My first day working in a classical recording studio, the head engineer was showing me the mic collection. "When you want to record something exactly the way it really sounds, use these," he said, handing me an engraved cherry box. "Use them on everything." Inside, was a pair of Earthworks QTC1's (now re-named the QTC40's). He was right. Those mics were the real workhorses of that studio. We used them on just about everything. Since then, I've learned to love their transparency in all genres of music, not just classical. These are truly one of the gems any mic collection. Every engineer should have at least one Earthworks mic in their arsenal!
Not much convincing needed here. All you need is two QTC40s and a kick mic and you will be set on drum mics. Run these in to an A-Designs Pacifica for that extra charming sound.
I'd give 6 stars if I could!
I bought a matched pair of these (then called the QTC1) in 2001, and I STILL use them 2 or 3 times a week. For classical recording or capturing full range instruments accurately these can't be beat.
I've used many other high-end mics, and nothing has ever come close to the detail and realism of these.
Great transparent mics
I've specialized in location recording of classical music (choral, organ, chamber, and orchestral) for over 30 years, always using a "purist" approach: one mic per stereo channel. I've used a variety of good mics from Shure, AKG, Sennheiser, Neumann, and nothing has come close to the transparency of the matched pair QTC 40, which I have feeding an Earthworks mic preamp and then Apogee Rosetta A/D conversion.
Part of the transparency comes from the very small diaphragm. The laws of physics dictate that means a small trade-off in ultimate noise floor compared to larger diaphragm mics. But I've never heard a larger diaphragm mic with the degree of neutral "you are there" quality that these mics offer. The trade-off is worth it for my ears.
I'm a film composer and I bought 2 matched pairs based on very high recommendations from people in the industry, and I'm very happy so far. I've used them on accoustic guitar, a baby grand piano, a hammered dulcimer and various percussion instruments. The results for all of these have been very good. I'm quite surprised by how much level they can take before clipping. You will hear everything with these mics, so you better have a quiet studio! :)
Great sound, yes! Quiet, not so much...
I purchased these hoping for a very quiet noise floor. That just wasn't there. However, f you are recording in a situation where you don't need absolute silence these are wonderful mic's. As a spaced pair for drum overheads ambient mic's on piano close mic'ing a strummy guitar, they are stellar!
Buy them, but don't expect silence if you are, maybe on more step like the DPA 4006 is needed. (That mic' would get a 5 star rating from me.)