List of The Beatles' Instruments - Microphones


Although microphone usage varied somewhat according to the requirements of each song, the group's recordings at Abbey Road most often employed Neumann U47 or U67 microphones for electric guitars and one or more Neumann U47s (unidirectional); U48's "figure eight" (bidirectional) pickup pattern for vocals and most other instruments. The AKG C-12 was used as well, particularly on the bass (speaker) amplifier. Early in their recording career the drums usually were recorded with only two microphones: one overhead (an AKG D19 or STC 4038) and one for the bass drum (such as an AKG D20). Later, more microphones were used on the drums.

The AKG C28 is visible in the Let It Be film. Available studio documentation and interviews with their former recording engineers indicate that this microphone was not used for recording in the studio.

With the group's encouragement, recording engineer Geoff Emerick experimented with microphone placement and equalization. Many of his techniques were unusual for the time but have since become commonplace, such as "close miking" (physically placing the microphone very close to a sound source) of acoustic instruments or deliberately overloading the signal to produce distortion. For example, he obtained the biting string sound that characterises "Eleanor Rigby" by miking the instruments extremely closely—Emerick has related that the string players would instinctively back away from the microphones at the start of each take, and he would go back into the studio and move the microphones closer again. The recording of George Harrison's acoustic guitar in "Here Comes the Sun" was another incidence of close miking.

He also used a speaker as a microphone to increase the bass level whereas a microphone would overload from the air pressure.

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