Gear Review: Neumann TLM 107 Condenser Mic

We take a look at one of the best condenser microphones in the industry
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tyler@magneticmag.com
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We take a look at one of the best condenser microphones in the industry

Premium audio brand Neumann is one of the world’s leading producers of microphones. With the flagship U 87 being one of the most popular and critically acclaimed microphones in history, Neumann has created a microphone that is more affordable without compromising on that classic Neumann sonic quality. Unfortunately for most of us, the U 87’s price of over $3,000 places it a little out of our reach. So what can we do to spend less money, but still have an incredibly powerful professional microphone to record with? The answer comes in the form of the Neumann TLM 107.

Announced in 2013, the TLM 107 is a universal, multi-polar pattern, large diaphragm, condenser microphone. It stays consistent with Neumann’s legacy look with its body and grille design, while also adding a control switch directly on the microphone itself to easily control important parameters. The elegant navigation switch makes switching between the five polarity patterns, such as cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-8 settings, instantaneous and simple. The switch can also turn on a low cut for either 40Hz or 100Hz which helps with getting the highest quality recording of the most favorable frequencies. There is also a pad function for -6dB and -12dB for recording louder instruments such as guitars or drums. Everything about the design of the TLM 107 is intuitive and user friendly, allowing recording artists to sculpt their sound to their liking, directly on the microphone.

The TLM 107 has an almost linear EQ curve for most frequencies up to 8 kHz leaving the cleanness and magic of recordings to shine through. A smooth response accompanied by a slight boost in the higher frequencies makes for brilliant quality and sonically pleasing recordings. Neumann also payed particular attention to the control of the dreaded “S” sound in the human voice, normally dealt with in the form of external DeEssers. This all makes setting up the microphone and recording vocalists, drums, guitars or other instruments effortless.

In layman’s terms, the TLM 107 genuinely has one of the most open and honest, yet musically pleasing sounds you can find. Recordings sound and feel mix ready right from the recording, without the necessity for much processing at all. It's a nice blend between small and large diaphragm mics with a nice powerful attack, but still fluid musicality. It’s extremely easy to set up and it sounds good right out of the gate. If you take recording seriously then you should give the TLM 107 a try, you won’t be disappointed.

With the TLM 107 Neumann has produced a high quality microphone, that is still pricey, but relatively affordable, without sacrificing the sonic qualities of the high-end brand. After testing it for a few weeks, the TLM 107 has become my personal favorite microphone to record with, especially in terms of vocal recordings.

Price: $1399.99 on Sweetwater

Features:

  • A true all-purpose condenser microphone built to for professional recording
  • Advanced sound transducer inspired by one of Neumann's D-01 delivers outstanding impulse fidelity
  • Smooth frequency response up to 8kHz ensures accuracy, while a slight presence boost brings out clarity and vocal intelligibility
  • Five selectable polar patterns include omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure 8, as well as the two intermediary settings
  • Three selectable high pass settings and three selectable pad settings let you handle a wide range of recording scenarios
  • Innovative navigation switch with LED indicators lets you control all microphone settings easily
  • Acoustically engineered grille blocks out pops
  • Static microphone mount and wooden presentation box included
  • Requires +48V phantom power