Telefunken Copperhead – CU-29

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A worthy add to any project or voiceover studio. The Telefunken Copperhead.

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An intimidating name for a silky microphone. …no bite here

A while back, I tried the AK-47 from t-funks R-F-T line and was quite enamored with the sound, style; and yes, admittedly the Telefunken badge it wore.

Makers of a wide selection, the R-F-T line offers an affordable option to own a newly designed Telefunken. As well, the company makes historically accurate reconstructed mics from original plans. If you look into a classic from their Diamond series, be ready to pony up serious cash. History comes with a price. But, back to the Copperhead.

The relatively slim body of the CU-29 is quite attractive, sporting a matte brushed ‘coppery’ head and trim. A slimline power supply, wood presentation case and cable (mic to power supply) are provided along with a nicely done shock mount.

Inside the Copperhead sits an EF95 NOS tube. Most vacuum tube mics in this price range sport a 12AT7 or 12AX7. Tubes are tricky because there are a myriad of substitutions and designations. After burning the mic in for a few days, I gave it spin. Connected to our voiceover chain, the mic you hear has some (single band) compression and no eq, unless you count the 25hz high-pass which is always in place. A trend I’m seeing is back to smooth, which the Copperhead delivers, without giving up too much ‘air’. Let’s face it, some mics are just TOO accurate for their own good, unless you enjoy spending your days in an isobooth …or can afford a spring-floor mega dollar recording room. Like me, most of us are probably somewhere in the middle with a nice accurate studio. The Copperhead played very well in Studio1A, even without a noise gate. Note that there are breathes in the recording. In the broadcast chain, we can do a lot with real-time processing, but I wanted you to really hear the microphone – as is.

Of course, the first microphone you hear will be our “Reasonably Priced Microphone”. I enjoyed the comparison because after reviewing the contrast, my ears heard something different than during the recording. You’ll probably notice that the Copperhead opens up more while remaining mellow and handling the low end very well. But, before I tell you too much about the sound, it’s probably better to listen in and let me know what YOU think?

@markjensen

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Aphex Channel

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1RU of pure vocal horsepower. The Aphex Channel.

Long, long ago when Studio1A was nestled in the “rolling hills”, I was searching for a sound. As a former radio guy, that compression-wars sound was still hauntingly familiar and comfortable. New media was an infant and podcasting began changing what used to be traditional media. During this time, I remember listening to dozens of high-profile shows that simply didn’t utilize processing of any kind. Now there’s an aural contrast; over-the-air radio vs. the wild West days of podcasting.

I knew what had to be done in building a new media studio …and did it. A microphone processor (or vocal strip) was needed for each microphone to level the host and guests up front. Then, run everything, including music, sound effects and mic audio through a console, eventually blended together as program output. That output needed a true broadcast processor for the final audio massage, before being encoded.

I tried several different brands of voice processors but one of them stood out. The Aphex 230 was my Voice Channel of choice, and remains so to this day. After thousands of podcasts, our bank of Aphex 230s continue to hum (not literally) along every day, working harder than I.

Time does march on and there’s a new strip in town, simply called “Channel”. Channel appears to be a tweaked 230, but it’s dangerous to judge a book by its cover. I say appears, because we have not checked one of these new pieces out …yet. I have spoken with the folks at Aphex and a test drive is in the works. For now, simply know that the legend continues.

Until then, the question looms: has the “Channel” changed?

Channel is a trademark of Aphex.

@markjensen

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Sometimes One is Enough

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The trusty Fostex 6301B. A professional and reasonably priced monitor that has accompanied me in the studio and on the audio test bench!

Most of us have been trained to think of multiples when it comes to speakers. Stereo, Quad (remember quad?) Surround, 5.1 etc. When I was revamping the VO studio, I grabbed a ‘pair’ of powered monitor speakers without even thinking about it. …then I did

Contracted for dry (voice-only) work means mono tracking. Why do I need two speakers? I settled on an old trusty friend and have never looked back. In the broadcast studios, it’s a different story, but in my cozy voice chamber, a single sample monitor works just fine.

Most of us have to watch money these days and good quality monitors are not cheap. While we ‘surround’ ourselves with speakers to watch the latest movies, consider what you’ll be producing in the studio or even the test bench. Maybe one isn’t such a lonely number after all?

Record on!

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