1 Dec 2021

The AKG C414 Giveaway – The Winners!

Last month, we put out the call on the web and in our weekly CX News email that we were giving away a shiny new AKG C414 XLS (RRP $2099 inc GST) to the CX reader who could tell us the best story about using a C414 live or in the studio.

An industry legend since 1971, the large diaphragm condenser has been used in thousands of studios and on stages the world over. Revered for its flat frequency response and incredibly handy switchable polar patterns, the C414 loves acoustic instruments and vocals.

We asked: what’s the best sound you’ve ever got out of a C414? What were you recording or amplifying? Who was involved, and what happened?


The runners-up have won a three-year subscription to the print edition of CX Magazine, and the winner is taking home a three-year subscription AND an AKG C414 XLS courtesy of Australian distributor CMI Music & Audio.

Runners up – each receive a three-year subscription to CX Magazine

“I was recording a progressive band back in the day and they wanted the guitar to sound like it was underwater. When I came back from lunch that day, the boys had put a condom on the 414 and placed it in a (relatively clean) fishbowl in front of the guitar amp. The mic was owned by the singer so I didn’t really mind and was curious to hear what it sounded like. It was barely distinguishable as guitar and unusable by itself, but mixed with a normal mic and after some creative mixing, it did have an interesting underwater sound. The singer recently told me that the mic still smells questionable.” – Locky Beresford

“I was Stevie Nicks sound engineer for over 15 years. The only mic we ever used in all of her home studios was the C414, as it was the one mic she loved. Her voice through that mic was crystal clear and very even sounding through all frequencies. We used it for over 15 years and many of her famous songs were recorded through it. Even when we went into bigger studios, we used the C414 because she loved it so much. It was also very useful that it had other polar patterns, because I recorded all of her back-up singers through it as well, sometimes with three of them on
the mic at the same time.” – Lance Krivé

And the winner is…

“Maybe not the most amazing sound but certainly an interesting application of a AKG C414, if my memory serves me right.

In 1984- 85 I was the sound designer for the opera Doktor Faustus by the Dutch composer Konrad Boehmer. I was the head of the audio and video department of the Dutch Opera in Amsterdam. Initially I only programmed the Oberheim OBX and Yamaha DX7 but there were a few other tricky things in the score and I was asked to create a sound design, a very rare occasion in those days. It was a co-production between Dutch Opera, Paris Opera and the English National Opera and the production had its’ world premiere in the Paris Opera Palais Garnier.

Where it gets interesting, and the C414 gets involved, is that in the underworld there was a punk band, TC Matic, fronted by Arno Hintjes. The percussion backline was very ‘post apocalypse’ and made up of car rims and a huge fridge. And inside the fridge was the C414 to amplify the bashing of it and slamming the door as part of the score.
Hey, it was the 80s!

Initially I had been looking at one of my Neumann U87s, but was a little uncomfortable leaving that in the fridge for the duration of the season. So, I used a C414 to amplify a fridge on the Paris Opera stage.

Interesting side details, the Paris Opera didn’t have a sound system at all. It had four small speakers around the stage it used for sound effects but nothing else. I brought in a system with a Tascam desk and Altec ‘Voice of the Theatre’ stacks. None of the Paris Opera crew spoke English and I had to translate manuals to French because they did not have a clue how to hook-up a PA. I was only there until opening night before they ran the season.

During one of the rehearsals somebody noticed some very fine white dust falling from the Rodin ceiling. It appeared the ceiling didn’t like the subs much, and some heavy EQing was required after a tense discussion with the venue.” – Roderick van Gelder

Awesome story Roderick! Your shiny new AKG C414 XLS is in the mail!


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