AudioMedia Microphone Guide 2011


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AudioMedia Microphone Guide 2011

  2. 2. Scan with a QR reader on your smartphone to see the NT2A video From the people that brought you the biggest selling studio recording microphone of the century comes the NT2A – a large diaphragm condenser mic combining extraordinary sound quality with almost limitless versatility. With variable polar patterns, pads and filters, the NT2A delivers stunning recordings on everything from vocals and acoustic instruments to drums and guitar cabs. Truly a microphone for life.Amazing value, the NT2A Studio Solution pack combinesan NT2A mic with a FREE shockmount, pop shield, miccable, dust cover and DVD guide to recording. Find out more at Exclusively distributed in the UK & Ireland by Source • • T: 020 8962 5080
  3. 3. Welcome to Microphones 2011, an International contents Buyer’s Guide. We’ve scoured the ever-widening market of professional microphone products for4 Alan Branch Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . your convenience, and thrown in a few informative and hopefully thought provoking articles from experts in the field. 5 Talking Voice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Newly updated and refreshed for this year, Microphones 2011 is a collection of promotional articles looking at some of the world’s leading microphone manufacturers and their products. Inside you’ll find the stories behind the gear – the ethos’ 6 Taming Of The Talent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 directory of mic manufacturers, and included three articles around the subject of microphone technology and recording technique, specifically for 8 AKG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the audio pro. 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 the10 Audio Technica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . range of basic principles in microphone technology is relatively small, the variations on these themes are incredibly numerous – we’ve listed over 90 manufacturers in our directory, from all over the world, most offering choice across several transducer or electronic approaches.12 Audix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You might be a film or drama location recordist, a music studio 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’14 Beyerdynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of microphone practise, placement, and choice. 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 a16 DPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . handful of high-profile manufacturers, but would like a greater breadth of awareness when it comes to the ‘alternatives’? Whatever your needs, Microphones 2011 should be able to help. It should be a place to begin your search. Microphones 2011 is a project developed by Audio Media18 Prism Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Worldwide ( Audio Media concerns itself with the business of production and production technology for professional creatives, operators, technicians, and engineers everywhere.20 sE Electronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Mac, Editor22 Sennheiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AUDIO MEDIA (UK) Tel: +44 (0)1354 669960 - Fax: +44 (0)1354 66996524 Schoeps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sales Manager Editorial Manager (Europe) Graham Kirk Lanna Marshall Editor Design & Production Manager Paul Mac John-Paul Shirreffs26 Shure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jp.shirreffs@audiomedia.com28 Manufacturers Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mic www.nbmedia.com30 Microphone Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The contents of this publication are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or in part, whether 11 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. © 2011 NewBay Media. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. + + + + MIC TIPS + + + + MIC TIPS+ + + + MIC TIPS+ + + + MIC TIPS+ + + + MIC TIPS+ + + + MIC TIPS+ + + + MIC TIPS+ + + + MIC TIPS+ Microphone Tips Recording with a microphone is often more simple than people think. With correct placement, the right mic choice, and the most direct route to the recorder you can create a high quality recording with a natural tone and good rejection of unwanted noise. 1. Mic Placement does. Listen to the instrument being played a good start – that’s two cardioid mics placed This has to be the most important point of this in your recording room, then listen to your facing each other at right angles, so the heads list, if you remember anything from this list recording – does it sound as rich and detailed, are nearly toughing each other. This keeps remember MIC PLACEMENT. Experiment with or a thin and poor impression? Obviously if the phase problems down and is simple to adjust moving the mic around the instrument, try using recording room is not so nice it’s more of a job on one stereo mic stand for trying different one ear by turning it toward the instrument and of getting the instrument to sound right first heights. Don’t forget a room mic or two, these moving around till you find a sweet spot. then finding a mic position. can be any type of mic, I’ve even used talk back Sounds obvious I know, but I never cease to be mics (really nice as it can have some kind of amazed at poor recordings because someone’s 5. Recording vocals hard compression built in) dynamics, condensers, placed a mic in a less than optimum position, Dead, dead, and even deader is how you want ribbons, different distances from the kit and such as next to a rattling drum or air con unit! your room. Any reflections recorded onto a positioning in different directions. I often put vocal take are impossible to get rid of, and lots up and delete the ones I don’t like later. 