We’ve been talking on the team about what microphone we would choose if we could only keep one?
Some of the Expert team have a lot of microphones, I own about 15 which range from basic dynamic microphones, some condenser, a tube mic, a couple of ribbon mics and some other specialist mics. They include a Shure SM7B, Sontronics ARIA, SE Electronics Voodoo VR2, and about ten others.
All of the microphones has its merit, for example most of the vocal tracking I do is always done with the Sontronics ARIA, a gorgeous smooth and characterful microphone, for female vocals its stunning and delvers the goods with minimal fuss.
However if I have to choose one microphone to be a ‘jack-of-all trades’ then it has to be my AKG414. I own the AKG C414 XLII Microphone - Dark Grey/Gold model, it has nine Polar Patterns including Omnidirectional, Wide Cardioid, Cardioid, Hypercardioid, and Figure of Eight.
This is what AKG say about the C414 XLII;
“The C414 XLII multi-pattern condenser microphone offers a choice of nine polar patterns for the perfect sonic capture for every application. A peak hold LED displays even the shortest overload peaks. For live sound applications and permanent installations, all controls can easily be disabled for trouble-free use. The C414 XLII version differs from the C414 XLS version in one major respect – the capsule. The C414 XLII's slight presence boost and impressive spatial reproduction are both similar to the legendary AKG C12 microphone from 1953.”
For a songwriter I’ve found the C414 to be a great addition to the studio, I use it on vocals, guitars, drums and other solo instruments, it can even be used for speech when making videos and the adjustable polar patterns are great at reducing room acoustics.
The quality is fantastic, it’s a great Swiss army knife and the one I would choose to keep if I was forced to make that choice.