Care Instructions:

Firstly, DO NOT BLOW AIR DIRECTLY INTO THE MIC OR USE IT WITHOUT A POP SHIELD OR WINDSCREEN. I cannot stress this enough. I once ruined a mic by doing this and have learned my lesson.

Secondly, if it is going unused for a prolonged period, I would recommend putting it back in the bag that came with the mic. For storage, say overnight or for a few days, where it will stay on the stand, I recommend putting an unclosed ziploc bag over it to protect the capsule from dust.

Third, when setting it up, put a counterweight on one of the legs of the mic stand, or at the very least, make sure that one of the legs of the mic stand IS DIRECTLY BELOW THE MIC. Not doing this is one of the most common causes of mic drops and can cause MAJOR damage.

Fourth, and this was kind of covered in the first one, DO NOT USE FOR VOCALS OR BASSY INSTRUMENTS WITHOUT USING A POP FILTER OR WINDSCREEN. i always recommend pop filters over windscreens because they stop pops better and the windscreen makes the sound slightly more muffled and loses some of the presence that the mic is designed to have. I know there are some people who disagree with this, amd either way, at the very least use a windscreen.

To adjust the mic within the shockmount, there are two clips that you squeeze in order to move it up and down within the shockmount. Make sure you have a grip on the mic itself before releasing these clips.  They will automatically re-tighten once you have let go of them. It takes a little bit of effort to squeeze them enough to be loose enough to move the mic, but this is necessary to e sure that the mic does not move by itself.

Also, sometimes during the course of adjustment, the base of the mic comes unscrewed a bit, this causes grounding issues. So if you hear a low frequency hum, unscrew the base of the mic, make sure the body of it is sitting flush with the top of the mic (there is a notch in the body that goes in the front, under the heart looking cardioid symbol. Make sure it is lined up and all the way snug in there. Then, screw the base on all the way. No need to use the kung fu grip, just turn it until it won't turn anymore and is secure. If that doesn't work, try unplugging and replugging the mic and make sure the plug is in securely on both ends.

The base coming loose is a normal part of the life of a microphone. If you try to open the famous German mic, as i have, it is COMPLETELY on lock down to prevent this, because they know this could happen. It is just a matter of physics and electronics. It is nothing to worry about. If by chance, you don't use headphones for recording (almost no one i know goes this route) I would recommend plugging in a pair just for a few seconds before beginning a session. But this isn't something with many shades to it, it will either be very loud or won't be there at all. There isn't much in between. And I couldn't put a "lockdown" on my mic without raising the cost considerably and finding a new supplier of microphone bodies.

Also, if possible, it is recommended (except when recording a bass guitar or bass drum) to use a high pass filter. I have installed one in almost every mic I've built (except by special request), so odds are you will not need to use an external one. But if your gear happens to have one, go ahead and see what it sounds like with it in. High pass filters are pretty much used in recording all instruments except bass guitar, kick drum, and floor basically super bassy instruments. So for the recording of anything else, I would definitely recommend asking for the mic with the filter built in, although I am happy to custom build you a mic without one if you plan to use it on the above mentioned instruments. The filter that comes with the mic starts at a lower frequency than on the German mic, but is steeper. Meaning it is less likely to cut any warmth from even the lowest male voices but will still eliminate rumble sounds below the range of the human voice.

Also, this maybe obvious, but don't put dust into the mic capsule. I only say this to cover all of the bases. Try not to have your studio overly dusty (normal household levels of dust are ok, assuming you have a fairly clean house.) Also, smoking around the mic is not recommended. Though I have had some clients who claimed they HAD TO in order to get a good vocal take, and if they MUST, at least ask them not to blow the smoke directly into the microphone (off to the side will do). But like I said, it is best not to smoke around the microphone at all.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy your Z87 microphone. It was built after six months of listening tests and comparing it to the voiceover industry standard German mic. After working with the German mic for over 8 years on a daily basis (i mean ALL THE TIME), I noticed that we ALWAYS had to turn down the high frequencies and had to crank the de esser (the thing that makes harsh "s" sounds softer.) So, after having all of this experience, I decided not to just make an exact clone of the German mic, but to improve upon the design. The result is a lower noise floor (all mics generate some degree of noise, but some less than others), a slight softening in the high end (to make it so people will want to be listening to your voice for the long duration of a book), a softening of the sibilance (the harsh "s" sounds), and a warmer more "chocolatey" low end (according to a few readers). So not only is it an improvement over the flood of inexpensive condenser mics, it is an improvement in what is considered to be the coveted golden standard (at least for voiceover). So, as I said, I make each mic by hand, and ensure every single solder joint is clean, and that the flux that solder always leaves behind is scrubbed away, as extra flux left on will add noise to the mic. Few companies put that kind of individual attention i to their mics, to keep costs down (understandable).

And all of this at less than a third of the cost of the industry standard microphone.. I SINCERELY hope you enjoy using the mic as much as much as I enjoyed making it. Trust me when I say that I put a lot of heart into each mic I build and that I hope it will be going to a loving home where it will be appreciated appropriately.

Thanks for being a customer and for even giving my microphones a chance.


Sebastian Zetin