2. Mic Settings don’t normally sound very nice. The use of the With some nice EQ and compression the For the majority of recordings the pick-up modern day mic sound filter that envelopes room mics can add extreme power to your pattern is normally set to cardioid, however the mic by placing a half round sound proof drum sound. omni is the purest pattern and has a more barrier is almost standard now as they stop natural sound if you have a good enough room. reflections of the voice in the room bouncing 8. Drums - No Gate! Patterns like super cardioid and hypercardioid, back into the mic, the sE Reflexion filter being Don’t gate kits when recording, just don’t do it – are all basic extensions of the cardioid ‘rejection’ the most popular. Position a singer’s mic slightly you’ll end up chopping off a lightly played press shape, so a singer recording in front of the above but facing their mouth – this angle helps roll or similar and the producer will never employ speakers because they don’t like headphones them open their throat more. Use a pop shield you again, then again nor will the drummer. or only have one room may use a supercardioid or get them to sing off axis so wind isn’t blowing dynamic mic and place the mic with the directly into the mic diaphragm. 9. Recording General speakers to its rear. Record everything, usually the takes when the 6. Drums – Kick And Toms player or singer doesn’t know it’s recording can 3. Recording Rooms Placement is key. With the kick drum mic, the often be the best, and the first takes can often Poor room acoustics need help. Are there any closer to the beater, the less bass you get – often have the most vibe before they get bored of unwanted noises? Can you isolate them? engineers use two, one by the beater and one the song. Is the instrument best placed in the room? inside the sound hole or if the head is off just Try a different mic, try adding more dampening above the floor of the drum. Be careful the 10. Standfirst to the walls – or some corrugated metal roof snare mic doesn’t pick up too much high hat by Watch for mic stands moving or touching sheets if you want it more ‘live’. Remember to positioning it with the hat to the rear, sometimes a drum kit, these will only ruin an otherwise remove anything that might rattle or make noise tricky with certain drummers’ set-up. great recording, and sometimes you won’t get in the room – the usual culprits are someone Ringing toms have to be dampened – a second chance. forgetting to take the snare off the drum. tape, Moongel, O-rings, etc – these all help Use carpet for the mic stand and the singer to dampen the drums into a tight sound without 10. Inside-Out try and stop any foot tapping being picked up – losing power. There are lots of budget work Lastly make sure your mic is the right way and make sure the mic stand is tightly secured. arounds like old drum heads cut for O-rings, around! I got asked by a producer once who With a heavy mic and noise filter you don’t want plumber’s putty in place of Moongel, etc – was working in a studio next door why their it drooping in the middle of a take. just remember to use your ears. If it’s not vocal sounded so funny, was it the room or right keeping trying things out. the compression? I knew straight away when 4. Recording Instruments Normally dynamic mics are used throughout I heard it, and helped the engineer avoid Some instruments only record well with their the kit because of the high SPL – apart from embarrassment by pretending to adjust the natural sound which includes the room, you need overheads, which need condensers or ribbons mic, whereas in fact I just turned it round to capture a balance of the room and the direct to pick up the high frequencies of cymbals. the right way. sound, adjusting the mic distance until you find Overhead mics can be positioned in a variety of the right place. Too much of either results in the ways and placements depending on if you want instrument not sounding as good as it naturally more cymbals than toms, but an X-Y set-up is 4 MICROPHONE TIPS
  5. 5. + + + + TALKING VOICE+ + + + TALKING VOICE+ + + + TALKING VOICE+ + + + TALKING VOICE+ + + + TALKING VOICE+ + + + TALKING V Talking Voice Producer and Engineer TONY PLATT discusses his approach to recording vocals in the studio. V oalists often get a bad press, task is to find a place in the room that ‘sings Encouraging them to ‘work’ the microphone and accusations of being difficult or well’. This will also help to relax the singer and by leaning into quiet passages and moving being prima donnas are commonplace. reassure them that that you have their best away for the loud ones will provide quite Occasionally there may be substance to this, interests at heart. enough control over the dynamics, leaving the but mostly I think it’s a symptom of a neurosis My philosophy remains consistent for compressor to even out any inconsistencies. that is easy to understand. any source – get it sounding as close to your Some artists may not be capable of this and The voice is an instrument that cannot have intended sound as possible, and the rest will the compressor will need to be applied more its strings changed or heads tightened if it’s follow... exuberantly. The compressor will be bringing not sounding right; vocalists have to hope it A couple of years ago I was asked to produce another component to the overall sound and will deliver when they ask it to. They can (and the vocals for a singer in a goth rock band. therefore the right choice will get you closer to should) exercise and develop it to gain as much She was classically trained, with – potentially – the desired result. control as possible, but they also depend on a strong voice and wide range. Unfortunately, Incidentally, I have always found the the skills and understanding of producers and all her recordings felt and sounded timid – hardware 1176 compressors introduce engineers to capture it in all its glory. lacking the power they needed to compete unwelcome sibilance to most voices and avoid with the music. She never pushed her voice using them on vocals. However, several software The Final Frontier to full capacity because she had never heard, versions – such as the Bomb Factory one – do Any acoustic instrument depends on the space in the room or headphones, an accurate not display this characteristic, and I find them in which it is being played to reflect its delights representation of the effort she was putting into very useful. and nuances, so the first and most important the performance. At this stage I normally avoid EQ unless The solution was to walk around the studio, absolutely necessary – perhaps an HPF if there with her singing a couple of the bigger lines, until is rumble in the room, and sometimes a slight we found a place that had the right acoustics. middle roll-off if the voice is too harsh. The difference was instant – she started to sing 100 percent better and actually enjoyed the In The Mix experience. Once the vocal performance is captured and I Next, as I normally do at the start of a vocal get to the mix I can experiment with all sorts of session, we set up an assortment of microphones processing in the knowledge that the recording to try out. Generally I will lean towards using has as much power and depth as the artist is large diaphragm condensers for vocals, but I capable of delivering. Every mix is different and will never rule anything out if it gets the right there are no standard techniques for this stage. result. When recording Buddy Guy I had to use Even if an effect is considered inappropriate an SM58 for his vocals because he was singing for the genre, I try not to discount it – a in the same room as the band, with his guitar philosophy that I think stems from working with amplifier right behind him. He would move AC/DC. The band was adamant that if we used back and forth on the microphone, sometimes effects on any of the instruments, they weren’t over a foot away, yet his voice was always full to be heard. This made me think hard about and present – proof that there are times when how I used reverb and delays and so on, and remarkable artists require exceptional solutions. the result was an enhancement of the natural Experimenting with polar patterns can also organic power that is the AC/DC trademark. improve the results, though this will depend For example, the use of very short delays, on the voice and the room. For our goth rock sometimes with a little pitch change or even singer we used a figure-of-eight pattern because phasing can widen the sound of a vocal and sit I wanted to pick up some of the sound of her it more effectively into the mix, and I have gone voice in the room beyond the capsule, and I this route in all styles of music from metal to jazz. wasn’t keen on the side reflections. Neither am I adverse to introducing a little extra power by amplifying the voice and this Squeeze Gently has become much easier to try these days with After best position, microphone, and mic settings plug ins. are established, I will try different compressors. The vocal is, for me, very much the reference My goal is to apply just enough to pull in the full point for a mix and getting the right tone, range of the voice without losing the singer’s timbre, and perspective on it can develop a mix control over the timbre. more easily and quickly, but it’s not always easy! THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 5
  6. 6. + + + + THE TAMING OF THE TALENT + + + + THE TAMING OF THE TALENT+ + + + THE TAMING OF THE TALENT+ + + + THE TAMING O The Taming Of The Talent JERRY IBBOTSON gets expert insights on getting the best out of ADR. I remember it like it was yesterday: stressed over which is best. A good engineer two lumps of brown coffee.” sitting in the studio at a top London voice is also one who works out what they need to Meisner trained actors include legends like recording outfit. The voiceover talent (a guy give the actors, so that they can give their Robert Duvall, James Caan, Steve McQueen, off the telly) was in the booth and the producer best performance.” Gregory Peck, and Jeff Goldblum. from the games company was sitting on a sofa Tom’s recently worked with two different Mark puts his knowledge of such techniques behind me. I was there to act as an extra pair engineers in the same recording studio. to good use in the studio; providing actors with of ears and because I’d written the script. “One had a great personal touch and was happy as much information as possible about their After one take I turned to the producer and to make suggestions that kept the client calm. character and the situation they’re in. said, “Was that okay?” The other one just shrugged his shoulders and These cues may be visual, in the form of moving “What... oh... yeah... fine,” he said. said, ‘that’s not my decision’. I could see the or still images, or even audio, in the form of Then he went back to filling out his expenses client’s face muscles tighten”. sound effects. As Mark said, “This is not voice form. That, to me, sums up where voice over. This is acting.” recording can go horribly wrong: treated as an Thoughtful Thespians afterthought; a distraction from adding up taxi Someone who regularly sits on the other side of Take Two receipts. As a studio engineer or technician it the studio glass from Tom is Mark Estdale, who Another take on recording dialogue in the may not be your actual job to see that things go runs Outsource Media, one of the biggest players studio comes from Nick Kray, an ADR Mixer at smoothly but what happens when the producer in voice production for games. As a former actor, De Lane Lea in London. Nick’s been at DLL for goes AWOL, either literally or figuratively? he has an understanding of how thespians think six years and before that he worked at Skywalker “Some of the best engineers I work with and this is invaluable when it comes to teasing Sound. He took a break in recording to explain end up making decisions for the client. But they out the best performance. some of the tricks of his trade and talk about his still leave the client with the impression that it “Actors are like racehorses,” Mark said, whole ethos. was their choice,” actor Tom Clarke Hill told me. “They’re easily spooked. You need to “ADR is a dark art,” he said. “If I’m doing my Tom’s been an actor and voice artist for more communicate what is actionable – what they job it’s invisible.” than twenty years. He regularly lends his voice can actually do. If an actor can’t get a line, To be honest, talking to Nick provided a to video games, and TV and film productions. then chances are it’s a fault with the line, whole raft of quotes and ideas that will stick in He can’t speak highly enough of those studio not the actor.” the mind for a long time. Anyone who’s ever engineers who play an active role is recording According to Mark, one of the problems done a decent amount of voice recording will sessions. with recording dialogue for games is that echo many of his sentiments. Talking about ADR “A good studio person is the one who can say there is often no single coherent narrative. itself, he said, “It’s the only production work ‘That take is the one to use because...’ rather Because a game is broken down into small within post production. This is the only time in than simply sitting there letting the client get chunks, and because there may not be one post where live stuff is being made.” single outcome to the ‘story’, it’s harder for That’s something that he drives home to an actor to get a grip on their character. directors and actors who are stepping into the This is especially true for open-world, world of ADR for the first time, often reluctantly. ‘sand box’, games. He sits them down and stresses that ADR is not “My perspective is to understand how actors really post-production. They (the actors) are train and how they work,” he told me. “One way still performing, just as they were on set or on is the Meisner Technique, which is all about location. This is filming but without the cameras. truthfulness in performance.” The concept is the same as Mark Estdale’s quote For those not well versed in drama theory, from earlier – it’s not voice over at all. Stanford Meisner was an American theatre Then comes the comment that will stay with practitioner who gave his name to a method of me the longest, possibly because it’s something acting. It’s based on the idea that every action I see every day in my own production work. a character takes is in reaction to another. “My job is thirty per cent technical. Sit a character in a room on their own and And that thirty per cent is the same as most you’d never know, for example, that they were a people’s one hundred per cent. But the rest, fastidious control freak. Have them answer the the remaining seventy per cent, is public question, “What would you like to drink?” and relations. Dealing with people.” you’d quickly learn: “A coffee. Columbian. “It’s about getting people into the right Nick Kray. Freshly ground. Filtered. White whole milk and headspace to produce what’s needed in an alien 6 THE TAMING OF THE TALENT
  7. 7. microphones 2011OF THE TALENT+ + + + THE TAMING OF THE TALENT+ + + + THE TAMING OF THE TALENT+ + + + THE TAMING OF THE TALENT+ + + + landscape. They’re not on set any more and Bringing Fantasy To Life can’t, for example, see someone holding a gun One thing that voices can suffer from is the at them. They can’t see other people and react overwhelming feeling that the characters are off them in the same way.” standing in a Soho voice booth rather than in Which is where the public relations element the middle of a fantasy forest or in the thick of comes in. Nick goes to great lengths to talk a fire fight. If you think the audience doesn’t to the actors on a non-technical level; to get notice such things, believe me it does. to know them as people. He aims to find a What are the techniques that a voice common ground with them so that they’re not recordist can employ to help place a voice in fazed by being in a studio with a huge mixing the right environment? In Nick Kray’s work as desk staring at them. a movie ADR Mixer, it’s essential to replicate “I don’t want technology to get in the way. the sound of the original location dialogue as A desk and studio can look inhuman. So I sit closely as possible. A character has to ‘be’ in, down on the sofa with them to begin with for example, the Wild West and not just in W1. and we look at the scene we’re working on, “I’ll often find out what microphones over and over.” they used on set and hire some in for our He’s happy to admit that he’s a bit of session. Using location mics means half the a chameleon: changing how he behaves battle is won.” according to who he’s working with: “Some The next step is microphone placement. Tom Clarke-Hill. actors may not want to do certain things, so my Or rather, actor placement. “In the large theatre But to Nick, it’s still the human, personable job is find a way round that. Putting up barriers here at DLL, I can put an actor in the middle of approach that wins through. He judges a would frustrate the director, which is the exact the room with a few mics around them. successful session by the smile on the director’s opposite of what I’m trying to do.” They can get a sense of space and distance.” face and his willingness to share a few beers in Nick is sympathetic to actors who might Bearing in mind that Nick has worked on the pub afterwards. become aggravated in the ADR studio, some of the biggest movies in the world, he From actor Tom Clarke Hill comes a similar acknowledging that they are ultimately the swears by something of fairly humble origins message. “I got into voice work because I love ones who will be judged by their performance. and has been evangelising about it to studios sound. I didn’t get into it to crank the rubbish This comes back to ADR being invisible: a good in the States. out and leave. You need to be having some fun or bad performance will be laid at the actor’s “It’s the sE Reflexion Filter. I’ve stuck these hanging out with the actors and doing some feet, not the engineers. in the ADR theatre, quite far back from actor, recording at the same time. Get all the egos with a Schoeps boom mic inside. They allow me out of the way.” Session Opener to use all the space we have. I swear by them.” What about technical tips? At Outsource Media, Mark Estdale has a few basic principles that have helped him create a highly successful business and a solid reputation. For example, “The control room is on constant open-mic talkback. It keeps the session flowing and focuses people’s minds.” This point is echoed by actor Tom Clarke Hill, who has an enviable pedigree in voice work. “Turning off talkback is a bad thing,” he told me. “I can see them through the glass having a heated conversation but they’ve cut me out. If that’s what they want to do then fine, but there’s no reason for it. I might use the time to make notes on my script but often I’ll walk into the studio with them.” Not having tunnel vision when it comes to scripts is also vital, according to Tom. “A good engineer will spot that there might be some shouting right at the start of the script and shift it to the end. There’s no point in shouting for half an hour if you then have to do really quiet, gentle stuff. The actor’s voice might be croaky by then. Save the shouting or the death gurgles to the end of the session.” THE INTERNATIONAL MICROPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE 7
