MnG Reviews - AKG C214: Affordable versatility across the board
AKG created a microphone that can be used on almost anything - vocals, piano, guitar, strings, overhead mics, you name it.
Light Specs Overview
|Large diaphragm condenser mic||Cardioid polar pattern|
|Bass cut filter 160 Hz||20dB attenuator|
|Balanced male XLR output|
An ideal microphone for home producers
AKG made the AKG C214 microphone specifically to serve as a more affordable version of their AKG C414 XLII microphone (these are very high calibre studio microphones; as is reflected by the price) One of the C414’s most enticing assets is its versatility across the board; you can record almost on any instrument on them without making any sacrifices - a quality which the C214 retains. It is currently priced at 298€ on Thomann, which may seem a bit expensive - however when considering that it can be used on almost anything - vocals, piano,guitar, strings, overhead mics - it is 10000% worth it.
For producers, vocalists and independent artists alike
Half the battle for creating, clean radio ready tracks as a home producer or independant artist is having a good signal chain. Cutting corners with cheap microphones will impact you severely further down the line when it comes to mixing - for example a common issue with cheaper microphones is that they have large levels of hiss; this being an issue that can take vast amounts of time to contain.The C214 microphone has incredibly low noise (13dB(A), so hiss is not and has never been an issue with this microphone (even with the pre-amp gained fairly loud)
I have used the AKG C214 for all of my vocal recordings - both for commercial releases and demos. The results are nice, crisp,shimmering vocals, without anything being too harsh. I record a variety of vocal styles that require a different timbre of the voice to be captured - however no sacrifices are made here, the C214 microphone captures the character of a soulful more mid-range equally as smoothly. The two vocal tracks included below showcase this; both were recorded in my home studio using the C214 - the first being a higher more ethereal style of vocal;the second being a deeper, richer more soulful vocal:
Higher vocals( starting at 00:43 )
I also recorded a lot of live shows using just a stereo pair of the C214s - a lot of these live shows being classical recitals featuring pianists/violinists which would at times feature accompaniment from orchestras. There are very few microphones that you will allow you to record in this fashion - knowing for certain that every instrument will be picked up and done justice. The clip below features a snippet of a pianist performing with an orchestra. This is a good example of how balanced and smooth this microphone’s response is across the board to highs, mids and lows.
C214 Live Orchestral Recording
|+ Highly versatile - works on a huge variety on instruments providing very high quality results||- None, when recording make sure you do this in a quiet space as the microphone will pick up whatever it is pointed at; this being the nature of condenser microphones e.g if you do this is a room that is relatively close to where there is a lot of traffic noise outside - this will be present in the recording|
|+ Nice clean signal with no low end noise due to high pass filter on mic|
|+ Highly durable|
|+ Very low signal to noise ratio|
Let us know your thoughts in the comments - and what your experiences have been!
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