First introduced in 1987 the AKG C747 was originally designed for ‘unobtrusive speech applications when mounted on a podium or lectern, or for teleconferencing activities’. From this somewhat uninspiring start, these days the C747 is widely acknowledged as one of the most versatile microphones AKG ever produced!
Just a glance at the tech spec tells you that this was not a microphone simply doomed to deliver the Chairman’s annual report!
- Smooth frequency response from 30Hz -18kHz.
- Rapid transient response produced by tiny, low-mass, capsule.
- Tight hypercardioid polar pattern, giving excellent separation.
- SPL rating of 133db.
It didn’t take engineers long to realise that this neat, pencil sized miniature shotgun microphone has many uses away from the conference hall!
I recently acquired a well-matched pair of old C747s and it occurred to me that although advertised as having some ‘shotgun’ characteristics, these neat little condensers do in fact behave pretty much the same as any other hypercardioid microphone. I therefore wondered how they would get on as a crossed stereo pair. I have seen them occasionally used like that in a conference speech setup, but never recording a large symphony orchestra! (Frequently used as spot mics but certainly not as the main pair!) So here goes …………
The mics were crossed at 65 degrees (at the capsules) and positioned on a tall stand about a metre behind the conductor. N.B. To get the full effect of this recording you need to download it in full resolution and play it on speakers at the sort of volume that will really annoy your neighbours!
Here below are the Tech specs for both the AKG C747 and the current model the C747 11. It is interesting to note that in the C747 11 literature various instrumental applications are also illustrated. (guitar, saxophone, snare, drum) The newer model also has a slightly different frequency response, more tailored towards speech. Either way these are fabulous, unobtrusive, little mics that will blend seamlessly into almost any situation!
N.B. The Hi-Pass filter on these mics is hidden away in the XLR plug (also containing the mic preamp) I included this last photo because, in conversation with the previous owner, he told me that he never realised that the 747 had a hi-pass switch!! When working close up he ‘Always found them a bit too bassy ‘ !