  8. 8. + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S AKG Microphones – Testament to Audio Quality Tradition From the studio, to the live stage, to the broadcasting booth, AKG continues to supply the professional audio realm with quality microphones, backed by decades of a highly respected reputation. As the music business continues to evolve, Combined with AKG’s Professional, Affordable Quality HARMAN’s AKG has a long-standing reputation HC 577 L, which is insensitive to The price is no match for AKG’s for offering studios, artists, and producers the moisture, perspiration, and salts, Perception 820 Tube microphone. highest quality microphones. suppresses cable Raising the bar in the class of Providing continued international noise through a dual- affordable mics, the 820 offers AKG leadership in the professional audio diaphragm transducer nine different pick-up patterns, microphones, remote-control switchable bass-cut market, AKG’s DMS 700 V2 wireless and sits comfortably system, iPhone App 2.0, C 414 XLS including the on the user and also filter, a ground switch that prevents and XLII, and Perception 820 Tube famous C 414 becomes virtually unwanted hum; and includes a flex the company’s vocal muscles in all series, have invisible on stage spider suspension, mic and power categories and genres of music. been part of under the lights or cable, and metal carrying case – countless records, on camera, the the ultimate in affordability. The Next Level in Reliable Wireless awards and DMS 700 V2 is one The 820 was constructed Audio Transmission performances. of the top wireless and designed with superb quality AKG’s DMS 700 V2 improves the link systems on the and low production cost in mind. quality and increases working range market. of transmitters, allowing freedom in applying a A Classic is Reborn wireless solution to any room in size from a small, Control Functionality and Style Surrounded by a seemingly limitless intimate venue, to a stadium. The successor of at your Fingertips number of top hits, AKG’s C 414 the successful DMS 700 system, includes a AKG’s iPhone App 2.0 provides continually improves with the next 512-bit encryption, AES EBU output and users advanced control generation XLS and XLII. The C 414 improved latency, link quality and range. functionality, managing wireless provides the lowest noise floor ever The C 414 comes complete among competitors and previous The wireless system includes the DPT 700 system parameters, from the with everything you need to bodypack for the ultimate in gain control. name of the set-up to the create great sound recordings, models of the C 414 series. For existing systems AKG offers an upgrade frequency signals, while possible including: a carrying case, a The C 414 XLS maintains the pop filter, a windscreen, and package that upgrades latency by 1msec, solutions for solving signal issues spider-type shock mounts. sonic character of the legendary 512-bit encryption, offers the DPT 700 manual are also addressed. An ALERT C 414 B-ULS, the longest-lived microphone input gain 0, +10, and +20dB, system automatically issues a C 414 model. Engineered for the and increases headphone output level 24dB. warning with a low battery or AKG’s friends highest linearity and neutral sound, antenna malfunction. With a Wi-Fi include: Brooks & it is the most universal and versatile connection, users are connected to Dunn, Missy Elliot, large diaphragm microphone the AKG HUB 4000 Q, which can released in decades. Widely used The Faint, Jon be used side-by-side with HiQnet for accurate, beautifully detailed Hiseman, Alejandro System Architect™ as the entire pickup of any acoustic instrument, Sanz, Sepultura, system is based on the advanced the C 414 XLS combines proven HiQnet protocol. Steve Stevens, reference quality, leading-edge The application is available on Kanye West, technology, and state-of-the-art the Apple iTunes store. Trey Songz, and components. other international The C 414 XLII is the successor superstars. of the famous C 414 B-TL II. It shows the unique sonic signature of the highly sought-after AKG C 12, which enables lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed even in a dense mix. The unrivalled up-front sound is also well known for distant miking applications like classical music recording or drum ambience miking. 8 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  9. 9. microphones 2011T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C O U S T I C S + + + + A KG A C UK Distributor Sound Technology Plc. Letchworth Point, Letchworth Garden City, Herts SG6 1ND e t +44 (0) 1462 480000 f +44 (0) 1462 480800 w India Distributor Hi-Tech Audio Systems PVT. Ltd. 3406, Desh Bandhu Gupta Road, Karol Bagh, 110005 New Delhi t +91 11 4317 4317 (30 lines) f +91 11 2872 0461 China Distributor Action Audio Musical Instruments Ltd. 3 Hong Ye Road, Wang Gang Town, Pudong District, Shanghai e t +852 2737 7688 f +852 2730 3573 w HARMAN ( designs, For a complete list of AKG manufactures, and markets a wide range of audio distributors, please visit and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson®. The company For over 60 is admired by audiophiles years, leading across multiple generations, and supports leading musicians professional entertainers and engineers and the venues where have used they perform. More than legendary AKG 20 million automobiles microphones on the road today are to capture their equipped with HARMAN sound so their audio and infotainment audience hears systems. HARMAN has a every nuance. workforce of about 11,800 CONTACT DETAILS people across the Americas, AKG Acoustics GmbH Europe, and Asia, and Lemböckgasse 21-25 reported sales of $3.5 billion for the twelve months A-1230 Vienna, Austria ended December 31, 2010. The Company’s shares t +43 (0) 1 86654 0 are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under f +43 1 86654 8800 the symbol NYSE:HAR. w e HARMAN’s AKG, founded in Vienna, Austria more than 60 years ago has established US Distributor: AKG Acoustics, U.S. a reputation for superior audio equipment, holding more than 1,500 patents for 8400 Balboa Boulevard microphones, headphones and wireless technology. Northridge, CA 91328, USA THE INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO MICROPHONES 2011 9
