An elite manufacturer and top New York City studio have teamed up once again.
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik, the renowned manufacturer of vacuum tube-based microphones, announced that it is partnering up with Platinum Sound Recording Studios in midtown. Together, they have developed a private in-studio demonstration spot for servicing all New York City and tri-state area dealers and clients.
Interested clients and authorized dealers can schedule private listening sessions of TELEFUNKEN microphones at Platinum Sound, taking full advantage of their world-class tracking environment. The entire TELEFUNKEN product line will be available for demonstration in the facility’s Studio J, which comes complete with an 80-channel SSL J9000.
Customers and dealers can schedule a private demonstration by emailing email@example.com, or by contacting TELEFUNKEN by phone at 860.882.5919.
Their relationship officially kicked off with a listening party at Platinum, held the weekend of the 135th AES Convention in NYC. TELEFUNKEN demonstrated an array of it’s microphones to a group of industry professionals, recording enthusiasts and students via a live in-studio performance by producer Matty Amendola and singer Katie Lee with her backing band.
The event marked the debut of TELEFUNKEN’s DD5 Dynamic Drum Microphone Sets, which were employed on the drum set. TELEFUNKEN’s R-F-T and Diamond Series microphones were also on the case.
Is this a trend that will continue to unfold? In January, SweetSounds Studio downtown announced that it was serving as official NYC showroom for Legacy Audio monitors, in a partnership dubbed SoHo Audio source.
TELEFUNKEN aims to take the guesswork out of recording drums.
In that spirit, they’ve combined three of their Dynamic Series microphones, and converged them to form the DD4 and DD5 Drum Microphone Sets for studio recording and live performance applications.
Each microphone set consists of varying quantities of the M82 for kick drum, the M80-SHB for snare, and the M81-SH for toms. Additionally, both the DD4 and DD5 sets ship in heavy-duty, hard shell FC80 flight cases, and include multiple drum mounts (M782, M784, and M785) and a SGMC-5R five-meter XLR cable with a right angle female connector for each microphone in the set.
Both are available now. The DD4 Drum Microphone Set has an MSRP of $1149 and includes:
1x M82 with M782 mount
1x M80-SHB with M784 (metal) and M785 (plastic) mount
2x M81-SH with M784 (metal) and M785 (plastic) mount
4x SGMC-5R five-meter XLR with right angle female connector
1x FC80 Hard Shell Flight Case
The DD5 Drum Microphone Set is $1349 and includes:
1x M82 with M782 mount
1x M80-SHB with M784 (metal) and M785 (plastic) mount
3x M81-SH with M784 (metal) and M785 (plastic) mount
5x SGMC-5R five-meter XLR with right angle female connector
1x FC80 Hard Shell Flight Case
Here are more details on each of the mikes in these sets, as explained by TELEFUNKEN:
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik created the M80-SHB for use on snare drum and vocal applications where a lower profile microphone with right angle XLR cable is needed. The M80-SHB has the same exact circuit as the M80 Standard, housed in a shorter microphone body with a built-on stand mount. The wide frequency response and higher SPL capabilities of the M80-SHB offer the user a superior alternative to the midrange-laden character of many of the industry’s standard dynamic microphones. A tight cardioid polar pattern and a frequency response boasting a subtle rise in the high end result in a microphone that is equally suitable for snare drum, vocals, and other instruments on both the stage and the studio. The M80-SHB is finished on both the headgrille and body with a durable, textured black powder coat.
The M81-SH was designed with the goal of developing a mic that would not only complement the M80-SH, but also stand out in a universe filled with dynamic microphone options. Building off many of the strengths of the M80, the TELEFUNKEN M81-SH retains the same minimal proximity effect, superior feedback rejection, and an articulate mid-range. However, with the M81-SH, the top end is pulled back a bit, yielding a flatter overall frequency response. This combination results in a microphone with a wealth of body and clarity, making it a great tool for fattening up toms, percussion and horns, or taming brighter vocals or thinner sounding sources. The M81-SH is identical to the M81 in circuit, but housed in a shorter microphone body with a built-on stand mount, and finished in a durable, textured dark gray powder coat on both the headgrille and body.
The M82 is a robust large diaphragm end-address dynamic microphone that has been designed for kick drum and vocal broadcast applications. Hand-assembled in the USA, the M82 features two independently functioning EQ switches: KICK EQ and HIGH BOOST, creating four unique voices. The M82′s KICK EQ switch engages a passive filter that reduces some of the lower mid-range frequencies (centered around 350Hz) commonly cut when processing a kick drum. The HIGH BOOST switch tilts the upper mid-range and high frequencies (starting around 2kHz with a 6dB boost by 10kHz) to allow for extra articulation. In the flat setting (both switches off), the M82 is equally suited for vocals, guitar amps, and brass.
