Behringer have a reputation for making low-cost audio equipment, and the C-2 condenser mics are one of the best bargains they have come up with.
You can expect to pay in the region of £50 for a matched pair, and for the money they really are good. They usually come with a cardioid or hyper-cardioid capsule, and it’s definately worth getting the omni capsules to complement them, which to my ears seem a lot more ‘natural’ than the cardioids. The omni option makes them just that much more versatile, and when it comes to recording things like grand pianos or double basses you will definitely notice the difference in the low-end. They aren’t amazing mics, but for the average person who enjoys recording at home, you can do a lot with them for a very small investment.
Application – ‘pop’
For ‘pop’ recordings (anything that’s not classical) then these mics work perfectly well up close. They tolerate high sound pressure levels (SPL) very well and are rated to go up to 140 dB, and even 150 dB with the built-in pad which is astounding for such an inexpensive microphone. They won’t mind being put right up next to a snare drum’s skin (work nicely as a bottom snare mic) or on a hi-hat. They sound reasonable on acoustic guitars, maybe not mind-blowingly great but I honestly can’t think of anything that comes close for double or even triple the money.
I have heard these in use as drum overheads, and while they would suit the job perfectly for live sound, lack a bit of the depth and smoothness you would probably look for in a professional studio recording.
Application – classical
If you’re a classical engineer then you’ve probably already got a selection of mics that you are happy and comfortable with, most probably which cost a great deal more than these. However, don’t be put off because of their cheapness. Have you ever been caught short of spot mics, or decided at the last moment that an ambient pair would have been a good idea just to collect a little more reverb? C-2’s with omni capsules would have sorted the problem.
What about those occasions when you turn up at a venue and the orchestra has brought an orchestral drum kit and you haven’t got any dynamic mics at all? Well, C-2’s work just fine here too. While they may not be good enough to use as your main pair, for £50 they are superb reserve mics.
[image via tawalker]