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The Royal microphone Condenser Microphones
Old 10th May 2013
  #1
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The Royal microphone

Antipodean TV recently showed a doco on the Queen (linked to 60th anniversary I believe). One segment shows Her Majesty seated at a table over which is boomed a mic which to these eyes appeared to be an exemplar of my No.1 mic, the endangered species known as the AKG C426B stereo kit.

While surprised and delighted that one of the family should fill such an important role, I was intrigued that the Beeb should be using a stereo mic in such a situation, apparently a voiceover role.

I am wondering if any of my UK colleagues observed this as well (Rolo46, perhaps), if they could confirm that it was a C426B, and if there is any reason why the Sound Supv. might have chosen this instead of the normal MK41 (or even the traditional 4038, pronounced PGS in the Beeb).

Perhaps, as in the POTUS podium, head of state occasions demand duplicated mic chains, and this was a more elegant way of achieving this redundancy (both capsules pointing the same way, same pattern).

Anyone with the inside goss?
Old 11th May 2013
  #2
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What year Mr P ?
If it was on film it might be a Pearl MS,they were popular,or a Neumann RMS 191
No body used a C426B,side address , difficult on a boom,difficult to favour.
Old 11th May 2013
  #3
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John Willett's Avatar
 

I "taped" some of the special Queen's Jubilee programs - I will see if I can spot it.
Old 11th May 2013
  #4
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From the local Program guide (9 May):

"Our Queen:
Part 1 of 2. An enthralling study of Queen Elizabeth II, during the triumphal Diamond Jubilee Year, in 2012."

A local colleague, known on this forum, who also owns a C426B, doubted it and suggested it might have been a Studio Projects LSD-2*, but as I have also used one of these, I feel confident that the suspension used is the same as my C426B. (And it was on a large fixed boom stand, not in the hands of a boom swinger.)

(*Has the BBC financial situation forced it to deploy Chinese microphones?)
Old 12th May 2013
  #5
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No.
Old 12th May 2013
  #6
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Some bizarre royal microphones on google search. Carbon microphones. Every recordist should have one.
Old 12th May 2013
  #7
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It wasn't a C34 was it? The BBC had a number of these modified for end-fire MS use, and they look pretty similar to the C422.
Old 12th May 2013
  #8
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It was suspended vertically above the table, cable at the top. Not end-fire.

Second episode this week - may see if they repeat the same promo in which I saw it, and try for a screen grab.
Old 12th May 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
No.
Is that for the C426B or the Chinese mics? Or both?

Brevity is the soul of wit (especially that based on ambiguity).
Old 13th May 2013
  #10
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The BBC was divided by Engineering Department and Film Department
ED used AKG mics, as it was mainly studio based
FD used Sennheiser, as it was location based.
Outside Broadcast (ED) however used some Senny mics, they being location based too
The Chinese or Australians never got a look in.(Though the sparks were always on about 'Mongolian' with their barn doors ,but that was rather rude!)
Lets wait for the screen grab in eager anticipation
Old 13th May 2013
  #11
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

It was from the ITV programme "Our Queen" and was showing the Queen recording the Christmas message.

It looks like an AKG C422 or 426 to me.

The sound was recorded on a Nagra LB.

Luckily I had recorded the programme when it was first broadcast in the UK so I have attached a few screen shots:-

.
Attached Thumbnails
The Royal microphone-screen-shot-wide-shot.jpg   The Royal microphone-screen-shot-close-shot.jpg   The Royal microphone-screen-shot-close-shot-2.jpg   The Royal microphone-screen-shot-microphone.jpg   The Royal microphone-screen-shot-nagra-lb.jpg  

Old 13th May 2013
  #12
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David Attenborough used to produce the Queens Speech.
That was always in vision.
This looks recent and for radio.
Is that Chris Watson ?
Old 13th May 2013
  #13
BRH
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It's the C426b
Old 13th May 2013
  #14
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Yep, certainly is. I can now see the silver half of one of the grills. Great choice for Her Majesty.
Old 13th May 2013
  #15
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Thanks to fellow detectives and Mr Willett's well-ordered archives for the evidence! ITV, eh? So no conservative BBC thinking ...

Now of course, the question why. If for a mono track, then why not use a 414 ULS. Or perhaps they felt compelled to record in stereo. So probably Blumlein, or M-S Blumlein, if you can see one of the silver grills - the fig 8 positive side would be facing that way.

My only other thought was that the two capsules could be used in parallel for redundancy, but they are both heading into the same recorder so what's the point ...

