Up Close: ADK Microphones

From Collector to Manufacturer: A multi-talented musician and recording engineer for the past 45 years, Larry Villella, launched Portland, OR- based ADK Microphones in 1998 after years of collecting vintage tube mics. When the Wall Street Journal wrote about the collectability of items such as his, the value of his collection went up––and he realized that the average person couldn’t afford them. After building some with similar tone qualities for friends, he launched ADK with the goal of manufacturing mics that sounded vintage, but only cost a few hundred dollars.

Their first tube mic was the A51 TT (Area 51), a Tube mic that Ray Charles was so enamored with that he used it to record the Grammy-winning Genius Loves Company (and its posthumously released sequel Genius & Friends). “Ray’s enthusiasm for our products really cemented our name as a cult company!” Villella says. Current users include jazz great Wynton Marsalis, vocalists like Lincoln Brewster, The Manhattan Transfer and more.

The ADK Aesthetic: All ADK mics are designed by musicians and recording engineers...for musicians and recording engineers. Their expanding line was created by three microphone experts, including a PhD in physics, a design genius in Belgium, 10 Grammy-winning engineers, ref- erencing the best mics from three microphone collections. Prices ranging from $250 to $3,000, the mics are designed to enable the user to tailor the dynamic behavior of the mic to the situation and obtain new textures, with minimal need for outboard processors or even equalization.

ADK’s Custom Shop: Complementing its line of six distinctive Studio Series mics––whose unique names, including Vienna Mk8 and Hamburg Mk8, reflect their distinct Austrian and German based sonic foundation–– is the ADK Custom Shop. The shop combines vintage sound with modern aerospace engineering to lower noise and provide rock solid reliability. It is made up of three different series of expertly crafted mics: the Custom Z-MOD (offering “the precision to sculpt your sound to perfection”) the Custom T-FET (vintage sound with the ability for high SPL) and the Custom TC—“Tube Cardioid” (the little brother to the Multi-pattern Z-Mod).

For more information, visit adkmic.com.