Acoustic guitar miked with RCA 77, Royer R-121, Octavia MC 012, AKG C 414, Neumann KM 184 and U87, and Sennheiser e914
New Washington, D.C.-based Studio 8121 (www.studio8121.com) recently held a “gear shootout” for local engineers, testing everything from mics and mic pre’s to compressors, EQs and more. The event, sponsored by Sennheiser and Neumann (which brought new mics for the testing), was far from “scientific,” but according to studio manager Billy Hickey, “We did get to hear the difference between large-diaphragm and small-diaphragm, condenser and tube, condenser and ribbon, vintage and new, and inexpensive and expensive microphones. The point wasn’t necessarily to pick the best or better microphone, but to listen to and study the differences between each microphone.”
Attendees listen in Studio A’s control room (Mike Watert, chief engineer, in the center)
The tests included acoustic/electric guitars, piano, vocals and drums (overhead, room, kick, snare top and toms). “It just went to show that there is no such thing as a perfect microphone,” Hickey added.
A CD of the material recorded will be available; interested parties can e-mail [email protected].