I've put the CM47 through some vocal recording testing the past week while recording backing vocals with UK chart topping vocalist Errol Reid ( of ChinaBlack 'Searching' fame and BV singer/songwriter for Bee Gees Robin Gibb). I've been using the CM47 straight into the amazing GA Pre-73 preamp and then into a RME Fireface 400 with the digital output feeding my Pro Tools rig. I had been using a Neumann TLM-103 on vocal sessions recently in a similar chain and I now definitely prefer my new CM47 for warmth and smoother top end presence.There is some low level background noise on the CM47 (because of the valve I guess), and I find the GA Pre-73 louder gain structure better suited to the CM47 than plugging directly into my Fireface 400, but the vibe of this mic far outweighs this minor issue. Also, after a few hours of being warmed up, the mic starts to sound even smoother like silk to my ears!..Definitely surpassed all my expectations and I'm using the CM47 in preference to Neumann or modded Oktava mics now.
Thanks for the great advice John...!
Diamond Swami Duggal
Producer (Shania Twain/ Maxi Priest/ Swami/ Apache Indian)
Thanks for your excellent and prompt service. The mic arrived well packed with everything in order. First impressions are that the flight case, power supply and cabling seemed as one would expect for a mic in this price range but the mic itself is beautifully made and reassuringly solid and the shock mount is utilitarian and built to last. As we all know microphones are a matter of taste but as soon as i started playing with it on vocals (especially in figure of 8) and acoustic guitar i was really impressed; singing into a good quality mic can really inspire you vocally and this is exactly what I found with the cm 47. It doesn't exactly "hype" things to my ears but it just sounds articulate and contemporary.
Over the weekend I had a producer friend from London up who owns a professional recording studio. He is always very blunt and with me and is enormously helpfull at quickly pointing out positive and negative aspects to my productions. When we used the cm47 to lay down some piano on one of his projects, his verdict was "it's a 1000 quid mic for 500 and where can I buy one?" I have passed on your email address to him.
In short I'm delighted with the cm47. It's a serious tool and excellent value for money .
My initial thoughts so far are very positive. Over time i have used several mics, i own a Neumann TLM103 and when i hire a local studio i use a U87 for vocals. I would have paid more for this mic and not batted an eyelid, it looks great. So far ive used it for my own vocals and accoustic guitar mic'ing. if im honest it suits my vocal better than a U87 (not the original tube U87) and much much better than my TLM103 ever produced, in particular the mids and highs are warm and very accurate. Its also a very quiet mic, i use it in my home studio come garage and it can pick up things like my CPU fan which is not great but ive managed to sort that with mic positioning and a reflection filter and when recording i have to monitor direct through headphones only. The cardioid pattern selector is useful too, very subtle changes in room ambience are quite noticeable in a mix. Currently i run the mic through a focusrite Class A preamp and the results are the best ive acheived using this gear. Im looking to buy a UA tube pre amp later this year so will be keen to hear the results with the CM47. It comes highly recommended from me and i think this mic could really compete with anything below £1000.
a few initial thoughts about the CM47.
I think the mic sounds excellent, very detailed and full and when tested next to a Rode K2 on Welsh harp the difference is scary, greater tonal clarity, more depth and warmth. The polar pattern adjustment is also superb, it is easy to hear the changes brought about by adjusting from omni to cardioid, so much so that it is possible to make key choices about tonality whilst recording.
I've yet to try on vocal, but have also used on classical Indian tabla with storming results, once again, a full rich tone that captures the dynamics of the performance better than any other mic in my collection.
Maybe it has a little more self noise than the K2, but I guess this is a vintage mic, and the pay off is the wonderful rich warm recordings.
If you would like any examples of these recordings drop me an email.
