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June 2017 Giveaway

Lauten Audio Oceanus LT-381 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone Reviews

4.5 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the Lauten Audio Oceanus LT-381 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone?

Questions about the Lauten Audio Oceanus LT-381 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Stuart Niven

    The Oceanus is the most "open" sounding mic I have ever heard!

  • Forrest Powell

    Every vocal demo I've heard with the Lauten Audio Oceanus has astounded me. Well worth a listen!

  • from Chicagoland, USA August 22, 2016Music Background:
    Vast and varied

    Top Shelf in the Locker!

    I've had my LT-381 for about three years now - enough time to get some solid operational experience with it. That means, I can't really give you first impressions, although I do recall my awe at the sheer size and weight of this mic, and of the craftsmanship, that I felt when I first opened the box.

    As you read this, keep in mind that I have an "okay" mic locker. Not "sick" or "over the top" or otherwise unworldly. I have never used many of the "top end" mics seen in Sweetwater's catalog.

    In the three years since buying this, I have used this mic on all manner of things, from vocals to acoustic guitars to mandolins and baglamas and banging on odd things doing Foley work, and...Oh, My.

    I have yet to find any application that this mic *hasn't* been wonderful at recording. Yes, there are things that I'll try another mic for... and sometimes I keep the prints from the other mic - something harsher, or "browner", or whatever. But, Music is a subjective thing, and as producer/engineer/artist, it's OUR job to make those calls.

    Compared to ALL my 13 or so other mics, though, the Oceanus stands out in these specific areas:
    1. When compared to all my other mics in an A-B test, every other mic sounds like I'm singing through a cardboard tube, in terms of focus (not tone!). The LT-381, in comparison, yields a huge, wide space, even mono, that just sounds "open and nice". Many artists in my studio have said the exact same thing. And the many polar patterns contribute to this... and to Experimentation.
    2. I don't disagree with ANY of the reviews here on SW's site previous to my own - especially JJ's comment about "sounding like a jazz bar" - that's why I bought this mic, in fact. Think classic Ella Fitzgerald or Tony Bennett - warm, detailed, pristine, intimate. The sound is balanced and beautiful. Just... beautiful.
    3. Using common-sense audio engineering skills, I cannot make this mic distort. It is very, very Clean - that's where the intimacy happens.
    4. For my own personal vocal work: I wanted the sound of Belafonte at Carnegie Hall. The Oceanus, coupled with my Retro Powerstrip, just NAILS that sound.

    Sum all of the above up: it does everything I ask of it, it's HUGEY flexible in day to day applications, it's under 2 grand, and it sounds just sublime. Think about that: if you only have the budget for ONE fine mic, and asked my opinion, I'd say "this"! You won't look back, unless you have clients whose snobbery exceeds your audio skills!

    Highly-prized, and thus highly-recommended!!

  • from iowa March 30, 2016Music Background:
    weekend warrior, project studio and bass player with a good day job


    I put this in front of a Manley core and the Orion 32, the full harmonic content of the voice appears at the other end... breath, lip articulation and sub glottal resonance are all there in a very balanced way...
    one can even imagine how moist the singers lips are as they part.
    very attention getting on female voices....
    Thanks to Robby R at Sweetwater for listening to my needs. I am very satisfied!

  • from Chicago, IL October 14, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Mixing/Recording Engineer, Pro Musician


    Great Vocal Mic hands down, with a in your face tone and with out feeling too warm. A lot of times tube mics can come off a little to warm for my taste but this one is very well tamed with a clarity that is defined. for the price in comparison of some other house hold name brands. It can stand up on its own and shock you as it did me. For what its worth don't get caught up in paying for a name when there is are many affordable options out here that can stand up to some of the greats .Very innovative product.

  • from Nacogdoches September 20, 2013Music Background:
    Artist and engineer

    Thanks Geoff!!!!!

    This is the best mic in the world running through my API 527, Shadow hill, and SSL 611... I cant believe the sound it brings to the table...I am blown away seriously by this one. pleasssssssse get this mic and you'll see what im talking about. Geoff man you my are sales engineer for life on this dawg. Perfect for vocals!!!!!

  • from Hilo, HI April 26, 2013Music Background:
    Engineer. Producer. Musician. Record Label

    Riddim of the Oceanus!!

    The Oceanus is an amazing piece of art!! Everything about it from the heavy duty case, power supply, the mic box, shockmount, and of course the microphone itself!!! This thing is a beast in size... very attractive of gear!!

    The sound of this microphone is something else though.....!!! Im using nothing fancy... Just a DIGI 003 interface (Stock everything). Hit play and you'll be blowing your mind!!! You'd be thinking... That's a "PHAT" vocal chain!!! But nope. Hah!! Clean and clear from top to bottom! Could rant all day about this but... nuff said!

    Also...Thanks to those who posted reviews about this mic! Your reviews were crucial to my decision! Aloha!

  • from Hartford Conecticut October 23, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Recording Artist

    Amazing For Vocals!!!

