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Review: Placid Audio’s Intriguing Copperphone Dynamic Mic

Placid Audio is renowned for their particular-looking microphones. These steampunk-stylized instruments sound just as good as they look, with tons of visceral analog mojo. Thanks to the design of their Copperphonea limited frequency spectrum is captured (200-3k Hz), resulting in a fantastic lo-fi sound without the use of processing. It sounds great on pretty much everything, which is why many major recording artists swear by having one readily at their disposal.

The Copperphone particularly shines on vocals, guitar, and snare drums. We found that it pairs excellently with the familiar Shure SM57. By blending the two, we were able to dial in crunchier sounds on our drums without compression or any noticeable unnatural qualities. It works fabulously for mic’ing the back of a speaker/amp, capturing an excellent sound and space, also perfect for blending with another microphone.

The one area where the Copperphone falls short is as a DJ microphone. We experienced lots of feedback problems with the Copperphone, in a situation where a Shure SM57 did fine (a small basement DJ environment). However we didn’t get the chance to try it out in a bigger space, so it probably could be managed depending on the space. It seems like it would work best in a live situation blended with a “typical” microphone, or placed somewhere back/sidestage to nullify potential feedback issues. We wanted to use it very badly- this is definitely one of the coolest looking and sounding microphones around! However, with a microphone in your studio setup, you’ll need an audio interface, preamp, a stand, cables; the list goes on. For those who can’t shell out the cash for a new microphone, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve constructed a free sample pack of Copperphone recordings, available for download on the ‘DMNW Demos’ SoundCloud. These recordings range from claps and snaps to some vocal one-shots, to a thumb piano, with lots of weird goodies in between.

What new piece of gear do you want for your studio? Let us know in the comments below!