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Austrian Audio’s OC818 is a next-gen microphone system with a vintage heart

When AKG closed the doors of its Vienna headquarters in 2017, it felt like the end of an era, but for Austrian Audio, it was just the beginning.

Staffed by the former AKG core engineering, operations and management teams, this is a new and ambitious audio brand that believes it has the knowledge and expertise to challenge some of the biggest in the industry.

The company already boasts 44 employees (34 of whom were previously based at the Vienna headquarters) and has plans to expand. What’s more, the team isn’t content to trade exclusively on former glories - it also has an eye on the future, and where audio technology can take us.

This thirst for innovation is apparent in the OC818, which is not just a high-spec, large-diaphragm condenser microphone, but a complete microphone system that comes with companion software.

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(Image credit: Austrian Audio)

There’s the PolarPilot smartphone app, which enables remote control via the optional OCR8 Bluetooth dongle, and the PolarDesigner plugin, which lets you create your perfect polar pattern in post-production. If you want to use this you need to record both diaphragms using the dual output mode; channel 1, the forward-facing diaphragm, is captured by the main XLR output, and channel 2, the backward-facing diaphragm, is captured by the mini-XLR input on the back of the mic.

There’s also the AmbiCreator plugin, which makes it possible for you to create an ambisonic B-format signal - think 3D, 360 degree audio - using two OC818s.

There’s plenty of forward-thinking wizardry on show here, then, but right at the heart of the system is the CRK12 capsule that sits inside the OC818 mic itself. It’s here that Austrian Audio shows its heritage; the CRK12 is handmade in Vienna and made to the same critical dimensions as the classic CK12 capsule.

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(Image credit: Austrian Audio)

Because the ceramic capsule design is so consistent, any OC818 mic can be match-paired to any other OC818. Or, when used in cardioid mode, it can be match-paired with any OC18, Austrian Audio’s more affordable cardioid mic.

The OC818 is already wowing the critics  - in fact, along with Austrian Audio’s Hi-X55 headphones, it’s been nominated for the 36th TecAwards - and provides producers, engineers, artists and quality-conscious home recording users with a microphone package that’s both steeped in history and entirely new.

Find out more in the spec list below and on the Austrian Audio website.

Austrian Audio OC818 specs

  • Handmade CKR12 ceramic capsule
  • Multiple polar patterns
  • Microprocessor control of polarisation voltages
  • Two different high-pass filters with three settings
  • Two different types of analogue pads
  • Dual outputs for recording each diaphragm separately
  • Debuts Austrian Audio's "Open Acoustics" technology