Monday, October 8, 2007

The Wonderful Sony C37A

A while back, I had a Sony C37A mic. It sounded great, especially on my voice. Along around 2000, I sold it for like, $1200. This is one of my biggest gear regrets (of many). In the last few years they have become increasingly rare, sought-after, and pricey. A good one goes for three grand now.

Investigating the mic in recent months, I'm seeing that it really became an industry standard in the early and mid 1960's, especially in LA studios. In my recent interview with legendary LA producer Bones Howe (to be published in Tape Op at some time in the future), he mentions the C37A a couple of times. When micing drums, he used one or two for overheads, and a Telefunken U47 out front of the kick. It was a favorite vocal condenser in studios like United Western, Radio Recorders, Wally Heider, and others. Apparently even Frank Sinatra preferred it to the U47.

I'm convinced the reason the C37A is now so scarce and desirable is Daniel Lanois' religious dedication to the mic. He uses it on every singer he works with .. Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Bono, Willie Nelson...I have a video of him producing Emmylou, and that mic is everywhere. She has guest singers coming in like Neil Young and Steve Earl and yep, same mic goes up on eveybody; the Sony C37A.

1 comment:

gtnobes said...

I have one of these if anyone's interested. Just like the picture except I don't have the mic stand. Contact me if interested. I'm in Minneapolis.

It's All About The Tone, Baby!