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Microphones

Neumann U87ai
From microphonereview.com:
“The Neumann U 87 has been a standard of the recording industry since 1967, and continues to shine today. Famous for its warm sound and well balanced characteristics, it boasts a wide range of features and versatility that make it one of the most desirable mics available.”
AKG C12VR
From AKG’s Website:
“One of the most famous tube microphones in the history of recording was the legendary AKG C 12. Therefore, studio engineers vigorously demanded a rerun. The C 12 VR is an exact replica of the original C 12, from the capsule sound to the original 6072A vacuum tube.”
AEA R-84
Sept 2005 EQ Mag
“The coolest thing about the R84 is that it sounds like a vintage ribbon with the advantage of lighter weight and smaller size…On brass and strings, it sounds divine, lending a Hollywood film score vibe.”
Royer R121
Sound On Sound April 2000
“The handbook for the Royer included a sheet of quotes from a number of highly respected American recording engineers and producers endorsing it, particularly for its strengths in capturing amplified electric guitars. I can see their point — the R121 works extremely well in this application and its particular blend of characteristics seems to complement electric guitars (or virtually any amplified instrument) very well.”
Pair – Audio Technica AT-4051a
Electronic Musician – March 2004
“The AT4051a seemed to strike just the right balance to work well with a variety of musical and production styles. The AT4051a really impressed me when used as a close-mic on acoustic guitar. It seemed to have all the body of the warmer Neumann and Schoeps models, with the added benefit of a perfectly defined high-end sparkle. At a distance, it took on a smoother and more neutral character not unlike the Schoeps, but retained its characteristic warmth and presence.”
Pair – Earthworks QTC-1’s
Sound on Sound Magazine July 1998
“In my auditions, I found the QTC1 to be a very accurate, transparent microphone which conveyed even the most harmonically complex of instruments with perfect rendition. It has an extremely natural, extended and open top end (which was made all the more obvious when comparing the off-tape DAT recording with the microphone’s actual output!), and a phenomenal bass response which really does go down to a very small number of Hertz.”
Oktava MK-012
Electronic Musician – September 2000
“I’m very enthusiastic about Oktava’s MK 012, and the reason is simple: this small-diaphragm condenser microphone is a real bargain that sounds great on vocals, drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, piano, and many other sources.”
Sennheiser MD421
From the Sennheiser Web Site:
“The MD421II Continues the tradition of the MD421, which has been one of Sennheiser’s most popular dynamic mics for over 35 years. The large diaphragm, dynamic element handles high sound pressure levels, making it a natural for recording guitars and drums. The MD421’s full bodied cardioid patter, and five position bass control make it an excellent choice for most instruments, as well as group vocals, or radio broadcast announcers. One listen and you’ll know why it’s a classic. “
Shure SM-7
This mic is a staple the broadcast and recording industry. When it suits the performer it can be an excellent studio vocal mic, and is equally at home recording instruments. Drawing on the same general capsule as the SM57 and SM58, but with higher quality electronic components and a more substantial housing for improved tone and isolation characteristics.
Electro-Voice ND868
Electronic Musician, Sept. 2000
“This unit consistently provides a fat, round, warm, and solid thump, practically regardless of the drum. Also, it has exceptional off-axis rejection, making isolation a snap”.
Shure Beta52
Sound on Sound July 1996
“It is specifically designed to bring out the deep kick and the high-end impact sound of the kick drum. Used up close, the proximity effect results in a hefty boost in the 30 to 50Hz region, and the top end features an almost violent presence peak at 4kHz which really helps bring out the head impact ‘click’. This, coupled with a lower mid-range dip results in a very confident tone, with bags of edge and minimal ‘muddying’.”
AKD D112
From microphonereviews.com:
“Thinking there was one end-all-be-all kick drum microphone seemed somewhat suspicious to me, but through some experiments with various mics, I found that the D112 definitely stands up to it’s reputation.”
Shure SM and Beta Series Dynamics
Sound on Sound Magazine July 1996
“The Beta 57A and 58A deliver the classic sound but with a slightly enhanced edge. The Beta 57A is a fine tom mic, and if I had to choose an all-rounder from the range, it would probably be the 57A.”

The Light House features four Beta58a’s, four Beta 57a’s, and three SM57’s.