Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oceanus captures female jazz vocals in a smooth and musical manner

From our friends at

The Lauten Audio Oceanus large diaphragm tube condensor microphone is one of the most versatile and unique sounding microphones on the market. In this performance, the Oceanus captures the female jazz vocals in a smooth and musical manner, while also adding subtle tube warmth. The physical design and circuit topology of the Oceanus provides incredible clarity and a superb ability to capture even the most minute details of any performance, completely free of any harsh artifacts. Contact the professional engineers and sales associates at Sound Pure with any further questions regarding this fantastic, versatile microphone from Lauten Audio. Special thanks to Adia Ledbetter for her performance.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Classical Trumpet and the Lauten Torch ST-221

Lauten Audio Torch ST-221 pair - a video demonstration from on how to record classical trumpet with XY, AB Spaced Pair, and Near, Far mic techniques with omni and cardioid capsules. As you can no doubt hear, the Torch pair from Lauten Audio does a wonderful job capturing the trumpet due to its fast transient response.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mike Terry's tips on Micing Drum Kits

Mike Terry's tips on Micing Drum Kits

First thing first, drum kit preparation.

Drums are very often recorded first; recordings are frequently built piece by piece on top of the drum foundation, so it’s very important that the fundamentals are in place first.

Tune the drums, if this is something you can't do yourself, call someone in for it. This is done all the time, don't feel bad. If the heads need to be replaced, do it, not a time to skimp, get the appropriate heads for the style and get them tuned up.

If you have recorded in this room before and have already found the sweet spot, cool, move ahead. If not, try setting up the Kick and snare all around the room and just listen, you'll find the spot that work's the best. This way, when you do get the mics up, you will have something nice to listen to pretty quickly.

There are many techniques, approaches, even philosophies as to how to properly mic a drum kit, and without going into too much detail of these, work on getting the phase of the mics aligned properly to one another. This is a skill that that takes time and experience, but well worth it.

I start as minimally as possible and add mics as needed and as desired by the band and or Producer, if there is one. Some Producers like to have lots of mics, in order to provide lots of options later on, I'm indifferent on that one, so I'll keep sticking them up until I get lots of smiles.

My first step is to align the overheads with the kick and snare mics, once this is established all other mics can be referenced from these three points. Using the phase switch on your preamp, find the position where you lose low end the most. Move the mics until you have maximum loss of low end (out of phase), then switch the phase switch back the other way and now you will have maximum gain of low end (in phase). It is usually quicker and easier to hear the low end loss rather than the low end peak.

To get things started, I will put up a pair of Oceanus tube mics, set in Cardioid mode for the overheads. Getting a rough position, I will observe the 3 to 1 rule; 1 foot above the cymbals means I need to keep them 3 feet apart. I like to keep them as low as possible and try to maintain the snare drum as the center point; this will help keep the snare mic in phase with both overhead mics. I really like the Oceanus for overheads because it captures a nice balance of the overall kit, and can provide a lot of body to the drums, while keeping the cymbals nice and shimmery, if I later decide to use mics on each drum, it’s easy to go in and filter out low frequency from the overheads, letting them be more cymbal and air mics, which the Oceanus excels at.

Next I always add the snare mic, I want to get it nice and close, yet maintain phase with my overheads, the combination of direct snare and the sound of the snare in the overheads when properly set in phase is pure gold. The one mic I reach to first for this is always the Lauten Horizon, it can take the SPL and it is fat, warm, and almost always perfect once the phase is set. I will usually have to go into the room to raise or lower the overheads in order to fine tune the phase, typical movement is within 6-12" up or down, just move them around, find the low end loss on the snare and switch the phase again, and you should be good. Once the phase is set between the Overheads and the snare, you will not be moving them again. From this point, each additional mic added will be moved to gain phase alignment to the overheads and the snare.

