using mount! But the difference between a good main stereo pair for full orchestras. And we conventional two microns thick aluminium transformer and an off-the-shelf cheapo is can do so, without having to use condensers ribbons are far more robust than their the difference between night and day! to ‘pep-up’ the sound! older counterparts, as modern aluminium foil is purer and the thickness far more Patently Better Body Language consistent. Impure aluminium foil will A dig through patent applications and It has been my experience that the more oxidise and therefore become brittle patents granted has told me that this rebirth solidly built microphones (all other factors and break. of interest in ribbon mics is here to stay, being equal!) sound better than their and further technical advances are in the flimsier counterparts. In particular, budget- pipe-line. This ranges from ultra- many different recording situations that you priced ribbon mics built into strong composite materials for larger housings made of “Ribbons the ribbon, to new methods are going to be confronted by. In the past, our serious mic-money went on good condensers. thin metal can have a slight ‘honk’ or ‘ring’ to the sound. were of concentrating and focusing magnetic fields around the ribbon. Now that there is no more need for a sharp top end to cut through tape hiss, woolly noise This is particularly true, if there is no, or insufficient, designed There are applications for printing reduction, track bounces, and AM radio, the complex conductive patterns onto acoustic de-coupling between when one composite polymers to increase time has come to re-evaluate the balance of our mic lockers. A few pairs of good ribbon mics the ribbon assembly and the housing. Perhaps it is for mic had the generated voltage, to a large collection of mechanical means may make all the difference! this reason, that amongst my favourite ribbon mics are the to sound of protecting the ribbon and Thanks To… altering the frequency response. Royer 122, the AT 4081, and good on For example, Audio Technica has Audio Media would like to thank sE the magnificent SE Electronics RNR1, all of which have everything.” no fewer than 18 patents in the Electronics, Audio-Technica, Royer, and Shure for their help with this article. pipeline for ribbon microphone beautifully machined bodies Wes Dooley (President of technology alone! and a very solid construction. AEA Microphones) These three are active, which And Finally... has the advantage of permitting There is no one mic that is good the use of a wider range of pre-amps, but, for every application, so it pays to have as many well-built passive ribbons are every bit as good, good mics of various types to cover all the when used with good equipment. Obviously, THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 5
  • 6. + + ORCHESTRA + + + + ORCHESTRA+ + + + ORCHESTRA+ + + + ORCHESTR An Engineer’s Guide To The Orchestra We present a short trip around the instruments of an orchestra with Angel Studios’ Senior Engineer Gary Thomas, who brings a lifetime’s experience to bear on his own approach to orchestral recording... Starting With Stereo again, perhaps some other cardioids. If space is Strings “The most accepted stereo source is the tight I may put the sides and rears in extreme “For more gentle material, I may just use the standard Decca tree – two omni mics around places to add character. They’ll be there to room – that always gives a smoother and more two metres apart and a third omni 1.5 metres capture reflections off a wall or ceiling, anything diffuse sound. But for action movies the strings forward. The tree is above the conductor and to fill out the ambience. Sometimes I’ll even put may need more bite and definition, and that gives a true impression of what he or she is them up on a balcony. will mean close miking the whole section to hearing. I’ll often use the traditional Neumann “A lot depends on the score – what you add some bite to the sound. Typically I’ll put up M50s for that, which is what Decca trees were record always depends on what the score is one mic per desk. In a section of forty, that can first used with. But there are alternatives; trying to do, which is always up to the director mean twenty mics or more. I’ll find out from the I really like some of the DPA microphones – and the composer. Directors generally know composer beforehand if there are any solo lines, the DPA4006s because they have a very nice what they are trying to create, so you’re always which are usually played by the leaders in each smooth sound. Neumann TLM50s and KM83s working with that. In many cases a lot of activity section. Soloists get an extra mic of their own, to can work well too.” in the rear can be detrimental. I’ve worked on be used with discretion.” projects where the director wanted nothing at The mics are on stands, between two and The Fills the rear because he wanted to keep the dialogue four feet away, depending on the space and the “I’m sure if you ask other engineers, everyone clean. For other films – e.g., action movies – sound we’re after. For the high strings I might has a different view on how to create side and there’s a need for a lot of activity. And it’s not use Schoeps CMC5s or Neumann KM84s, for rear fills and where they should go. A lot of just ambience – sometimes other elements, the lows U87s or U89s. For solo violin or cello I’ll people add in extreme side fills to add more like piano, percussion and keyboards, are often use a DPA 4011, which is another DPA mic width to the tree – typically TLM50s or KM83s included in the rears.” with a very smooth sound, or a Neumann 149. 6 AN ENGINEER’S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA
  • 7. microphones 2010A+ + + + ORCHESTRA+ + + + ORCHESTRA + + + + ORCHESTRA + + + + ORCHE I don’t usually use contact mics except for very Woodwind “Dynamic range is the issue for percussion, special effects – I think we have just the one in “Musicians try to keep their instruments in top and there are some vintage Calrecs which the cupboard at Angel now. form, but that isn’t always possible. Sometimes have an amazing dynamic range – they’ll take They can be very impressive though – with woodwind you’ll get clicks and clacks from almost anything – but still sound exceptional. there’s a DPA contact mic which is superb for the keys. To minimise that I’ll mic them from I’ll also use a mix of AKG D12s, Neumann double bass. It’s only about a centimetre wide some distance away – to get the full value of KM84s, and sometimes I’ll use a couple of but it sounds fantastic.” the sound yet attempting to lose the key noises. dynamics like SM58s. That doesn’t always work. Bassoons sound best Brass miked from the middle, not the top, which can Piano “Brass can be more of a challenge than some make it impossible to eliminate the key noise. “For piano. I’ll use Neumann KM143s for a of the other sections. First – screens. You’ll For woodwinds I’ll use brighter sounding mics first choice, or perhaps DPA 4006s because sometimes find that on the first cue of the day because you’re only really dealing with mids they give a very open sound. If it’s a short lid the brass wipes out the strings and drowns out and top – there’s not much needed at the set-up I’ll use a pencil mic like the Neumann everything else. And once in a while dynamics bass end. So I’ll use AKG 414s on clarinets and KM184. The 143s and the 184s are both small don’t get written in, so the section can be bassoons, and Neumann 184s and 89s on the cardioid condensers so they can work for close playing more enthusiastically than it should. flutes. The exception to that is bass clarinet, miking. Sometimes you want a darker sound, If there’s a brass onslaught like that, some which composers write for when they want and the old Calrecs or a Neumann KM84 are extra work is needed. Then again, for something comical or sinister. My first choice good for that.” something like a John Williams score you want for that is a Calrec 1050 cardioid, which is a to keep that powerful brass sound because it’s warmer sounding mic, that brings out the Many thanks to Angel Studios for its help with a key feature of the mix. So again it depends body of the sound, but is still quite small. this article. Interview by Richard Wentk. on the music. In a big orchestral room, you may It’s also very handy to have a crossed pair not want screens because there’s enough space of cardioid mics on the section to create for everyone. But in smaller rooms screens are a some width and depth. good way to give yourself more control.” “Mic placement for brass is similar to Percussion strings – a section mic like a stereo Schoeps “With percussion I like to have distance and or a Neumann SM69, and then individual mics the option of extremely close mics, inches in pairs or trios. Often I’ll record the horns from rather than feet, on things like bass drums, behind – they’re usually loud enough and snare drums, sparkly sounds like Mark trees and far enough away from the percussion not to piano pins. The close miking adds body to the pick up too much spill. I would use any large sound. So for a bass drum hit, you may want capacity microphone like a Neumann U47 heavy resonance. Also, military snares would or U89, generally look for a mic that has an be close miked to add more body and balance attenuator with high headroom. out some of the snare rattle with extra depth. On trumpets I’ll use a Coles ribbon 4038, Similarly triangles, vibes, and marimbas would which is a very smooth sounding microphone all be close miked. Cymbals are the exception. that can take some of the edge off the sound. I’ll place the mic maybe a couple of feet Alternatively Neumann U87s or U89s can work away on those to cut down on their well, again usually with a pad especially for natural harshness. louder playing.” THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 7
  • 8. + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + Latin superstar Alejandro Sanz used the frequency-agile DMS-700 for his worldwide Paradise tour. Professional Sound Solutions AKG has been pioneering the development of cutting-edge audio technologies since 1947. Today, it is continuing its tradition of audio innovation in producing some of the most advanced microphones and wireless microphone systems in the world. From some of the most high-profile live sound DMS 700 offers a quick system setup for easy and user- events to small town theatre installations, AKG’s The frequency-agile DMS 700 is AKG’s first friendly operation. equipment is used to satisfy a wide variety digital wireless microphone system. Offering Included in the DMS 700 are the DHT 700 of audio requirements the world over. In just users a state-of-the-art feature set that includes Digital Handheld Transmitter, the DPT 700 the last year, AKG’s microphones and wireless digital audio encryption, ultra wide tuning range, Digital Bodypack Transmitter, and the CU 700 microphone systems were used live in concert and a high channel count in a simple to use 19- Charging Unit. Each of the components can by Kanye West, Missy Elliot, and Alejandro inch chassis, the DMS 700 is ideal for live sound be purchased individually or grouped together Sanz; they were installed for secure audio reinforcement, conference facilities, courtrooms, to make up the DMS 700, and can be easily transmissions at the Swiss Exchange in Zurich’s and houses of worship. It operates with two integrated to operate with Harman’s HiQnet Crystal Palace, and they were installed in a wide frequency bands that each feature a tuning protocol. variety of theatres, cinemas, and recording range of up to 155MHz, and it has the ability to studios. Here are just a few products that have operate up to 100 channels simultaneously. Perception 120 USB contributed to AKG’s global dominance: With all these features, the DMS 700 The Perception 120 USB is AKG’s offers a clean digital audio transmission that first USB-equipped microphone eliminates the distortion and is a real plug-and-play and significant noise levels device that allows users to do that are typically produced podcasts, voiceovers, and studio- with analogue systems. quality rehearsal-recordings AKG’s frequency-agile DMS 700. For confidential audio from their desktop without any transmission, each channel installation or drivers. It’s one can be secured with its own of AKG’s most user-friendly encryption, allowing the microphones to date, and is user to broadcast sensitive compatible with Windows XP, AKG’s audio transmissions with Windows Vista, MAC OS X, and Perception 120 confidence. What’s more, Windows 7. USB. the infrared link between The desktop microphone receiver and transmitter includes a two-third-inch 8 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 9. microphones 2010AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + AKG+ + + + condenser capsule with a low-mass diaphragm UK Distributor China Distributor that delivers accurate sonic details. It features Sound Technology Plc. Acton Audio Musical Instruments Ltd. an integrated pop filter that avoids plosives, a switchable bass cut filter, and an attenuation Letchworth Point, Letchworth Garden City 3 Hong Ye Road , Wang Gang Town switch, and comes complete with a tripod table Hertfordshire SG6 1ND Pudong District, Shanghai stand, a swivel mount, and a USB cable. e Marketing and Sales: t +44 (0) 1462 480000 e Architectural Microphone Series f +44 (0) 1462 480800 t +852 2737 7688 With over 6,840 customisable settings that w f +852 2730 3573 can be adjusted by the customer on a new w interactive website, AKG’s Architectural India Distributor Microphone Series is one of the most versatile Hi-Tech Audio Systems PVT. Ltd. lines of microphones available on the market. 3406, Desh Bandhu Gupta Road, Check for the Just by logging on to the website, users Karol Bagh, 110005 New Delhi complete list of AKG Distributors can customise their microphones based on t +91 11 4317 4317 (30 Lines) seven different variables: capsule design, polar pattern, gooseneck length, connector style, f + 91 11 2872 0461 printing, colour, and accessories. With the click of a button, users can select from five different capsule designs, including a signal, tech, current, their wireless microphone and IEM systems flow, or cross design. There is an option for from the palms of their hands. hypercardioid, cardioid, and omnidirectional The new application links Harman’s polar patterns, and an option for connection HiQnet® protocol to the iPhone and iPod® preference, based on the most common use of Touch app via Wi-Fi® network, and has the the microphone. power to monitor wireless system parameters In addition to the functional settings, there and radio frequency connections from are also a number of pages on the website anywhere for some of AKG’s most popular where users can adjust the microphone’s wireless microphone systems, including the aesthetic qualities. There is an option to adjust DMS 700, the WMS 4000/4500, and the IVM the neck length from 15cm, to 30cm, to 50cm, 4 in-ear monitoring system. With the new app, change the colour or finish, and even decide the iPhone can now also be used to browse what’s printed as a logo. Finally, after the through the entire wireless system within functions and appearance of the microphones the device list, monitor each device and its are set, users can choose to add a number of parameters separately within the stripe view, or different accessories including different types use the RF monitor to check the radio frequency of mounting clips, a stand adapter, a screw set, connection of each wireless device. and a windscreen for greater capsule protection. The new iPhone application is available online at the iTunes store. AKG’s revolutionary iPhone application brings iPhone Application freedom and flexibility to audio engineers With its new iPhone application, AKG has given users a new tool to browse, monitor, and control everywhere. CONTACT DETAILS AKG Acoustics GmbH Lemböckgasse 21-25 A-1230, Vienna, Austria e t +43 1 86654 0 f +43 1 86654 8800 US Distributor: AKG Acoustics, U.S. 8400 Balboa Boulevard Northridge, CA 91329 THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 9
