Neumann U87 AI Review

Neumann U87 AI Review

2 days into recording a new EP for some local talent at Rooksmere Studios (which has sadly since closed its doors) Mark Hutchinson Rooksmere’s owner and head engineer pulled out something that took me by surprise…

The Neumann U87 AI a £1,764.00 condensor microphone known for its warm tone and precision engineering, some might say I was a little excited.

It being equipped with a large dual-diaphragmcapsule with three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8, makes it perfect for pretty much anything.

The legendary Neumann U87 is widely regarded as the best condenser microphone of the 1960’s , and perhaps the world’s most beloved large diaphragm condenser. It is equipped with a large dual-diaphragm capsule with three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8. These are selectable with a switch below the headgrille.

A 10 dB attenuation switch is located on the rear. It enables the microphone to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion. Furthermore, the low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect.

When making a professional studio investment, this microphone should always be on your list (i can’t see why you would want anything else)

All though the Neumann U87 AI is ageing it’s features i consider innovative still to this day.

  • Pressure-gradient transducer with double membrane capsule
  • Three directional characteristics: omni, cardioid, figure-8
  • Switchable low frequency roll-off
  • Switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation
  • Ideal as main and as support microphone in the most differing recording situations
  • Advanced Output Circuitry — Although the microphone features the original capsule, the U 87 AI mt features improved output electronics that provide higher sensitivity and improved signal-to-noise ratio
  • A Wooden Jeweler’s Case is included with this microphone

All though this classic condenser is widely regarded as the elite of vocal microphone’s it’s as versatile as any premium microphone is today, it’s great for recording virtually any instrument you can get your hands on, widely used in orchestral recordings! as a room mic! on piano’s! guitars! you name it the Neumann U87 AI is the don of microphones!


Now for those of you are that are recording noobs! you may be wondering what the practicality of having a multi-pattern microphone is? well may i ask you if you’re a fan of The Beatles? the Neumann U87 AI was one of John’s favorite microphone’s and was used in the majority of Beatle’s recordings, so where am i going with this? have you ever wondered how in a time that technology was far less advanced then what it is today exactly how they did so much with just four tracks? John and Paul were known for their brilliant harmonies together, but how did they get them recorded with such limitation? Enter Figure of 8!

I know that’s probably not a paragraph you were expecting but i just wanted to give an example of how awesome Figure of 8 is.

Super Famous! but how?

Undoubtedly The Neumann U87 AI is the most famous microphone in recording history, if you were to flick through pictures of a some rockstars recording some of the most iconic albums ever! you would see them standing next to this bad boy.

Back in the swinging 20’s (specifically 1928), George Neumann came up with the original CMV3 “Neumann Bottle”, which quickly became a standard in many fields.

As the years passed, Neumann continually changed his designs until the U87 made it’s first appearance in the late 1960’s.

By reputation alone, it has since become known by many as the company’s flagship microphone.

If legends like Lennon and McCartney used the Neumann U87 AI doesn’t that tempt you to see how awesome it is for yourself?

Either way yes or no this flagship microphone is one that will stay at legendary status for a lot longer than it already has and if i can urge you to do anything it would be to add this microphone to your collection, you wont regret it.

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