I love to use these mics on lead vocals that require a tight focused and close mic'ed sound. The C12 VR is so close to the original that Tom Petty used one when recording the Heartbreakers' Echo album.
Good luck trying to find an original. You probably have heard your engineer friends who own the original say these words, "from my cold dead hands." This is a mic replicated from a 1950s design but improved upon. If you work with real singers, or need a mic with a pure sound, the C12 VR is it.
A Proven Winner
I had the good fortune to use the AKG C12 VR for an extended session that included supreme vocal talent such as Donna Summers, B. J. Thomas, Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, Maureen McGovern, Bobby Caldwell and more. The mic is superior in every way and the project ultimately won a Grammy. I had been (and still am) a fan of the U87, but if I were looking for the ultimate, this would be my choice.
I recently purchased a C12VR... I conducted a mic shoot out as soon as it arrived. I plugged my C12VR, Neumann U87, Neumann TLM-103 Anniversary Ed., and my Rode Classic II into identical Apogee solid state preamps for sound comparisons. I equalized the volume setting, and let the fun begin. In the end, the AKG C12VR and the Neumann U87(I had modified) were my finalist. It was like comparing apples to oranges (my vote was for the C12vr), so I brought in four musician friends to get their opinions. The AKG C12VR won the competition (all four picked the C12vr). The U87 sounds very "What you see is what you get". But, the C12VR makes everything sound warmer and magical. Also, the C12VR seems to cut down on sibilance, which is great. However, like all mics, EQing is a must. This is one of the best microphones in the world. I dare you to find a warmer microphone.
AKG C12 VR is a good sounding mic. perfect warmth,presence,a nice tube sound. Dont understand the bad reviews of this mic on the net..I suppose it is just a matter of taste, but it certainly is NOT a C12..and I can understand when people say it Doesnt Sound Like A C12...Because it dont. Akg could perhaps called it a C(something else).. This mic is too dark to be compared to an original C12. But again, C12 VR (Vintage reissue) is something special. It cuts through the mix, and the vocals sits perfectly.
I have tried it with a Neve pre..and a ****** Behringer pre...this mic sounds unbelieveable whatever you puts it through. NR.1!!! Remarkable sound! one of my favorites! AKG RULES!
AKG C 12 VR
After a many years of searching for the „perfect mic“ I've finally got my hands on a brand new AKG C12VR and I was blown away with results!! I use it in my studio with Avalon VT 737sp and RME Fireface 400....and the mic sounded perfect on everything I recorded with it, (lead vocals, back volcals, acoustic guitars, sax, etc...)...and it really translated the full range very evenly and have nice even tone and velvety warmth and presence....simply, it delivers a remarkable sound and performance!! So, in my experience and IMHO the nine remotely selectable pickup patterns make the AKG C12VR a necessity not only for vocals, but for instrumental solo recording, as well. Providing a sound beyond words, the AKG C12VR is the ultimate in microphones, trully „high-end class“ mic,...and a worthy investment for the professional artist.
I just love it!!:)))
An excellent arrow in my quiver
it's time to properly respect this nicely-made product and understand where it fits in your locker. The VR is, in fact, a very usable mic with a unique sound signature. The slight dip at 2K can make most male voices seem confined, distant...which is actually nice for blues and lyrics that convey darker emotions. For example, the mic was used to good effect to heighten Alanis Morissette's closed-in sound...emphasizing the paranoia and unhappiness in Jagged Little Pill...while also taming the shrill passages just a tad. In this fashion, the mic is quite a different tool than the very open-sounding C12. It is difficult to EQ this mic to sound more peaky in the midrange, which reminds us that EQ is different than resonance...the real reason to properly select a microphone. On females, the VR has no peers. The sound overall is somewhat similar to the C414B-ULS, but the head basket produces a full-time "air" on top and the tube fattens the lower midrange a tiny amount. The result it a highly refined, musical sound that can make some vocals and instruments stand out in a mix. The comparison to the C12 is unfortunate. The acoustics of the head basket bears no resemblance to the almost transparent screening of the original mic. This one is more screen heavy...and it achieves the high-end air by beating upper high frequencies together inside the basket, thanks to a fairly dense, second, micro screen...which also is used to acoustically cancel out the harshest sibilance. This is one of the best built mics I've ever seen...and it's a pleasure to use on any source that does not require extra midrange resonance. I have about 20 LDS's in my collection, and none of them sound like the C12VR. So it is the only mic that accomplishes what it does. And it does it very well.
VERY CLEAR! But a had little trouble dealing with the "lows"
It IS a great sounding mic. Do I think it's necessarily worth 5 G's, not so much... I recorded a male vocal with it and had to toy around with EQ quite a bit to get rid of some "boomy" low end. But in the end, it out performed any vocal mic in my collection!
The AKG C12-VR is certainly a dream microphone and like any fine piece of equipment, one should be proud to have one at his/her disposal. I find this universal fascination a little puzzling however. So much of the minute sound differences between this and lesser models is just too often lost in the digital medium and especially when the CD is used. As an industry we should be working towards a supperior recording/playback system. One that really captures the musical nuances this mic can detail.
After getting my hands on a pre 99 version of the C12 the sound it has added to my mixes is great.
Im glad I didnt listen to the bad reviews on some sites. If I had I would have missed a great deal.