The new Brauner Valvet Voice is a fixed pattern (cardioid) large diaphragm tube mic, specially designed for recording voice. It's only available in a limited run of 500 mics, and is at a lower cost ($2695) than most Brauner products. The mic comes with a power supply, cable, suspension mount and a case. Since it's designed for voice, we initially tried it on acoustic guitar, up against a Manley cardioid reference mic. The Valvet wasn't as boomy in the low end, but it did sound a tiny bit brighter. As we compared the two mics on piano, speaking voice and singing voice, these characteristics became more apparent. The low end seems to roll off somewhere right around 140 Hz, but in a very gradual and natural way. On voice it helped eliminate muddier qualities, on guitar it cut out the thick boominess, and on piano it cleared up some of the nasty rumble of our old upright. Most notably, on singing and spoken voice, was the pronounced high end bump. It seems to have a slight high mid boost (4 kHz?) but then some sparkle way up high (it's rated to 28 kHz) that was even brighter than the Manley mic (which I always pull out for dull voices). Brauner was correct to label this a voice mic, as it really does bring out more detail and clarity in a variety of vocals. I get the feeling that if I had the Valvet Voice around for all my sessions that I'd use it quite a bit (and I already have the Manley and a Soundelux 251) and that I wouldn't be adding as much high end EQ to vocals during mixing. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

Or Learn More