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AKG C 414 B-ULS
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AKG C 414 B-ULS

Large diaphragm condenser microphone from AKG belonging to the C414 series.

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robdelap robdelap

« A must have. »

Published on 07/29/14 at 13:09
A Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC) microphone, this mic has passed the test of time and even evolved into his C 414 XLS cousin. This one should be in any serious engineer's mic locker.

It features 4 polar patterns: Omni, figure 8, cardioid and hyper cardioid. On the back you'll find an attenuation switch (0, 10 and 20dB) and a HPF (0,75 and 150).

I've seen this mic in several packaging versions. Mine came with a sturdy and practical shockmount that holds the mic with a twist on the base and a slide-on pop filter, all of this in a lunch box plastic case with the foam cutout for holding everything in place.

OVERALL OPINION

I use this mic on everything, mostly voices and overheads, but also on metals and guitars and as a room mic. It has never failed me in achieving the sound I wanted, but is wise to remember that mic position goes a long way in achieving the correct tonal balance. It's pretty flat without being 'boring', a quality that somehow similar counterparts such as Shure's KSM 32 has given me on past recordings.

I've paired it with it's modern counterpart and there's no clear distinction when using it on cymbals. I'm not too fond of overly-crispy overheads, so this one does that just right. On metals like trumpets using it a bit far and on omni on a decent room you get all the throaty-ness that makes them sound real and expressive and the highs that let them cut through a mix. On guitars i'd rather use a dynamic like the trusty 57, but perhaps some styles could benefit from the higher detail.

Voices vary and so does the mic to record them. I own an AKG Solidtube and sometimes, specially for dull male voices, that one fits perfectly because it's higher high end, but most of the time I use this one because of it's higher fidelity in the upper mid range, and using it on cardioid and close miking I can get that proximity effect to show on deeper voices.

This mic is expensive, BUT you can often find deals for it at really, really lower prices. I've seen it in the $1,500 USD range, specially one the modern version, but this one I found for $650!

Bottom line: Get it if you find a good deal for it, you won't regret it and it'll make a frequent weapon of choice un your arsenal.

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