Man, do I love this microphone. The Avantone CV-12 is a large diaphragm tube condenser, apparently inspired by the AKG C-12. I picked one up in 2007 when the model was first introduced. It shipped with 3 different tubes at the time, allowing you to change its tonal characteristics and experiment with various applications. On the body you’ll find an 80Hz roll-off and a -10dB pad, while the power supply carries a 9-position switch for every pickup pattern between omni and bi-directional.
It’s a fun mic to play around with, and I’ve used it on many things. Most recently, as a room mic for the band Elbow this past Sunday morning.
And then immediately afterwards on whatever sort of bagpipe this is.
The CV-12 did a great job taming the harsh mid-range on that pipe. It even does a great job with 5k-drenched, terrible vocals such as my own.
But here’s a time when I think my CV-12 really shined. A band named The Low Anthem came into WFUV, and asked to record one of their songs using one microphone only. I put the CV-12 in omni, fed it with a tube preamp, and out came this:
Call it a knock off, call it a clone – what matters is that it does its job exceptionally well for a street price of $500. But don’t take my word for it. Ask Taylor Swift what mic she records with!
Actually, don’t ask her. She probably doesn’t know. Ask her producer.
“When you’re producing a top country artist like Taylor Swift you can choose any microphone you want for the lead vocal, from vintage high-priced mics to the unimaginably rare that the top studios in Nashville have to offer. But I found the best sound and the most emotional microphone I could use for Taylor’s lead vocal was the Avantone CV-12. I take it with me everywhere I record….Thanks for the CV-12 being County Music’s best vocal mic” – Nathan Chapman – Producer for Taylor Swift