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The controversy of the AKG C214 Condenser Microphones
Old 4 days ago
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
The controversy of the AKG C214

If you go by what you read online, one half will say it's a recommendable entry-mid level microphone and the other half will say it's too shrill and sibilant. Having used it for several months, I see both sides. IMO, it's a good microphone but its not for everyone.

Noteworthy observations I've made after using this microphone for 6 months:

Background noise rejection is significantly better than I would expect for a condenser microphone.

High pass filter switch is something I turn on during vocals to clean them up, but I leave it off for speech because I don't want to attenuate the proximity effect.

Sibilance is definitely a concern. You need stronger de-essing than usual.

It works for well certain style of speech. It doesn't give the warmth and thickness that speakers with deeper voices often want. Some male speakers raise their pitch when they talk if they're excited or anxious, and this mic can make the shrillness even worse For speech, I've noticed for me that it sounds the best when I my voice is at a mid-range pitch, speaking close enough to the mic to get some thickness from proximity effect and speaking animated enough to benefit from the coloration.

Proximity effect matters with this microphone. If I needed to use a microphone more than 8 inches away, it wouldn't be the c214. I use utilize the proximity effect. The bright EQ curve of the mic helps prevent the overall sound from being too dark when the proxmity effect is used. I move in and out subtly closer at some moments and further at others, adjusting my volume and tone of voice for each distance.

It allows high-pitches to be sung more easily. The problem I've had with flat microphones is that I've had to exaggerate the fluctuations of my voice just to make the vocal recording not be monotone. With this mic, I can hit very high notes without straining my voice.

At $400 retail, the price is justifiable but still expensive. It's a good value for $300 and a great one if you can find it at a street price of $200-250.
Old 4 days ago
Lives for gear

3U Audio's Teal CM-1, already has a good reputation. Supposed to have a 251-ish vibe and is only around $130. Flatter response vs. 214 too.
So I'd expect it to be a better all rounder.

I have two stock Oktava's now (219/319) and they are quite "anti-sibilant". They sound very different, as they were both made during the Oktava "mid-run" production period. QC was almost an oxymoron. I got the 219 for $120, and it's an exceptional Oktava-sounds very expen$ive.
Got lucky on that one.

The 319 is unusually "dark" sounding, still objectively sounds very good, but adds about 10 years/100 pounds on my voice! It was $120 also.
Already can tell it'll help any "Bass style" vocals,
more convincing, for a High Baritone like me.

Anyone who has a bright microphone, like the 214,
and is a bit adventurous, might like the Oktava 219/319 to balance things out IMHO.
Old 5 hours ago
Gear Addict
David C.'s Avatar

I just got a 3U Audio black body CM-1 and it's just insanely good for what it cost. I don't have the 214 but I have a 414 B/ULS, are they anything alike?

Last edited by David C.; 5 hours ago at 12:01 AM..
Old 4 hours ago
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
Originally Posted by David C. View Post
I just got a 3U Audio black body CM-1 and it's just insanely good for what it cost. I don't have the 214 but I have a 414 B/ULS, are they anything alike?
I never owned the CM-1. I listened to some audio tests of it right now. The CM-1 iseems to be more warm, broadcasty and a little bit deeper in tone. The 214 sounds thinner, smoother and brighter.

If you own the 414 though, you should be set for life
Old 3 hours ago
Gear Addict
David C.'s Avatar

The 414 was my first real condenser mic, bought it used in the mid/late 80s. I've got one I like better for my singing voice now, but I'd never part with the 414, it's too good for acoustic, mandolin, sax, anything in the room. It also sounds great on many female and male tenor voices.

Last edited by David C.; 2 hours ago at 02:13 AM..
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