Neumann U87ai Microphone

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The Legendary Neumann U87ai.

This time, on NewMediaGear, listen in as we demonstrate an iconic microphone. In this Summers Neumann finale, the U87ai takes center stage.

Without even knowing it, many people have seen a U87. A multi-pattern large diaphagm condenser, this mic exudes quality and versatility. The Neumann name ensures immaculate quality. Combine these qualities and it becomes apparent why the U87 is one of the most prevalent studio microphones available.

This show starts with another classic; the Sennheiser MKH416. The 416 is one of the worlds most popular voiceover microphones, but its charge is completely different than the U87. A stark contrast you can hear.

The U87? I can sum it up in a few words (well, maybe a few sentences). The U87 is a chameleon. It’s not too much of anything. Transparency, smooth but with just enough ‘air’. Proximity effect is there, but it’s extremely gentle. The only surprise was bass boost in the figure-8 pattern, which you’ll hear. Patterns include cardioid, omni and figure-8. There is also a low cutoff and 10db pad, accessible from the back. Available as a standalone mic or a “Set”, I would highly recommend the set. As a substantial investment, the shock/spider mount is a better value when bought with the microphone. The set also includes a mic cable and foam windscreen. The U87 comes in a beautiful cherry, velvet lined box with the Neumann seal. I like high quality condensers to be open, so my demo was done using only a Stedman blast filter.

The debate about compression and processing is not new. How we handle our audio will always be in contention because it is a form of art and expression, regardless of the venue. I noted that the compressor barely touched this audio clip, which is fitting for a microphone like the U87. However, just as many people might like to hear this show with a bit more ‘bite’. I decided to run the exact same (linear PCM) file through a moderate amount of compression and save it as a different file. We end up with exactly the same content as pure as possible and another with a bit of jolt.

Neumann U87ai – Extremely Light Compression

Neumann U87ai – Slightly Compressed

Hope you enjoy. We have more gear that just can’t wait to get ‘on the air’.

Let me know what you think and stay tuned.

Drop me an email with your own MP3 file and we’ll do our best to put you ‘on-the-air’.
mark [at] newmediagear [dot] com

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