New Music Gear Monday: Austrian Audio OC818 Condenser Microphone

Austrian Audio OC818 condenser microphone image

Austrian Audio is a new relatively new company out of Vienna, but in reality it’s one that you’ve known for a long time. A few years ago when parent company Harmon decided that it no longer needed the services of the people at AKG, it let the entire company go while keeping the name. Don’t underestimate the value of dedication though, as virtually all the people in the company (22 to be exact) remerged in a new form as Austrian Audio (you can hear the full story here on my Inner Circle Podcast #185). The company’s first new microphone product comes in the form of the new OC818, a multi-pattern large diaphragm condenser microphone with many of the same traits of its legendary predecessor the 414.

The OC818 has attempted to take the most beloved features from the 414 and bring some modern touches as well. The sound of the most revered models featured the CK12 ceramic capsule and the OC818 features a new handmade version called the CKR12 which is closely based upon the best sounding versions of the past. It has the ability to handle up to 148dB SPL even before the onboard -10 and -20dB pads are incorporated, so it will work in virtually any music situation. High-pass filters at 40, 80 and 160Hz are also included.

The vast majority of multi-pattern microphones use dual capsules and the OC818 is no exception. Patterns include the typical figure-8, supercardioid, cardioid, and omni, but it’s the “custom” setting that’s most interesting. The mic actually has separate outputs for each capsule, which means that when recorded on a stereo or separate tracks you’re able to use the Polar Designer software later to select the right pickup pattern for the job. Plus, since the polarization of the capsule is digital, the pattern can be switched remotely via a Bluetooth accessory.

All OC818s are within 1dB in frequency response of each other after rigorous factory testing, which means that you can have precise stereo arrays without having to pay extra for sequential mics.

The Austrian Audio OC818 is priced at just $999, which seems a bargain for a top shelf condenser microphone. There’s also a cardioid-only version called the OC18 that’s priced at $699. Included are a protective carry case, OCS8 spider mount suspension, OCW8 foam windshield, OCH8 mic clip, OCC8 mini XLR cable, and cable clip

Find more details here, or check out the video below, as it outlines the mic’s unique features as well as the PolarPilot app.

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