  • 10. + + AUDIO-TECHNICA+ + + + AUDIO-TECHNICA+ + + + AUDIO-TECHNIC The Drive for Innovation, Quality, and Consistency The youngest of the world’s ‘big four’ microphone brands, Audio-Technica has employed design innovation and advanced manufacturing to consistently break the price/performance barrier with leading products for studio, broadcast and live production applications. As a world leader in the design and manufacture In The Studio have traditionally plagued ribbon mics, in part of high performance microphones and wireless It was with the introduction of the AT4033 in through the use of a proprietary MicroLinear microphone systems, Audio-Technica has 1992 that the company established a leading ribbon imprint for excellent durability. developed market leading product ranges for position in the studio recording market. The A significant degree of hand production, music recording, broadcast production, and AT4033 was the first ever high performance including ribbon corrugation, imprint, and live production. In each of these areas Audio- large studio condenser microphone priced at assembly, is involved in the construction of the Technica delivers products that have raised the under US$1,000; exploiting the very latest new mics, which maintain the sought-after performance bar and established a reputation design, engineering, and production techniques, ‘vintage-style’ ribbon mic tone. for design, engineering, and build manufacturing the AT4033 provided performance Also designed to bring excellence that is second to none. from a back electret design that classic tone to the studio are the rivalled famous studio condenser AT4050ST and 4047MP. The models several times more expensive. AT4050ST is a stereo version of Special accelerated diaphragm aging the widely-used AT4050, featuring methods ensured performance a pair of elements positioned remained consistent over time, which at 90° to each other in a Mid- provided for a more linear response Side set-up, with one element over a wide frequency range, even at in cardioid mode and the other high SPLs. configured as figure-of-eight. This Modern production methods innovative design allows users to enabled a level of consistency that opt for either a left-right stereo ensured the identical performance of output, or for discreet mid-side every microphone; with no necessity signal for later manipulation for to produce the microphones in remarkable flexibility. ‘matched pairs’ for stereo recording. The AT4047MP is a multi- Selling in thousands, the success pattern condenser microphone, of the AT4033 established the created to deliver beautiful company’s reputation as a high-end vintage tone that is perfectly AT 4080 studio microphone manufacturer suited to vocals, strings, acoustic and spawned the 40 Series large guitar, and instrument ensembles. It’s an engineering and business philosophy diaphragm condenser range. All The pattern choices comprise that originates with the company’s inception models in the 40 series adhere omnidirectional, cardioid, and in 1962 when founder Mr. Hideo Matsushita to the same paradigm of high figure-of-eight pickup, while the introduced a moving-magnet-type stereo performance and value for money, transformer-coupled output and phonograph cartridge. The company went on and as testimony to their quality also specially tuned element provide to design and produce phono cartridges and come with the company’s Lifetime the sonic character of early FET tone arms, both under its own brand and for Warranty. mic designs. others, including the legendary NHK broadcast Recently added to the 40 Series Modern day classics of organisation. The same high precision design are two exciting new models, the the recording world, the 40 and engineering techniques that made the AT4080 and AT4081 – the company’s AT 4081 Series microphones are lauded company’s various cartridge designs so first ever ribbon microphones. The by internationally renowned successful were also applied to the manufacture pair feature groundbreaking Audio-Technica engineers and producers like Phil Ramone, Joe of microphone and headphone products design, with no less than 18 patents pending Chiccarelli, Frank Filipetti, Nathaniel Kunkel, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, earning on the new models. Created from the ground and David Reitzas. These are among the the brand prestigious status among audio up, the AT4080 and AT4081 convincingly solve world’s most successful and best selling studio professionals. the problems of fragility and low output that microphones today. 10 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 11. microphones 2010CA+ + + + AUDIO-TECHNICA+ + + + AUDIO-TECHNICA+ + + + AUDIO-TEC In addition to the unique Lifetime Warranty offered on its 40 Series, Artist and Artist Elite series microphones, Audio- Technica introduced its First Impressions trial scheme in 2009. Covering the above- mentioned ranges, First Impressions allows consumers to try microphones in their own particular working environment, free of charge, for a two-week period. Trial mics are shipped with a discount voucher, redeemable in-store only against Audio- BP 892 Technica microphones from these ranges at a participating First Impressions dealer. Further details are available at For Broadcast On Stage In the broadcast industry Audio-Technica is a In recent years Audio-Technica has won brand that has become synonymous with high devotees among artists and sound engineers performance location recording microphones alike for its Artist Elite Series performance employed in the transmission of major outside stage microphones, in both wired and wireless broadcast events. In particular the company form. With users and endorsees as musically has been associated with the broadcast of diverse as Alesha Dixon, Rush, Metallica, and international sporting competitions. For many Katherine Jenkins, AE Series handheld models years, the official broadcast productions – both condenser and dynamic – are famed of the Summer and Winter Games – from for their sound quality. When partnered with Atlanta City to Beijing and Vancouver – have Audio-Technica’s recently updated 5000a and featured literally thousands of Audio-Technica 4000a Series wireless technology, transmission microphones. In particular the company’s quality is such that engineers as seasoned as innovative shotgun designs have enabled Dick Rabel are on record as saying that there is greater capture of close up audio in games and “remarkably little difference” between wired and competitions. wireless models with the same capsule. Introduced in 2009, the BP4071 and On backline too, Audio-Technica is a de BP4073 microphones are tailored to the needs facto standard for many world-class sound of critical broadcast applications with excellent engineers including ‘Big’ Mick Hughes signal-to-noise ratios and RFI-immunity. (Metallica, Def Leppard, Slipknot), Dave Bracey Innovative acoustic design also ensures that (Robbie Williams), and Andy Hawkins (Pigeon the new models offer levels of directivity Detectives). For these and many others, comparable to mics up to 50% longer, and models like the AE2500 dual element design, as such deliver unequalled performance in a the AE3000, the AT4050 and AT4041, and Audio-Technica Ltd (UK) compact package. the ATM350 are essential tools of the trade. Technica House At the other end of the spectrum, the These live production series are now joined by Royal London Industrial Estate new BP892 (headworn) and BP896 (lavalier) re-engineered Artist Series, offering unrivalled Old Lane are subminiature omnidirectional condenser performance at competitive price points: Leeds microphones, designed to provide high SPL they are already making an impression in the UK handling and accurate sound in tiny packages market, with singers including Jodie Jones using LS11 8AG for broadcasters, presenters and actors. the ATM710 condenser exclusively on stage, t +44 (0) 113 277 1441 and other models earning a place on backline w rosters. Harvey Roberts Senior UK Marketing Manager t 0113 277 1441 e THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 11
  • 12. + + BEYERDYNAMIC+ + + + BEYERDYNAMIC+ + + + BEYERDYNAMIC+ + beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG beyerdynamic microphones, wireless systems, headphones, and headsets are chosen by professionals all over world for their sonic excellence and reliability. worldwide. Eighty-six years after Microphone Portfolio its foundation, beyerdynamic Live Performance Microphones still develops headphones and microphones in Germany, which The Difference Between Microphones are carefully handcrafted in the Deciding on a beyerdynamic microphone is southern city of Heilbronn. Each of first and foremost an individual process. our products contains true passion The selection of a microphone is based on a and know-how for an excellent great number of factors: personal preferences, sound experience. the voice or instrument itself, and how and Currently the beyerdynamic what is being sung or played. All beyerdynamic product range comprises, in addition microphones have their own special to microphones, wireless systems characteristics. They differ in their design, and professional headphones, sound, and timbre. Sometimes the differences headsets for TV commentators are great, and sometimes they are only nuances. Optimal Sound and pilots, as well as conference One thing beyerdynamic microphones have in As the Measurement of all Things systems and interpreting facilities. The latest common is the unbelievably natural sound they Since the Eugen Beyer electrical engineering inventions of our engineers therefore include deliver on stage or in studio, and the maximal factory was founded in 1924, beyerdynamic has products for 5.1 surround sound integrated in feedback suppression – and hence optimal live been synonymous with German-made applied high-tech headphones, the worldwide unique experience for artists and their audience – high technology in the professional audio wireless conferencing system Revoluto, high- they guarantee. electronics sector. end headsets with digital noise cancelling, Until this very day, Eugen Beyer’s heirs individually manufactured headphones for iPod Opus Series: When Sound Meets Function feel bound by the company’s tradition and fans, and premium headphones with novel Tesla As different as the Opus models may be, by its visionary, pioneering founder’s values. Technology. they are all united by their ability to meet all Technological advance, constant innovation, beyerdynamic is proud to number among its demands on stage or in the rehearsal room. and maximum quality standards ensure the products many ‘industry standards’, such as the Their robust construction can stand up to the company leads the field in sound technology DT 100 monitoring headphone and the M 88 TG rigours of touring, they can handle high sound dynamic microphone. pressure levels, and provide an extremely high gain-before feedback. The models in the Opus series stand for a lot – but especially for their outstanding sound characteristics. TG-X Series: A Synonym for Excellent Live Performances The higher the demands, the better. Striving to be better is by all means positive – also when it comes to your music equipment. This applies in particular to the microphone; after all, what good is the greatest talent when the wrong technology makes it sound only average in the end? The reverse is also obviously true: only with an optimal microphone can you get the best out of yourself. The microphones in the TG-X series are synonymous with perfect live performances. 12 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 13. microphones 2010+ + BEYERDYNAMIC+ + + + BEYERDYNAMIC+ + + + BEYERDYNAMIC+ + M Series: Legends of Music You can’t create a legend; it arises from fame. The M series models have earned their reputation as classics. Hardly any other microphone is linked to the history of rock and roll in quite the way that our ribbon microphones M 130 and M 160, or the dynamic models M 88 TG, M 69 TG, and M 201 TG are. Studio and Recording Microphones MC and MCE Series: Reliable Partners for your Daily Work MC and MCE microphones accompany recording engineers, broadcast professionals, and film crews at work reliably. Through professional competence and high quality awareness our microphones made their mark in the MC 900 Series audio industry. The MC 900 small-diaphragm condenser One of many beyerdynamic inventions in the microphone series features a tremendous microphone technology was in 1996, when the diversity due to the sound neutrality and company presented the MCD 100, the world’s painstaking construction of its models. first digital studio microphone, at the 100th AES Designed as first-class tools for stage and convention in Copenhagen. studio, the models MC 910 (omnidirectional), MC 930 (cardioid), and MC 950 (supercardioid) MC 840 are the first choice for all applications where The MC 840 is an extremely compact large high-quality pickup or transmission of acoustic diaphragm studio microphone with a gold signals is crucial. The MC 900 microphones are vaporised double diaphragm, and five selectable particularly suitable for natural pickup of choirs, polar patterns (omnidirectional, wide cardioid, orchestras, solo instruments (e.g., guitar, wind cardioid, hypercardioid, instruments, drums), or even stage plays. figure-of-eight). On the The special characteristics of this series include basis of the MC 740 a high open-circuit voltage and a wide balanced microphone capsule this transmission range without a narrow-band model has been equipped resonance rise. Through the switchable pre- with an improved low- attenuation of 15dB, the models are also noise pre-amplifier and an perfectly suited to use with very high sound impedance transformer levels. In the MC 930 and MC 950 models, without transducer. the switchable bass roll-off filter compensates Due to a two-stage roll- for the proximity effect; the MC 930 and MC off filter (80 and 160 Hz) 950 with their largely frequency-independent compensating the close directional characteristics offer outstanding miking effect and a two- directivity in combination with high elimination stage pre-attenuation (-10 of noise from the rear. All models operate from and -20dB), the MC 840 is a phantom power supply of a superior microphone for 11-52V, and can hence be used with nearly any beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG any recording application. microphone amplifier for studio and Theresienstraße 8 It has been designed live applications. 74072 Heilbronn – Germany without compromise to capture every sound detail with absolute clarity and purity. t +49 (0) 7131/617 440 Applications for the MC 840 include f + 49 (0) 7131/617 299 recording orchestras resulting in a superb e transparent sound. w THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 13
