Pro Sound News reviewer and noted TV music composer Rich Tozzoli recently held his annual private St. John Recording Retreat with friends and colleagues, and used the opportunity to review gear in paradise—like this:
This microphone got a lot of attention from the gang; not one of us had ever worked with a microphone before that allows polar pattern changes after recording! The LCT 640 TS, designed and engineered in Austria by Lewitt Audio, is a dual large-diaphragm, multipattern condenser offering omni, wide-cardioid, cardioid, supercardioid and figure-8 modes. Besides operating as a “normal” LDC microphone, an included adapter cable allows both outputs to capture an entire multipattern session; Lewitt Audio’s Polarizer plugin is provided to allow the post-recording polar pattern change within any DAW. In dual output mode (with phantom power to both front and rear diaphragms), users capture both the front and back of the mic.
For example, we recorded Ray Levier’s drums with a single LCT 640 TS above the kit. In the mix stage with the Polarizer plug-in, you can move the slider from left to right across the various polar patterns and dynamically change the sound of the kit. In Omni, you get the full spectrum of front and back.
As you slide to the right, you move across wide cardioid, cardioid, supercardioid and figure 8. As you move farther, you then pick up the supercardioid, cardioid, wide cardioid and then omni of the back side of the mic (if you place the microphone facing the source). So we could choose to get a wide omni sound, tighter sound, or choose the roomier sound facing up toward the ceiling. You can move the slider with no zipper noise and hear the differences in real time.
This is a valuable production tool; we liked different positions for some pieces we recorded. Also, we then copied the track and plug-in, reversed the phase, and had a totally separate room mic to mix in.
We recorded shakers, hi-hats, acoustic guitar, drums and percussion using the Lewitt and it was really useful to play around with the Polarizer to explore what setting worked best for each piece of music. The mic has a nice forward presence and sounded excellent on every source. It’s very versatile—not only because of its ability to change polar patterns, but because by pointing the side of the LCT 640 TS to the source, you can capture MS Stereo.