Next comes the kick, this is often times a double mic situation, one for the inside to get the attack and punch, one for the outside to get the body and depth. I start from the outside, and then move inward. Do a little listening while sitting in front of the kick and have the drummer step on it a few times, find a good spot, 3-8" away from the head, and set the mic there. Again, I really like the low end capabilities of the Lauten Horizon, and because it can handle the SPL, it’s a great choice for outside kick mic. Go listen to this mic mixed with the overheads, listening in mono helps. With the phase switch on the kick preamp, find the low end loss, now move this mic forwards and backwards a little to find the point of maximum loss. Once found, flip the switch and now you are ready to move on to the inside mic, I like a Beta 52. Start by moving this mic in reference to the outside Kick mic, the Horizon, once these are locked in phase turn all the mics back on, pan your overheads, and you will have a nice full, well balanced drum sound.

If you choose to keep adding mics, such as close tom mics, reference them to the overheads and move them until locked in phase. If you're adding room mics, reference them to your kick and snare. It’s also a good idea to use gaffers tape to secure your mic stands down, once locked into place; this will insure consistency and eliminate the worry of somebody bumping them out of position.

For more information on Lauten Audio microphones visit

Who is Mike?
Mike is the ears behind Lauten Audio microphones. He has multiple Grammy nominations and has worked in some of the most sought after studios and with some of the most sought after clients in the world. His credits include Foo Fighters, The Eagles, Jessica Simpson, Eric Hutchinson and many more…

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Mike Levy -11:11 Studios owner, Musician and Lauten Audio Loyalist

A couple months ago I heard from one of our many owners. This owner was a little different however. Most recordists own one or two Lauten Audio microphones as well as many others which all help paint their sound pallet. Mike Levy also owns a number of models from other microphone manufacturers; however, he has discovered Lauten in a big way and now owns all of our models.

Mike’s discovery of Lauten was done on his own and prior to receiving an email from him thanking us for such great microphones, he had only communicated with one of our dealers. I called Mike to hear a little more about him and his studio and why he had chosen Lauten. Mike offered to write a brief history of himself and what led him to Lauten. What follows is a brief story of a musician turned studio owner; I'm sure a couple of you can relate. Thanks Mike for being one of our most loyal customers!

Mike Levy, 11:11 Studios owner, Producer, Engineer, Composer, Musician and Lauten Audio Loyalist

Being a performing musician came first to me for many years. I started gigging at 15, toured with Maynard Ferguson at 19, and have spent my entire life as a professional musician in the South, New York City, and now the Southwest. My life as an audio engineer started in the 1980’s creating my own music, bouncing tracks back and forth between two cassette recorders. I made the logical progression to 4 track cassette and then on to multi track open reel decks. In the mid 1990’s, I was in an alternative rock band when the ADAT came out. Since the band had financial backing, we were able to build our own recording space before everyone and their brother had a studio. With access to the studio, I began recording some of the other acts that I was playing with. My first client was a great singer/songwriter named Ansel Matthews. For the next several years, my live playing remained my main focus. When I relocated to Tucson, AZ, my passion for recording really took root. Within a short period, I’ve been fortunate enough to become a very in-demand producer/engineer in a great little town that breeds a lot of creativity without many of the stifling pressures of the bigger cities.

As an engineer, to say that I’m self-taught is selling my experience short. As a musician, I’ve spent countless hours on the other side of the glass which has given me an invaluable education about how to produce great recordings, from a technical and creative stance. I’m a “musician’s” producer and engineer. I’ve been micing instruments since I was 11 years old and making records since not much older than that! I now operate a successful project studio with a very classy analog front-end and a nicely stocked mic cabinet (see for more info).

While building up my space, 11:11 Studios, I took a fairly typical route. I started with what I could afford. As my client base grew, so did my appetite for a more varied sonic palette to work with. In addition to this, I needed the gear that people (in the know or otherwise) expect from a professional. I know we’ve all been asked by a prospective client, “Do you have a Neumann?” My U87 is a great mic and essential in order to answer yes to that question. I had a singer in the room looking into an AEA R84 ribbon mic ask me, “So, is this a Neumann U87?” So as time has gone on, I’ve grown my mic locker to include the above mics, plus some of AT’s nicer mics, Josephson, Sennheiser, Heil, and a varied assortment of others.