  • 14. + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE Serious Tools For Serious Recording Blue Microphones is commonly referenced as ‘the microphone company of today’ melding the heritage of the past with current cutting-edge technology, leading to continuous innovation in the field of studio recording, live performance and consumer audio. The Blue Story increased bandwidth benefits enabled by the knowledge gleaned from years of repairing and Founded in 1995 by Skipper Wise, a professional advances in digital processing (e.g., extended improving classic mics from a wide variety of musician and producer with over 100 albums to frequency response, dynamic range, and project manufacturers, while simultaneously integrating his credit, and Martins Saulespurens, a renowned recording capability). These microphones would new technologies, materials, and a first-hand audio and electronics engineer, Blue has grown harness this new era of digital technology, knowledge of today’s recording processes, Blue from a company that refurbished vintage eliminating the need to suppress the most is a pioneer in developing the modern analogue microphones into a unique, multi-faceted audio colourful aspects of the audible spectrum input devices for the digital age. company with a prestigious line of award- (thundering lows and piercing highs) that winning microphones and accessories. Blue’s were previously constrained by the analogue Capture Every Nuance mission statement was expressly to improve process of recording onto tape. Basing many Blue’s philosophy is that all great sound begins the front-end of audio recording by utilising the of their concepts, designs, and technology on with the capsule. Hand assembled and tuned, our proprietary capsule designs capture specific sonic signatures in specific ways, creating The Flagship Bottle Series completely different tonal characteristics for Designed for the most discerning recordists, the Bottle Series (consisting of the Bottle, the Bottle each mic in the Blue lineup. In addition, Blue Rocket Stage One, and Bottle Rocket Stage Two) feature microphones capable of providing a studio mics employ state-of-the-art technology wide palette of tonal characteristics and pickup patterns to satisfy even the most discriminating that ensures the purest possible signal path and tastes. The Bottle Series integrates the best of Blue’s discrete class-A circuitry with a unique Class-A fully discrete circuitry with no ICs, pads, and revolutionary system of interchangeable capsules, like Blue’s Bottle Caps, that provide the or filters; each microphone is designed to fill a engineer with a wide range of potential tonal characteristics. specific role in a recordist’s repertoire. The result is a portfolio of professional studio microphones that create a palette of sounds, enabling artists The Bottle to truly realise the sonic landscape of their vision. The Bottle is our highest achievement in quality and innovation. Meticulously hand assembled, the Class-A discrete Bottle utilises a single EF86 pentode Sound For Everyone, Everywhere vacuum tube in triode mode. The Bottle combines low noise and With the advent of increasingly powerful and superb transient response, and when combined with Blue’s nine affordable personal recording software, Blue interchangeable Bottle Caps capsules, provides the recordist with realised that project studio recording presented an entire mic cabinet all in one mic. the next revolution in the music industry. Believing that the lack of a high-quality USB Bottle Rocket Stage Two microphone to protect the signal source would The Stage Two’s transformerless, Class-A discrete tube amplifier be an impediment, Blue developed the Snowball, now the number one-selling professional wired circuit delivers low noise and superb transient response. Like condenser microphone in the world. Throughout the Bottle, the Stage Two has the ability to hot swap up to nine its development process the Snowball was different capsules for amazing versatility. designed with musicians in mind, however people quickly began to adopt the product Bottle Rocket Stage One for consumer applications such as podcasting, The Stage One is Blue’s most accessible mic with a foundation of chatting, and narration. These new and interchangeable capsules. The Class A discrete solid state Stage constantly expanding applications have allowed One has a very low self-noise specification (<7.5dB) and a very high Blue to tap into its pro audio DNA to launch output level (+12dBV), making it the perfect choice for today’s high sample rate/ a line of products catering to life outside the deep word length digital platforms. studio. These include high-quality USB products for both Mac and PC, iPod accessories, and an XLR-to-USB converter that allows everyone to take advantage of the quality and performance inherent in every Blue microphone, right on their own computer. 14 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 15. microphones 2010E+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + + + BLUE+ + Application Specific Series Blue’s latest innovative USB mic is the multi-pattern Yeti. Yeti’s triple- array capsules boast latency-free monitoring (with dedicated volume Every Blue microphone in the Application Specific Series contains its own proprietary capsule control), digital muting, and just like all Blue mics, amazing sound quality. that is hand-tested to capture a specific sonic signature. Blue’s philosophy is to create With four different pattern settings and THX-certification for exceptional sound and performance, unparalleledcapture anything with a clarity and microphones that are the Yeti can for their intended application. ease unheardNine-pattern tube condenser – vintage vocals Cactus: of in a USB microphone. Kiwi: Solid state multi-pattern – Blue’s signature contemporary vocals Mouse: Bottom end boom – bass, drums, and broadcasting Woodpecker: Only ribbon mic with true top end – classic warm sound and an ultra-smooth top end Dragonfly: Thickens thin sound sources – high vocals, acoustic guitar, drum overheads Blueberry: Commanding, intimate presence – vocals moved to the front of the mix Innovative Consumer Baby Bottle: Midrange focused – rock vocals, guitars Recording Tools Mikey L-R - Cactus, Kiwi, Mouse, Woodpecker, Dragonfly, Blueberry, Baby Bottle The Best Studio Mics in the World. Live. Icicle With our new en•CORE line of studio-grade handheld microphones, all of the knowledge, Eyeball craftsmanship, and innovative technology we’ve poured into our high-end studio microphones has now been transferred to the stage. Designed to deliver exceptional all-round performance and capture your unique, individual sound, the en•CORE mics combine beauty and ruggedness into one perfect family of instruments. Gorgeous styling and craftsmanship, including elegant grille/ring assemblies, precision-machined barrels and grips, along with rugged durable plating finishes, make the en•CORE line a standout on any stage. Snowflake en•CORE 100 Studio-grade dynamic that delivers natural vocals, balanced highs, and amazing detail and clarity. en•CORE 200 Snowball Yeti Blue’s proprietary Active Dynamic Circuit delivers those same natural vocals with amazing detail and clarity, along with electronically transformed output to provide remarkably high gain. en•CORE 300 Features a hand-selected cardioid condenser capsule, tuned for Blue Microphones (North America) an open, detailed, and present sound. Its custom-designed phantom power t + 1 818 879 5200 circuit provides a rapid and powerful sound, while the unique f + 1 818 879 7258 reinforced chassis design mounts the capsule for optimal performance e and isolation from handling noise. w en•CORE 100i Europe: TC Group International Utilises a new dynamic capsule with a custom-tuned diaphragm designed Sindalsvej 34, 8240 Riskkov specifically to provide a tighter polar pattern perfect for miking instruments and Denmark t +45 8742 7000 other sources requiring high isolation. e w THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 15
  • 16. + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + D Professional Microphone Solutions For Any Need DPA prides itself on producing the best, most accurate microphones available, guaranteeing stunningly natural sound quality and zero colouration. Each microphone is handcrafted in Denmark and whatever the application, venue or instrument, DPA can provide the optimum microphone. DPA 4099 Clip Microphones DPA Miniatures DPA Headbands DPA’s ever-growing 4099 range of clip Since the 4060 miniature microphone series DPA sets the standard for headband mics, microphones has solutions for different launched in 1996, the result of intensive being at the forefront of this miking technique. instruments at an affordable price, and is work with leading theatre sound designers The acclaimed DPA headbands complete the proving a hit with musicians who love freedom to fine-tune adapters and mounting cables, miniature range and are famous for staying when playing live. Each 4099 comes with an DPA miniature condenser mics have proved put under the most difficult conditions as well ingenious, gentle mounting accessory, indispensable. Much loved in the theatre, where as their clear, natural sound. Comfortable which stays put on the instrument while they are widely used on West End, Broadway, and easy to wear, DPA headbands come in the mic captures the best possible sound. and touring productions the world over, DPA omindirectional and cardioid versions, in a The 4099 range is invaluable for gigging miniatures have also found favour in broadcast choice of colours, and for the left and right musicians who want to guarantee and for close-miking. With a capsule smaller than sides of the face. Much R&D has gone into unbeatable, reliable quality each time a pencil eraser, DPA miniatures have a neutral ensuring that humidity and moisture won’t be a they play. character, combining great detail and resolution problem. This is demonstrated night after night To hear with a rounded sound and natural response. A in theatres and broadcast studios across the who’s been won range of adapters make them suitable for use world, as DPA headbands are put through their over by the DPA with most professional wireless systems. paces on the most rigorous performances and 4099, go to DPA miniatures are available in different productions. the DPA Video sensitivities and a range of skin colours for Gallery at www. efficient concealment, as well as cardioid and DPA Headband Key Features dpamicrophones. omnidirectional versions. Many accessories are Headband of choice for theatres and com/video, where musicians available, as are miniature miking kits in a neat broadcasters including Randy Brecker, carrying case, combining mics and accessories Chris Minh Doky and Curtis for specific applications such as stereo recording, Easy to adjust Stigers, and Sting’s engineer instrument miking, electronic news gathering, Extremely stable once in place Donal Hodgson, share their and film. DPA’s miniature mic technology is Natural, highly detailed sound experience of the range. also deployed in the BLM4060 Boundary Layer Resistant to wear and tear, sweat and humidity Microphone for boardrooms, conferences, DPA 4099 Key Features courtrooms, and anywhere that excellent vocal High gain-before-feedback pickup is essential. Natural sound Easy, gentle mounting DPA Miniatures Key Features Suitable for ever-growing range of instruments Natural, highly detailed sound including guitar, violin, trumpet, sax, cello, bass, Wide dynamic range drums and piano Rugged design Compatible with most wireless transmitters 16 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 17. microphones 2010DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + DPA+ + + + About DPA Microphones Drawing on more than five decades of world-class condenser microphone design, DPA has manufactured ground- breaking products in its own name since 1998. The company employs around 100 people and is represented by professional DPA Surround DPA D3/S5 Key Features audio distributors and dealers in Flexible and lightweight more than 40 countries worldwide. All Articles on Surround Sound Integrated cable option DPA microphones and components Visit the DPA Microphones University at www. Matched surround mic kits are manufactured at the company’s where there are Reproduces any array purpose-built factory in the north of numerous tutorials and articles on the art of Compatible with all mic holders Denmark. miking in surround. DPA Standards DPA also excels in crafting high quality studio DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone microphones, guaranteed to deliver a stunningly DPA offers various versatile solutions for faithful version of the original. Components surround miking. The DPA 5100 mobile are carefully selected to provide optimum surround microphone features five miniature neutrality, accuracy, and low distortion. pressure transducers that exhibit extremely low No wonder that mics such as the classic 4006 sensitivity to wind and mechanical noise, low omni and 4011 cardioid – which have both distortion, highly consistent low frequency, and been upgraded in transformerless versions – enormous dynamic range. This self-contained have found a home in the greatest studios plug-and-play solution is compact, easy to use, across the world. These are joined by a firm and features DPA’s stunning sound quality. favourite with the broadcast market: the Its innovative design delivers a rich, smooth, 4017mk2-R shotgun mic with sophisticated and totally enveloping ambience to HDTV Rycote weatherproof systems. production, sports broadcasts, film projects, etc. DPA Compacts DPA 5100 Key Features Head Office: The smaller cousins of the DPA Standards, Plug-and-play solution these handy little mics also come in a great DPA Microphones A/S Lightweight and portable Gydevang 42-44 selection of omni, cardioid, and wide cardioid Rich, smooth, fully enveloping sound DK-3450 Alleroed versions, offering ingenious mounting solutions Denmark Discrete 5.1 analogue output, and, of course, DPA’s proven sonic excellence. t +45 4814 2828 no processing needed Invaluable for close-miking instruments, f +45 4814 2700 live sound e DPA D3 & S5 Surround Mounts reinforcement, w The DPA Decca Tree (D3) and Surround Mount and podium (S5) are stylish mounts for two, three, or five speaking, the microphones. The adjustable, modular design, versatility of the US Sales Office: DPA compact DPA Microphones, Inc. with centre fixation point for perfect balance, range means 2432 N. Main St., Suite 200 allows numerous classic configurations for fixed there is a mic for every application. Longmont, CO 80501 install and mobile setups. DPA compacts and standards are also USA available in carefully-matched Stereo Kits for a t +1 303 485 1025 wide variety of uses. f +1 303 485 6470 e w THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 17