I'm loving the mic and intend to investigate more in the next few weeks ....., will keep you posted!
had an Advanced Audio CM47 valve condenser mic in the
studio for about 4 months now and these are some first
Firstly, I'm not in a position to make direct comparisons
between this mic and a Neumann U47 tube simply because
we don't have an original u47 tube and, given that originals
change hands for at least 6 times the price of the CM47,
comparisons would be fairly useless anyway, so I'm trying
to evaluate this mic solely on its performance in certain
situations. Microphones are just getting better and cheaper
all the time and it does get harder and harder to write
anything new about any given mic but heres my initial
thoughts for what they're worth!
The CM47 is a very well built, good looking microphone
with an independent power supply and a seriously industrial
strength shock mount (more about this later) and the first
time I used the mic was when I visited a home studio to
give some advice on various problems. Part of the day
was spent recording the client with a few different mics
(guitar and vocal playing and singing together).
We worked our way through a Neumann u87, AKG C414, AEA
R84 Ribbon, GoldenAge R1 Ribbon, Neumann TLM 103, Shure
SM81, the CM47 and a couple of dynamics recording the
same piece of music each time and layered the tracks in
Logic such that we could make A/B comparisons between
the various mics. Everything was recorded flat and we
kept the mic position the same throughout.
The TLM 103 was the client's own mic with which he was
unhappy anyway and as we played back the other mics I
was able to point out to him where each mic differed from
the others. Even in a less-than-desirable monitoring environment
the differences were quite marked.
As soon as I played back the CM47 track his face lit up
and a big grin appeared. He loved what it did to his voice.
His only explanation was that it sounded “classier”.
And it certainly did. He reckoned that the CM47 gave him
a vocal sound he was very happy with for the first time
since he'd set up his gear and he eventually badgered
me into selling him the mic. However, let me say
a couple of things here..........
I'm aware that this might sound a bit too good be true
but the fact is that anyone who has access to a few different
mics could have the same experience which is why I always
urge people to “try before you buy” if at
all possible. Given the amount of good quality mics now
available at affordable prices you are bound to find something
out there to suit your needs.
Secondly, I'm not a fan of mic “shoot-outs”
and this wasn't intended as such. We simply found a mic
which flattered his voice in a way that he liked. It could
have been any of them to be honest (he initially favoured
the GA R1) but the warmth and sweet top end of the CM47
de-emphasised the honky mid-range in his voice and it
just sounded, well, classier. I managed to eq the 414
track to sound something like the CM but it was never
quite the same.
I brought copies of the various wavs back to Fairview
and listening to them on my Genelecs revealed more accurately
the low frequency fullness which his monitors and room
did'nt. Also the high end was positioned somewhat differently
to what I'd heard on his speakers. The CM47 track reacted
well to some post eq and compression but that's not to
say that the others did'nt, I just always felt that, with
the others, I was trying to add some indefinable quality
which was'nt there at the recording stage. A bit vague
I know but trust me!
The other side of this is that I used it on a rapper in
the studio a few days later and swapped it for my u47fet
which gave a better representation of that particular
voice in a hip-hop track....so horses for courses I guess
though you are never going to get a Neumann U47 fet for
Since that time apart from regular use on vocals,I've
used the CM47 on bass guitar cabs, on guitar amps (good
on overdriven sounds, smooths out nasty peaky distortion
and reacts well to small changes in placement), and percussion
(anything which can make a cowbell sound ok has to be
The variable polar pattern is very useful indeed. If you
can arrange to have the power supply with the polar switching
in the control room then you will find find that some
of the in-between settings really open up the sound and
accentuate the space around the source.
I've got some good sessions booked into Fairview in the
next 3-4 months and am looking forward to trying this
mic on some more demanding sounds...how about Northumbrian
pipes or a whole range of ethnic percussion?
Finally then, let's sit this mic firmly in it's price
a couple of years ago a mic of this quality would set
you back over £1000 and at its price the CM47 is definitely worth considering.
At around £500 it's a very nice sounding and versatile
mic that compares very well which more expensive valve
condensers out there.