Lauten Audio has begun shipping the new FC-387 “Atlantis” microphone, which offers a solid-state large-diaphragm condenser as well as multiple switches for three different polar patterns, gain, and unique timbre settings.
The FC-387 offers a blend of full and rich low- and mid-range, as well as smooth and unique high-mid and high-frequencies.
Fab DuPont, a New York engineer and producer who consulted on the tuning and settings of Atlantis, states,“Nobody is making a microphone for the modern recording process - everybody is making microphones as if we were still going through consoles and transformers to tape several times in the process of recording. The reality is we don’t. The reality is that we all record into a very clean preamp, into a very clean converter, into a very clean DAW, coming out a very clean D-to-A.
“And everything in incredibly open and bright and pristine; it’s really hard to make a modern, good sounding record because everything is too bright and everything is very wide open.”
Brian Loudenslager, founder of Lauten Audio, adds, “It’s really been a pleasure and an eye opening experience working with Fab on the Atlantis. Getting what I feel was a true non-biased opinion during the development and tuning of the Atlantis has taught me a lot about how others perceive the timbre of a microphone. This microphone is just so useful, with the many different preamps, voices and sources available today; the Atlantis can work with them all. Just flip a switch, or two.”
After shipping many experimental microphone builds back and forth between California, where Lauten Audio is located, and New York, where DuPont’s studio is housed, they finally agreed on the specs and the sound of the mic. “We came up with what is now the Atlantis. Which to me is my very first ‘desert island mic’ - I can do anything with it,” DuPont says. “It’s probably the most versatile mic I’ve ever had because of those three different personalities.”
Multiple switches located on each side and back of the FC-387 Atlantis microphone allow the engineer to uniquely configure it. First is a polar pattern switch giving recordists the option of choosing between cardioid, omnidirectional or Figure-8 polar patterns.
Borrowing the gain options from its sibling, the Lauten Audio “Clarion” FC-357 microphone, the Atlantis features a -10 dB and +10 dB switch. The +10 dB gain switch increases versatility by allowing a choice of whether to have more character from the preamplifier gain or directly from the microphone, while the -10 dB switch reduces its output and increases the maximum SPL level allowing it to record very loud sources.
The voicing switch provides recordists three very different timbres to choose from that satisfy a wide range of recorded sources. Setting options are Gentle, Neutral and Forward.
The Gentle position provides maximum control of bright or peaky sources like S sounds in vocal recordings. The Neutral position offers a nice even response with good control over vocal “S” sounds and other audio peaks, while the Forward position can help bring life to dull sources without having to use EQ, but still maintaining control over any peaks.
The FC-387 Atlantis offers an individually hand-tuned capsule and premium high-resolution electronics, making it a high-quality precision instrument.
DuPont’s experiences with the Atlantis mic in his own studio, recording on real projects, has revealed how well the mic turned out. “I have tracked a pretty impressive amount of vocals through it - that’s the mic’s main target: vocals - and it has not failed yet. It’s great on female vocalists on the ‘Gentle’ setting,” he says. “It’s great on quiet folk singers on the ‘Neutral’ setting. It’s really great on far away drums and stuff on the bright setting because you get no phase problems, and you get the bite that you need. It’s really quite a wonderful mic.”
“The first thing I did with the Atlantis was the demo for the launch of the Universal Audio Apollo demo, that’s a pair of Atlantis mics on the drums. That’s also the Atlantis mic on the vocal for the Apollo demo,” he adds. “I’m doing the next Cyrille Aimée record; she is the next biggest thing in Jazz. She’s totally in love with the Atlantis mic for her vocals. Everybody loves it, big engineers, small engineers.
“It’s not for people who go for the look of the mic or the name of the brand; it’s for people who actually listen to what’s coming out of the speakers. It’s for people who really know what the current modern recording problems are and want a solution: Atlantis is the solution.”
The Atlantis FC-387 microphone retails for $1,599 (U.S.) and will be available worldwide from dealers June 1, 2012.
The new Lauten Audio FC-387 Atlantis microphone. (click to enlarge)
Type: 31.25mm dual large diaphragm pressure gradient transducer microphone
Polar Patterns: Omnidirectional, Cardioid and Figure-8 selectable
Circuit: Low-noise solid-state FET
Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Dynamic Range: 120 dB minimum
Impedance: < 200 ohms
Max. SPL: 0.5%THD@1000 Hz: 130 dB
Self-noise Level: < 12 dB(A)
Sensitivity: 16mV/Pa OR -36±2dB 0dB=1V/Pa 1000 Hz
3-way -10 dB attenuation, 0 dB and +10 dB gain switch
3-way Gentle, Neutral, Forward voicing switch
3-way polar pattern switch
Connector: 3-pin standard XLR
Power Requirement: +48-volt phantom power