  • 18. + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW Precision Solutions MicW Audio is a precision microphone manufacturer of the metal-type professional microphones for recording, broadcasting, and live music. Its N-series high quality condenser microphones are based on nickel diaphragm technology. In 2010, MicW launched 11 new products, ranging from high-quality handheld vocal mics to compact, desktop, shotgun, and boundary models. development of a range of capsules from HN101 Company Profile MicW is the professional recording microphone 7-37mm in diameter. The tension of the A one inch diaphragm with selectable 80Hz brand manufactured by BWSA Technology capsule diaphragm and the backplate gap are low frequency cut-off and -10 dB attenuation. Ltd. The company, founded in Beijing in 1998, carefully adjusted to produce the right acoustic It provides precision recording with no colour first became known for its precision industrial performance during manufacture. added. test and measurement microphones and The choice of material used to construct a equipment, before creating a complete range of microphone’s capsule diaphragm is a decisive microphones for recording and live applications. element in the quality of the overall microphone The company’s extensive experience of design. A single type of material may not meet measurement microphone manufacture assisted all the requirements made of MicW’s different its entrance into the professional recording microphone designs, so MicW uses titanium, microphone market: for example, MicW’s nickel, stainless steel, and synthetic polymers quarter-inch and half-inch omnidirectional to make its diaphragms. It is essential that the capsules are direct descendants of BWSA’s diaphragm, which has a thickness of just a few precision designs for test and measurement micrometres, is completely airtight. microphones, and MicW makes use of BWSA’s design team and wholly owned manufacturing N-Series – Precision Recording Microphones facilities. The N-series precision recording microphones are based on the nickel diaphragm technology in The Capsules all metal structures. The microphones transport High-quality microphones require high-quality spectacularly pure and uncoloured sound. The HN101. capsules. MicW has invested heavily in the The new models in the N series family include: CN201 The compact version of the N201. The omnidirectional CN201 is perfect for drum, guitar, and bass miking, percussion and speech or vocals. The CN201. 18 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 19. microphones 2010W+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ + + + MICW+ E-Series – Performance The MicW E-series microphones are developed for general recording purpose with high ratio of performance vs. cost. The E-series microphones have the similar mechanical structures as N-series microphones but different material. The diaphragms of the E-Series are made from polymer and coated with gold or nickel. Their innovative design means E-series microphones have similar accuracy and performance as N-series microphones. The E-series microphones are a good choice for customers looking for high value microphones with high performance. The new models in the E series family include the E436 and BE426. E436 A professional miniature clip-on mic with an omnidirectional pattern. It is the ideal choice for miking up musical instruments, and spot miking in live recording. G-Series – Golden Diaphragm Microphone The MicW G-Series Golden Diaphragm Microphone is an omnidirectional microphone that uses a 26mm diameter large diaphragm capsule. It uses a gold-plated polymer diaphragm, whose tension is carefully adjusted during the manufacturing process to ensure the International Distributors frequency response from 10Hz to 20kHz with USA: FDW a 4-6dB soft boost around 8kHz. The HG106 is w The E436. the new model of the G series. UK: eMerging Microphone Pair BE426 w MicW also provides microphone pairs that A boundary layer microphone. It is ideal for use are state-of-the-art stereo kits featuring two in the boardroom, or in conference facilities France: Areitec matched microphones. Each pair is guaranteed and courtrooms where excellent vocal pickup is to a sensitivity match within 0.5dB, and phase w required. The BE426 has very high sensitivity. match within 5º up to 5000Hz. Norway: Procom w Japan: ONZU w MicW Audio Unit 1003, North Ring Center No.18 Yumin Road, Xicheng District The BE426. Beijing 100029, China t +86 10 5128 5118 f +86 10 8225 1626 e w THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 19
  • 20. + + PRISM SOUND+ + + + PRISM SOUND+ + + + PRISM SOUND+ + + + PR Maselec MMA-4XR Microphone Preamplifier Prism Sound has been supplying successful studio products for over twenty years and is renowned for designing specialised performance products built for the most discerning in the industry, where sophisticated and innovative technologies set them apart from the masses. This was the philosophy when Leif by newer components and creative feedback Mases set about designing his microphone about the original design and applications, preamplifier. Leif’s rich audio history behind such as the popularity of ribbon microphones. the console, including work with Black This meant a complete input stage redesign, Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Jeff Beck, gave including a ten discrete transistor input, him the practical frontline experience needed increased input impedance, and new amplifier to identify what he required when he decided design so that the 60dB gain range of the MMA- Famous for producing uncompromised audio to design the original MMA-4 mic preamp 4 was altered in the XR model to start at 9dB hardware, Prism Sound and Maselec are no nearly ten years ago. It was a huge success (instead of 0dB) and increase in 3dB increments strangers to the most demanding and revered and was favoured by engineers needing a to 69dB (instead of 60dB). recording, mixing and mastering studios, and combination of great dynamic range and low All of this resulted in an improved sounding engineers around the world. The key feature and noise performance, as well as a preamp that and performing microphone preamplifier staying main attraction to all of their equipment is the would capture the sound of the microphone – a faithful to the design philosophy of the original transparent signal path. preamp that remained transparent and colour- Maselec MMA-4 pre. Throughout their product range Prism less at all gain values, something that was not Sound’s converters and Maselec analogue always available due to poorer transistor designs MMA-4XR Case Studies processors are designed to capture, process, in some of the other available tube-less mic pres. Youki Yamamoto and Matt Howe and reproduce analogue and digital audio The MMA-4XR design was a continuation Composer and Arranger Youki Yamamoto has with clinical accuracy and faithfulness to the from the MMA-4’s success and also allowed resided in the UK for the last 22 years partnering original signal. The MMA-4XR microphone room for some improvements due to the with Grammy award-winning Engineer Matt preamp is no exception; the MMA-4XR is a four- availability and better performance provided Howe. Based primarily at their studio in channel minimalist microphone preamplifier that has been designed to provide integrity and transparency. Consistent with this, each channel has controls for gain (69dB in 3dB steps), phase invert, cut (mute), and 48V phantom power. The phantom power circuit provides a higher- than usual level of current output – often a problem with inferior designs that can result in compromised microphone performance. Its output headroom extends to +28dBu, whilst the frequency response extends to more than 200kHz – well beyond the basic 20kHz audio band. The Theory When a microphone is chosen for a job, it seems logical to do it justice by providing adequate gain via the preamp without colouring the Youki Yamamoto and Matt Howe in their studio at Pinewood with their MMA-4XR mic pres sound. and Prism Sound ADA-8XR converter. 20 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 21. microphones 2010RISM SOUND+ + + + PRISM SOUND+ + + + PRISM SOUND+ + + + PRISM Pinewood Studios, both through this mic pre (ribbons are one of the Youki and Matt have worked hardest tests for a mic pre). I am also a fan of on several international film detented pots, great for repeatable settings.” and TV scores at various locations around the world. Mike Hedges “We took MMA-4XR Already a renowned and successful Producer mic pres with us everywhere Mike Hedges has been praised for his recent last year – Teldex Studios in work on the hugely successful classical album Berlin, National Radio Hall The Priests, a project that took Mike and his in Sofia, Abbey Road Studios team from Northern Ireland to Vatican City to in London, and Sony Music produce the fastest selling UK debut album for Studios in Tokyo. a classical act. In the orchestra sessions “Very rarely have I come across a piece of we used two MMA-4XR pres equipment that is truly indispensable and I on all of what we considered am so happy to have found these. Prism Sound the important mics. This and Maselec have certainly delivered on their included the conductor’s Steve Levine: Producer, and Maselec MMA-4XR and Prism Sound Orpheus user. promises with the MMA-4XR; it is only when tree microphones, certain PHOTOGRAPH: ROSIE LEVINE recording through mic amps of this quality that section microphones, and you can really appreciate the massive benefits solo spots. During the renowned pop and punk acts over the past and true beauty of audio transparency.” mixdown, we used fewer microphones than three decades, as well as composing a number we really recorded because the MMA-4XR of film scores. Still a very-much active producer revealed the best characteristics of our principle and contributor to the audio and music industry, Levine can be credited with helping to Prism Sound and Maselec products can be microphones we had taken. These included define modern digital audio production. found in many studios around the world, some vintage valve microphones and other “Over the many years I’ve been a record often complementing one another within modern day condenser mics. Matt has used the MMA-4XR for other music producer I have used some of the world’s a single system. This natural marriage is sessions, including Latin Percussion on a recent greatest studios and have regularly used Prism the inherent result of a passion from both Jazz album. The controls are very simple to use AD/DAs, but it’s only recently that I discovered companies to produce the highest quality and easy to read.” the MMA-4XR mic pre, and what a revelation! audio devices without compromise. This I have built up a nice collection of mics synergy became official in the late 90s over the years – every single one sounded Steve Levine when Prism Sound and Maselec teamed better through this mic pre, especially the more Multi-award winning Producer and Composer up to produce a range of analogue esoteric ones. I have just got the new Audio Steve Levine has worked with many of the processors, MEA-2 equalizer, MLA-2 Technica ribbons and they sound so amazing compressor/limiter, and MMA-4XR mic pre, to complement the already-popular Prism Sound converters. Prism Media Products Ltd. The Old School, High Street Stretham, Cambridgeshire CB6 3LD, England w t +44 (0) 1353 648 888 f +44 (0) 1353 648 867 Mike Hedges with the Three Priests. e THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 21
  • 22. + + SENNHEISER+ + + + SENNHEISER+ + + + SENNHEISER+ + + + SENN Sennheiser – The Audio Specialists For more than sixty years, the name Sennheiser has been synonymous with state-of-the-art microphones. Bands, artists, live sound engineers, recording engineers and amateurs, broadcast professionals and film crews worldwide rely on Sennheiser microphones. History Sennheiser digital audio formats, the MKH 800. 2002 saw Lab W Innovations continued under the Sennheiser the glamorous combination of the SKM 5000 N Sennheiser was founded in the summer of brand name. The company developed condenser with a Neumann capsule. In 2007, Sennheiser 1945 as ‘Laboratorium Wennebostel’ or ‘Labor microphones that operated according to the RF launched its new MKH 8000 Series. 2009 saw W’ (Lab W) for short, named after the tiny principle, and the first professional condenser the launch of the wireless 2000 Series and of the village of Wennebostel. Founder Prof. Dr. Fritz clip-on microphone, the MK 12. The world’s first third generation of evolution wireless systems. Sennheiser, at the time Deputy Head of the open headphones were developed at Sennheiser From 1988, the company had begun Institute for Radio Frequency Engineering and (1968), and the company led the innovation founding its own sales subsidiaries to further Electroacoustics at Hanover Technical University, for infrared sound transmission in the seventies. increase proximity to its customers. Today, turned the relocated university lab into a small The launch of the radio microphone classic the Sennheiser network is comprised of company and started manufacturing measuring SKM 4031-TV in 1982 laid the foundation for subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, devices. Two years later, he and his engineers the success of Sennheiser wireless systems the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), unveiled their very first microphone design, the in the following years, and was followed Russia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Japan, MD 2 – and were soon to become experts in by the development of ever-smaller clip-on China, Canada, Mexico, and the USA, as many fields of audio recording and reproduction. microphones. 1993 saw the launch of another well as long-term trading partners in many Early product highlights included amplifiers, radio microphone classic, the SKM 5000. In other countries. The Sennheiser Group has microphone transformers, magnetic miniature 1987, Sennheiser was awarded the Scientific and manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland, headphone capsules, and microphones such Engineering Award for the MKH 816 shotgun and the USA. as the MD 3 ‘invisible’ mic (1949), the MD 82 microphone, and an Emmy Award for pioneering shotgun microphone (1956), and Sennheiser’s developments in RF wireless technology in first wireless microphone (1957), which opened 1996. In 1998, the evolution microphone up a field in which the company was to excel series was launched, followed by evolution in the future. In 1958, Lab W was renamed wireless in 1999, Sennheiser’s most successful ‘Sennheiser electronic’, as the company had RF wireless series to date. In 2000, Sennheiser long since ceased being just a small laboratory. introduced the first studio microphone to fully utilise the wider frequency range of the new The late company founder Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser and his son Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. (PHOTO: PETRA SCHRAMBÖHMER) 22 00 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE SENNHEISER MICROPHONES
