AudioMedia Microphone Guide 2010


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AudioMedia Microphone Guide 2010

  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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