Microphones at Sound Heaven Studios

At Sound Heaven Studios, we have a range of different microphones to offer our clients. Here's some information about the microphones we have available and how we match different artists, instruments and musical genres to individual mics. (For more general information tips about microphone choice and usage, see our microphone tips page here.)

Microphones fall into three broad categories: Ribbon mics, condenser mics and dynamic mics. Any versatile studio needs to have a selection from each of these categories to ensure being able to get the best kind of sound in each situation.

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon Mics are innately musical. They hear things more like the human ear than any other microphone.” Bruce Swedian

Royer R-121l - Sound Heaven Studios     ROYER R121
The new design in ribbons, the Royer R121 mic is famous for its high SPL capabilities making it ideal for situations such as loud electric guitars. We also find they work well on vocals as overheads (check out Pugsley Buzzard's  Wooden Kimono album), and we've had great results on acoustic guitars.  Sound Heaven Studios have two Royer mics available.
AEA R84 - Sound Heaven Studios     AEA R84
This fabulous long-ribboned microphone just sounds good giving a warm sound to a range of instruments including piano accordion, horn sections, guitars, pedal steel, string sections and toms. We recently used this mic on Rachel Brady's vocals on her album In Case of Falling. Sound Heaven Studios have two AEA R84 mics available.

COLES 4038 - Sound Heaven Studios     COLES 4038
The Coles 4038 is a legendary BBC design seen in the early photos of Ringo Starr’s drum kit. These beauties are terrific. We use them on horns (in close) or for drum overheads. Trombonist James Greening describes this mic as his favourite for getting the right sound on his trombone. We also used this mic when recording Snaketown Rattlers' eponymous album with Neill Duncan's  saxophone. We have two Coles 4038 mics available.
BEYER M260 - Sound Heaven Studios     BEYER M260
The Beyer M260 is a great hypercardioid ribbon mic. This mic is much smaller than the other mics we have, and has a much tighter and brighter sound. A filter at 200 Hz makes this mic great for overheads. The M260 is also ideal for keyboard amps, and we like them on acoustic guitars. We have two Beyer M260 mics available.


Condenser Mics


Due to the small mass to be moved by the sound wave, these microphones produce a high-quality audio signal, which accounts for their use in the laboratory and the sound studio.

um990 mic - Sound Heaven Studios     MICROTECH GEFELL UM 990
Microtech Gefell is descended from the Neumann factory, which was founded in 1943 about 60 miles east of Dresden. Neumann contined making mics throughout the Cold War before re-entering the outside world in 1989. The UM 990 is a beautiful tube mic made the same way as the famous U47. We’ve used it as our flagship vocal mic for years, as well as on cellos and woodwinds. This mic always produces a beautiful, clear sound.
 MICROTECH GEFELL UM 70s - Sound Heaven Studios     MICROTECH GEFELL UM 70s
We have two of these fantastic condenser mics and we find they're just great for guitars, saxophones, congas and vocals.
The UM 70s has a brighter sound than the UM 990.
Schoeps Collete  - Sound Heaven Studios     SCHOEPS COLLETTE
This fascinating company has set trends in modern mic manufacture, pioneering the use of the microphone capsule and amplifier, creating microphones with a frequency response that goes far beyond that considered normal in the past. We have the M4 capsule, fantastic for strings, vocals and acoustic instruments of all kinds.
 AKG 414 - Sound Heaven Studios     AKG 414
Often described as one of the “desert island” microphones, we have a pair of these. They sound great on everything, from drums to vocals and everything in between.
 RHODE  NT2 - Sound Heaven Studios     RHODE  NT2
A home-grown Australian microphone, this has been great on all the applications we have used it for.
AUDIO TECHNICA 4033 - Sound Heaven Studios     AUDIO TECHNICA 4033
A great microphone recommended to us as the Nashville go-to mic for acoustic guitar (it sounded great). Kate Rowe settled on this mic for her vocals on all four of the albums she’s done in our studio.
SHURE M81 - Sound Heaven Studios     SHURE M81
We have a pair of these excellent condenser microphones and have used them to record piano, drum overheads, strings, and a few other instruments besides. They sound great.
AUDIO TECHNICA PRO 35 - Sound Heaven Studios     AUDIO TECHNICA PRO 35
We have about six of these little clip-on condensers. We use them on toms (drum kits keep getting bigger). They are perfect for this application.


Dynamic Mics

The latest idea in microphones, also described as a 'moving coil' mic. Rugged and entirely passive, these are mics for the rock era.

SHURE SM57 - Sound Heaven Studios     SHURE SM57
Well you can’t really have a recording studio without these mics, Snare drums and electric guitars don’t really sound right without them and in some situations, they're the perfect choice for vocals. Sound Heaven has two Shure SM57 mics.
Shure Sm52 - Sound Heaven Studios     SHURE SM52
This is our main bass drum mic.  It has the bottom end response that's necessary for bringing out the bass sound in a drum kit. We have also used this mic on percussion (surdos) and bass guitar cabinets.
SENNHEISER 421 - Sound Heaven Studios     SENNHEISER 421
One of the great dynamic microphones, famous as the tom mic. We use them on snares and bass drums, and they sound great on a guitar speaker. Fantastic.
SENNHEISER 441-U - Sound Heaven Studios     SENNHEISER 441-U
A class act, great on overheads for a rock kit. If you want that other sound on electric guitar, you’ll recognise this mic.  This mic is also good on saxophones and hi hats. We’re really happy with our pair.
ELECTRO-VOICE RE 320 - Sound Heaven Studios     ELECTRO-VOICE RE 320
Currently our go-to mic for double bass, which can be a hard instrument to record. This mic is also great on bass drums,  and is an all-round fantastic mic.  We have two.
BEYER DYNAMIC M88 - Sound Heaven Studios     BEYER DYNAMIC M88
We have four of these great dynamic mics and have used them on guitar amps, bass drums and toms, always with great results.
 TELEFUNKEN D 19-C - Sound Heaven Studios     TELEFUNKEN D 19-C
This is a sweet little mic. You’ll see them over Ringo Starr's kit from the days of mono kits. We have been using our Telefunken mic on hi hats and getting delicious sounds.
 PLACID AUDIO COPPERPHONE - Sound Heaven Studios     PLACID AUDIO COPPERPHONE
The sound of “telephone vocals“ has become very popular over the last few years. The Copperphone is made of telephone parts, and is essentially a dynamic mic. Its response is all mid-range, lo-fi at its best. We’ve used it on vocals, percussion and trombones. A fantastic creative addition.
 AKG D112 - Sound Heaven Studios     AKG D112
Legendary bass drum mic. We have fantastic results from this mic on bass drums and when recording bass guitar cabinets.
 YAMAHA SUB KICK - Sound Heaven Studios     YAMAHA SUB KICK
Yamaha’s sub-kick is fantastic for the low end of the bass drum. Great!


To read more about using microphones, and general microphone techniques, click here.
To read about using microphones for record dialogue out in the field, click here.
To return to our equipment page, click here.

To read more about Sound Heaven Studio’s equipment, click here


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