These days, there are so many great options for affordable, high-quality recording microphones. I happen to have a special place in my heart for small boutique artisans who put a ton of time, care, knowledge, and attention-to-detail into making great sounding studio microphones. Many times, I prefer these mics over the Marquee brands that are somewhat ubiquitous in many professional studios. [ But don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of expensive historical microphones, too. Who isn’t?! ] Like you, when it comes to purchasing great equipment for my studio, I don’t have a blank check or a bottomless bank account. So, budget is usually somewhere in the Top 3 of my concerns when making any purchase for my studio.
Many times, I am looking to maximize the benefit of every dollar I spend on my studio. In trying to get the most “Bang For My Buck”, the growing list of great boutique studio equipment builders is usually where I begin my journey. I find that many of these artisans create products that rival (and in some cases, surpass) the quality of the more familiarly branded options that any garden variety Pro Audio retailer may sell. Buying from these ‘Mom and Pop shop’ builders also equips me with the high quality recording tools that I need at a fraction of the cost of a [INSERT BRAND NAME HERE] microphone. As a result, I am left with some extra money in the coffers to shunt toward some other purchase that is necessary for my studio… like electricity.
Today, I wanted to point you in the direction of one of my favorite small-shop microphone builders: Advanced Audio Microphones. I currently own a pair of their CM87se large diaphragm condenser microphones and one of their small diaphragm tube condenser mics (which doesn’t seem to be in the current catalog). The CM87se‘s are my current Go-To mic for drum overheads and any other source where I need a clean, pristine stereo image. I have recorded strings, acoustic guitars, accordion, and even a full Mariachi band with my CM87se‘s. Without fail, I always get such a beautiful and lush sound that everyone in the studio just sits in awe of the breathtaking playback coming out of my Control Room monitors. These 87’s also have a smooth top end that makes my cymbals shimmer without sounding harsh. The detail that those microphones can reproduce is astounding! At $579, this is the best 87-style mic that you can buy without actually spending thousands of dollars on that coveted N-ow-you-might-need-to-take-out-a-loan brand.
In a world where there are dozens of low quality Chinese clones (and even more opinionated pundits warning you to ONLY buy “The Real Thing”), I challenge you to look at the skilled microphone artisans at Advanced Audio Microphones. Check out their factory tour video and take a chance on one of their microphone offerings. Advanced Audio Microphones are one of the few companies whose products I confidently suggest that you could buy sight unseen / ear unheard. Pick a flavor that you’re familiar with and RUN with it!
If you own any Advanced Audio products and want to sing their praises or have questions about anything you see on their website, leave a comment below! And thanks for taking a few minutes to hang out with me today and geek out over studio microphones!!