  10. 10. ++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDI Audio-Technica 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 product for studio, broadcast, and live production applications. As a world leader In The Studio professional producers and engineers. in the design and It was with the introduction of the AT4033 in Recently added are two exciting new models manufacture of 1992 that the company established a leading that reinforce the 20 Series reputation for high performance position in the studio recording market. innovation and affordability. The AT2031 microphones and The AT4033 was the first ever high performance cardioid condenser is designed to be the ideal wireless microphone large studio condenser microphone priced at microphone for use with string instruments – systems, Audio- under US$1,000; exploiting the very latest its permanently polarised element offers Technica has design, engineering, and production techniques, extended frequency response with a slight rise developed market the AT4033 provided performance from a back in the high frequency range for a beautifully leading product electret design that rivalled famous studio detailed sound. Its low self-noise and high ranges for music condenser models several times more expensive. SPL handling capability offer a wide dynamic recording, broadcast Special accelerated diaphragm aging methods range, perfectly suited for the most demanding production, and live ensured performance remained consistent over applications. production. time, which provided for a more linear response The AT2022 stereo microphone features In each of these over a wide frequency range, even at high SPLs. two unidirectional condenser capsules in an areas Audio-Technica Modern production methods enabled a X/Y configuration pivot to allow for narrow delivers products level of consistency that ensured the identical (90-degree) or wide (120-degree) stereo that have raised the performance of every microphone; with no operation. Designed for general stereo recording performance bar necessity to produce the microphones in and field sound capture, the AT2022 provides and established a ‘matched pairs’ for stereo recording. the spatial impact and realism of a live reputation for design, Selling in thousands, the success of the AT4033 sound field. engineering, and established the company’s reputation as a The new AT2022 build manufacturing high-end studio microphone manufacturer and AT2031 The pivoting capsules of excellence that is and spawned the 40 Series large diaphragm join the AT2022 condenser mic second to none. condenser range. All models in the 40 series allow narrow and wide It’s an adhere to the same stereo operation. engineering and paradigm of high business philosophy performance and value for that originates with the company’s inception money and as testimony in 1962 when founder Mr. Hideo Matsushita to their quality also come introduced a moving-magnet-type stereo with the company’s phonograph cartridge. The company went on to Lifetime Warranty. design and produce phono cartridges and tone Audio- arms, both under its own brand and for others, Technica’s 20 including the legendary NHK broadcast. Series also The same high precision design and engineering strikes a perfect techniques that made the company’s various balance of cartridge designs so successful were also performance The Audio-Technica AT2031 applied to the manufacture of microphone and and price and is designed specifically for headphone products throughout the 1970s has long been superb performance with string and 1980s, earning the brand prestigious status popular with instruments. among audio professionals. aspiring and 10 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  11. 11. microphones 2011IO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHNICA++++AUDIO-TECHN microphones like the 40 Series AT4080 and New for 2011, the BP4001 (cardioid) In addition to the unique Lifetime AT4081 ribbon microphones as highlights of the and BP4002 (omni-directional) dynamic Warranty offered on its 40 Series, Artist, current Audio-Technica range. The company’s microphones are designed for all types of first-ever ribbon mics, the AT4080/4081 feature broadcast interview and remote newsgathering and Artist Elite series microphones, groundbreaking Audio-Technica design, with situations including ENG, EFP, and sports Audio-Technica introduced its First no less than 18 patents pending on the new applications. Impressions trial scheme in 2009. models. Created from the ground up, the pair Both microphones’ frequency response Covering the above-mentioned ranges convincingly solve the problems of fragility is tailored specifically for clear, articulate (and the company’s flagship monitoring and low output that have traditionally plagued reproduction of speech. The cardioid design headphone, the ATH-M50 along with ribbon mics, in part through the use of a of the BP4001 reduces pickup from the premium noise-cancelling and hi-fi proprietary MicroLinear ribbon imprint side and rear of the microphone, headphones), First Impressions allows for excellent durability. allowing for excellent isolation of the consumers to try microphones in their A significant degree of hand sound source, while the BP4002’s own particular working environment, production, including ribbon omni-directional nature provides free of charge, for a two-week period. corrugation, imprint, and assembly, a balanced reproduction of is involved in the construction of surrounding ambience. Trial mics are shipped with a discount the new mics, which maintain the Ruggedly built to withstand voucher, redeemable