  • 23. microphones 2010NHEISER+ + + + SENNHEISER+ + + + SENNHEISER+ + + + SENNHEISER The Microphone Portfolio evolution Microphones specialists, Sennheiser’s million users worldwide, evolution wireless The evolution series of MKH microphones are is their no.1 choice for stage and live use. microphones provides a a sophisticated class of Whether wireless instrument transmitters or complete microphone set- condenser microphones. acclaimed vocal mics – this series contains up for vocals and the entire They operate according to wireless solutions for almost every application. backline. It comprises the RF principle and use a Great sound, quality workmanship, and exciting 600 Series instrument unique symmetrical push- extras for up-and-coming bands, established microphones, 800 Series pull transducer. The result performers, presenters, musicians, reporting vocal microphones, and of this balanced design is teams, and PA companies. the top-of-the-range an unchanging acoustic 900 Series of vocal and impedance, extremely low Digital Microphones… instrument mics, with distortion figures, a higher …are the youngest members in the Sennheiser such acclaimed models capsule output with much microphone family, and a sound investment in as the e 935 dynamic lower noise, and thus a very the future of audio. Simply by adding a digital vocal mic and the e clear signal. These microphones module, the renowned MKH 8000 series can 965 large-diaphragm, are uniquely insensitive to be turned into digital microphones. Perfectly true condenser vocal unfavourable climatic conditions, matched to the MKH microphone heads, the evolution wireless is microphone. Sennheiser’s most successful RF have a wide dynamic range MZD 8000 digital module directly ‘translates’ wireless series. and an excellent low frequency the clear, warm, and responsive sound of the The MD Range of Dynamic Microphones response even with small capsules. microphones into the digital world, avoiding Sennheiser’s rugged, easy-to-use dynamic Although their capsule is grounded, they possess the losses or signal disruptions to which cables microphones include all-time classics as the MD a genuine fully floating, balanced output are prone. The microphones can be remotely 21, MD 421, and MD 441, but also reporters’ without the need to use a transformer. controlled, allowing parameter settings such microphones like the MD 42 and MD 46. The latest models in this line are the MKH 8020 as the low-cut filter and attenuation to be (omni), MKH 8040 (cardioid), MKH 8050 (super- adjusted via an AES 42 interface and a PC. Permanently Polarised Condenser Microphones cardioid), and the MKH 800 Twin, a double- Everything from professional subminiature capsule microphone whose audio signals are clip-on microphones for use with Sennheiser’s available separately at the output. This allows wireless technology to headset microphones the pick-up pattern to be remotely controlled and small camcorder microphones. Among and modified during post-production. the classics are the legendary MKE 2 clip-on, and the K6 Series, where the user can tailor Wireless Microphone Systems the microphone to the recording situation by Thanks to the outstanding RF properties adding microphone heads of varying directivity of Sennheiser’s wireless technology, sound to the basic power module. The portfolio also engineers were able to create systems with comprises the award-winning HSP 2 and HSP 4 more than 140 microphone channels operating headset microphones, the MKE 400 camcorder simultaneously. The top-of-the- microphone, and Sennheiser’s range 3000 and 5000 Series smallest clip-on, the include such industry standards SENNHEISER Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG MKE 1. The latest as the SKM 5200 handheld and Am Labor 1 additions are the SK 5212 bodypack transmitters, 30900 Wedemark single-sided Earset 1 as well as the EM 3732 twin Germany and Earset 4 mics for receiver. As the entry line to stage and broadcast the professional segment, t +49 (0) 5130 6000 use. the 2000 Series offers f +49 (0) 5130 600 300 Sennheiser’s renowned audio e MKH Microphones and RF quality at a very w The choice for recording, The MKH 8000 Series can be used in attractive price point. analogue and digital environments, simply A complete list of Sennheiser subsidiaries and broadcast, and filming For more than one by exchanging a mic module. partners around the globe can be found at THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 23
  • 24. + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + Legendary Performance Superior sound and solid reliability have made our microphones the industry standard for decades. Shure microphones deliver consistent vocal and instrument reproduction in any performance or recording setting, which is why they are legendary. Superior sound and solid reliability have made available for performances where complete Performance Gear our microphones the industry standard for mobility is required. Performance Gear Series microphones are decades. Shure microphones deliver consistent The latest introductions to the KSM range designed to give access to Shure professional vocal and instrument reproduction in any include the KSM313 and KSM353 ribbon quality for artists and musicians on a more performance or recording setting. microphones (formerly known as Crowley and modest budget. Models include a complete set Shure microphones for performance and Tripp’s Naked Eye and El Diablo respectively). of vocal, instrument, and drum microphones. recording are designed for artists and engineers Ideal for everyday use and practice, they share at all levels. Whether you’re at the top of the Beta many of the performance and construction charts or on your way there, choosing from any Shure Beta Series microphones are designed details of other legendary Shure microphones. of these Shure product lines puts you in good specifically for use in live performance Performance Gear microphones come complete company. applications. They feature carefully tailored with cables and accessories, so they easily fit into supercardioid polar patterns with a remarkable the beginner’s budget. New models in this range KSM absence of off-axis colouration, for use when include the PG27 multi-purpose microphone, Shure KSM Series high sound levels onstage require maximum and the PG42 vocal microphone (both available microphones balance isolation without sacrificing sound quality. in USB and XLR versions). exceptional performance Handheld vocal, miniature instrument-mount, Shure Performance Gear wireless microphone and flexibility with and low profile head worn models are available, systems deliver the freedom and convenience a level of reliability as well as dynamic and condenser of wireless, while matching the and consistency not kick drum models. The latest legendary sound quality of our typically found in ultra- addition to the range is the large wired microphones. premium microphones. diaphragm Beta 27 microphone, Finely tuned condenser which is unique in the industry as X2U cartridges give voice to the only side-address, supercardioid The X2U is Shure’s new XLR each of these six elegant condenser designed for professional to USB signal adapter allowing models, with high sound reinforcement. users to connect their favourite sensitivity to accurately microphone directly into a capture the widest SM computer. Features include zero variety of sound sources. Legendary SM Series microphones latency monitoring and monitor Their very low self-noise have come to define the sound of mix control, making it ideal for makes them ideal for use live performance. Recognisable a whole host of applications with digital mixing and by name and reputation, SM at home, in the studio, or recording equipment. microphones are virtually on location. Some models feature indestructible professional gear, switchable polar patterns built to take the punishment of UHF-R The KSM313 for increased versatility night-after-night touring. Durable Shure UHF-R Wireless bi-directional ribbon and to suit and reliable, SM microphones deliver Microphone Systems deliver microphone. the characteristics consistent vocal and instrument uncompromising Shure sound, of a particular reproduction in any performance and are the premium choice voice, instrument, setting. The SM58 and SM57 – the for the most demanding or microphone technique. #1 and #2 bestselling microphones music, theatre, and broadcast The KSM9 unites the best of studio and worldwide for decades – possess applications. The latest stage. With its dual diaphragm design and a consistency and familiarity that frequency band (K4E) covers switchable polar patterns, the KSM9 reveals takes some of the guesswork out X2U Channel 38 in line with the nuance and subtlety normally heard only in a of setting up an unfamiliar sound latest developments in UK studio microphone. Yet, its solid build quality system in an unfamiliar venue. spectrum regulation. The entire system can delivers traditional Shure dependability allowing be networked together via USB or Ethernet it to be used in the most demanding live connections with Wireless Workbench software environments. A wireless version is also providing full monitoring and set-up features 24 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 25. microphones 2010+ + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE+ + + + SHURE for all parameters. The all-metal handheld and Shure History bodypack transmitters have switchable RF Founded in 1925, Shure has consistently produced output power and a backlit LCD display. Shure’s breakthrough Audio Reference innovative products that have become industry Companding delivers crystal-clear sound benchmarks. Here are just a few of the many that matches a hard-wired microphone. Shure milestones: The first directional microphone: The model ULX 55 Unidyne, introduced in 1939, was the first Shure ULX wireless systems deliver outstanding directional microphone, meaning that it was able to performance for working musicians and reject sounds from the sides and rear. The Unidyne professional sound system installers. ULX is an greatly improved the sound quality of public address excellent choice for larger performing groups, systems. The unique styling of the 55 series – also meeting facilities, and houses of worship. Shure known as “the Elvis mic” – has been featured in Predictive Diversity constantly monitors RF countless videos, movies, and ads. signal strength and silently switches antennas when it appears likely that a dropout will occur. The first wireless microphone: The Vagabond Automatic Frequency Selection makes it easy 88, introduced in 1953, was the first wireless to find an open frequency, lockable frequency microphone system for performers. The radio signal and volume adjustments prevent tampering from the microphone was picked up by an antenna once the system has been set; ½-wave antennas wire along the perimeter of the stage, which that can be remote-mounted are standard connected to a receiver. equipment; and the receiver provides in-line The first stereo phonograph cartridge: Introduced in 1958, the M3D power for antenna amplifiers. brought high-fidelity into the home, at a time when millions of people were discovering stereophonic sound. SLX The first portable P.A. system: The Vocal Master, introduced in 1958, was Shure SLX Series wireless systems are designed the first product to combine a mixer, equaliser, and amplifier, in one portable for working bands and sound system installers. Useful features like Automatic Frequency unit, greatly simplifying P.A. system setup and operation. Selection and Infrared Auto Transmitter Setup Shure Incorporated corporate headquarters is located in Niles, Illinois, make setup quick and easy, and Shure’s in the United States. The Company has additional manufacturing facilities patented Audio Reference Companding delivers and regional sales offices in China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, sound that matches a wired microphone. The United Kingdom, and The United States. PGX Shure PGX wireless systems offer Automatic Frequency Selection and Infrared Auto Transmitter Setup ensure quick and easy setup, while microprocessor-controlled diversity and United Kingdom Europe, Middle East, and Africa Audio Reference Companding deliver great Shure Distribution UK Shure Europe GmbH sound and reliable performance. PGX systems Unit 2,The I.O Centre Wannenacker Str. 28 74078 are available with the most popular Shure Lea Road, Waltham Abbey Heilbronn Germany handheld, lavalier, headworn, and instrument EN9 1AS, UK t 49-7131-72140 microphones, providing a stage-ready option for t 01992 703058 f 49-7131-721414 almost any application. The popular Beta 87 f 01992 703057 e is now available on PGX for the first time. e All Shure wireless systems are available in Asia both handheld and bodypack styles, with a USA, Canada, Latin America, Caribbean Shure Asia Limited wide choice of handheld, lavalier, and headworn Shure Incorporated 301, Citicorp Centre microphones. Receivers range from simple to 5800 West Touhy Avenue 18, Whitfield Road, elaborate, and a full selection of accessories Niles, IL 60714-4608 USA Causeway Bay, Hong Kong and other tools are available to complete t +1(847) 600-2000 t (+852) 2893-4290 any installation. t (U.S. only) +1(800) 25-SHURE f (+852) 2893-4055 f +1(847) 600-1212 e e (US): e (Canada/Latin America/Caribbean): THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 25