The new Stage Series cables are primarily designed with a low profile design in mind for use around tight applications. The Studio Series are created to transmit the cleanest signal possible while simultaneously shielding against RFI and EMI noise.
The Stage Series
SGMC-5R (5 meter with 90 degree right angle female XLR) – $20 MSRP
SGMC-10R (10 meter with 90 degree right angle female XLR) – $38 MSRP
SGMC-10 (10 meter with straight XLR) – $38 MSRP
The Studio Series
STMC-5 (5 meter cable) – $59 MSRP
STMC-10 (10 meter cable) – $75 MSRP
More details from TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik:
Featuring quad high-strand count, oxygen-free copper conductors sealed in audiophile-grade, low loss polyethylene insulators, the new cables assure the sonic accuracy and clarity that TELEFUNKEN products are known for.
Stage Series Microphone Cables
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik’s STAGE SERIES Microphone Cable has been engineered for use on live sound stages and in recording studios. Featuring cable conductors and shielding made from 100% Copper wire, the SGMC-5R (5 meter with 90 degree right angle female XLR), SGMC-10R (10 meter with 90 degree right angle female XLR), and SGMC-10 (10 meter with straight XLR) cables are ideal for lower profile applications around the drum set and percussion rig, as well as on vocals and instruments.
Studio Series Microphone Cables
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik’s STUDIO SERIES Microphone Cable has been designed to achieve the perfect sonic transmission of sound signals for all critical studio and stage applications. Made in the USA by Accusound, the STMC-5 (5 meter / 16.2 feet) and the STMC-10 (10 meter /32.8 feet) XLR cables feature quad high-strand count, oxygen-free copper conductors sealed in an audiophile-grade, low loss polyethylene insulator. A braided copper shield protects the conductors from additional RFI and EMI noise, resulting in a premium audio cable offering the sonic accuracy and clarity that TELEFUNKEN products are known for.
TELEFUNKEN will be at AES Booth #3253.
Let’s get small!
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has downsized, in a good way, by shrinking the profile of its M80 and M81 dynamic microphones. The result is the M80-SH and M81-SH which mirror the sonic characteristics of their kin, in a more compact form factor that allows them to squeeze into tight spaces.
The M80-SH and M81-SH are available now, both for MSRP $249. Following are more details, as told by TELEFUNKEN:
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik is adding two new models to its popular dynamic microphone lineup. The new “Shorty” compact M80-SH provides the bright, open sound of the standard M80, while the new low profile “Shorty” M81-SH produces the darker, richer tones of the M81.
Both the M80 and M81 are available in standard and wireless capsule formats. Starting this summer, the “Shorty” M80-SH and M81-SH will be offered in these alternative, lower profile versions, with built in mic clips, making them ideal for tight applications on stage and in the studio.
The engineers at TELEFUNKEN created the M80-SH dynamic mic for use on snare drum and vocal applications where a lower profile microphone with right angle XLR cable is preferable. The wide frequency response and higher SPL capabilities offer the user a superior alternative to the midrange-laden character of common dynamic microphones. A tight cardioid polar pattern and a frequency response boasting a subtle rise result in a microphone that is equally suitable for snare drum, vocals or instruments on both the stage and in the studio.
The M81-SH was designed as a mic that would not only complement the M80-SH, but also stand out in a field filled with dynamic microphone options. Building off many of the strengths of the M80, the TELEFUNKEN M81-SH retains the same minimal proximity effect, superior feedback rejection, and an articulate mid-range. However, with the M81-SH, the top end is pulled back a bit, yielding a flatter overall frequency response. This combination results in a microphone with a wealth of body and clarity, making it a great tool for taming brighter vocals and guitar tones, and for fattening up toms, percussion, horns and thinner sounding sources.
The M80-SH is offered with either chrome or black head grills and ships with a leather microphone bag and 5 meter SGMC-5R XLR cable with right angle female XLR. The M81-SH comes with a leather microphone bag and 5 meter SGMC-5 XLR cable with right angle female XLR.
Ready for a challenger to the kick drum microphone throne?
The M82 will carry an MSRP of $399 upon availability later this month. Although it was created with kick drum foremost in mind, this mic is surprisingly versatile, with applications ranging from broadcast to vocals, guitar, brass and more.
