Since the 1950s, the Neumann U87 has been used to record many of popular music’s greatest songs.
What’s considered the Rolling Stones’ finest album, 1972’s “Exile On Main Street” was recorded predominantly with the U87. So was John Lennon’s most covered composition “Imagine”. Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”, Bruno Mars’ “DW&H”, and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” were also all recorded with the robust Neumann U87 mic.
Countless producers from all genres of music and Funktasy Artists have used the Neumann U87 to capture vocals, guitars, pianos, and all sorts of other instruments. There is no more famous vocal recording mic on the planet.
To this day, even rookie producers building up their arsenal of microphones and studio equipment will seek out the Neumann U87 microphone as it is considered an industry standard and has long seen much success.
Three Reasons Why The U87 Still Thrives In Modern Recording
Some gear that was popular decades ago understandably feels a little dated today. Recording techniques change, however, a premium vocal microphone is still worth its weight in gold. That’s a large part of the reason why the U87 is such an important piece of gear.
Let’s start with a major benefit. The Neumann U87 is a major studio favourite because of its reliability. Rarely will a U87 ever give out.
Beyond its dependability, the U87 also provides a unique warmth that allows its sound to sit well in the mix. Though the Neumann U87 has been reinvented and re-built in new unique ways through the years, the classic version still retains a high quality of sound that is unparalleled.
Lastly, a third reason to consider the Neumann U87 for your setup is because of its versatility. Having been in many different recording studios, one comes to recognize the real impact that a microphone can have on a vocal sound.
Moving past the effect that a microphone has on manipulating the sound of the voice before we even get to editing and effects, it must also be kept in mind how each person’s voice is unique and different. Those nuances are important to capture, from tone and frequency to subtle note changes.
Throughout popular music of the past nearly 100 years, vocalist after vocalist has reached for the Neumann U87 mic. It’s a microphone that has been time-tested to record perfectly all different types of voices and instruments with the highest clarity.
Neumann U87 History: From A Legendary Past To Continued Success
The history of the U87 goes back to 1928 when its early predecessor was first brought to market by George Neumann, a German inventor who established his company that same year in Berlin.
Fast forward a little bit and the Neumann U87 as we know it today first came into being in the late 1960s when phantom power began to be used in microphone design and manufacturing. The solid-state U87 replaced the company’s large-diaphragm U67 tube condenser microphone in 1967.
By the mid-1970s, the U87 was used everywhere. It was placed to pick up not only vocals but drums, used as overhead microphones, to capture brass sections and string sections, to engineer with a guitar cab, and for almost anything you might be able to think of.
By that point, news of the power and performance of the Neumann U87 had travelled far, making it a high-class choice for every recording studio in the world across the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, and abroad.
Some of the U87 features were fairly advanced for the time period and even today are thought of very highly.
In addition to the clarity of sound, with the U87, you have three selectable polar patterns in cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8. You also have a switch on/off high-pass filter and 10dB pre-attenuation pad, making the microphone an excellent choice for an array of recording techniques.
Since 1991, the Neumann Company has been overseen by the Sennheiser Group, and they have continued to produce the Neumann U87 brand up to the present. The signature sounds of the U87 can be heard on recordings already mentioned as well as others and by some of the world’s biggest-selling artists, including The Beatles, Ray Charles, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, and numerous others.
Why The Neumann U87 Price Is Worth It
If you look online to buy a Neumann U87 mic, you’re going to end up paying roughly $4,500-$5,000 USD for it. For a single microphone, that’s a lot of money. In fact, the U87 is one of the more expensive studio microphones there is.
Despite the cost, there is no arguing with the result. Is the Neumann U87 worth it? We say yes! Here’s why.
The Neumann U87 microphone provides clarity, warmth, and richness. It picks up on nuanced frequencies and enhances a performance in a way that other microphones are only built to imitate. To experts in the recording industry, the U87 is worth far more than its price tag which is why it is still considered to be among the most famous condenser microphones in the world.
Artists as diverse as Kurt Cobain all the way to Drake have depended on the Neumann U87 in some capacity to capture their sound and artistry.
Become A Pro & Make The Neumann U87 Your Go-To Recording Microphone
Do you need a $3,000 microphone to make a great track – of course not. But the Neumann U87 makes it easier to make music and will support your mixes in a way that other microphones don’t. That’s just the truth.
When it comes to the best microphones for recording vocals, most singers prefer a Neumann U87.
If you are a beginner just using a laptop to produce mixes, you might be able to get by with a lesser copy of the U87. There are knock-offs out there but they don’t quite capture the character that a real Neumann does.
If you want to make music other than your own and want to take music production more seriously, the Neumann U87 is likely to mean a lot to you.
The Neumann U87 has the history, specs, design, and performance in it to make it one of the world’s best recording microphones.