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Review: Placid Audio Copperphone – Vintage Effect Microphone

Looking to give you vocals some vintage flair? This mic could be the answer.

Item: Placid Audio Copperphone – Vintage Effect Microphone

Price: $259 (US)

Mic Rating: 4/5

At A Glance: Placid Audio’s Copperphone is a dynamic microphone that contains vintage communication components as well as a mechanical filtering device to achieve a vintage, lo-fi sound. The microphone is hand-made and built out of visually striking polished copper housings with an adjustable aluminium mounting bracket to enable it to be attached to a mic stand. It is indented to be used as a “special effect” microphone that is used occasionally when you want a lo-fi sound, rather than a mic to use in all situations. It can be used on vocals both live and in the studio, as well as on any other instrument you want to give a bit of vintage character to.

High Notes: The build quality and finish of the microphone is excellent and it will certainly turn heads on stage. When used on vocals it produces a classic vintage-style sound that is slightly “gritty” and has a narrow frequency range; yet it remains articulate and without any excessively muddy low-mid frequencies. The Copperphone uses standard XLR outputs and its cardioid polar pattern means you can use it on stage with wedge monitors without any particular problem with feedback.

Off Pitch: It is quite expensive and probably not a mic that most singers would use very often. You could also achieve similar sounds by using effects processing or perhaps even a harmonica mic (although the quality of sound produced by the Copperphone would probably be superior in most situations).

VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Placid Audio’s Copperphone is a unique microphone that does exactly what it aims to do and achieves sounds that other microphones cannot. That said, it is not especially cheap and it unlikely to have mass market appeal. As a studio tool, the microphone can offer a lot of creative potential; however you could get similar results using a combination of EQ and distortion effects, or with mic modelling software such as Wave’s The King’s Microphone. Ultimately there is little fault with the performance of the Copperphone, but its sound and usefulness will no doubt divide opinion.


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