Here are TELEFUNKEN’s words of wisdom about their upcoming release:
“Following the same design approach as TELEFUNKEN’s other popular Dynamic Series microphones, the new M82 was created to provide a superior alternative to familiar kick drum large diaphragm dynamic microphones.
Hand-assembled and tested in the company facility in Connecticut, the M82 is a robust dynamic microphone that features a large 35mm diaphragm with superb low frequency capabilities. The M82 is an end-address microphone, meaning that the top portion of the headgrille is pointed at the sound source, and features two separate EQ switches: KICK EQ and HIGH BOOST. These two switches function independently of each other, providing four unique settings. The M82 makes it simple to tailor the microphone’s response to the source.
The M82′s KICK EQ switch engages a passive filter that reduces some of the lower mid-range frequencies (centered around 350Hz) commonly cut when processing a kick drum. This helps to keep the kick drum from sounding “boxy” and allows the low end to remain strong. This particular setting is tailored specifically for kick drum use.
The HIGH BOOST switch tilts the upper mid-range and high frequencies (starting around 2kHz with a 6dB boost by 10kHz). For kick drum use, this allows for more beater attack when placed inside a kick drum. This gives the option of either a vintage-style kick drum sound, or a more modern sound. For a source such as vocals or guitar amps, the high boost provides further articulation and airiness in the upper register.
Though it was designed with the kick drum as a primary application, the two EQ switches make the M82 equally suited for a multitude of sources such as vocals, percussion, broadcast voice, guitar and bass amplifiers, organ, and brass instruments.
On kick drum, the M82 is both fat and punchy. When placed just inside the hole of the resonant head, the M82′s tailored frequency response captures both the beater attack and shell resonance without the need for multiple microphones.
Constructionwise, the M82 borrows heavily from the U47 body style by employing a headgrille of similar architecture. Finished in a durable smooth black finish on the headgrille and body, the M82 was rigorously tested to ensure it could handle the rugged role of a kick drum microphone for both studio and live environments.
The TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik M82 is delivered with a stand mount adapter and protective zipper case. An optional elastic suspension mount is available.”
It must be the cooler air, but a big burst of activity continues unabated from the laboratory of TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik.
Their latest creative act is a dazzling new line of Solid Color finishes for their M80 Dynamic microphone line. TELEFUNKEN received their inspiration from the Mars Volta (who took it upon themselves to paint their M80 in solid white), and is now making the M80 available in a variety of solid colors from their custom shop.
Here’s how TELEFUNKEN describes the sonic side of this visual new voyage:
“TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has created the M80 to give the user a superior alternative to the midrange-laden character of the common dynamic stage microphones. Featuring a wider frequency response and higher SPL capabilities, the M80 delivers condenser-like performance in a rugged dynamic design, producing a microphone equally suitable for voice, instruments or drums on stage, as well as in the studio.
Due to its low mass capsule and very thin, yet surprisingly rugged capsule membrane, the M80 produces a wider range of emotion from a live vocal with an intimacy that has been traditionally reserved for studio quality condenser microphones. The M80 is sonically open, requiring little or no EQ to fit into a live or recorded mix. Minimal proximity effect gives the microphone a smooth, balanced presence that is neither boomy nor overpowering.
The M80 exhibits superior feedback rejection in a live environment. On vocals, the response is clear and controlled, capturing the nuances of a performance with great detail while keeping sibilance and handling noise to a minimum. On drums, the M80 is tight, punchy and open, with emphasis on the initial attack. Guitars respond with richness and clarity, horns position effortlessly in the mix, and percussion is projected with straightforward presence.”
Ready to double your pleasure? TELEFUNKEN Electroakustik is happy to help.
In that spirit, the company is set to introduce three new stereo sets of microphones from its affordable R-F-T series of large diaphragm vintage tube microphones, at AES 2012 in San Francisco.
Prices have not yet been announced, but we can probably expect them to be doubly wonderful as well. Meanwhile, here’s more from TELEFUNKEN:
“The AR-51, AK-47mkII, and CU-29 microphone systems, now being offered in matched stereo sets, feature a custom dual power supply capable of powering both microphones at one time, as well as a locking flight case that contains both microphones, cables, shock mounts, and wooden mic boxes. All the electronic components in each system are matched sonically and electronically, including matched capsules, transformers, and vacuum tubes.