  • 26. + + TELEFUNKEN+ + + + TELEFUNKEN+ + + + TELEFUNKEN+ + + + TEL A Tradition Of Innovation Since its first foray into microphones in 1960, TELEFUNKEN has produced its microphones in the earnest tradition of excellence and innovation. TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik of South Windsor, laurels of historically accurate recreations, TELEFUNKEN EF-732 tube, which is very similar Connecticut, has been following the tradition the CK-13 capsule was released. This capsule in size and function to the TELEFUNKEN AC-701 of excellence and innovation set by the original features a diaphragm membrane material tube found in historic M-49/50/269c, KM-54/56, German TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik, GmbH made from Alloy 2213™, a Titanium and SM-2, and M-221b microphones, as well as which began over 100 years ago. Aluminium alloy that was originally many others that were built by various While TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik was developed for the aerospace industry. manufacturers during the 50s and widely regarded as Europe’s finest tube and The material has better rigidity 60s. The properties of this tube audio equipment manufacturer, its foray into than the gold that is traditionally exemplify the air, clarity, and microphones began in earnest in 1947, with the employed for microphone sexy depth of tone associated distribution of the world renowned U-47, and diaphragms, with a lighter mass in with these historic classics. the release of arguably the world’s most sought order to achieve a greater level of after microphone, the ELA M 251 in 1960. detail and nuance captured by the 2010 Updates Production of the original ELA M 251 ceased microphone system. In 2010, it was found that in 1963, but was reborn in 2000 when owner with a couple of amplifier Toni Fishman needed to recreate the switch The R-F-T Series modifications, the noise floor assembly for the 251s in his extensive vintage Simultaneous to the continued could be lowered, and increase the microphone collection. Having made the moulds development and refinement of CK 13 microphone’s internal current handling for the revival of these historic microphones, TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik’s Diamond capability for better transient and bass the next logical step was to faithfully recreate Series has been the development and response. These modifications made it possible the entire microphone in its original, historically refinement of the affordably priced R-F-T Series. to add the historic BV8 transformer found in accurate glory. The R-F-T brand name is a nod to the ubiquitous U-47/U-48 microphones of As the years passed, historic blueprints for TELEFUNKEN’s former East German rival yesteryear for what has become the AK-47 MkII. capsules, circuits, and systems were obtained. R-F-T; a company that was also producing The BV8 assists the transfer of low frequency Transformers were recreated; often by their fine microphones during the 50s and 60s, detail that the newly designed amplifier affords, original manufacturer from 50 years ago. but were more affordably priced than their leading to a higher degree of reality and detail This meticulous historic research has TELEFUNKEN counterparts. necessary for the recording of music, voice, led to the creation of TELEFUNKEN The modern R-F-T Series takes and ambient sources. Elektroakustik’s Diamond Series, only its name from the historic R-F-T Also included in the R-F-T Series is the ELA M which includes historically Company. The microphones within 260 small diaphragm pencil mic, which provides accurate reproductions of the this series feature newly developed nearly unparalleled flexibility in its design. Three U-47, U-48, C-12, and four amplifiers; which take advantage of interchangeable capsules are provided with the different versions of the modern manufacturing processes while system permitting the user to decide if Cardioid, ELA M 25x, which all keeping the eye for quality and depth of Omni-directional, or Hyper-Cardioid will best suit embody precise tone firmly entrenched in the TELEFUNKEN their recordings. The ELA M 260 also features historic detail. tradition of excellence. the NOS TELEFUNKEN EF-732 tube, and a In 2009, The R-F-T AR-51 microphone employs proprietary output transformer that permits the not satisfied the same output transformer as the historic detail of the audio to be translated for the best to rest C-12 and ELA M 251 E (made by the possible result and highest quality recording. on the original manufacturer), and a very similar In order to round out TELEFUNKEN amplifier design which is built on a printed Elektroakustik’s product offerings, a dynamic circuit board instead of the very costly microphone called the M80 was developed. implementation of ‘point to point wiring’ In the TELEFUNKEN tradition of innovation, a found in the historic Diamond Series, low mass/high output diaphragm system was and feature six selectable polar pickup developed, along with a proprietary head grille pattern options. assembly and output transformer. The head The TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik R-F-T grille assembly helps the M80 achieve a greatly AK-47 received a bit of an internal face-lift reduced proximity effect, which assists with the M 80 this year, and the AK-47 MkII was born. mitigation of the ‘mud’ found in the industry The AK-47 features a New Old Stock (NOS) standard hand-held vocal microphone. 26 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 27. microphones 2010LEFUNKEN+ + + + TELEFUNKEN+ + + + TELEFUNKEN+ + + + TELEFUN AK 47 ELA M 251 E U 48 AR 51 Like the industry standard, the M80 has However, Green Day plays stadiums and arenas found its way onto countless tours. The M80 where a wireless vocal microphone is pretty has many more applications than just vocal much mandatory. duties: it is being used by countless artists and The engineering staff at TELEFUNKEN was recordists for snare, guitars, percussion, and a able to modify the band’s current wireless myriad of other applications. It has found a microphone systems to work with the M80 home on the road with users as varied as Phish capsule and output transformer. The band and Cee-Lo; The Dixie Chix, and Green Day, and crew liked the system so much that over not to mention applications in recording 40 microphones have been modified to date. studios the world over. Other artists have liked the clarity of the vocals on the Green Day tour so much that they too TELEFUNKEN On Tour have requested their wireless microphone In 2009 TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik was systems also be modified, so this modification presented with a very interesting situation. is now a standard product, which is available The production crew for Green Day’s current ‘factory direct’. world tour; in support of their multi-platinum TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik album 21st Century Breakdown (which 300 Pleasant Valley Rd. Unit E, employed many TELEFUNKEN microphones South Windsor, CT 06074, USA in recording) liked the M80 so much during rehearsals they wanted to use it on the tour. w e THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 27
  • 28. + + VIOLET DESIGN+ + + + VIOLET DESIGN+ + + + VIOLET DESIGN+ + + + Violet Design – Microphones Made in Latvia A Unique Look, Superior Sound Quality, and Innovative Solutions Violet Design’s main philosophy is to offer Products handcrafted microphones with a unique look The Flamingo ME and a superior sound quality, using innovative The Flamingo ME is the top- solutions in manufacturing techniques without of-the-line vacuum-tube studio losing details of that vintage microphone microphone designed for high- sound. We believe that in the process of music end quality audio recording. The recording, the most important things are passion irregular shape of diaphragm and inspiration, and nothing should get in the and sputtering technology of way of these two. So with our ideology we trust the membrane coating result in in three simple points: excellent performance, a resonance and harmonic free, easy to use, and good design. warm, and very natural sounding The applications for Violet Design transducer that provides 130dB and microphones are wide and diverse – you can higher SPL. The larger diaphragm use them in a recording studio or sound surface provides higher reinforcement, in broadcast or a TV output and low studio, in the film or video industry, frequency in a project studio or home response recording. beginning at 16Hz. The Benefits of Violet Design The Microphones Are: Flamingo ME • High SPL level has unidirectional • Very low self-noise cardioid polar • Low distortions patterns, and • Wide dynamic range introduces a Global Pre • High output level new physical design to the + VIN Mk.2 Heads • Solid state or tube Class A industry. The combination The Global Pre preamplifier body is designed discrete preamplifier of a massive body, an internal for use with our VIN-series changeable capsule • An attractive design capsule shockmount, the heads. It is also compatible with Neumann’s • Hand craftsmanship with a 5-year integrated head shockmount, vintage M7, M8, and M9 series. The Global warranty and the included compact Pre is an alternative to expensive and noisy external shockmount vintage vacuum tube preamplifier bodies and Users work together to reduce is affordable enough for small or home studios, Our microphones are rumble and outside but produces a sonic performance way above its successfully used by dozens of infrasonic interference as price point. famous producers, recording well as mechanical shocks. Phantom powered, linear, class-A discrete engineers, and musicians, The internal vacuum solid state transformerless preamplifier starting from Bruce Sugar (Ringo tube pre-amplifier is electronics provide extremely ultra-low self noise, Starr, Elton John, Paul McCartney, based on class-A fully and hard to measure all kind of distortion. Ozzy Osbourne), David Kahne discrete electronics, The Mk.2 heads, whilst still featuring the (Paul McCartney, Sublime, built using the best quality original capsules, have been redesigned to be Fishbone, The Bangles), Joe components and carefully more compact with a sleeker look. Barresi (Tool, Kyuss, Melvins, selected and tested 6267 Simply changing the VIN head to achieve The Jesus Lizard), John Paterno vacuum tube. the desired sound is an excellent design concept (Bonnie Raitt, Joan Osborne, that allows users to add to their microphone Los Lobos) to B2 – a famous collection without the hassle of purchasing Russian band. separate models. 28 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  • 29. microphones 2010+ VIOLET DESIGN+ + + + VIOLET DESIGN+ + + + VIOLET DESIGN+ + + + The Flamingo Junior The Finger The Flamingo Junior Series The Finger uses a single medium diaphragm of studio microphones transducer to provide detailed sound with are side-addressed smooth transparent highs, optimal presence, unidirectional microphones and natural low-end response with a designed for professional unidirectional polar pattern. The Finger has a audio recording where unique body design with an integrated tapered sound quality and reflector which reduces resonances, removes musical character is of reflections, and optimises the microphone’s the utmost importance. cardioid polar pattern. Integrated damping of The Junior uses a single- the transducer reduces stand rumble, outside diaphragm cardioid infrasonic interference, and mechanical electrostatic transducer, shocks. The Finger microphones are designed providing vintage tone for very wide applications, including ambient, with transparent highs, musical instrument, and vocal needs. Musical optimized vocal presence, instruments include drums, piano, guitars, and fundamental low- percussion, bowed strings, and many other frequency register with instruments. Vocals include choir and distanced minimal proximity effect. lead vocal applications. The Junior microphone is designed for the recording studio all-round needs, capable of capturing vocals, piano, guitars, drums, The Black Knight percussion, strings, The Black Knight uses a large dual-diaphragm, wind, and other musical side-terminated, condenser capsule. It instruments and sound sources. possesses a detailed and natural musical sound with transparent highs and a smooth midrange, The Amethyst Vintage with a subtle vocal presence bump at The Amethyst Series of studio 3kHz, flat low-frequency response, and microphones utilise capsules with a unidirectional cardioid polar pattern. 6-micron gold sputtered Mylar The acoustically open transducer diaphragms tensioned and head minimises internal resonances adjusted on precisely made brass and reflections so that even the most backplates. They possess very minute sound details are authentically fast impulse transient response captured. An integrated swivel-mount without sound colouration or allows for fast and handy positioning low frequency reduction, as of the transducer head. The internal well as the ability to handle phantom powered preamplifier’s Class louder sound pressure A fully discrete transformerless circuit levels. The Amethyst provides very high output, flat audio- Vintage has a grey/ response, and ultra-low distortion blue body and uses a and noise. Gold-plated contacts dual large-diaphragm, on the output connector provide a centre terminated dual noise-free connection. The Black back plate capsule that Knight is a very accomplished and provides a classical, well-balanced design, offering real wide-spectrum, vintage Violet Design LTD. value for money, and would make microphone sound. It has P.O.Box 3393, Tallinn, an excellent first mic for anyone a unidirectional cardioid 10506, Estonia setting up a home studio on a polar pattern with minimal t (+372) 6455007 reasonable budget, easily proximity effect and a wide frontal f (+372) 6466054 delivering quality results from any source. incidence angle. e w THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 29
