This month we take a look at the Schoeps V4 U, a relatively new vocal microphone designed for the studio featuring a unique adjustable, tilting capsule head.
Schoeps are highly regarded within classical and location circles and have a product range made up entirely of small-diaphragm microphones. Until now it would have been unlikely to see a Schoeps microphone being used for lead vocals. After 5 years of development - the V4 U has been developed as a small-diaphragm studio vocal microphone designed and built to the same excellent standard which can be expected from a Schoeps product.
A Very Concise History
Founded by Dr. Karl Schoeps in 1948, Schoeps are a German microphone manufacturer based in Durlach, Karlsruhe. In 1949 Schoeps built their first condenser microphone, the CMV 50/2. The Schoeps CMV 50/2 features a fixed body and capsule, and measures (a massive) 13” tall and 3” in diameter. Primarily successful within the film industry, Schoeps microphones then became popular with French radio broadcasters with more than half of their microphone production being exported to France.
Today the Schoeps brand is synonymous with quality and sonic excellence and enjoys great respect worldwide. The sonic transparency of their microphones has always been at the forefront of Schoeps’ concerns. It is therefore no surprise that Schoeps has many devotees in the realm of classical music, as well as film and television audio.
The Schoeps V4 U
The V4 U is a studio vocal microphone with a cardioid polar pattern featuring a new small-diaphragm capsule architecture with a 33mm bevelled collar for controlling the polar response. This helps the capsule’s directivity to increase steadily and smoothly at high frequencies, as in large diaphragm microphones. Meanwhile the superior acoustic qualities of a small-diaphragm capsule are maintained, like the extraordinarily smooth frequency and polar response.
On-axis response is smooth with a flat response between 150Hz and 2kHz. There is a subtle 2dB lift 4-15kHz. Off-axis response is also smooth and linear which was set out in the design stage to have off-axis sounds as natural and uncoloured as possible, not drawing attention to itself.
The electronics are housed within the main body with surface-mount components with a symmetrical balanced output. The output stage is transformerless and free of coupling capacitors, maximising transparency and accuracy. The capsule can handle 144 dB sound pressure levels.
The V4 U is an exceptional vocal microphone, with the subtle lift in the high end adding clarity without boosting sibilance or harshness. The proximity effect is gentle and musical and the mic will work well with both male and female vocals.
The V4 U will also excel when used on other instruments. The natural off-axis response makes it ideal choice when spill cannot be avoided.
Schoeps V4 U Features
- Studio Vocal Microphone
- New small-diaphragm capsule architecture, with bevelled collar for controlling the polar response.
- Warm, clear sonic character with smoothly rolled-off diffuse-field response.
- Capsule head with adjustable tilt angle.
- Optimal on-axis frequency response featuring a mild high-frequency lift.
- Very smooth polar response; carefully-controlled narrowing of the pattern at high frequencies.
- Diffuse-field response parallel to the 0 ° response, with a gentle roll-off at high frequencies.
- Newly designed electronics offer a very high maximum sound pressure level.
A vintage Art Deco design harks back to the Schoeps CM 51/3 tube microphone from 1951, in which the tilting capsule function was also utilised.
The V4 U comes in both a blue and a grey finish and can be accompanied by a hard mount, or a USM-V4 elastic suspension. A protective wooden box is provided.
View the Schoeps V4 U in our web store.