    I own this microphone and I use it with an Avalon VT-737sp pre amp, going into a RME Baby Face interface, and the signal is just perfect. It sounds like it was recording in a big time recording studio. I'm an intern at a professional studio and I'm an artist as well so I'm familiar with big analog sound, this microphone helps you have that sound. If you're a good engineer you'll have so much to appreciate about the clarity, the quality, and how the microphone just pushes your vocals right in front of the mix, giving it a big 3-D sound.. Before I bought it and I read about it's 3-D sound, I thought it might've lacked in other things, but make no mistake. It is amazing in almost every way and it gives you that 3-D sound that cuts through the beat, I wouldn't be taking the time out to write this review. I will never sell this mic.

  • from Ann Arbor MI May 23, 2012Music Background:
    Producer/Mixer/Recording Engineer


    I just picked this mic up from Sweetwater on a total experiment and I am glad I did. It really does have it's own thing. I work regularly with a sick mic locker including vintage U48, U67s, C12 and a Bock 251 and this mic feels right at home...and it looks cooler than the others. The first thing you'll notice is that it's the size of two softballs duck taped together. You'd think It has it's own weather system. But seriously after putting it up for vocals the first thing I noticed is that the massive diaphragm is like a huge landing pad for sound. You don't have to be right up on this mic to get a big sound. The proximity is nice and clear even at 12" away as a singer. It also gives you a bit of room to move around in the booth. You don't seem to lose much if the singer likes to "perform" during vocal tracking. So far I like it as much as any mic I own and I see why it's getting so much attention. It's also stellar on Drums. I can't wait to put this thing in front of my Ampeg B15 and track some bass. I have a feeling it will sound amazing. I also noticed that this mic sounds really good through a 1073. I have a UA 610 but this mic sounded better with my vocalist through the 1073 and a little 33609 compression. You'll have to hear it to believe it.

  • from Florida April 17, 2012Music Background:
    Artist / Producer / Engineer

    Detailed and Amazing

    The first thing you notice is the size, this thing is a monster but shortly after you hook it up you will notice it's a monster in a different way. This mic sounds absolutely amazing. It's crisp and detailed but when you get real close there is an intimacy about it that really makes vocals come alive. If that wasn't enough it has a wide open feel to it as well, which is something that I really enjoy when singing in to it.

    Being a vocalist myself I am pretty critical and when I was looking for a new mic I wanted one that had it's own kind of style. I didn't want an emulation of anything, I just wanted something that was good at being itself. I can honestly say I found it. Everything from intimate vocals, to falsettos, to screams all sound great through this microphone. I've also had great results using it on acoustic guitar. It brought out the detail in the strings as well as the finger movement. It really brought the track to life with no EQ whatsoever.

    When I first got the mic I took it to another studio and shot it out against a Neumann U87 and a couple of other mics. There was really no comparison. When I say no comparison, I mean night and day. The other people in the studio were pretty blown away as well especially since none of them have heard of Lauten Audio before, well they certainly have now.

  • from USA June 8, 2011Music Background:

    Great tube mic

    This is used as a vocal mic for that close personal feeling. One vocalist said "It makes me feel like I'm in a jazz bar". It accentuates the cracks of the lips and tiny aspiration noises. It certainly adds a color but this is the exact color I was looking for. The case is amazing.

  • from Los Angeles, CA December 8, 2010Music Background:

    AMAZING mic!

    I bought one of these after interviewing several mics including Bock, Peluso, Neumann, Telefunken, Perlman, Gefell...the list goes on. Im a professional engineer and producer and have several high end mics and am familiar with all the good ones. This thing just plain rules. Its big and 3D sounding. Super warm and a crisp top end. The guys at Lauten are THE BEST! Ive never received such good support. i had questions about tinkering with different tubes and they were just fantastic to deal with. If you're recording vocals than this is the mic for you. It just sits right in the track and has a very powerful and clean sound.

  • from Phila. PA May 24, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Recording Engineer, Producer

    Lauten Audio LT-381 Oceanus--awsome!

    I just got back from LA where I used this mic on Female vocals and acoustic guitar, and acoustic piano. I'm buying one as soon as I can. What a deal on a mic with the clarity and openness of a well-cared-for vintage tube mic. I've recorded this singer a hundred times on many different mics including Neumans and AKGs, Shures and ATs and Pelusos, but this is the mic I want to go to whenever I can. And the varible patterns are very cool for micing a performance live in a room, as well as ambiance. Clear and uncluttered, and natural sounding. Highly recommended.

  • from Portland April 12, 2016Music Background:
    Recording Artist

    Sounds Like Its Pricerange

    I recently did a large vocal mic shootout and this was not one of my favorites. It cuts through the mix clearly, but it is extremely hyped. Not recommended for sibilant vocalists. I recommend a Blue Bottle, B6 capsule, instead, for a classy, bright sound.

  • from Baltimore, MD January 11, 2015Music Background:

    Doens't last long

    Fantastic microphone for vocals but it didn't last long for me..The microphone suddenly stopped working after just 2 years of use..

Questions about the Lauten Audio Oceanus LT-381 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone?

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