Prolific producer/engineer and songwriter Jeff Gitelman was crestfallen when he discovered that his prized TELEFUNKEN C12 microphone was missing from his mic locker. Gitelman had purchased the new C12 reproduction of the classic AKG C12, first developed in 1953.
"When we found that our studio had been burglarized, even before filing a police report, I immediately called Telefunken,” Gitelman explains. "The thief took the mic, but left behind the power supply. I spoke with Ian Jones and he told me they were the only ones who had the proper power supply. He had my serial number and a few days later, someone called looking for the power supply. When he asked for the serial number, the caller hung up—but he got the caller ID."
The design of the C12 was first introduced as unique in its remote capsule polarizing technology. The ability to change the capsule's polar response variably between cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-8 (and six intermediate patterns between) from the power supply instead of with switches on the microphone made the C12 the most versatile large diaphragm tube microphone of its time.
Read More: Up Close: TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik
"I reported the caller ID to the LAPD and they tracked it to Long Beach and we got our microphone back," Gitelman continues. "Without Telefunken's help and the lead I gave the police, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have considered it doable."
Gitelman's production and writing credits include memorable work with J. Cole Brandy, Frank Ocean, Ledisi, Mac Miller, Karmin, Chance the Rapper, Outasight, Chris Brown, Jamie Cullum, Kanye West, Puff Daddy, Alicia Keys, Trey Songz and The Stepkids.
"My C12 microphone has a big history," says Gitelman. "I recorded three albums as an artist on it, as well as some of the albums that were very important in my life, and are considered by some to be cult classics. I've recorded incredible singers and musicians on this microphone, so it was great to have it back. It's one of the most pristine microphones I've ever heard, and it doesn't matter if it's for a female or a male, it sounds good on everything I put it up to. It's just very, very pristine and very warm."
Gitelman's large diaphragm vacuum tube-based C12 is a versatile mic, lending itself especially well to drum overheads, acoustic guitar and vocals. The smooth top end provides plenty of air without sounding harsh or artificial. Its midrange speaks clearly and articulately, capturing the source with a natural presence. Its low end is tight, focused and balanced with the rest of the frequency range.
"I've used my C12 for acoustic guitars, used it for drums, vocals, just about anything. We've recorded cellos and strings, a horn section. Honestly, I'm having a hard time thinking of things that we don't use that microphone for."
In addition to his prized C12, Gitelman also owns several more TELEFUNKEN microphones: a large diaphragm U47, a matched pair of small diaphragm ELA M 260s, and a workhorse M80 dynamic microphone.
Photo by David Goggin
For more information, visit telefunken-elektroakustik.com