Vienna is the home of a new contender in the pro audio industry, the aptly named Austrian Audio. Such branding does carry a lot of ambition, which the manufacturer appears to have in spades. In its initial offering, Austrian is introducing 8 new products in 5 categories – handmade microphones, digital control, DSP software, headphones, and test/measurement equipment for audio manufacturers.
OC18 and OC818 condenser mics
Of most interest to musicians and producers are probably the OC818 and OC18 large diaphragm condenser microphones, the former multi-pattern and the latter cardioid-only. The OC818 has some interesting and novel features, such as wireless pattern and switching control accomplished via a transmitter/receiver setup attached to the mic rear. Polar patterns range between figure of eight through cardioid and omnidirectional, stretching across 255 discrete polar patterns. Although control is established via a free smartphone application (Android & iOS), the pattern switching is analog with no processing or conversion occurring anywhere in the path.
Additionally, the microphone has a secondary output to enable discrete recording of the rear-facing capsule, or recording of both capsules simultaneously. If both capsules are recorded in Stereo (or dual-mono), the recording can be fed to Austrian’s Polar Designer plug-in which offers custom polar patterns with control over 5 bands with adjustable crossover points. Both the OC818 and OC18 will be available in single sets and matched pairs, with or without accessories.
Mics aside, Austrian Audio mentioned two pairs of headphones – the Hi-X50 and Hi-X55. They, as well as the microphones, will be demonstrated at Musikmesse in April, so I expect further information to surface during the event.
From AKG to Austrian Audio
According to a video recently released by the new company, Austrian Audio is made up of former AKG personnel, presumably striving towards professional rather than “prosumer” products. The company plans to prioritise in-house development and keeping manufacturing in Austria, as well as using open-source tech. For example, the PolarDesigner plug-in is open-source and uses code you can find on GitHub.
I will be watching out for announcements from Austrian Audio with great interest. Let’s see if “Made in Vienna” can stand for something other than chocolates these days.