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Putnam Mic Descriptions

Learn about the microphones modeled in your Sphere Putnam Mic Collection plug-in. The Putnam Mic Collection also includes the mics in the Sphere Mic Collection.

In this article

Large Diaphragm Mics Custom Mics

BP-251E

The BP-251E model is based on a classic Austrian made microphone built for export to the US which has a socketed 6072 tube and an original fully brass capsule. This multi-pattern large diaphragm mic is very similar to the C12, but with its own signature sound partly due to the differences in the headbasket.

The 251 is one of the rarest and most highly regarded microphones of all time. Because it was only in production from 1959 to 1962, its rarity far surpasses other top mics of the era. It is the go-to vocal mic for many A-list artists, including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty.

BP-251A

The BP-251A model is based on a classic Austrian made microphone although, in contrast to the 251 E version, it has a hard-wired AC701k tube built for the European market.

The 251 is one of the rarest and most highly regarded microphones of all time. It is the go-to vocal mic for many A-list artists, including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty.

The BP-251A model is slightly warmer and has a bit more low-end extension than the BP-251E. This could be partly due to differences in the type of tube used, or it might primarily be from variations in manufacturing.

BP-47M

Created in 1947, the U47 has stood the test of time as the ultimate studio mic. The BP-47M model is based on one of Bill Putnam's 47s with an M7 capsule and has a little more "air" than the typical U47.

47s have been used extensively by the Beatles at Abbey Road Studios, as well as Sinatra and countless other big names. It's an iconic vocal mic but also shines on drums, bass amps, upright bass, and many other instruments.

BP-67

The BP-67 model is based on an early-1960s version from Bill Putnam Senoir's collection. Allen Sides said it has that larger than life sound that he loves.

The high-pass filter and pad switch settings are fully modeled. In many older microphones the pad switch, in addition to lowering gain, can change the frequency response and overall sound considerably. Filter position 1 models the high-pass switch. Position 2 models the pad switch. Position 3 models the case in which both high-pass and pad are enabled.

BP-12A

The BP-12A model is based on an early '60s C12A microphone, which has been put to good use recording vocals for Geddy Lee, David Bowie, and many others.

Under the hood the C12A is much like the legendary C12, but with a 7586 nuvistor tube. It still uses the same CK12 capsule which is a big part of the sound. On the outside, the body style changed from the classic C12 cylinder to a variant of the 414. Audibly, the end result of these changes are a little less sparkle and more warmth than its predecessor, yet it is very much a world-class sound in its own right.

BP-37A

The C-37A was released in 1955 and uses a 6AU6 tube. It's known for a darker sound which can be good for taming sibilance and harsh high-end. The mic has been used by countless artists, including Frank Sinatra. It's also often a good choice for snare or tom miking.

The 37 supports non-directional (omni) and uni-directional (cardioid) patterns, which are both included in the BP-37A model. On the original, the pattern is adjusted by mechanically moving vents on the back of the capsule using a slot on the back of the mic, which is unusual.

The mic has a four-position high-pass filter which is mapped to the plug-in's Filter knob. The "M (Music)" position is essentially flat and the "M1 (Music 1)," "V1 (Voice 1)," and "V2 (Voice 2)" settings provide progressively more bass attenuation.

BP-405

Some might argue the 405 is a highly underrated microphone. It has been used on countless hit records, including as the overhead drum mics on the Beach Boys Good Vibrations studio recording. It was one of the first solid state microphones and is also unique in that it uses radio-frequency technology to interface with the capsule.

With the BP-405 model, when the pattern control is set to omni,the model is based on the omnidirectional 105 microphone, which is in the same product family as the 405. When set to cardioid, the model is based on the 405 which has a native cardioid pattern.

BP-44BX

The RCA 44 is visually and audibly one of the most iconic microphones of all time. In the 1930s and 40s it became a staple of broadcast and studio recording. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) developed the 44, in part because they needed microphones for their own broadcast operations. Countless legendary artists have recorded with the 44, including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Elvis Presley. Bill Putnam Sr. often used the 44 to record pianos.

The BP-44 model is based on a 44BX mic which has a slightly higher output level than previous versions. The original 44 has a fixed figure-8 polar pattern, which results in a very warm sound due to the exaggerated proximity effect. To obtain the most accurate modeling, set pattern control to figure-8.

The 44 also has two high-pass filter settings for taming proximity effect when used at close range. On the original, these settings are accessible by unscrewing the bottom plate on the main body.

BP-545

The 545 is a predecessor to the SM57 and was the first mic to use a Unidyne III capsule. The 545 is one of the first handheld end-address dynamic microphones and has a more uniform polar pattern than earlier Unidyne II mics, such as the 55S.

The 545 was used extensively on Pet Sounds, including Brian Wilson's lead vocal, and countless other recordings of that era. Also, the 545, and the 565 variant were relied on heavily for the 1969 Woodstock festival.

 

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