As a continuation of my “geeking out on extremely expensive recording equipment” series, I find it necessary to do a quick review of the Telefunken AK47 reissue. Cleverly named after a blood thirsty gun (kidding) Barefoot Recording Studio has one of these monster tube microphones.
It is possible to find a plethora of reviews about this microphone, but they are usually in reference to other tube mics, and their response to the human voice. I prefer this microphone as part of a “mid side” pair with a Royer 121 ribbon microphone. I often reach for the AK47 with the Royer ribbon because, especially in omni polar pattern, the AK47 has a very smooth, understated top end, and an unhyped low end. This pairs very well with the dark character of the Royer ribbon microphone.
The result is a mid side pair that can be eqed very well to fit into a track. I have had great success with this on acoustic guitars, as well as mid side stereo room mics on drums.
As a general recording experiment, I often question the “standard” uses of microphones on specific sources. This is a great practice to keep recording chops sharp, and to really understand the equipment in use. A 421 on toms often sounds great, but if great can only be defined by records that have been made in the past, the practice is limiting the possibilities of the recorded format.