Telefunken's newest range of mics combines vintage sound with modern styling.
These audio files accompany my review of the Telefunken Alchemy Series microphones in SOS March 2020.
I had three of the microphones from the series for review and I thought it would be useful to prepare some audio examples to highlight the differences between three models I had to play with. I got the excellent singer-songwriter Kerry Devine to help and she was happy to play multiple takes of the same song of her singing and playing acoustic guitar. I used the technique of using two mics in fig-8 for the recording as it can work really well for getting some isolation between the vocal and guitar.
There are four takes of this with different permutations of mics on each source. We're judging the mics from different performances but I think it still highlights nicely some of the differences between the three models. Kerry also kindly agreed to do an a capella recording for me so that I could use all the mics together to judge from a single take. If you like what you hear please do check out her music at www.kerrydevine.org.
This was the first take we recorded. The TF47 was on guitar pointed towards the very edge of the soundhole of the guitar and with the mic in the figure of 8 polar pattern. By angling the side of the mic towards the singer's mouth you get a surprising amount of isolation. You do the same with the vocal mic which for this take was the TF39 'Copperhead'. You may notice some very low-frequency plosives on this take which were because Kerry was very close to the microphone. These can be easily removed with a high-pass filter, however.
This was another take of the same song using the same microphone technique. On this version, the guitar is being captured with the TF39 and the TF49 is on vocal duties. I tried my best to ensure the mics were always in the same position but obviously, there will be some slight differences.
For the third take we had the TF39 again on the guitar but with the TF51 on Kerry's vocal.
For the fourth and final take, we used the TF51 on guitar and the TF39 on vocals.
To enable a more precise comparison between the microphones, Kerry sung an acapella for me with all three mics positioned closely together. By positioning one mic above - and upside down and one sideways, I was able to get the three microphones capsules very close together. This is what the TF39 copperhead sounded like.
The Telefunken TF47 sounded like this.
And finally, this is how the TF51 performed.