AR-51 Stereo Set
The R-F-T AR-51 was designed to incorporate the amplifier circuit of the C12 and ELA M 251E into a more affordable package than its Diamond Series counterparts. This circuitry has been a favorite for hi-fidelity stereo pair recordings for decades. TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has taken this classic sound and developed the AR-51 Stereo Set.
The result is a vintage sounding microphone with a smooth mid-range, open top end, and a solid, well-balanced low frequency translation. The AR-51′s distinct character is great on anything from vocals to drums to acoustic guitar to saxophone. With a matched pair of AR-51′s, several stereo recording techniques can be executed for any source from drum overheads, acoustic guitars, piano and percussion to larger sources such as orchestras, choirs, and large chamber groups.
AK-47 MkII Stereo Set
The R-F-T AK-47 MkII began as a unique design to incorporate key elements of classic circuits such as the U47 and M49. These design decisions created a microphone with a rich and warm low-mid frequency response ideal for vocals, bass (acoustic and electric), brass instruments, and drums. With these applications in mind, TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has developed the AK-47 MkII Stereo Set. The AK-47 MkII in a uniquely voiced microphone with superior high frequency detail and rich low-end qualities. The Stereo Set lends itself to a wide array of stereo recording applications.
CU-29 Copperhead Stereo Set
Since its introduction, the R-F-T CU-29 Copperhead has proven itself equally useful on vocals, acoustic instruments, guitar amps, and drums. The amplifier in the CU-29 Copperhead features a new old stock TELEFUNKEN 6AK5W vacuum tube, Lundahl LL1935 output transformer, and a single-membrane version of the large diaphragm capsule used in the AR-51 and AK-47 MkII.
Sonically, the CU-29 Copperhead is a hi-fidelity microphone with a present but not harsh character. The microphone provides a warm, clear low end complemented by a smooth high end, with a delicate and intimate air to it.”
We all want a mic we can really warm up to – this has got to qualify.
The M81 package, including the microphone, mic clip and leather carrying bag, will sell for $349 upon its availability in late October. Here’s more about TELEFUNKEN’s island-inspired mic:
“In comparison to the M80, the TELEFUNKEN M81 retains the same minimal proximity effect, superior feedback rejection, and articulate mid-range, however, the top end is pulled back a bit, yielding a flatter overall frequency response, making it ideal for lighter sounding voices, as well as electric guitar, percussion and rack toms.
Over the past few years the performance of TELEFUNKEN’s M80 has been likened to that of a condenser microphone and has become a staple for vocal and snare drum applications, especially in the world of touring and live performance. As an alternative to the extended top end capabilities of the TELEFUNKEN M80, the M81 is a tool that is a bit less specialized, giving the microphone more universal application ability.
Designed for stage and studio use, the M81 offers exceptional performance in a rugged package capable of withstanding the rigors of the road.”
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik is certainly feeling the Olympic spirit.
Three mixing events will be held, and are already under way following a July 27th start. For each event, winners will be awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze M80 dynamic microphones.
Here’s how it works:
Participants will be able to download audio files from three multi-track sessions provided by TELEFUNKEN in 44.1k/24-bit format, on the TELEFUNKEN Website.
Each of these complete song session files will be used as the three main events for the Mix Olympics. Songs to be mixed are:
* Human Radio – “You & Me & The Radio”
* Sunshine Garcia Band – “For I Am The Moon”
* O.A.K. Team – “Girls with Glasses”
All three songs have been recorded using only TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik microphones, and many of the sources will have been recorded with more than one microphone.
Mixing participants can listen and choose which of the microphones supplies the most pleasing aesthetic for their competitive mix efforts. As mixes are submitted, they will be shared on TELEFUNKEN’s Soundcloud page, and each song mixing event will have its own set of Soundcloud postings for the participants and general public to reference.
The TELEFUNKEN Multi-Track Session Files can also be used as teaching tools, for microphone auditioning/comparative analysis, and – as Telefunken points out — to have some competitive fun while gaining valuable experience.
The competition will conclude on August 19, shortly after the closing ceremony of the London games. Winners will be announced the week of August 20th.
For each song, three M80 mics will be awarded. Gold will be judged and awarded by the artist; winner will receive a Gold M80. Silver will be judged by a panel of professionals assembled by TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik; winner will receive a Silver M80. Bronze will be judged by the guys in the shop that actually make the microphones; winner receives a Bronze M80.
For complete TELEFUNKEN Mix Olympics information, visit here.
SOHO, MANHATTAN/WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN: Inside the floated rooms of New York City’s recording studios, research is always taking place. After the clients have left for the night, gearheads often turn their attention to mic checks of a different kind.
