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What Mic is Beyonce using here

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Catherine Conforti, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Catherine Conforti

    Catherine Conforti Active Member

    Hey guys! i was looking at a few video of Beyonce recording in the studio and I am just curious to know if everybody can recognize the make of her mic.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auTreEK6FNk

    Thanks so much!
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    looks like:
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I could ask my friend and colleague, Sean O'Brien, her guitar tech on tour? But then I'd have to kill ya.

    Yeah, Telefunken, Elam, AKG 251, C-12 or equivalent types. It's not a 47 that's for sure. It's likely a tube but could also be a transistor?

    Why? You think it's going to make a difference from somebody who doesn't know what they're doing? How do you know it wasn't just a prop? And that the actual microphone may have been 3 feet from her? It's a trick a lot of us have used in the past and currently. But they never know. I've done that a few dozen times throughout my career. I've even seen Michael Jackson singing into a SHURE SM-7. Why wasn't he on one of those? Do you know? Do you care? Should you care? Yes. Because that's a cheap microphone they recorded the King of Pop on. But sometimes one of those others like you see in Beyoncé's picture. You think the microphone makes the performer? Or does the performer make the microphone? That is the question.

    And what would you be plugging said microphone into? You don't think that makes some of the difference? Your question was basically incomplete. Your daddy has one thing that helps to make a baby. But daddy doesn't make babies. Mommy makes babies with daddy's help. And recordings are a little like that.

    Videos of people performing their recordings in the studio are not always of them making the recording in the studio. When you're producing a music video recording, it's the producer and the director that tells the cinematographer what microphone looks best. Because they're not really recording anything with that microphone. Or maybe they are? Maybe you should drop her a line and ask her? She should get back to you within a year or two? Maybe? Maybe she might be intrigued by your question and want you to record her? Then you could use your SM-58 and make her a better recording than that stupid microphone would? And maybe not? But how are you to know when you don't know anything to begin with?

    I believe in SM-58's with extra foam pop filters. They sound like Neumann U-87's but instead of $3300 you only needed to spend $100. And ya can get the same sound. But you didn't know that either did ya? No. Now you do. I just saved you $3200!

    Thankfully my advice will only cost you $500.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I agree with audiokid, from the color of the body that is barely visible, ( to me) that specific cream color points to it probably being a Telefunken ELAM 251. Very popular in Capitol Records early 50's recordings... Sinatra, Nat Cole, etc.

    It could also be a cheaper knock-off.

    Originals are still sought after today by serious collectors. Telefunken has re-released them, as audiokid pointed out with the link he gave.

    There are many who consider this mic to be the Holy Grail of Studio Condensers.

    Then again, it's a music/promo video... so it may just be a prop? If it is the real thing and it is just a prop, it's a grand waste of a damned fine mic....although I can't say that it would matter all that much on this particular song, as it's half rap and half melodic, and even the melodic part isn't a part that would really benefit all that much from the sweet esoteric nuances that a Telefunken 251 would offer.

    You too can be the proud owner of one... a new one will run you around 10 grand or so, an older original vintage version could fetch quite a bit more, I've seen them go for up to $25 thousand - although you need to be very careful with the vintage models, as time - and human clumsiness - has taken its toll on so many of them...

    I don't know anyone here on RO who has one (I could be wrong), although several of us - myself included - have been lucky enough to work with them in various studios over the years, and they are indeed a superb and gorgeous sounding condenser mic. (BTW, Remy's nuts if she truly thinks that a Telefunken ELA or U Series sounds the same as a Shure SM57...)

    So, if you have a large sum of money burning a hole in your pocket...

    The good news is that the required external power supply is included in the price of the new ones. ;)


  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    What ever the mic that was put there, there is a good chance it was only for the video and not the recording.
    Interviews and recording rarely happen the same day ;)
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Theres the ELAM 251 and an SM7 just off to the side
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    And I want! The Elam 251 has been on my list for years. I have a Sounddelux 250 and it is by far my most favourable mic to date. That through my m-2b is just beautiful. I can only imagine how sweet one of these is, compared.
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I had one of my ADK TT's rebuilt by JJ Audio into a ELAM 251 with a CK12 cap. Havent used it yet but will report. He rebuilt the power supply too. The other ADK became a U47. CK47 capsule and M249 electronics. Those with the Cathedral Pipes U67 and the old trusty U87 makes a good vocal locker.
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I had the opportunity to use a vintage Elam several years ago - the guy who owned the studio I was working at (here in Ohio) bought two Elams from Capitol Record's studio in the mid 70's. He has a picture on his control room wall of Sinatra singing into one (although he couldn't attest to the mic in the pic being one of the ones that he bought). He told me that when he bought the pair, Capitol had at least 20 of them, and that some of them were - unfortunately - in pretty bad shape. Several were dinged up and dented pretty bad, not to mention smoke... If you look at older pictures, artists at that time had no qualms about sparking up a Camel when they sang - and no one stopped them if they did. Sinatra did it all the time... which meant that more than a few of those mics likely had a coating of tar and nicotine on the diaphragms.

    The sound?

    Rich, pure, warm, silky. Absolutely gorgeous. And it "took EQ" oh so nicely....This certainly wasn't your basic $100 Chinese condenser, to be sure. ;)
  10. Catherine Conforti

    Catherine Conforti Active Member

    Thanks for all your insights. I am a singer who is just starting to familiarize myself with recording mics, whether they are fancy or not or whether the artist is actually using them! I know there's a whole lot learn.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    and $$$

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