in-store only against sought-after ‘vintage-style’ ribbon a life in the field, the new Audio-Technica microphones from these mic tone. microphones feature a hardened ranges at a participating First Impressions Modern day classics of the steel grille, an integral windscreen, dealer. Further details are available at recording world, the 40 Series and a back-cavity assembly that microphones are lauded by ‘floats’ inside the handle shell, internationally renowned engineers providing exceptional isolation from and producers like Phil Ramone, Joe handling noise. The handle itself is dual element design, the AE3000, the AT4050, Chiccarelli, Frank Filipetti, Nathaniel generously long to accommodate AT4041, and the ATM350 are essential tools of Kunkel, and David Reitzas. These are microphone flags, making the BP4001 the trade. These live production series are now among the world’s most successful and and BP4002 particularly suitable for joined by the re-engineered Artist Series, offering best selling studio microphones today. location interviews. unrivalled performance at competitive price points. They are already making an impression For Broadcast On Stage in the market, with singers including Jodie Jones In the broadcast industry Audio- In recent years Audio-Technica has using the ATM710 condenser exclusively Technica is a brand that has become won devotees among artists and sound on stage, and other models earning a place synonymous with high performance engineers alike for its Artist Elite Series on backline rosters. location recording microphones performance stage microphones, in employed in the transmission of major both wired and wireless form. With users outside broadcast events. In particular and endorsees as musically diverse as the company has been associated with Katherine Jenkins, Rush, Metallica, the broadcast of international sporting The Blackout, and I Blame Coco, competitions. For many years, the AE Series handheld models – both official broadcast productions of the condenser and dynamic – are Summer and Winter Games – famed for their sound quality. When from Atlanta City to Beijing and partnered with Audio-Technica’s Vancouver – have featured literally recently updated 5000a and thousands of Audio-Technica 4000a Series wireless technology, microphones. In particular the transmission quality is such that company’s innovative shotgun designs engineers as seasoned as Dick Rabel have enabled greater capture of close are on record as saying that there is CONTACT DETAILS up audio in games and competitions. “remarkably little difference” between Audio-Technica Ltd (UK) The BP4071 and BP4073 wired and wireless models with the Unit 5 Millennium Way microphones are tailored to the needs The Audio-Technica same capsule. Leeds, LS11 5AL, UK of critical broadcast applications with BP4001 dynamic On backline too, Audio-Technica is t +44 (0) 113 277 1441 excellent signal-to-noise ratios and RFI- broadcast interview a de facto standard for many world- w immunity. Innovative acoustic design microphone. class sound engineers including ‘Big’ also ensures that the new models offer Mick Hughes (Metallica, Def Leppard, Harvey Roberts levels of directivity comparable to mics up to Slipknot), Dave Bracey (Robbie Williams), and Senior UK Marketing Manager 50% longer, and as such deliver unequalled Andy Hawkins (Pigeon Detectives). For these t +44 (0) 113 277 1441 performance in a compact package. and many others, models like the AE2500 e THE INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO MICROPHONES 2011 11
  12. 12. ++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDI Audix – A History of Performance, Innovation and Excellence Audix is a wholly owned American Corporation that was founded in 1984 in Redwood City, California, and has been operating out of its headquarters in Wilsonville, Oregon, since 1991. Audix is a shining example of what can be achieved when a vision is fuelled by imagination, passion, persistence, and hard work. Audix is one of the most recognised microphone companies in the industry, consistently raising the bar in the pro audio world with innovative, Bonnie Raitt. award-winning products. At a time when most companies outsource solutions. This is apparent from the design and sound reproduction, extended frequency their labour and manufacturing, Audix built performance of products such as the OM Series, response, and high SPL (Sound Pressure Level) an in house, state-of-the-art manufacturing VX5, VX10, D Series, i5, SCX25A, and Micros®. handling. facility with an emphasis on R & D, automation, VLM™ technology, combined with a very and CNC machining equipment. This not OM Series – tight hypercardioid polar pattern and only enables Audix to control the quality of Pioneering VLM™ Capsule Technology aerodynamic body design established the OM the products from start to finish, it allows for In 1986, Audix designed and introduced Series as a new class of vocal microphones. continual improvements and enhancements as a proprietary capsule for the OM series The OM5, OM6, and OM7 are the vocal new materials and processes become available. utilising VLM™ (Very Low Mass) technology. microphones of choice amongst sound While the process of capturing acoustic sound The principle of the VLM™ technology is based engineers and top touring artists such as Alanis waves and converting them to electronic on a very lightweight diaphragm, which allows Morissette, Pearl Jam, George Strait, Red Hot impulses is a very complex process, Audix for extremely fast, accurate processing of Chili Peppers, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, always strives for the simple, most elegant incoming signals. The result is clear and natural The Doobie Brothers, Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World and Crosby, Stills & Nash; to name a few. This series continues to grow in popularity year after year and has become a standard in the industry. VX5 and VX10 – Achieving New Standards in Handheld Vocal Condenser Condenser microphones are more challenging to use in a live stage environment. Typically, these mics are more prone to feedback due to higher sensitivity and are less capable of handling high sound pressure levels. However, many of today’s jazz artists, acoustic-based groups, and singer/ songwriters demand studio quality sound on stage. Audix has provided for this demand with the development of two outstanding condenser microphones; the VX10 and the VX5. The VX10 features a 21mm capsule and requires 48-52 volts phantom power 12 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
