For this installment, we’re diving deep into the world of studio microphones, exploring the massive range of ribbon, condenser and dynamic options on the market for savvy producers, engineers and project studio enthusiasts.
Category: Small diapghram condenser | Pattern: Cardioid
Key Features: A decidedly modern take on the classic small diaphragm condenser, the Schoeps V4 has caused a serious stir since its release in 2014, being well on its way to earning ‘modern classic’ status. With its striking retro-futurist aesthetic and first-class build quality, the V4 makes just as much a visual statement as it does a technical one.
The V4 marries Schoep’s small diaphragm expertise with the oh-so desirable sonic imprint of a large diaphragm microphone, resulting in a vocal microphone with a host of tricks up its sleeve. A respectable self-noise of 15dB quells any concerns typical for a small diaphragm condenser, and an exceptional SPL capability of 144dB lets the V4 handle some serious volume. A warm and lucid frequency response lends itself to consistency between different voices – a real all-rounder vocal microphone.
Mixdown Says: What a feeling of relief to find that the V4 sounds just as good for a bass voice as for a soprano. But to limit its use to just vocals would be a folly; the V4’s lightning fast transient response, one of its more immediate features, gives an uncanny sense of motion to recordings. Between the crispness of a piano’s action and the sighing of a string section, the V4 captures momentum that large diaphragm microphones don’t seem to hear. Need a better drum kit overhead solution? A pair of V4 microphones is fast becoming a popular premium option for overhead microphones.
But the artifice doesn’t end there – the V4’s ability as an all rounder makes it a top tier choice for all but the most brutal of recording applications, lending it’s classy open capture to anything put in front of it. When it makes anything sound this good, it becomes all too easy to grab as first choice regardless of what convention might say: woodwind, pitched percussion, even foley-the V4 will sound great on all of them.
For its final act of legerdemain, the V4 flips the script entirely; instead of focusing on the direct angle of incidence, the engineers at Schoeps have done a great job to hone in on the recondite world of off-axis rejection. Far too many people have fallen for the trap of hearing a microphone in a flattering environment, pulled the trigger on buying it, and taken it home elatedly, only to have their illusions shattered when trying to replicate the magic in a different setting.
Overall: For any situation where off-axis spill is unavoidable, such as tracking a whole band at once, untreated rooms, or extensive drum kit miking scenarios, the V4 delights in ignoring the headache inducing spill of sound reflections and the like, with a flattering, focused pickup pattern that is sure to extract every bit of quality out of a less than ideal recording environment. One of the most thoughtfully designed and sublimely executed microphone releases of recent memory.
Visit Studio Connections for more information on Schoeps Microphones in Australia.