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Telefunken Creates Custom C13 Microphone For John Hill

Grammy-nominated producer requests CK-13 alloy capsule from ELA M 251T with the C12 body and custom black powder coat finish.

By PSW Staff April 19, 2018

Pictured at The Village recording studio is John Hill with his custom C13 Telefunken large diaphragm condenser microphone. (Credit: David Goggin)

Record producer, songwriter, and musician John Hill purchased a custom C13 large diaphragm condenser microphone from Telefunken Elektroakustik. The mic uses the same CK-13 alloy capsule as found in the ELA M 251T, but is housed in the more slender C12 body and has a custom black powder coat finish.

A few of the songs that utilized the Telefunken C13:
— Zara Larsson – “Make That Money Girl” from So Good
— Demi Lovato – “Tell Me You Love Me” from Tell Me You Love Me (used for backing vocals only)
— AlunaGeorge – “Jealous” & “Wanderlust” from I Remember
— Banks – “Poltergeist” from The Altar
— Tei Shi – “Say You Do” from Crawl Space
— Erik Hassle – “Missing You,” “Breaking The Waves” & “Minnesota” from Innocence Lost

Hill, who was nominated for “Producer of the Year” at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, recalls how he found his custom Telefunken mic, “Well, I got a bunch of mics from Telefunken to demo, a C12 and a few different ELA M251’s, and I landed on the C12 as my favorite. I asked what we could do to marry the C12 and the 251. They said they’d done a custom one before called the C13 and they made one for me with a custom finish. I love this mic and we use it on just about everything, but especially for vocals. It also really adds a lot of articulation to dark and dirty upright piano. And it sounds great for bass amps, about six feet off the bass cab.”

Hill describes the sound of his custom microphone, “The C13 has the crispness of the C12 but it’s a little more rounded off like a 251. It looks a lot like a C12 but it has the black finish, which I love.”

Does the C13 react differently with different singers? “Yes, it does, and one thing that I love about the C13 is that it automatically sounds like a finished record. It makes the job easier for me and my engineering partner Rob Cohen. I come from an engineering background, but through the years my Pro Tools chops have gone a little bit slower, so Rob also does a lot of the vocal production on the records that we do together. When we combined the C13 with a 1073 preamp and an 1176 compressor, the sound just burst out, it was just jumping out of the speakers. It immediately sounds done.”

In 2017, John Hill co-wrote and produced “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man, which as of Nov 1, 2017 was #1 on the Billboard all-genre Radio Songs chart, the Pop Songs chart, as well as the Dance/Mix Show Airplay and Adult Pop Songs charts after having spent 17 weeks on top of the Alternative Songs chart and 11 weeks at #1 on the Adult Alternative songs chart making it one of only a dozen songs ever to top six different charts.

Telefunken Elektroakustik

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