My intro to Lauten microphones came through a pair of Torches. I was working on a new solo CD from classical guitarist, Brad Richter. Brad is regularly featured on NPR’s Performance Today as well as being a past winner of the National Finger-picking Championship. He wanted to do some duets with a native flutist. I was using a pair a Josephson C42’s for the guitar and wanted another flavor for the flute. After reading nothing but positive comments about Lauten mics, I decided to give the Torch pair a try. Given their street price, it made taking a chance even easier. Soon after came overhead duties for a record with International Blues Challenge finalist Arthur Migliazza and the band The Clamdiggers. This is the moment I became a Lauten convert. A simple live recording with overheads, kick, and snare gave such a powerful sound to the drums. I was floored. The toms were thunderous and clear, and the cymbals cut without the harshness of many of today’s modern microphones. I love one of these paired with a ribbon for acoustic guitar.

Next came the Oceanus. I’m currently working with American Idol finalist Crystal Stark on her debut solo CD. During the demo process, I’ll usually throw up the U87 and forget about it. On a recent session, I had the Oceanus mic waiting for her. She immediately noticed the new mic. The size of the Oceanus makes it hard to not notice! She and I were both thrilled with the results. The Oceanus is rich and detailed and requires little to no EQ to sit right in a mix. It’s my new “go-to” for clean, present vocals that still have more character than a typical LDC.

Next to arrive was the Clarion. In its short tenure here at 11:11 Studios, it’s seen plenty of action for some vocalists and acoustic guitar. It excels in front of a loud guitar cab, too!

The final nail in the audio coffin, for me, is the Horizon. As I’ve mentioned to people already, up until now, I've plugged in my new Lauten mics and thought, "Man, this sounds great. I can't wait to try it out on a client or instrument, etc." The Horizon, on the other hand, I plugged in and put the headphones on, started a little track, started singing and thought, "This is MY microphone!" It sounds gorgeous! Of course I’m excited to try it out on other people, but I know that when it’s time for me to sing anything in the studio, the Horizon is coming out.

All in all, Lauten Audio is bringing a useful, musical set of quality tools within reach of today’s project studio. Each mic has a distinct character, yet they all share a warmth and presence that is usually associated with mics costing two to three times as much. When researching Lauten microphones, the comment that comes up again and again is that no one can understand why they don’t cost more. I guess this will have to be Brian’s secret. As an added bonus, they’re built like tanks. I imagine when the majority of today’s cheap imported mics are taking up space in landfills; the Lauten’s will still be going strong!

Mike Levy

Tucson, AZ

Friday, June 03, 2011

Now Shipping - Single Torch small diaphragm vacuum tube condenser microphone

Now Shipping

Single Torch small diaphragm vacuum tube condenser microphone

We’re excited to announce that we are now shipping a single version of our Torch small diaphragm vacuum tube condenser microphone. The ST-221s Torch includes our 15.25mm diaphragm cardioid and omni capsules, hard mount clip, shock mount, power supply and Gotham Audio tube microphone cable. The package lists for $999.00 with an estimated street price of $799.00

Our Torch microphones have received rave reviews around the world from end-users and industry journalists including making the “Best of Class” list for Upper Class Microphones in the German Professional Audio Musik and Equipment magazine.

For more information please visit and contact a dealer or distributor near you.

Dr. Charles Chen Ph.D. and Lauten Audio file for a new patent

Dr. Charles Chen Ph.D. and Lauten Audio file for a new patent
Invention allows for a balanced output directly from the condenser capsule

San Jose, CA — June 6, 2011 — Lauten Audio and Dr. Charles Chen Ph.D. filed for a new patent related to microphone capsule biasing. The invention relates to an innovative double-bias circuit for condenser microphone capsules that generates a balanced output directly from a condenser capsule without the need for a phase splitter or transformer in the circuit path.

“For the traditional single bias circuit, only one signal is retrieved
from the capsule. To generate two balanced signals from the single signal, the options are to use an output transformer, or a phase-splitter circuit in the case of a transformer-less design. The problem is these types of phase splitter circuits restrict the dynamic range allowed,” said Dr. Chen.

Dr. Chen’s double-bias invention allows for a balanced output directly from the condenser capsule, so no output transformer or phase-splitter stage is needed. Current splitter circuits result in distortion or clipping of the two output signals, negatively affecting the dynamic range. Chen’s new double bias circuit overcomes this shortcoming. Lauten Audio plans to implement the new invention into future models of condenser microphones.

Lauten Audio is located in San Jose California, for more information visit or call 1-877-721-7018.