Austrian Audio’s new instrument mics are intended to turn heads!
Microphones with the same operating principle tend to share the same form factor. Thus, whereas large‑diaphragm mics are typically addressed from the side, moving‑coil dynamic and small‑diaphragm capacitor mics are usually end‑address types. But it’s not impossible to do things differently, and side‑address designs like the Sennheiser e906, Shure Beta 181 and Josephson e22s have practical advantages, especially on live stages where space is an issue.
With the OC7 and OD5, Austrian Audio have gone further down this road. In essence, they’ve taken the small‑diaphragm capacitor capsule from their CC8 pencil mic and the active moving‑coil element from their OD505 stage vocal mic, tweaked the tuning for instrument applications, and adapted them to work in a side‑address format. The really clever part, though, is that these side‑address housings are swivel‑mounted, allowing them to be rotated through 220 degrees independently of the rest of the mic.
Two Shades Of Grey
Externally, the only thing that differentiates the two mics is the colour scheme. The OD5 is black, whilst the OC7 is a sort of mid grey. They are shipped in the same padded foam cases that are used for other Austrian Audio mics, which offer good protection at the cost of taking up more space than would seem entirely necessary. Like most mics, they deliver their output through a male XLR connector mounted in the base of the ‘stalk’. This output is balanced and transformerless. The stalk houses the electronics — both mics require phantom power, as the OD5 has active circuitry — and hosts recessed slide switches for a 10dB pad and a second‑order high‑pass filter with two turnover options. (These are 40 and 80 Hz on the OC7, and 80 or 120 Hz on the OD5.)
Austrian Audio aren’t the first company to implement a swivelling headbasket. It’s an idea that goes back a long way with manufacturers like Schoeps, while Blue Microphones have made several models with rotating heads, and the Electro‑Voice ND44 and ND46 are direct competitors for the OD5. However, Austrian Audio’s implementation is distinctive. The stalk of the microphones terminates in a curved arm, to which the capsule housing is attached at a single point. With the thumbwheel slackened off, the housing can rotate freely, and when it comes to tightening the thumbwheel,...
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