AKG C1000s on Vocals – Microphone Demo

On this 5th installment of my mic demo series I’m out to find out if the AKG C1000s is indeed the “Swiss Army Knife of Microphones” by using it for vocals and acoustic guitar.

As a Drummer, I’ve come to know the AKG C1000s as either an overhead or a hi-hat mic. Being a small-diaphragm condenser, I also noticed that engineers would typically use it for acoustic guitars, and I had bought it for those exact three purposes.

AKG C1000s

However, as I like to experiment with different microphones on each vocalist I get to record, I started including the C1000s in the shootouts. Eventually, I found myself coming back to it more often that I would’ve imagined. More than once I found myself favouring it for vocals over more conventional, large-diaphragm mics.

Recently, I found myself using it quite a lot while recording Tali for our project Shadow Ensemble, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to demo the mic and also give a peek into how we record a guide track for a new song. The acoustic guitar here was also recorded with the C1000s, together with its pick-up panned hard left for a fuller sound.

What’s your surprising go-to studio weapon? Share your thoughts below!

Song: ‘A Wolf at the Door’ (Original) by Shadow Ensemble
Listen to our debut EP: shadowensemble.bandcamp.com
Music, lyrics & guitar by Tali Magory
All recorded with the AKG C1000s
Video shot with Nikon D5300

Dynamic vs. Condenser in Home Studio – Which Microphone Should I Use?

On the new video in my mic demo series I’m out to challenge an old and common misconception – Do I have to use a condenser mic for professional sounding vocals, or can a dynamic mic sound just as good? Listen to Shure SM7B vs. Rode NT2-A and share your thoughts!

As many self-taught, home studio owners I went on a long journey of trial and error in search for the right gear. Looking at what seemed to be the choice for professional studio technicians as well as internet forum dwellers, I fell under the spell of condenser mics. They seemed to embody the only proper way to record a great sounding vocal track. Dynamic mics seemed to be a compromise for vocals, only good for keeping things like feedback and bleed under control in a live setting.

I borrowed, then purchased a large diaphragm condenser and by the time I had a few home recordings under my belt, I arrived at the following conclusions about home recording with a condenser mic:

  • The less than perfect acoustics of my room would cause audible reflections in quiet or Acapella recordings
  • Even the slightest outdoor noise could destroy a good take
  • Some singers would come-off as very harsh sounding
  • I was de-essing like crazy

At the same time, I discovered that some of my favourite vocal recordings of all time were actually made in a live setting and used a dynamic mic. Say all that you will about the benefits of condenser mics, but you can’t take them up on stage, and that doesn’t stop many live DVDs from featuring great sounding vocals.

So what are the benefits of using a dynamic microphone to record vocals at home?

  • They’re ideal for recording with less mic-bleed from other, close-by instruments
  • Dynamic mics are more tolerant towards those nasty early reflections of an untreated or semi-treated room
  • You can record even when it’s not dead-silent outside (and keep the A.C. on!)
  • Keep harsh vocals under control and let your de-esser take a break

This doesn’t mean you should ditch the condenser concept by any means. When used with proper placement technique in an acoustically treated room, the condenser microphone is great for producing crisp, great sounding vocal tracks.

However, the condenser mic is a delicate creature; don’t buy the first flashy model you see before you take care of your room’s acoustics and learn about proper mic placement. I find it best to keep an open mind and use a microphone that suits your recording environment and your singer, whether it’s a dynamic or a condenser mic.

Let’s Hear It!

I created the following demo using two similarly-priced dynamic and condenser microphones:

Shure SM7B – A legendary broadcast mic and studio favourite of many male singers.
Rode NT2-A – An excellent condenser by this Australian manufacturer, a step-up from the very popular NT1-A which I covered before.

Can you tell the difference? Is there anything missing or in-excess in any of the takes? Share your thoughts below!

Vocals courtesy of Misha Soukhinin
Visit his channel: youtube.com/Hatachtonim
Song: “שיר נהיגה” (Original)