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AKG C12 for male vocals? Condenser Microphones
Old 21st May 2018
  #1
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AKG C12 for male vocals?

My limited understanding is that the C12 is rather "hit or miss" generally, on male vocals.

Honestly, I probably will get one of the nicer clones eventually, but figure your feedback will be pretty transferable.

Thanks for any responses, Chris
Old 21st May 2018
  #2
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The most obvious characteristic of the C12 is the rising high end. The thing that makes it unique is that this rise isn't harsh or grating, unlike an inexpensive Chinese capsule version. There's plenty of meat in the sound, but less so than a 251 or U47. So factor in how much reinforcement the male voice in question needs. If it's a fairly dark, thick voice, a C12 may well be the exact answer. This equation isn't unique to the male voice but factors into the mic choice for every source.

As always, YMMV.
Old 21st May 2018
  #3
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mikeyman's Avatar
 

didn't the Beach Boys use a c12?i mean really
Old 21st May 2018
  #4
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Thanks burp, for the evaluation.

Mikey, in the Beach Boy's 60's heyday, AFAIK...
RCA 77's, Neumann, & Shure 545 (for Brian), were
the main vocal microphones.
Chris
Old 21st May 2018
  #5
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Sniperschool's Avatar
I'm a big fan of C12's on my voice

I have a pretty deep/thick voice and I sing further back on a C12 which helps reduce the proximity effect/low mid build up from say a U67 which I don't need at all
The high end lift occurs above where sibilance would be a problem and it sits really well in a dense mix with little processing needed

A U47 is the other mic I've alway gravitated to but a C12 is currently my favourite
Old 21st May 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Thanks burp, for the evaluation.

Mikey, in the Beach Boy's 60's heyday, AFAIK...
RCA 77's, Neumann, & Shure 545 (for Brian), were
the main vocal microphones.
Chris
They have a ton of pics with a C12 setup in the studio. A lot of them have the optional windscreen on so people may not recognize it at first.

(This is tracking of Smile.)
Attached Thumbnails
AKG C12 for male vocals?-be8b2a91-0177-4e5f-9eda-61cd7783c89f.jpeg  
Old 21st May 2018
  #7
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More...
Attached Thumbnails
AKG C12 for male vocals?-10cc0864-c1e1-41f9-9b5e-c484da88d703.jpg   AKG C12 for male vocals?-ce7d4ee8-7ed0-462e-8cca-5ecab5852751.jpeg   AKG C12 for male vocals?-ae6c7a94-2ff5-439c-8b50-08efd5beb955.jpeg  
Old 21st May 2018
  #8
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A C12 can be every bit as good or better than an ELAM, 47, 49, etc.

Sounds great on male voices; voices that are more “talky” like Jagger or Petty, or soft crooning like Beachboys (or sometimes Petty falsetto stuff too)... for example. But it can handle grit too.

I like that the open headbasket leaves it sounding a little less mucky than a 251 (or 47 for that matter)...but you still CAN get that big proximity effect IF you want it.

The old optional windscreen does kind of push the mids... sort of “Elam”-ifying the sound a bit. A foam windscreen isn’t too far off either.
Old 21st May 2018
  #9
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
the C 12 was the mic seen and heard in " we are the world " recording sessions , when you listen Steve Perry or Huey Lewis on it ....

I personnaly have a great clone made by A Grosser called the siemens SM 204 and it's stunning with the right voice and the right vocal chain ( here it's Neumann PV 76 Amtec 099 and soma eq awesome on vocals with IZ Nyquist converters ) this whole chain with this mic is unreal , heaven audiogates
Old 21st May 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
...I probably will get one of the nicer clones eventually, but figure your feedback will be pretty transferable.
Quote:
...I personally have a great clone made by...
As long as the discussion about the merits of the C12 includes copy mics which lack its three sound-shaping components: original AKG CK12, a genuine, period-correct Haufe T14/1 and a GE Five Star 6072, I find this discussion unproductive at best.

Take the CK12: To this day, none of the capsule copy manufacturers has come close to reproducing the construction and/or three-dimensional sound of a highly sophisticated capsule which, in good condition, now costs several thousand dollars.

You cannot expect a C12 copy to perform like an original, if procurement of the capsule alone would eat up the entire manufacturing budget of the mic.

What is the point then, evaluating the finer points of a C12 vs. ELA M21 if copy mics missing these essential, costly parts are not even in the ball park?

It’s that old promise that every generation falls for, time and time again: money for nothing and the chicks for free.

Last edited by Klaus; 21st May 2018 at 07:42 PM..
Old 21st May 2018
  #11
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I totally understand what you're saying Klaus. Sorta like the old George Carlin joke about never dating a "10", but dating 5 "2's"! I'll try to find/sing on a "real" C12 eventually to make a better judgement.

Don't laugh, but I have an MXL V69 which has a HUGE boost around 10Khz, and like they thought about bumblebees way back...

It shouldn't "fly" on my voice-but it does! Well, more than good enough for Youtube videos and MP3's. Fun, but too noisy especially for sparser tracks. At least I learned that "upper air" can sound really cool on vocals.

I was first impressed with the C12 type microphone sound, when I went to the Vintage King L.A. grand opening (sang through the Flea C12 there). I'm certainly nowhere near the expert Klaus is, but I also enjoyed singing through Telefunken USA's (as it was called back then) version of the C12.