This intersection of art, aesthetics, and science was in full effect last week at Downtown Studios. There, Studio A was the site of a four-way modern tribute microphone comparison arranged by Audio Power Tools, which was marking the debut of their demo-focused Williamsburg retail operation with a night of high-level critical listening.
But don’t call it a shooutout! The eye-popping array of elite large diaphragm condenser mics — a Telefunken ELA M 251E, Bock 241, Telefunken U47, and Wunder CM7 – were assembled in peace. The first two mics honor the legendary ELA M 250/501 mics produced in 1959 by AKG for Telefunken GMBH, while the latter pair put their spin on the famed Neumann U47 – both of which enjoy epic reputations in the vocal mic realm.
“A ‘demonstration’ is probably the most non-combative word,” says APT co-owner Dan Physics. “The idea was not to beat up on any of the brands, but to compare the merits of each brand that was present, and showcase the character of each microphone in contrast to others considered in the same strata.”
For the demonstration, Downtown Studios Chief Engineer Zach Hancock invited Atlantic
Records artist Ryan Star to record one song, using combinations of the two mics simultaneously on Star and vocalist Dallin Applebaum. Meanwhile, a Royer 122 active ribbon mic was placed on acoustic guitarist Daniel Tirer’s instrument for good measure.
In Studio A’s spacious live room, and in the vocal booth, Star and Applebaum each faced different combinations of the two mics, mounted one directly over the other on boom stands. Capsules were almost touching grill-top to grill-top, and sharing the same pop filter. In this way, each microphone’s diaphragm was at an equal proximity to the source material being recorded.
From there, each mic was patched to tie lines via 25′ mic cables, with patch cables of equal length used on the patch bay side. Hancock and Downtown assistant Chris Sciafani took care to make sure the cardioid polar pattern was selected on each mic, and that roll off filtering was not engaged on the mics that offered it.
While a pristine signal path was desirable, APT co-owner Blue Wilding emphasizes that a nod to real-world, practical usage was employed in the decisions throughout the night. As a result, the mic preamps in Downtown’s classic Neve 8014 console were chosen as the next stage.
“The Neve preamps are not as clinical as the GML’s in the A-room,” Zach Hancock says, “which for critical listening is a relevant concern, but there’s a comfort in the familiarity and musicality of the Neves. There are a few ways to get signal routed from the console’s mic pre to the rig: In this case it made the most sense to bypass the large fader and go to disk via the insert-send. The mic pre on the two 47′s was set to the same setting, and the two 251′s got the same setting as well. So each mic got patched in to a 1084, and then patched directly to Pro Tools recording at 24-bit 192k, via an Avid HD I/O converter.”
Star and his bandmates did three takes of the song, a powerful and achingly beautiful duet so new that it’s as-yet unnamed. Rather than declare a “winner”, or color preconceived notions with any value judgments, APT is inviting anyone interested in the outcome to email them directly, arrange to hear the files for themselves, and come to their own conclusions.
“We prefer not to plant seeds in the listener’s mind, in comparisons like this,” Wilding explains. “Detail, clarity and character of each mic are what the listener should be looking for.”
For Audio Power Tools, the demonstration was a microcosm of their hands-on approach. Originally founded by Wilding in 2010 as a rep service for select high-end audio brands, APT transitioned last month into a retail operation handling gear from Burl, BAE, Chandler, Dangerous, Telefunken, Wunder, Bock, Tonelux, Unity Audio, Apogee, Bricasti, Manley, Retro Instruments, and more. Visitors to their Williamsburg demo room (dubbed “The APT”) can call ahead to have custom chains assembled, or have demo gear delivered directly to their studio for onsite auditioning.
“Our credo is ‘demo-based shopping for working professionals,’” says Wilding. “Every person using this gear to make a living needs to hear it before they buy it. It’s the only way. Every purchase is a delicate balance of necessary function and personal taste. Like jeans…you gotta try ‘em on and see how they hug you.
“Unfortunately, a lot of this gear is not available to try in NYC, and when it is, it’s often not demo’d in ideal conditions. So with our demo room, we’ve created an atmosphere that we feel is in tune with the NYC user base.”
Even for seasoned hands like Zach Hancock, the enhanced critical listening experience had an extra measure of sonic satisfaction. “I’ve never had the opportunity to hear the two preeminent U47 and 251 replicas go head-to-head,” he said. “The reward came in the ability to directly compare apples to apples.”
– David Weiss