  • 30. Microphone Manufacturers DirectoryADK MICROPHONES AKG AUDIO LTD AVLEX BERLINER AUDIOADK Microphones was 2007 marked the Based in High Wycombe, In Kansas City, USA, Avlex is USA-based Berlinerestablished in 1997 by 60th anniversary Audio Ltd produces about rugged cost effective Audio introduced its firstrecording engineer and for AKG. Founded a number of wireless solutions solutions principally for microphone, the CM33 hand-vintage microphone collector, in Vienna in 1947 for theatrical and broadcast presentation and theatre matched stereo pair in 2007Larry Villella, to replicate the AKG has grown a applications. The Envoy range applications. Other audio and has since followed thissonic attributes of vintage great deal from is designed for ENG news applications are covered with four further models. TheEuropean microphones five workers hand crews who are looking for high with microphone ranges with range fit a variety of recordingthrough spectrum analysis building microphones, to quality and reliability. The different brand names. Mipro applications.and computer modelling of become one of the principal RMS2040 range of wireless microphones are a line of www.berlineraudio.comthe response curves of his microphone manufacturers products received a recent wireless systems for locationfavourite microphones. with a product range that edition with the miniTX and broadcast use, and BEYERDYNAMICA wide range of FET, spans all areas of professional wireless transmitter. Superlux microphones are for beyerdynamic hastransformerless and tube audio, many becoming more studio specific uses. evolved into one ofmicrophones make up the established classics. AKG the better knownADK range, which has just microphones include the AUDIO TECHNICA manufacturers sinceadded the Vienna MKII and Blue Line range of modular Audio AZDEN CORPORATION its beginnings back inHamburg MKII. mics; lavalier; instrument; live, Technica East coast USA Azden 1924. began back Corporation has some 40 recording… the list is endless. in a number of audio in 1962 years of experience utilising areas continue, andAEA MICROPHONES in Tokyo’s CAD and SMT technology to beyerdynamic condenser,Audio Engineering Associates’ AMBIENT RECORDING Shinjuku- create a number of standard ribbon and general dynamic(AEA) Wes Dooley drew upon Ambient Recording was Ko district and wireless transduction microphones, still form thehis 40 years of experience founded in 1989, and was manufacturing state of the art solutions. Originally an OEM backbone of many studios’and passion for ribbon originally a company dealing stereo phono cartridges. Now manufacturer for many of the mic collections.microphones when he with sound equipment rentals a global group, Audio Technica world’s best known brands, www.beyerdynamic.comreintroduced the AEA R44 and transfers. is involved in the manufacture the last 15 years has seen(based on the RCA 44) back It now manufactures a of audio equipment across the Azden raise its own brand BLUE MICROPHONESin 1998. Since then AEA has number of products for whole spectrum of identity, providing low cost Headquartered in Westlakeintroduced mic preamps location recording based on the industry. microphone systems for event Village in California,specifically for ribbon use the founders’ considerable Its range of microphones and wedding videography use. and with engineeringalongside other ribbon experience. illustrates this diversity with and manufacturingmicrophones, including the Ambient has a couple of cost effective solutions for facilities in Latvia,well-regarded R84. microphones, the Tinymike, a semi-pro use through to high BEHRINGER Blue Microphones mini camera mounted shotgun end models for applications Uli Behringer founded the come a long microphone and in live, broadcast, studio, company that takes his name way since 1995 whenAEVOX AUDIO the Emesser bi-directional mini commercial and industrial. back in 1989 in Germany. founders SkipperHandmade in Belgium, Aevox microphone. Since then Behringer has Wise and MartinAudio produces a range of grown to have offices in 10 Saulespurens put together amicro/lavalier microphones AUDIX countries distributing a wide few hand built microphonesand accessories for use with AMG ELECTRONICS Starting life back in 1984 in range of audio products. for fellow musician friends.portable recorders, video Sitting on the Surrey/ Redwood California, Audix Behringer has a range of Blue has some of the mostcameras, wireless packs and Hampshire borders, AMG moved to Oregon in 1991 general purpose dynamic distinctive looking mics forcomputers. The range includes Electronics produces a number where it established a state and condenser microphones recording purposes, andthe IE (In Ear) stereo MKII of different configurations of of the art manufacturing including the B-2 Pro and through their Vintage Micmicrophones for discreet or its C-ducer (Capacitive-Trans- facility, where the quality stereo pair C-2. Store has further examples asbinaural recording, power Ducer) microphone. of its microphones could be well as vintage mic restorationadapter, wind shield, and the Available in various lengths, controlled from start services.Omni Classic M MKII which 1mm thick, flexible and light to finish. BEIJING 797 AUDIO www.bluemic.comboasts extended frequency weight, the C-ducer can Audix focuses on simple, Founded in 1952, Beijing 797response and reduced be formed to all shapes of elegant designs with Audio is now a very large BOCK AUDIO DESIGNShandling noise. instrument surface. microphones covering concern with development, From 1996 to 2006, applications in corporate, manufacturing and testing studio tech (Hit Factory, live, broadcast, and studio. facilities. It has the largest Oceanway) David Bock ran AMT Amongst them is the anechoic chamber in Asia Soundelux Microphones. Applied Microphone respected D-series of drum and its microphone range Concerned with producing Technology has been microphones. encompasses condensers, high-end microphones for manufacturing microphones dynamics and a wide variety recording applications, for seventeen years, and of wireless and electret David continues to develop takes the approach of microphones for broadcast his designs through southern producing microphones for and presentation use. California-based Bock Audio. specific instruments without compromise. www.appliedmic.com30 MICROPHONE MANUFACTURERS DIRECTORY
  • 31. microphones 2010BRAUNER MICROPHONES COLES ELECTROACOUSTICS ELATION HEBDEN SOUND JJLABSDirk Brauner was developing Coles in Hertfordshire Many decades of research Since 2003, Sheffield-based Started in Stockolm by Johanideas with tube microphone continues to manufacture and development have led Hebden Sound Ltd has and Jerker Antoni in 2000,circuits back in 1993 looking the BBC-designed ribbon Russian company Elation supplied the HS3000 series JJLabs has a comprehensiveto create the world’s best microphones that include the to manufacture its own of interchangeable capsule range of tube, ribbon, andtube microphone. Initially ever-popular 4038. microphones. Limited to microphones, which are still conventional condensercreating a limited number a single large and single only available directly from and dynamic microphones.of handcrafted microphones small diaphragm condenser Hebden Sound. It also has the unique Ehrlundbased on his VM1 design, COUNTRYMAN ASSOCIATES microphone, and bass triangle membrane condenserdemand led to the start With more than 30 years drum mic. microphone designed toof Brauner Microphones of experience, Countryman HEIL SOUND deliver the desirable traitsin 1995 which now boasts Associates manufactures The origins of Heil Sound from both small and largean impressive collection of microphones for a variety of ELECTROVOICE date back to the 1950s diaphragm condensers.microphones still headed up live applications including Electrovoice has been when organist Bob Heil, www.jjlabs.seby the VM1. theatre, presentation and developing pro audio began to mentally live music. The range consists products principally in the the sounds around him. Heil JOEMEEK of a number of mini and area of sound reinforcement began to experiment with Referencing many of theCAD MICROPHONES micro microphones for these for over 80 years. Its design and manufacture of experiments made by JoeCAD Microphones situations. microphone range illustrates organs. He then transferred his Meek in the early to midmanufactures a variety of this orientation in both experience to other musical 1960s, Joemeek continues tovisually distinct condenser, its standard and wireless forms with great success. The provide cost effective solutionstube, ribbon, and instrument- DPA MICROPHONES microphone products. 90s saw Heil move into the for project and pro audio, withspecific microphones. microphone market with the a range of general HC series, and now Heil has a small and large diaphragm FOSTEX range that leans towards live condenser and dynamic Founded by the Foster applications. microphones.CASCADE MICROPHONES Electronic Company in www.joemeek.comUS-based Cascademicrophones produces a Tokyo back in 1973, initiallywide variety of types, but is In 1992, Danish company to deliver high quality HOLOPHONE JOSEPHSON ENGINEERINGprobably best know for it’s Bruel and Kjaier took the speaker components to Musician and sound Since 1998 Josephsonrange of ribbon microphones decision to spin off its pro customers for Foster, which designer Michael Godfrey Engineering, as well asand the retro styling of many audio division and outsource was well established in the founded Holophone in producing and supplyingof its designs, including the sales and service of its 4000 development of transducer Toronto, Canada, in 1994 capsules to other microphoneFat Head II. series microphones to the technologies. Fostex has come looking to deliver the most manufacturers, has former employees that to establish itself in location realistic listening experience its own range of microphones designed them. It formed recording and broadcast audio from recorded audio. for studio, location, live Danish Pro Audio and since applications, with a number of Holophone has a number of and instrument specificCHAMELEON LABS 1994 has introduced new mics for these areas. microphone products that applications.Chameleon is a relatively new products into its line. These can accommodate surround www.josephson.comcompany with the strap line include mini, compact, large applications.“Value Conscious Audio.” It diaphragm and reference GROOVE TUBES JZ MICROPHONESmakes a selection of audio test microphones, and also Formed in California in the Over the past decade, Latvianproducts, including the the only phantom powered late 1970s by Aspen Pittman, HORCH AUDIO manufacturing companyTS-1 Tube Pencil condenser underwater microphone, the who gathered together some German company Horch Scruples ventured intomicrophone, and the TS-2 P48 Hydrophone. technicians to explore why it Audio manufactures three the pro audio market withlarge diaphragm tube was that tubes performed and retro styled tube microphones, products including mics undercondenser sounded so different. From a the RM3, RM4 and RM2J for the Violet brand. Scruples EARTHWORKS AUDIO garage workshop to a global high-end recording work. created a spin off company, Formed in New Hampshire company, Groove Tubes now JZ Microphones, that hasCHARTEROAK ACOUSTICS by David Blackmer, the produces a range of tube, FET now been established toFounded by producer/engineer inventor and founder of dbx, and ribbon microphones that concentrate on microphoneMichael Deming in Connecticut ISK MICROPHONES Earthworks Audio looks to still includes the MD1. 2002, CharterOak is all ISK is a Surrey-based mic develop the next generation www.jzmic.comabout creating the classic manufacturer, and produces of audio products, includingmicrophones of tomorrow. top-quality microphones for microphones with its HighAll tube and solid state HHB COMMUNICATIONS broadcast and home stuios. Definition Microphonemicrophones are assembled HHB entered the mic range. Both general useand inspected by hand, market with an innovative and instrument specificwith each being studio tested range of recording mics aimed microphones are designedbefore shipping to at audio journalists and field to pick up sound withthe customer. recordists. In collaboration much higher fidelity with Sennheiser, HHB now conventional designs. has a range of devices with various options, including the increasingly popular FlashMic. THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 31
  • 32. KATAMOUNT ENTERPRISES MBHO MILAB MICROPHONES Sennheiser group in 1991, PRISM SOUNDKatamount Enterprises was Established in Obrighelm The Milab story begins in and this branch of Neumannestablished in Canada in 1999 in 1962 by Herbert Haun, 1941 with Rune Rosander is focused on continuing itsas a distribution company MBHO has been producing producing crystals, and then long tradition of high quality Prism Sound has beenfor post and broadcast, but high quality microphones subsequently carbon and industry wide microphones. supplying successful highnow manufactures its own ever since. Ninety five percent dynamic mics. In the late quality analogue and digitalproducts including its of the MBHO range is still 1960s, the rectangular capsule studio products for 23 years.KAT66 Lavalier mics. handmade and includes both and double-sided rectangular OKTAVA Originally set up as an R& modular and fixed capsule capsule were developed and For many years, being the consultancy, Prism Sound now condenser and dynamic are still produced today. largest manufacturer of manufactures its own high- microphones. The name Milab came into electro-acoustic transducers end recording and masteringLAUTEN AUDIO being in 1970 and now Milab in Russia has given Octava productsLauten Audio is committed manufactures a full range of a great background for www.prismsound.comto producing high-end MERCENARY AUDIO microphones including the producing their ownmicrophones with an ‘original The straight-talking team brand new BDM-01 bass drum microphone range. This is RICSONIXsound’. Loudenslager worked at Mercenary Audio are microphone. now a large collection of Based in Australia, Ricsonixwith some of the biggest all engineers who sell an tube, ribbon, electret, and manufactures several pin/microphone brands in theworld before forming the impressive array of high-end conventional microphones button microphones designedcompany whose ethic now is audio equipment. They also MOJAVE AUDIO for all manner of studio to be hidden behind a buttonto design mics that present manufacture the KM-69, born David Royer established applications. or badge. The MITS-2 featuresan accurate rendition of the out of a need for a KM-84i for Mojave Audio in his garage a built in windshield.source while adding an artistic hi-hats. The sound of the mic in Fullerton California in www.ricsonix.comcharacter of its own. Its line- was created over time solely 1985. Known for his ribbon PEARL MICROPHONESup comprises the Oceanus, by listening and using, microphone designs with Pearl shares the same origins RODE MICROPHONESClarion, Torch, and Horizon. and was designed to a Royer Labs, Mojave Audio is as Milab and owes much Rode came into particular aesthetic end the outlet for David Royer’s to the designs of Rune after Henry and Astrid rather than a set of numeric tube microphone designs. Rosander. Based in Sweden, Freeman emigrated from specifications. Pearl produces a number of Sweden to Australia in 1967.LAWSON MICROPHONESFounded by Gene Lawson conventional and tube mics. Their background in audioin 1979, and now hand MXL MICROPHONES product development withincrafted in Nashville, Lawson MICROTECH GEFELL MXL Microphones are their own Freeman GroupMicrophones’ range of award The origins of Microtech designed and manufactured PEAVEY of companies led to thewinning high end tube and Gefell can be traced to 1928 by US-based manufacturers After graduating college in development and release ofFET microphones, with their when Georg Neumann and Marshall Electronics. The 1965, Hartley Peavey started the first Rode Microphone indistinctive look, are desired Erich Rickmann formed brand has a variety of his company using the logo he 1990.the world over. Georg Neumann and Co. In standard microphone types came up with while doodling The Rode range 1943, production moved to aimed at the expanding ‘cost- in his notebook. Peavey’s grown in number and Gefell, where many years of effective’ market for good products are known the world reputation since then, with developing and producing quality products. over and have mic units for quality, affordable tube andMANLEY LABORATORIES some classic products took use in the studio, speciality, conventional microphones forSince 1989 Manley place. The range of Microtech and sound reinforcement broadcast and studio use.Laboratories has focused on Gefell microphones is NADY SYSTEMS INC market. www.rodemic.comthe development of a numberof products based on tube extensive. Founded by John Nady in www.peavey.comdesigns. Amongst these are 1976, Nady Systems Inc was, ROXDONthe range of Manley tube and remains, at the forefront PELUSO MICROPHONE LAB London-based RoXdonmicrophones, which include MICW of wireless mic design. Nady All Peluso mics are custom produces high-end mics andthe Manley stereo tube was amongst the first to designed, handcrafted, pop filters for recording andreference microphone. address the issues of noise and individually tested in broadcast studios, which reduction in wireless systems Virginia. The range features distributed worldwide through and, by 1985, eighty percent tube, ribbon, and solid state Wild Distribution. of the world’s top artists were versions that benefit from www.wilddistribution.comM-AUDIO Designed, developed, and using Nady systems.Nady the company’s 26 years ofFormed in 1988, and now part manufactured by BSWA has branched out and now experience in repairing and ROYER LABSof Avid, M-Audio is focused Technology, the MicW brand includes a comprehensive restoring all brands of vintage Formed in 1998 to bring Davidon computer based products delivers professional mics for range of studio condenser, and modern microphones. Royer’s ribbon designs toand those aimed to provide recording, broadcasting, and ribbon, instrument specific, Furthermore, all mics are the world, Royer produces asolutions to mobile musicians. live music applications. MicW and USB mics. protected by a three year wide and respective range ofThe M-Audio microphone was established in 1998 and warranty for peace of mind. ribbons that include uniqueselection includes a number claims to be the first company tube and phantom poweredof general-purpose units to introduce the electro-static NEUMANN ribbon microphones.including the lollipop large transit response technique With roots going back to www.royerlabs.comdiaphragm condenser, Luna. for microphone evaluation, Berlin in 1928, Neumann as well as instigators in the been involved in the design use of polymer diaphragms and manufacture of a wide for measuring microphone range of audio products, but structures. it is with microphones that the name is most associated. Neumann became part of the32 MICROPHONE MANUFACTURERS DIRECTORY
