Lawson L47 – The Tape Op Review

TapeOp Issue #18/July, 2000 | by

This large gold-plated mic gets a lot of “oohs” and “aaahs” when I pull it out of its case. Thankfully, the L47 lives up to its appearance. Modeled after the Neumann U47, it shines in vocals with its warm, well-rounded tone, though I have had more success with male vocalists than with female. (Some female vocalists are served better with a dynamic or a ribbon — something that flattens out those highs.)

A great feature on this tube mic is that it comes with a power supply that also has a dial for polarity patterns. Since it’s a dial, you can set it anywhere on or in-between the cardioid, figure 8, or omni. And since the dial is on the box and not the mic, you can sit in the control room and experiment with different settings.

I use it quite often on drums placed a few feet in front of the kit right above the kick drum, usually on a figure 8 or omni setting. In my open room it gives a well-rounded sound of the drums with a great balance of lows, mids, and highs. I often opt to solely use this mic for my drum sound. It holds up well in the mix even with a lot of close and distant mic’d instruments.

The other day I used it to record a one mic only “live in the studio” track for the band The Places. I placed the mic about 6 inches in front of vocalist Amy Annelle’s mouth using a cardioid pattern. After moving people around the room I got a good balance of the instruments and with very little EQ, the Lawson gave us a great open, warm sound.

This has been a very versatile mic for me, especially with its multiple polarity patterns. If you have $2000 to spend on a new mic, definitely look into it.

More about the Lawson L47 multi-pattern tube microphone.

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