AKG C414 XLS by sebastianapolinario
The AKG C414 has been historically one of the most used large condenser microphones in studio and live applications. Its’ solid construction, versatility and numerous tools has warranted its name as an “industry standard”.
Such a versatile mic! The front-panel switch selects between the five common polar patterns (cardiod, wide cardiod, hypercardiod, fig-8, omni) and four intermediate settings. A green LED light over the switch which lets you know which polar pattern is selected, becomes red when the mic is overloaded. Two more switches are found on the rear; one controls three pre-attenuation pads and the other one three low-cut filters. Let your mind free to imagine in how many scenarios these tools can be used.
The AKG C414 XLS is one of the “two brothers” in the C414 legacy. The XLS, which is a little darker sounding than its’ partner is a total “workhorse” microphone and it is always my default choice for its’ transparency and wide frequency response. My ears were pleased when miking horns, double bass, cello, percussions or drums (in almost any part of the drum kit, the 158dB maximum SPL makes no problem when miking extremely loud sources as kick drums). Although it is not recommended for vocals, I’ve got some incredible voiceover and background vocal takes. That being said, one of the cons this mic presents is its’ use in lead vocals—the lack of edge and harshness sometimes causes the vocals to get buried in the mix.
I give the AKG C414 XLS a 9 out of 10. It’s a great, natural-sounding mic and I recommend it as a “must-have” condenser for any professional or home studio. If you are planning on getting a matched pair, you will more than double your fun.