  • 33. microphones 2010SAGE ELECTRONICS SD SYSTEMS SONTRONICS SYMPHOTEC TRINNOV AUDIOSage Electronics was founded A group of sax players Designed and developed in German company Symphotec Trinnov Audio specialisesin 2002, and is operated by banded together to create the UK and hand crafted set about designing a in the digital processing oflong-time record producer a mic able to capture their in Shanghai, Sontronics microphone specifically for the acoustic fields. Trinnov hasPhillip Victor Bova, his wife instrument while facilitating produces uncompromising purpose of producing a better, produced the SRP SurroundJanet Kirby and their son stage freedom. In 1981 SD high performance mics at more faithful, reproduction array of microphones, basedPhilip Shaw Bova. It produces Systems was born with the affordable prices. The range of orchestral and concert hall on a breakthrough speciala number of pro audio bell-mounted solution that includes distinctive condenser, presentations. This resulted high resolution technology.products that includes the they developed, the LCM85. tube, and ribbon designs. in the Symphotec Orchestral www.trinnov.comSE-BB1 Bova Ball Spherically The SD Systems microphone Management System.mounted condenser range now encompasses mini VIOLET DESIGNmicrophone. and contact mics for a wide Violet has been range of instruments. TELEFUNKEN developing and Sony has a long history when Telefunken started manufacturing it comes to microphones andSAMSON has produced a few classics in life early in the in Latvia sinceSamson began 26 years ago SE ELECTRONICS its time both old and new. The 20th C in wireless 2003, where itdesigning and producing The origins of sE Electronics current range reflects Sony’s telegraphy, with produces a rangewireless mic systems. Since are with Mr Siwei Zou, a continued involvement in all the German Army of distinctivethen Samson has diversified classical musician from pro audio arenas. and Imperial Navy and colourfulinto a number of areas of Shanghai who developed its first customers. microphonesaudio equipment production products in Shanghai before Today, its products – a combination of tube,that includes a large number entering the European market are sold in 130+ solid-state, large and small SOUNDFIELDof conventional, ribbon, and in 2003. The mic product countries worldwide and is diaphragm condensers. Based in the UK and formedUSB microphones. line includes tube, ribbon, symbolic of the quality of in 1993, Soundfield modular and conventional sound craft. manufactures and continues microphones. The companys to develop its unique multi VOICE TECHNOLOGIESSANKEN MICROPHONES newest addition, the RNR1 capsule tetrahedral design Voice Technologies is focusedSanken Microphones is based active ribbon microphone, T.H.E for both enhanced stereo and on mics for use in broadcast,in Tokyo and has focused on is the fruit of a joint Based in Connecticut, Taylor multi-channel applications. theatre, film, video, andproducing simple original collaboration with Rupert Hohendahl Engineering conference applications. Acondenser and dynamic Neve. produces beautifully crafted range of miniature lavaliersmicrophone designs for studio, microphones designed by SOUNDKING and headset mics arebroadcast, and live use Andy Hohendahl. The range available. The Soundking Group Ltdsince 1926. SENNHEISER includes reference condensers, of China specialises in Sennheiser has modular mics, and a binaural research and development been delivering sphere. of a variety of products in WUNDER AUDIOSCHERTLER top of the line pro audio. In the microphone Wunder Audio has comeSchertler started life pro audio for category, it has a wide range from refurbishing vintagein the early 1980s in more than 50 TRAM LAVALIERS of mic types and kits. equipment to producingSwitzerland with a mission years, providing the backbone TRAM manufacturers the products that give a big nod toto produce mics for faithful of many studios’ microphone famous TR-50 lavalier past classics. Wunder producescapturing of acoustic string cabinets, whether it be music, omni-directional mic, which SOUNDMAN handmade transformers forinstruments. Schertler now broadcast, post, live, or comes with a huge range of Headquartered in Berlin all of its products including ahas a well-established and location. Sennheiser has accessories for many different and founded in 2001, range of high-end tube mics.comprehensive range of a microphone range that configurations and mountings. Soundman have developed www.wunderaudio.comcontact microphones for a is truly diverse covering every the OKM dummy headcross section of acoustic string nook and cranny of microphone. An electret XXL INSIDEinstruments. the industry. condenser microphone for TRANTEC XXL supplied technical use in live, voice, and other Based in London and running to some of the top names environmental recording now for over a decade, in the audio sector beforeSCHOEPS SHURE Trantec was formed by Steve applications. The company venturing into production.Founded in 1948 by Dr Founded in Chicago in 1925 also produces the OKM II Rock Baker, Dave Binks and Terry XXL’s mic collection includesSchoeps, the company has selling radio Studio version. Maybe, who developed and studio condenser andspecialised in the design and parts, Shure subsequently specialised in dynamic, miniature lavalier,manufacture of high quality produced its wireless mic solutions. Trantec and headset microphones.condenser microphones first microphone now supply to broadcast and STUDIO PROJECTSfor over half a century. The in 1932 and theatre clients. The Trantec In conjunction with partnerSchoeps range is now an has not looked range includes the SD7000 company 797 Audio, US- ZAXCOMextensive one with condenser back. It now digital wireless. based Studio Projects looks Known primarily for itssolutions for has a collection to provide a quality general Deva location recorders andall manner of studio, of wired and wireless mics purpose microphone product digital wireless systems,broadcast, live, and location including the ubiquitous with German type build Zaxcom produces the ZFR800scenarios, as well as surround SM58. More recently Shure standards at a fraction of handheld digital recordingapplications. Inc. has acquired Crowley and the cost. The company has mic for field Tripp Ribbon Microphones recently released the CS series and broadcast journalism from Soundwave Research of studio microphones. applications. Laboratories. THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 33
  • 34. Microphone BasicsThe foundation of good microphone practice is technical knowledge. Blažo Guzina provides arun-down of the basics for anybody just getting to grips with the wibbly bits...Microphones have different overall physical diaphragm (very thin foil) and a fixed metal microphone sensitivity with respect to theand electrical characteristics and are classifiable plate (back electrode). direction of soundwaves arriving at itsinto three main groups, based on the physical These two electrodes make up a condenser membrane.principle of converting sound into an electrical (capacitor) charged by an externally applied A chart is usually plotted in the form ofsignal: electrodynamic coil, electrodynamic voltage (polarization voltage) or carrying its own a 360° polar diagram, with the on-axis 0°ribbon, and electrostatic (or condenser) permanent electrical charge, as with an electret direction clearly marked. It is possible to classifymicrophones. microphone. microphones into two main groups, based on When soundwaves vibrate the diaphragm, their directional characteristics: non-directionalDynamic Microphone the capacitance of the condenser changes and directional microphones.The electrodynamic moving-coil microphone simultaneously, thus producing an output In principle, a non-directional microphone ishas a coil of finely wrapped wire precisely voltage that varies with the intensity andsuspended between the poles of a magnet frequency of the sound. a pressure-operated electroacoustic transducer.and attached to a diaphragm. Soundwaves Condenser microphones usually have a flat Its response to acoustic sound pressure isdrive the diaphragm, which vibrates in a high- frequency response, high sensitivity and good omnidirectional, meaning that the diaphragmlevel magnetic field. In the coil, this movement ability to follow sudden, percussive sound events reacts equally to all soundwaves arriving at itsinduces a voltage, which corresponds to the immediately. This is described as good transient surface, regardless of their direction.sound pressure. response. A typical example of a directional Dynamic microphones are very rugged Condenser microphones require an microphone is a pressure-gradient transducer.and handle high sound pressures without impedance converter in the form of a This type has a bidirectional (or figure-of-eight)overloading. They are reliable and virtually never preamplifier to match the very high output polar diagram. This means the microphonedistort the sound signal. They are insensitive impedance to low impedance microphone reacts to differences in pressure between theto extreme heat, cold, and high air humidity. inputs. This amplifier fits within the body of two sides of a diaphragm.Dynamic microphones can usually withstand the microphone in order to prevent hum, noise Ribbon microphones are the most commonextreme environmental conditions such as pickup and the losses of the signal level due to type with a bidirectional polar response. Atemperatures from -25°C to +70°C. the length of the circuit from the diaphragm to metal ribbon diaphragm is equally sensitive to the amplifier.Ribbon Microphone soundwaves arriving from front and rear axes.The electrodynamic ribbon mic has a thin Phantom Power All other known directional patternsmetal foil in the form of a corrugated ribbon Condenser microphones need a DC supply are obtainable as a result of a combination ofsuspended in a magnetic field. Sound pressure voltage. Except for battery operated the aforementioned two main polar patternvariations displace the diaphragm, in which microphones, the voltage usually comes through types. The number of variations is practicallyan electrical current is induced depending on the microphone cable. The positive (+) side of unlimited.the amplitude and frequency of sound. Due a DC voltage connects to both signal wires of a When the outputs of an omnidirectionalto the short length of the ribbon compared balanced line and the negative (ñ) side to the (pressure) and bidirectional (pressure-gradient)to the moving coil, its output electrical cable screen. pickup pattern are combined, the best knownimpedance is less than 1 Ω. This resistance is An exception is the electret condenser resulting polar responses that are obtainable aretoo low to directly connect to the microphone microphone. This type of microphone has the cardioid, supercardioid, and hypercardioid. Theirinput of a mixing desk or recorder, so a step- polarizing charge stored permanently within common name is unidirectional microphones.up transformer is needed to increase the the diaphragm or on the backplate. No external A unidirectional microphone is most sensitiveimpedance up to the 150Ω to 600Ω range. power is required to charge the diaphragm. to soundwaves arriving from one direction, in Due to constructional improvements, front of the microphone, but softens soundsmodern ribbon mics are suitable for outdoor and Polar Patternshandheld use. They are prized for their warm, Apart from the basic differences in the physical from the sides or rear.smooth, yet delicate sound quality. principle of operation, the main factor that The cardioid microphone is sensitive to influences the choice of a microphone is its sounds from a broad angle in front of theCondenser Microphone polar pattern. microphone. Generally, it is about 6dB lessThe electrostatic (condenser) microphone uses Polar pattern, also known also as polar sensitive at the sides, at 90° and 270°, and 15 toa transducer element consisting of a vibrating response, is a chart that graphically represents 25dB less sensitive to the rear.34 MICROPHONE BASICS
  • 35. Up to 12dBbetter isolationagainst unwanted noiseInVision Universal Studio Mount TMGet serious about your vocal soundREMOVE THE WEAK LINK FROM YOUR RECORDING CHAINIf you want a quality vocal sound, you need quality componentsall the way down the line. Rather than let your sound downwith a throwaway elastic microphone cradle, get yourself a21st-century microphone mount.The virtually unbreakable InVision™ USM ts anylarge-diaphragm recording mic from 18 to 55mm in diameter,will never lose its tension or need re-threading, and o ers up totwice the attenuation of handling and stand-borne noiseo ered by traditional elasticated mic mounts.Be serious all the way from your singer to your nal mix.Get a Rycote USM. UK RRP £74.95 inc VATSEE AND HEAR THE RYCOTE USM IN ACTION! US Pro Net PriceVisit: $119.99 Rycote Microphone Windshields Ltd For more information, Libby’s Drive, Slad Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 1RN, UK please visit our website at Tel: +44 (0) 1453 759338 Fax: +44 (0) 1453 764249 Email: