Ah I have many fond memories of this microphone, a significant stepping stone in your cultural learning about the audio engineer. It was when I first discovered the power of stereo microphone techniques, and if I'm guessing correctly I could have used a cowpat for two microphones and still be blown away, but still these guys where there to help me. So! Let's break em down arrg aye.
Firstly, a sneak peak at its standout features:
-Optional ability to power it from a 9V battery
-Cardioid or hyper cardioid polar pattern depending on attachment
-Back-electret capacitor microphone
As noted in the first feature this microphone carries a big old ace in its sleeve, a condenser that can be battery powered is a wonderful tool for field recordings (mobile work in unhelpful conditions, like a shop or the gates of hell) and at such an affordable price it really is an attractive offer. As I have had no experience using it in field recordings I cannot assume of its ability in that area, I did however attempt to put in a battery which was most definitely less than convenient.
In the studio area it really was a breakthrough for me with that sudden bright, clear sound in your recordings that dynamic microphones had struggle to cope with. Having two was great for overhead drum recordings in stereo and anything else I can demono-fy. As a beginner condenser it helped me more than I am aware but today listening back, in my older cynical self, I can hear its problems. The microphone can make instruments very brittle sounding, all emphasised high-end, and I have found its uses become less and less with such a specific sound.
Overall I would definitely recommend this as an option to aspiring recording hacks who are just starting out, there is however in today's market so many low budget competitors I am unsure if I would choose it first.
The AKG C1000 is a world class microphone used around the world in studios. The C1000 is a small diaphragm condenser mic. This means that the diaphragm is powered and measures the change in voltage rather than the excursion of a dynamic mic. This makes them more accurate and more pick up fainter sounds. This does however require a voltage be sent down the connecting lead called phantom power. This is normally sent via the mixing desk or audio interface but separate supplies can be got. The connection on the mic is an xlr meaning balanced and resistant to interference.
The mic is silver and thinner than you expect and also taller than you would expect. The entire thing is metal the grill is metal and will protect the diaphragm form bumps. The mic sounds great in many situations but most people use them as overheads for drums or an ambient room mic or for lighter guitar moments. The mic however does not bode well with high sound pressures so it won't like being stuck in front of a metal drummer's snare or a 100 watt marshal stack. Also because its so responsive it is not good for live situations as it will amplify everything around it. The mic can be picked up for around £100.
AKG are among some of the best producers of microphones. You may of recently read my review of the AKG D112 microphone in which I can happily say it is one of the best kick drum mics I have used. The C1000s is a small diaphragm condensor microphone from the same fantastic company.
At around £100 it is a fairly cheapish microphone compared to similar others priced around the £300-500 mark.
The C1000 is a condensor microphone meaning it needs phantom power. However not all mixing desks, especially the budget ones, come with this feature. To help this problem this microphone can have a battery plugged into the body. This is definately a benifit if your studio is more of a bedroom/budget studio. Being a condesor microphone the diaphragm is a lot more sensitive picking up great clarity on the high end of instruments such cymbols like hi-hats or picking up fret noise and sparkle from acoustic guitars. The frequency range is from 50Hz which is still extremely low but goes up to the peak of the human hearing range at 20,000Hz.
The feel of the microphone however isnt a favourite of mine. It can feel slightly cheap compared to other microphone and this has had to be repaired several times if it has been dropped.
Whilst the sound does bring a sparkle to the recording the quality is not also that great. It has quite a warm feel to it which isnt always exactly what you want for situation such as cymbols. A warmer sound would be ideal for vocals however being a small diaphragm it isnt exactly suitable.
My personal favourites for these microphones are for stereo pairs or over heads for drum kits but there are plenty of better microphones out there. If you can pick these up for a good price however, then theyre worth a purchase!