  13. 13. microphones 2011IX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUDIX++++AUD Audix combined detachable cable. The Micros™ also feature studio VLM™ capsule technology, quality sound, very low self-noise, and up to 129dB transformerless design, of dynamic range. Additional characteristics of and precision machined these mics include complete immunity from RF, aluminum housings to achieve tailored frequency response, three application The Audix DP-QUAD, new performance standards specific levels of sensitivity, and a wide variety of Audix’s newest mic in live sound and recording. optional clips and accessories. With the introduction of Coupled with the MicroBoom™, a portable pack. the D6 in 2002, Audix set lightweight carbon fibre boom arm available in for operation. Ideally suited for stages with the world standard for kick varying lengths of 24, 50, and 84 inches, the one featured vocal artist, the VX10 will provide drum microphones. The tradition continues Micros have raised the bar when it comes to unmatched studio quality sound for with the recent development of the i5; a well- overhead choir miking applications. live broadcasts and performances. rounded general purpose utility mic with The M1255B features an unprecedented The VX5 features a 14mm capsule outstanding results on snare and output sensitivity of 32 mV/Pa and operates on and switches for -10 dB pad guitar cabs. Audix simplified a minimum phantom voltage of 18 volts. It is and bass roll-off. The VX5 is the challenging task of selecting ideally suited for distance learning and conference an electret condenser vocal microphones to use for drum systems. The most recent products developed microphone requiring kits, percussion ensembles, utilising this highly sensitive capsule include the phantom power of 9-52 piano and general studio M40 and M70 ceiling microphones, which are volts. Providing a very wide sessions by being the first in designed for permanent installation. frequency response with the industry to pre-package rich lows and detailed highs, several different configurations the VX5 will meet the most of microphones into ‘mic demanding requirements for packs’. a wide variety of live sound applications. SCX25A – Destined to Become a Classic The D Series & i5 In the world of studio condensers, Dynamic VLM ™ Instrument a microphone only becomes a Microphones – Compact Design, classic when it proves itself to be Powerful Performance indispensable. The SCX25A is just Dynamic VLM™ instrument that. SCX25A has a large diaphragm microphones are chosen for live capsule housed within a unique, The SCX25A on guitar. performance due to their ruggedness, patented internal shockmount, which utility, high SPL handling, and pattern is isolated within an intricate machined control. The introduction of the D brass ring. This microphone has its own Series in 1993 broadened the category signature sound that delivers a pure, of dynamic instrument microphones open-air sound with exceptional detail and created new possibilities for drum and realism. and percussion applications. The SCX25A has proven to be an outstanding microphone on piano. Because of its small footprint and CONTACT DETAILS acoustic behavior, it can successfully Headquarters: Audix Corporation The VX5. be used on a short stick or in a closed 9400 SW Barber Street, Wilsonville, OR 97070 lid environment; one of the biggest t 011 503 682 6933. challenges facing any microphone. f 011 503 682 7114 M1255B. The SCX25A is ideally suited for any acoustical w application including vocals, guitar, strings, e brass, overheads, woodwinds, ensembles, and room miking. UK Distribution: SCV Electronics Ltd. The Micros ® – 40 Chigwell Lane, Oakwood Hill Indust. Estate, Pushing the Limits of Size and Performance Loughton, Essex, IG10 3NY Representing one the most intriguing t +44 (0) 208 418 1470 innovations in microphone technology, f +44 (0) 208 418 0624 The Micros™ are the world’s smallest condenser w microphones with integrated preamp and e THE INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO MICROPHONES 2011 13
  14. 14. + + + + B E Y E R DY N A M I C G M B H & C O . KG + + + + B E Y E R DY N A M I C G M B H & C O . KG + + + + B E Y E R DY N A M I C G M B H Perfect and Legendary Sound – Handmade in Germany Producing true, natural sound has always been of the highest priority at beyerdynamic. This goes all the way back to the company’s founder, Eugen Beyer, who was fascinated by the idea of recording sounds as perfectly as possible and then reproducing them just as perfectly. Perfect Sound Crafted By Hand Since then, scores of beyerdynamic engineers Since the Eugen Beyer electrical engineering have continuously invented new technologies factory was founded in 1924, beyerdynamic has to achieve ever clearer and purer sound. The been synonymous with German-made applied result: microphones developed and handcrafted high technology in the professional audio sector. in Germany, whose sound and quality are The dynamic microphone he invented in 1939 legendary throughout the world. was a first milestone – and many more followed. The Power Of The Microphone Whether for voices or instruments, whether at concerts, TV performances, or in the studio, the microphone is an integral part of the connection between a performer and the audience. Because a microphone does so much more than just transform sound into electrical impulses; it can excite you, make you scream, make you beam, make you cry, and touch your soul. A microphone transmits sound but it can also transmit so much feeling. Yet another reason for beyerdynamic to build the very best microphones. Currently the beyerdynamic product range comprises, in addition to microphones, wireless systems and professional headphones, headsets for TV commentators and pilots, as well as conference systems. 14 PROMOTIONAL FEATURE