|By Mike Terry|
Sure, there are many standout microphones; every engineer has a favorite preferred line-up., But what is the key element that makes up a truly great large diaphragm microphone?
One specific characteristic responsible for separating good mic’s from great mic’s is their ability to produce depth. Capturing the source and maintaining the 3 dimensional field instantly gives a recording a bigger, fuller sound allowing the listener instant access to being mesmerized by this phenomenon. The classic Neumann, AKG, and Elam mics are well known for this quality and it is this reason they are so desirable.
|Horizon in swivel mount|
Was this the perfect mic for all applications? In a way, yes. Once basic tracks are complete, recording layers of overdubs tend to go pretty quick. The band gets excited as they hear their song come together. The line to overdub gets longer, guitar’s are layered, tambourine’s over the chorus, shaker’s in the verses, high strung acoustic guitar in the bridge, layers of back ground vocals, it goes on and on.
|Production Prototype #1 Pre-Horizon name|
Running to the mic closet in search of the perfect mic, a different mic, is out of the question. The artist is waiting and ready to go. The performance is what matters now, and with the right mic you can record all of these parts quickly and with confidence. The U 67 was this mic for me when Brian and I began developing the first Lauten microphone; it seemed the perfect benchmark to reach.
|Testing Lauten prototypes circa. 2004|
If this new microphone can produce great depth, then all else will follow. We can swap out components and A/B a variety of components until we achieve the frequency characteristic we’re looking for. But, if the depth isn’t there, then we don’t have a mic. We found a way to achieve this kind of 3-dimensional depth in the Lauten Horizon microphone and now use that practice to achieve depth in all Lauten microphones.
We didn’t need to make it sound like a U67. In fact to this day, I don’t think we ever made a direct comparison, but the commonality is they both produce incredible depth and capture the sounds that we like to hear.
|Horizon's in production|
It is oftentimes difficult to maintain depth, tone and punch after many layers of overdubs. More added can sometimes collapse all that you have worked towards. Opening up the 3-dimensional sonic landscape is the key to giving your tracks the breathing room that they need.
The Horizon, along with the rest of the Lauten Microphone line were inspired by great microphones from time’s past. The intention has always been to build an original, modern microphone that will help others to record from their own inspiration.