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10 l November 2012


Lauten Audio’s newest microphone has been voiced with three different characteristics. Mike Hillier dons his diving gear and goes looking for pearls

settings for recording sources at different SPL levels. This +10dB option is unusual (although it is shared with Lauten’s Clarion FC-357 microphone), but can be useful when recording very quiet sources to increase the output signal before the preamp. It can also be used to drive the internal preamp circuitry on louder signals for a different coloration. The microphone capsule is a 38mm edge-terminated dual- diaphragm design shared with the Lauten Oceanus LC-381 (Lauten’s documentation refers to this as a 31.25mm capsule, but this refers to the diaphragm diameter only, not the whole

MANY OF us dream of owning large microphone collections, selecting only the best for each source and holding shootouts between several options each time we get a new vocalist to record. In reality, economics usually dictate that we make compromises. For many this means reducing our wishlist down to only one or two mics of each type. Many musicians will opt for a single large-diaphragm condenser as a good all-rounder that can be used on acoustic instruments, amplifiers and vocals alike. However, this means that you are no longer in a position to pick the mic with the best voicing for the job. And furthermore, if you multitrack multiple sources, all with the same model, then any peak in that mic’s frequency response will result in a considerable build-up around this frequency come mixdown. The Lauten Audio Atlantis

combats this problem by attempting to offer three different voicings in one package. Accessed by a switch on its body, the three are G (Gentle), N (Neutral) and F (Forward). These voicings are

capsule). Finally, the Atlantis output circuit is transformer coupled using the same custom-wound transformer as the Clarion. DuPont has described the mic as designed to suit bright female vocals and I can certainly see how. When set to the Gentle position the mic would make an excellent match for a bright or scratchy female vocalist. In this position there is some mellow high-frequency roll-off above 5kHz which gives the microphone a warm, vintage quality. However, I found on my own

more than simple EQ curves and apparently relate to three different preamp circuits that Lauten has designed in collaboration with producer/engineer Fabrice DuPont (Toots & The Maytals, Mark Ronson). The Gentle setting is described as providing “maximum control of bright or peaky sources such as [sibilance]”. All three voicings can be used

in any of the three polar pattern options (cardioid, omni and figure-8) and a further switch on the body of the mix enables you to select +10, 0 or -10dB

vocal that the Neutral setting had a slightly more natural feel to it, without losing the warmth and pleasing vintage characteristics. Most pleasingly the Neutral position brought the low-mids forward in the mix, giving my vocal slightly more depth than the Gentle position. The Forward position produces a lift above 5kHz, producing a much more in-your-face modern vocal sound, which

Sponsored by Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387 mic

might be perfect for some hip- hop and R&B vocalists. Engaging the +10dB gain

switch let us drive the vocal a little harder, but on my own vocal produced only a slight change in the low mids. Placed in front of a loud guitar cabinet, however, we were able to drive the internal preamp a little stronger than I could with my voice and the additional low- mid frequency content became more noticeable, we could also hear a little compression kicking in on transient passages. For electric guitar the Gentle position was a distinct favourite, picking up plenty of growl from the cabinet and taming the top-end, which we usually end up rolling off anyway.

Lauten has made a mic with plenty of character and the three voicings make it an ideal choice for anyone wanting only to invest in a single large- diaphragm condenser. However, even if you do already own an enviable transducer collection, it’s worth giving the Atlantis a listen. We were particularly impressed with the low-end on this mic, which is in a league with classics like the Neumann FET47. Dive in! n

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY f £1,198 (€1,470) inc VAT

Distributed by Synthax Phone +44 (0)1727 829750

TECH SPECS f31.25mm dual-diaphragm capsule

fCardioid, Omni and Figure-8 polar patterns

fThree unique voicings fRequires 48V phantom power f+10dB gain f-10dB pad fCustom wound output transformer fLow noise FET circuit

fFrequency response from 20Hz-20kHz

f120dB dynamic range fImpedance <200 ohms

fMax SPL 130dB for 0.5%THD at 1,000Hz

PROS f Three distinct voicings

f+10dB gain and -10dB pad options

fComes with wooden box and shock mount

CONS fNo high-pass filter

Atlantis with

presentation box and shock mount

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