Now we can get back to more serious matters ... Rach Piano 2, as it happens. (MK21s rule!)
Old 14th May 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Some bizarre royal microphones on google search. Carbon microphones. Every recordist should have one.
You can - courtesy of Waves plug-ins, as this local email exchange indicated:


--------------------

On 11/05/2013 13:35, Ben wrote:

> Anyone tried this out?
> The King's Microphones Plugin | Waves
> Cheers,
> Ben


Yes, but it didn't make me sound like John Snagge ...

-------------------------

Alright, everyone back to their own beds!


(BTW, the mics are based on the STC4017 moving coil - inherited from the Western Electric 618 - and the fabled Riesz high-qualilty carbon mic, popular on OBs because of its high output.)
Old 14th May 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
Now of course, the question why. If for a mono track, then why not use a 414 ULS. Or perhaps they felt compelled to record in stereo. So probably Blumlein, or M-S Blumlein, if you can see one of the silver grills - the fig 8 positive side would be facing that way.
(MK21s rule!)
That is easy, I record vocals almost always in stereo, even if it will not be used.
With an MS, even just with a slight bit of side mic, so almost mono, the result sounds, dare I say it, more, ehm, Royal

Eg. A double bass overdub gets the same treatment, the little bit of stereo information gives some nice air around the track, more texture for the DB.

IMO pure mono techniques are used way too often, and almost never when really needed.
Old 17th May 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
On 11/05/2013 13:35, Ben wrote:

> Anyone tried this out?
> The King's Microphones Plugin | Waves
> Cheers,
> Ben
Charge Extra for a Royal Sound.
Old 18th May 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
IMO pure mono techniques are used way too often, and almost never when really needed.
Indeed! So Very '60s.

Of course, double the inputs, and double the cables to run (unless you use the stereo pair on quad Canare trick).

Interestingly, with a piano trio I have been recording for a while, at one recent gig I moved from using a single spotter to a spaced pair (MK21s, actually), a la BBC, at the heel of the piano. I played it back to the leader (violin, also technically literate), and he remarked on how good the piano sounded ... almost too good!

Then, as a string player, (to quote Mandy Rice-Davies) he would say that, wouldn't he?
Old 14th January 2015
  #20
Gear interested
 

C426b Use on QEII theory

It is definitely a C426b. I own one of these. One "possible" theory of why this mic was used on the Queen could be:

I have obviously used this mic as a stereo mic to record stereo...., but I have also used it to make comparisons in situation where you only get one shot. 2 vocal chains, one pass... compare later or on the fly, but no check or reset...

Another "possible" theory could be:

Double up just in case. Use a stereo mic, and 2 or everything, so if one component has an issue, your back up is already set up, working, and passing signal.

Just a thought...

Also sounds pretty darn good.
Old 14th January 2015
  #21
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Anybody know the current resale value on an AKG C426b ? Or best place to sell one? Thanks!!!
Old 14th January 2015
  #22
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What serial number?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
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Thought I would jump in on this as I am the owner of this microphone...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisregent View Post
Thought I would jump in on this as I am the owner of this microphone...
A C426B? Or the actual mic shown? If the latter, might it still have microscopic traces of Royal DNA left on the housing?

(I have a C451 basket windscreen, long since redundant, but kept in the cupboard because of the same possibility of Cleo Laine's DNA being retained on it ... )
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
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That actual microphonein the picture!
It was hired out for the job and belonged to Richmond Film Services. They were an institution in their own right in the UK.

The owner has retired and everything (vast amounts of microphones including New and vintage) were sold off at auction the other month.
Lot number one was the microphone in question a C426B that was auctioned for the film and tv charity her majesty is patron of.

Needless to say I got totally carried away while bidding haha, auctions are evil.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
If the latter, might it still have microscopic traces of Royal DNA left on the housing?
To be honest there are other dna traces on my microphones that take precedence when cloning becomes possible....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisregent View Post
To be honest there are other dna traces on my microphones that take precedence when cloning becomes possible....
Well, if we're talking Freddie you could potentially clone both Queens!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
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The RFS auction was a mess, the website rubbish and latent, they extended the deadline by 12 hrs...
There were some lovely bargains (Nagra VIs with 2 batteries in flight cases for a grand)
However much of the kit was tired and there was 18 % buyer premium and 20% VAT to contend with
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
The RFS auction was a mess, the website rubbish and latent, they extended the deadline by 12 hrs...
There were some lovely bargains (Nagra VIs with 2 batteries in flight cases for a grand)
However much of the kit was tired and there was 18 % buyer premium and 20% VAT to contend with
The biggest tragady in UK pro audio was the closing of RFS and selling all the stock.

RFS was the best hire company in the business with loads of top quality gear - such a shame that the people who bought it when Nigel retired just sold off all the gear.

Last edited by John Willett; 2 weeks ago at 11:17 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
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Who bought it John?
At one stage Simon Bishop and Terry Tew were in the offing but they lost interest.
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