Also Toledo, thanks so much for the pictures, etc. related to the C12. I always wondered WHAT microphone that was, with the headbasket.

Chris

P.S. I also want to try out the AKG 414 w/CK12 capsule someday.
Old 21st May 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
As long as the discussion about the merits of the C12 includes copy mics which lack its three sound-shaping components: original AKG CK12, a genuine, period-correct Haufe T14/1 and a GE Five Star 6072, I find this discussion unproductive at best.

Take the CK12: To this day, none of the capsule copy manufacturers has come close to reproducing the construction and/or three-dimensional sound of a highly sophisticated capsule which, in good condition, now costs several thousand dollars.

You cannot expect a C12 copy to perform like an original, if procurement of the capsule alone would eat up the entire manufacturing budget of the mic.

What is the point then, evaluating the finer points of a C12 vs. ELA M21 if copy mics missing these essential, costly parts are not even in the ball park?

It’s that old promise that every generation falls for, time and time again: money for nothing and the chicks for free.
The mic that resulted from your German Masterworks supplied CK12 and Archut’s C12 clone is one I never plan on selling!
Old 22nd May 2018
  #13
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vernier's Avatar
AKG C12 for male vocals? . . I should think so ! !

Old 22nd May 2018
  #14
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Gee that Byrds clip might sound a LITTLE better than my MXL V69.

Guess it's time to start the C12 "Piggy Bank"!

BTW there's a cool video on Youtube, where The Seekers, led by the incomparable Judith Durham (singing through a C12) are "in the studio recording".

The song is "I'll Know I'll Never Find Another You", an absolute 60's Pop classic.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #15
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Klaus, the A.Grosser C12 is no joke

Last edited by KIDBILL; 4th June 2018 at 02:03 AM..
Old 23rd May 2018
  #16
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With all due respect to Klaus...

IMHO neither is the Flea, or Telefunken.

Chris
Old 23rd May 2018
  #17
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I disagree with your opinion on the Telefunken. Having compared it to multiple vintage C12s, it never rose to the level of any of them.
I have no experience with the Grosser and my time with the Flea was casual, so I'm hesitant to make a hard value judgement about it.
I have no such hesitation about the Telefunken.

As always, YMMV.
Old 23rd May 2018
  #18
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Gee that Byrds clip might sound a LITTLE better than my MXL V69.

Guess it's time to start the C12 "Piggy Bank"!

BTW there's a cool video on Youtube, where The Seekers, led by the incomparable Judith Durham (singing through a C12) are "in the studio recording".

The song is "I'll Know I'll Never Find Another You", an absolute 60's Pop classic.
I think that video is staged, but who knows, maybe it's some of the mics they really used. Btw, killer group, I've studied them for years, she's quite something.
Old 23rd May 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
They have a ton of pics with a C12 setup in the studio. A lot of them have the optional windscreen on so people may not recognize it at first.

(This is tracking of Smile.)

yea it is hard to miss that C12 it is long and slim.I bet they use a lot of different mics but I don't think you could go wrong with a C12 on male vocals..Then again maybe it doesn't suit everyone
Old 23rd May 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
More...
yea man they must sound great
Old 23rd May 2018
  #21
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mikeyman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
They have a ton of pics with a C12 setup in the studio. A lot of them have the optional windscreen on so people may not recognize it at first.

(This is tracking of Smile.)

I had a nice 545 that I ruined when I tried to clean it ...Damm
don't send me any mics for repair or cleaning
Old 23rd May 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Klaus, the A.Grosser C12 is no joke..
Quote:
With all due respect to Klaus...
IMHO neither is the Flea, or Telefunken.Chris
I am not disrespecting Andreas' efforts (he is a friend of mine, and we occasionally exchange experiences and technical knowledge, which he generously shares), or any of the other companies' products mentioned.

I stand firm in my statement that, as desirable as these C12 copies may be on their own merits, none of them will sound like the original they try to emulate, as long as vital sound-shaping components of the original are missing.

Andreas will be the first to agree with me on that.
Old 23rd May 2018
  #23
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Thanks again gentlemen, for all the high quality responses.

Upon reflection, it would be wisest for me to actually try out an "original" C12
(thank God for rentals!) sometime, in order to have a better benchmark for evaluation.

Toledo, my singing voice (like my posts!) is "talky" and can have that "soft croon"/falsetto too. Excellent points for me to be aware of.

I definitely have some more food for thought, and appreciate a world class microphone expert (AKA Klaus) "putting up with me" touting the merits of an MXL V69!... Especially in a thread about the iconic C12.

Chris
Old 23rd May 2018
  #24
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Gee that Byrds clip might sound a LITTLE better than my MXL V69.

Guess it's time to start the C12 "Piggy Bank"!

BTW there's a cool video on Youtube, where The Seekers, led by the incomparable Judith Durham (singing through a C12) are "in the studio recording".

The song is "I'll Know I'll Never Find Another You", an absolute 60's Pop classic.
In that vid she’s singing into a C28. It looks a lot like a C12, but has swappable caps and is end address with the config used in that taping.
Old 23rd May 2018
  #25
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Cool-Thanks!

Judith is one of my favorite all time singers.
The guys are also tremendous back up & harmony singers too!

Chris
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