AKG P420 High-Performance Condenser Microphone

The AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone is a sturdy, reliable microphone that can record in many situations. It’s great for those who want to record an acoustic guitar solo, a duet of singers, or a podcast interview.

It’s so versatile because it has a multiple polar pattern as well as a switchable attenuation pad on the back of the mic, too. It’s able to pick up a high dynamic range as well.

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • Microphone
  • Spider Shockmount
  • Metal Carrying Case

Technical Specs

  • Audio frequency bandwidth 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Bass cut filter 300 – 12 dB/octave Hz
  • Electrical impedance <= 200 ohms
  • Signal to noise 79 dB-A

AKG Harman Company

The company was founded in Vienna in 1947. Within a few months, the company’s microphones were being used in radio stations and jazz clubs. At the time, the mics were made by hand. There were only 5 workers who made the microphones. In 1949, they expanded their products to include headphones.

From there, they continued to make new microphones and received acclaim for their quality condenser mics. The C 12 was one of the first products to make acoustic history, and their first customers were companies like the BBC in London.

Throughout the years, they’ve won awards for their products and their products have been used on tour with some of the most famous musicians in the world like Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton.

First Impressions

At first glance, this microphone leaves an impression. It’s a microphone that looks stylish, but what’s more impressive is the fact that it has so many features. It’s reasonably priced as a single mic, but has 3 patterns, so it’s like getting 3 mics.

It comes with a shockmount and carrying case, too. This mic can be added to your current recording setup, or you can begin your recording career with this microphone by adding cables, power, and stand quite easily.

Polar Pattern

While this isn’t a cheap microphone, you are essentially getting three of them for the price you’d pay for one. The three patterns are the figure 8, omnidirectional, and cardioid pattern.

With the figure 8 pattern, you’re able to record sounds from the front and back of the mic. If you’re wondering why that would be important, consider sitting across the table from someone and recording a conversation.

You’ll be able to pick up both sides of the conversation without purchasing two microphones. It’s also great for recording a musician on one side playing an instrument and the vocalist on the other side singing.

The omnidirectional pattern records all the sounds within a few feet of the microphone. If you play with a band, you can pick up all the sounds from the drums to the guitar to the singing with one microphone.

Although, you might want to pick up the reverb in the room with these instruments, it couldn’t hurt to have a separate mic for the vocalist.

The cardioid pattern is for recording sounds directly in front of the mic. It can pick up sounds from the sides, but it’s mainly for recording directly from the front. This is a great pattern to use when recording a solo instrument like an acoustic guitar.

The background noise is minimally recorded, but you’ll get some reverb from the sides as the sound bounces around the room.

Power Requirements

The microphone is a condenser mic, which means that it needs phantom power to operate. The mic doesn’t come with an XLR cable, but that’s what you’d need to power the microphone. Usually, that’s a 48v power supply that’s required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of mic stand should I purchase for this microphone?
It has a standard clamp, which means that you should be able to choose any mic stand you want.

Can this be plugged into a computer?
In order to use this in a computer, you’d have to use an interface as well as phantom power in order to hook this into the computer.

Will this mic pick up traffic outside during the recording?
This mic is incredibly sensitive, but you can choose the cardioid pattern and have the mic facing away from the windows to avoid picking up noise from the street.

Can this mic be used overhead to capture a group of singers?
With a choice of patterns, you can use this microphone in a variety of ways. It sounds like the omnidirectional pattern would work best in that scenario.

The AKG P420 High-Performance Condenser Microphone is one of those mics that works well in almost every situation. Recording a guitar solo, a trio of singers, a conversation between podcasters, or a live show for playback later is all scenarios where this microphone shines. Along with the three polar patterns, it has a switchable attenuation pad for high SPL situations, too.

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