Great studio mics for DB

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jan 22, 2023.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I recorded an album last Saturday in a studio I had never visited before. The engineer put me in a booth with a mic I had never used before: an AKG C12. I’ve always been a little doubtful about the apocryphal stories I’ve heard about some of the vintage mics, tending to think that the quality of the recordings is more likely due to the fact that only the top artists likely get a chance to record in the studios that can afford these mics. In other words, that the player makes the mic and not the other way around.

    But we just got the roughs of the session back a few days ago, and I have to say that this mic captured the best bass sound I’ve ever gotten in any studio. Wow! It’s too expensive for me to consider buying, but it will make me more inclined to go back to record in this studio again, and to ask studios on future sessions if they have one.

    What are some of your favorite high end mics that you’ve recorded with in the studio?
     
  2. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Chris, what was the mic placement?

    I've gotten amazing results with two cheaper SDCs in an XY pattern pointed near the top half of the bass (around Rabbath 5th pos.), but as I talked about in this other thread, the AKG C5600 pointed right at the bridge, about 10 inches way, is probably the best my fundamental was ever captured. (The C5600 is the "cheaper, more durable" version of the AKG C414).
     
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  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    It was about 10-12" off the top, pointed toward the bridge. But instead of being straight in front of the bridge, it was off a bit on the treble side because I was reading the charts and needed the music stand front and center.
     
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  4. oren

    oren Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    The C12 is one of the legendary tube condenser mics. I’m curious to know what pattern (Omni, cardioid, figure 8) was selected and whether you were in an isolation booth or not.
     
  5. crd

    crd Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2022
    I'm sorry you now know why those mics are so expensive ! I've been kind of heart broken that I've never been able to reproduce the bass sound I got at Electric Audio years ago for less money but I've never gotten close. I think they were using a vintage Neumann U48 on my bass... I'm not 100 percent sure my memory is right on that. It was old and looked fragile. Microphones are like basses; two can be very similar but one will have magic the other doesn't for complicated reasons that are hard to specify and cherished vintage ones are cherished for good reason.

    At other studio's I've always used nice, LDC recreations of classic mics which were much more expensive than anything I could afford for home use but they still didn't sound as good. I always record in the same room as everyone else with some baffles etc.
     
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  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Chris we both use the Line Audio CM3 or CM4 for it’s value and sound it’s a remarkable microphone. The Peluso CEM6 small diaphragm condenser (modeled after the Schoeps CMC6 MK 41) is the best studio microphone I’ve recorded with. Just my take however.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
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  7. A bit off to the treble side can give a more "punchy" sound, IME. In old pictures you almost always see the (LDC) off to the treble side, pointing at the bass.
     
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  8. LaFaro01

    LaFaro01

    Aug 27, 2018
    Sounds not too bad....:p It would be nice to get a comparison between the C12 and the Austrian Audio OC818, which should a similar capsule...
     
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  9. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    Back in the analog days when I worked for a music production company the very competent engineer put me behind baffles with a Telefunken U47(U67?) placed exactly where you said-best results I ever had.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
  10. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    You can record anything with a C12 and it'll sound nice.
     
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  11. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    The best result I got was an omni pencil condenser attached at the bridge, and a cardioid one pointing the neck. I think they were both Schoeps. This approach requires the bass to be isolated as the omni mic will pick up everything in the room.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
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  12. dkziemann

    dkziemann

    Dec 13, 2007
    Vienna, Austria
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    Love the C12, and absolutely one of the best microphones for recording upright. It has a natural compression that emphasizes that articulation and really smooths out the width of each note. I have a clone that I built for my home studio (it has the original tube, output capacitor, transformer, one of the best cloned capsules on the market, and the original circuit design) and WOW does it sound killer. I have a Flea 47 (the top Neumann U47 clone available) and honestly, the C12 is much more my favorite for upright. In general — when available — tube microphones on upright are a match made in heaven!
     
  13. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Telefunken U47. The best. AKG 414s. Made a nice record with stereo Cole’s once.
     
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  14. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    The AKG 414 have the same capsule as the c12, as do the brand new Austrian audio mics. I got one of the new Austrian audio small diaphragm condensers and it's great. Don't sleep on ribbon microphones for upright bass either
     
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  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I saw this microphone when I was in Danny’s class last winter last winter. He built it himself which is an amazing feat in and of itself.
    Danny did a wonderful workshop where he discussed the various microphones he has used in the studio. I still have his flyer from that
    session which he offered for free on a weekend last winter. :)
     
  16. ablumley

    ablumley

    Jul 25, 2006
    Amsterdam
    Is your C12 replica the MicandMod kit or another company? Their U87 and U67 clones sound fantastic.
     
  17. turf3

    turf3

    Sep 26, 2011
    I have this suspicion that one reason old microphones make such good sounding recordings is that they AREN'T super accurate. No one actually listens to music with their ear an inch off the guitar soundboard.
     
  18. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    Another thing about this is when the recording was done. My impression of old mikes is based somewhat on the fact that some of my recordings were done decades ago with all analog equipment.
    Whether or not tape saturation and such can be duplicated by digital equipment is what audiophiles can argue about.
     
  19. dkziemann

    dkziemann

    Dec 13, 2007
    Vienna, Austria
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    Thanks, Ric! Hard to believe it was that long ago!
     
  20. dkziemann

    dkziemann

    Dec 13, 2007
    Vienna, Austria
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    It started off as a Mic & Mod kit, but I essentially just used the PCB and body/grille — everything else was replaced! All in, it cost me around $1500 but was well worth it.
     
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