I felt like I had made a lucky find when I finally stumbled on MikTek tucked in a corner at NAMM 2010.
This company from Nashville, TN was founded on the notion that tried and true technology should be at the heart of one of the most important assets of a recording studio.
Many consider appointing the services of a recording studio based on the sound desk or DAW used.
Whatever floats your boat I say, but the consensus from a recent conversation I had with Tom Brislin about the humble microphone was that there is indeed one made for every voice. The asset I am referring to is clearly the microphone and its heart according to MikTek is the vacuum tube.
The knowledge required to select the right directional or polar pattern and frequency response plays a huge part in the use of a microphone when one is particular about recording the voice, and there is a vast range of microphones to chose from. Yet there is no denying that when the right one is placed in front of you, how it enhances your voice is immediately apparent.
Released late 2009, the three precision condenser microphones MikTek showcased at NAMM were the C7 dual large-diaphragm FET condenser (3-pattern omni), the CV4 large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser (with an original ‘NOSâ€™ new-old-stock Telefunken EF800 tube), and the C5 pencil condenser sold as a single or matched-pair which according to their engineer is great for overhead miking.
I have on many occasions had the pleasure of using one of the more popular tube mics in recording history, the U47. Released in 1947, the Neumann U47 was one of, if not â€˜theâ€™ vocal mic of choice of many recording artists and even now has undeniable prestige in a recording studio. Nostalgia is worth revisiting especially when it has had a proven track record, and the tube mic has certainly found a place in the ‘hearts and minds’ of many studios.
Are MikTek’s tube mics comparable with those of its forefather? According to the website, their components are sourced from top manufacturers in the US, Europe and Asia. Assembly of the microphones are done at their factory in Nashville and as part of the development process, tests are conducted by members of Nashvilleâ€™s community of recording engineers and producers. I have met with some of these people in the community from a trip I made to Nashville in November 2009 and can say that they take their music business seriously.
The C7, CV4 and C5 are certainly beautifully crafted and of the little that I heard in the demo area, their performance might just match their looks; ultra-thin Mylar diaphragms with evaporated gold for their microphone capsules.
Looks should really take a back seat to quality in assessing a microphone, and I am definitely ‘looking’ forward to testing the MikTeks in a real life situation!
The C5 is priced at US$599/single and US$1,299/pair, the C7 FET at US$899 and the CV4 Tube US$1,299. Worth the consideration if you are in the market for a tube mic.
Photos & videos (c) 2010 Shueh-li Ong (unless specified, all articles written by Shueh-li Ong bear the photography, videography and digital work of its author.)