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As part of our extensive testing and reviewing process of over 200 microphones and 100 mic preamps - as well as studio monitors, AD/DA, and other pro audio equipment - we assembled 42 pairs of small condenser "pencil" microphones in a side-by-side shootout for The Listening Sessions.

After consulting various sources on mic positioning for the drum overheads, we went with Dave Royer's suggestion of a 110-degree ORTF array using a DPA Stereo Boom. The acoustic guitar tracks are cut with a single mic aimed at the 12th fret.

We hope you enjoy listening to the results, taking notes, comparing notes, educating your ears, and learning about the sonic variety of small condenser microphones.



Engineered & Produced
by Dan Richards (Dot)
for The Listening Sessions




The Sources

Drum Kit - stereo pair
Larrivee Acoustic Guitar - single mic

ORTF array pair on drum overheads. Single mic aimed at the 12th fret of a Larivee acoustic.

Recorded through a Millennia HV-3D mic preamp to RADAR.

Drums: 14 tracks of omni pairs and 32 tracks of cardioids for 46 tracks total.

Acoustic gtr: 14 tracks of omnis and 32 tracks of cardioid for 46 tracks total.

92 tracks total.



The Mics

AKG C451E
AKG C451B
AKG C1000S
Audio-Technica AT3032
Audio-Technica AT4041
Audix SCX-One
Behringer ECM8000
Bridge Proto 1
Bridge Proto 2
Crown CM700
DPA 4011 (3511 Stereo Kit)
DPA 3530A - 2 X 4006
DPA 3521 w/ 4021's
DPA 3552 w/ 4052's
Earthworks QTC1
Earthworks SR77
Earthworks SRO
Groove Tubes GT 33
Groove Tubes GT 44
Josephson C-42MP
MBHO MBP 680
Mojave Audio MA100
MXL 603S
Microtech Gefell M300
Microtech Gefell M295
Neumann KM184
Oktava MC012
Pearl CC22
Pearl CO22
Red5 Audio RV4
Rode NT4
Rode NT5
Schoeps CMC64 MK4 ST
SE Electronics SE1
Shure KSM141/SL ST
Shure KSM137/SL ST
Shure SM81
Stapes Audio STO-2
Studio Projects C4
Superlux CM-H8K/U/H/O
Superlux ECM-999
T.H.E. KA-04

Audition A/B recordings of 42 small condenser "pencil" microphones on drum overheads and acoustic guitar. Secure download of 486M zip file containing 92 tracks of 16-bit WAV files.

Pencil Mic Shootout Track List

Pencil Mic Shootout Download $15.00







Info and support, contact Pencil Mic Shootout



TLS Interview in Tape Op #44