In our latest 6 of the best roundup we take a look at the best microphones for a range of studio tasks. Everything from classic remakes to USBs…
Best Classic Microphone Remake – Neumann U47 FET
Neumann was reluctant to reissue this classic, despite lots of copies and lots of requests for them to do so. But the company has finally relented and the old and new specs are identical – right down to the rat’s nest of point-to-point wiring that makes up the preamp. We’ve never seen reviewer Huw Price so excited, and he wrote: “The U47 FET is no half-baked reissue.
Neumann has done a proper job and the results are superb. Although it’s not a technical leap forward, it may signify a softening of its stance. ‘Collectors Edition’ implied that the U47 FET reissue was destined for a limited production run, but it’s now a permanent fixture. We hope this microphone enjoys the success it clearly deserves.”
He concluded: “It looks and sounds like the real deal – because it is. Rather than thinking of this as a reissue, consider it more of a resumption of production.”
Full Review – Neumann U47 FET
Contact Sennheiser UK 01628 402200
Best USB Microphone – Rode NT1 USB
USB mics used to have quite a lowly reputation in mic circles – indeed, they still do among the elite. But many are perfectly usable –and very reasonably priced to boot.
Rode certainly has the name, and now it offers a great USB mic, too. We said: “Sound-wise, the mic punches well above its weight, as you’d expect with ‘Rode’ written on it.
With vocals, there’s a pleasing presence at the bottom end. It has a great tone, offering an air of authority and a ‘BBC’ feel. A great package with a superb, quality feel. It will give your recordings a pro sound for a non-pro price.”
Contact Source Distribution – 020 8962 5080
Best Mobile Microphone – Shure MV88
There are many mics for iPhone out there, but this is the one we’ve looked at most recently, and also one that stands up well in terms of sound against all sorts of other mics. Huw Price wrote: “You can combine the MV88 with the onboard camera to shoot video with high-quality stereo sound, or flip the camera and mic around to enhance your Skype and Facetime chats.
It coped with instruments and vocals with equal aplomb, and the compression effect can get pretty radical. All in all, this is a serious recording device with the added benefit of optional sound processing. The sound and build quality of the MOTIV range of microphones impresses, and you get some vintage Shure vibe, too.”
Contact Shure UK 01992 703058
Best Studio Workhorse Microphone – Sennheiser MK 8
Sennheiser’s dynamic mics are particularly well known in professional circles, but its large capsule condenser microphones are lesser hailed. However, they are equally deserving of attention and the MK 8 is jam-packed with features.
The mic is equally suited to vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar amplifiers, grand piano, strings, wind instruments, drums and percussion. Huw Price wrote: “The MK 8 distinguished itself with low noise and a crisp and detailed sonic character.
It has a great up-front presence and a generally crisp character, and ably held its own against more expensive mics. A fine-sounding studio workhorse with a clear modern tone, that offers plenty of user control.”
Full Review – Sennheiser MK 8
Contact Sennheiser UK 01628 402200
Best Pair – Audio Technica AT5045
The AT5045 is one of those forgiving microphones that almost does the job for you. It’s relatively unfussy about placement, and has the ability to make things sound even nicer than they really are. It excels on acoustic instruments and vocals, combining the detail and realism you might associate with the best small capsule condensers with the larger-than-life presence of a large capsule condenser.
Huw Price noted: “The AT5045 is not exactly cheap, but if we had a pair they would undoubtedly be amongst a handful of our go-to microphones.” He concluded: “An outstanding all-round instrument recording mic that demonstrates how Audio Technica is now making some of the world’s finest microphones.”
Full Review – Audio Technica AT5045
Price £1,299 (£2,399 pair)
Contact Audio Technica – 0113 277 1441
Best Microphone Re-imagine – Peluso P28
The P28 name implies that it was modelled after the AKG C28, but it is inspired by vintage Neumann and AKG valve pencil mics. “The sound this microphone produces is airy, extremely detailed and very focused in the lows,” wrote reviewer Huw Price. “It sounds a bit ‘shouty’ very close up, but the P28 is still plenty smooth enough to keep things musical, rather than ‘forensic’.
Regardless of where you place it, it always sounds good and it’s as impressive for clear and breathy vocals as general instrument recording.” He concluded: “Somebody has to meet the demand for mics that the original companies no longer make and the P28 more than fit the bill.”
Full Review – Peluso P28
Contact KMR – 0208 445 2446