Chuck Ainlay is seen with the new Sanken CUX-100K at his Nashville Studio.
Grammy award-winning engineer/producer Chuck Ainlay has been testing out the new Sanken CUX-100K super wide range microphone that features a 20Hz to 100kHz range. Chuck has engineered and produced hundreds of albums for both indie artists and top musicians such as George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler, Taylor Swift & Peter Frampton.
Ainlay explains, “The CUX-100K is made by one of the great microphone manufacturers, Sanken. First off, for them it’s unique in that they developed a brand new rectangular capsule. A rectangular capsule has the unique benefits of being very low in distortion, as opposed to a round capsule. But besides the rectangular capsule, they also have their 100K capsule combined in tandem. This microphone reaches all the way out to 100K and sounds great.”
Ainlay has been evaluating the new microphone for capturing the natural warmth and character of a wide range of vocals and musical instruments.
“It’s not often that a microphone comes along that can actually work on just about anything,” he continues. “I’ve put it on acoustic instruments like mandolins, fiddles, piano, and it excels, with no EQ. It just sounds like the instrument, with all the detail, too. It can handle high-pressure situations like cymbals and I wouldn’t hesitate to put it right on top of a snare drum. It’s unbelievable.”
One of the more crucial tests for a microphone is the way it handles vocals. “I’ve used it on backing vocals and it sounded great. The one thing about this mic that I love so much is it’s reminiscent of the great vintage microphones, too. It’s just got the warmth and character of a really fantastic vintage microphone.”
With both omni and cardioid pickup patterns, the CUX-100K also provides a special setting for close miking. “The CUX-100K is also unique in that not only does it have the typical polar patterns of omni and cardioid, but there’s an intermediate switch for cardioid close miking. So when things get a little too present because the microphone is close, you can switch it to that additional cardioid setting. The omni is unbelievable and the cardioid is tight. It’s just an incredible all around microphone. I would suggest it for somebody who’s looking for that one microphone that could cover just about everything.”
Chuck Ainlay is a founding member of The METAlliance (Music Engineering and Technical Alliance), which launched in January of 2005. His community involvement includes serving on the Board of Governors and The Producers and Engineers Wing of NARAS, Leadership Music, SAE Advisory Board and the Nashville Chapter Board of the Audio Engineering Society.
View a 3-minute video of Chuck Ainlay in his studio:
Sanken CUX-100K MSRP: $3400.00
About Sanken Chromatic Microphones
The Sanken Chromatic range of ten professional studio microphones provide musicians, sound designers, engineers and producers with the ultimate set of pure, transparent sounding mics for a wide variety of applications. They are designed and meticulously engineered in Japan using the latest technology and include many innovative features. The result is a set of mics that have phenomenal frequency response, accurate off axis response, exact patterns, minimal proximity effect, low noise and high SPL tolerance. There are ten microphones in the range including CU-31, CU-32, CU-55, CU-51, CU-41, CU-44X MK II, CMS-2, CUW-180, CO-100K and CUX-100K. Sanken Chromatic mics are distributed in North America by plus24. Learn more about Sanken Chromatic at: sankenchromatic.com