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Universal Audio SC-1

Test & Review

Do you want to equip your studio with a high-end microphone? The SC-1 might just be the ideal option. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone belonging to the Standard UA series of the Universal Audio brand. With its innovative design and audio performance, this mic model promises to deliver an exceptional recording experience, whether you are an audio professional or a simple enthusiast looking to upgrade your studio setup. Discover through this guide, our test as well as our opinion on the Universal Audio SC-1 microphone.

Universal Audio SC-1 microphone test and review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

In a world where audio quality has become essential for musicians, producers and content creators, choosing the right equipment is crucial, especially when it comes to microphones. With a multitude of models offered by different brands, it can be difficult to make an informed decision. Among all these options, however, one microphone stands out: Universal Audio SC-1 . Over the years, this microphone has accumulated numerous recommendations from its users and has become a reference in the field. But what makes this model so special? You will find the answer in the rest of this article.

Universal Audio SC-1 Condenser Microphone
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Focus on the Universal Audio brand

When we talk about Universal Audio, we're talking about a brand that embodies quality when it comes to studio equipment . With over 60 years of experience in this field, UA has built a solid reputation.

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam, a recording engineer considered the father of modern recording, the company was revived by his sons, Bill Putnam Jr. and James Putnam, with the intention of continuing the innovative work in the field of sound reinforcement.

UA's signature inventions include the modern recording channel strip, multi-band audio equalizer, and even the separate vocal booth.

The brand subsequently specialized in the design of a variety of studio equipment, ranging from USB audio interfaces to studio microphones, power amps, tube mic preamps like the Universal Audio Solo 610 , phono preamps and guitar pedals.

In addition to its hardware products, the company is at the forefront of technological innovation, developing products that incorporate the latest advances in digital signal processing.

Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Universal Audio SC-1


One of the most striking examples of this fusion of tradition and modern technology is the Apollo series of audio interfaces , which combine studio-quality preamps, high-end A/D and D/A conversion, and plug-ins. real-time audio processing.

Universal Audio is also renowned for its line of software plug-ins, which faithfully reproduce the circuitry and sound of legendary analog gear. This precise modeling approach has allowed audio engineers around the world to access classic sounds from previously inaccessible mixing consoles, compressors and EQs.

In short, Universal Audio has been a benchmark brand in the field of audio since its creation, and today continues to stand out with products that combine traditional know-how and cutting-edge technology, such as the Universal Audio SC- microphone. 1 that we will test together in this guide.

Universal Audio SC-1: A professional microphone of choice

Universal Audio SC-1 was first unveiled in October 2023. Just like the AKG P220 microphone , it is a condenser condenser microphone , which stands out for its high sensitivity and ability to capture fine details. more subtle elements of a sound source.

Its cardioid polar pattern ensures accurate recording of sound coming from the front of the microphone, while reducing background noise and unwanted side sounds. And with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, it's capable of capturing a wide range of frequencies, making it a versatile choice for recording instruments and vocals.

Universal Audio SC-1 - package
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The Universal Audio SC-1 microphone stands out for its exceptional sensitivity of -39 dB (0 dB = 1V/Pa @ 1 kHz). Its 200 ohm output impedance makes it compatible with most professional recording equipment, offering great flexibility of use.

In terms of performance, the noise level of the Universal Audio SC-1 microphone is remarkably low, at just 12 dB, ensuring clear, interference-free recordings even in noisy environments. Additionally, with a maximum sound pressure level of 145 dB SPL, the SC-1 is capable of recording very loud sound sources without distortion.

The Universal Audio SC-1 microphone comes with Hemisphere Mic Models . This is a plug-in that allows you to model iconic microphones such as those from Neumann, Sony and AKG, and provides great flexibility in post-production.

This additional feature adds significant value to the microphone, making it a unique choice among a selection of premium microphone models on the market.

The characteristics of the SC-1 microphone

Compared to other microphones in the same range, the Universal Audio SC-1 microphone stands out for its advanced technical specifications, versatility and ability to deliver professional-quality recordings in a variety of recording situations.

Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Universal Audio SC-1


Cardioid polar pattern

The cardioid polar pattern of the SC-1 microphone is a key feature that influences how the microphone captures sound. This directivity means the SC-1 is most sensitive to sounds coming from the front of the microphone, while effectively reducing background noise and unwanted sounds coming from the sides and rear.

This feature makes it an ideal choice for studio recordings where clarity and focus on the main sound source are essential. Whether recording a vocal, a solo instrument or a group, the SC-1's cardioid polar pattern provides crisp, detailed recordings .

In addition, the cardioid polar pattern of this microphone provides some sound isolation , which helps minimize the risks of capturing extraneous noise or unwanted echoes. This makes the SC-1 particularly suitable for recording environments where controlling acoustics can be a challenge.

Frequency range

The frequency range of the microphone is another factor to consider. For the SC-1, it extends from 20 Hz to 20 kHz :

  • 20 Hz allows recording of sound sources rich in low harmonics , such as bass and percussion, with impressive depth and clarity.
  • 20 kHz allows the SC-1 to capture the highest harmonics of instruments and vocals, delivering recordings rich in detail and brilliance.

This wide frequency range makes the SC-1 versatile and suitable for a wide variety of recording applications. It faithfully reproduces the sound characteristics of each source, from deep bass to crystal clear highs.

Universal Audio SC-1
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High sensitivity

The Universal Audio SC-1 condenser microphone stands out for its high sensitivity , a major asset for audio professionals. With a sensitivity of -39 dB (0 dB = 1V/Pa @ 1 kHz), the SC-1 is capable of capturing the most subtle nuances of a performance, from delicate whispers to the most subtle dynamics. stronger.

Specifically, the microphone can produce a strong signal from relatively low sound pressure, which is essential for recording precise details without the need for excessive gain.

Output impedance

Output impedance is a crucial technical aspect for microphones, and Universal Audio's SC-1 is no exception with its 200 ohm output impedance.

This output impedance is considered optimal for most professional applications, as it allows good compatibility with a variety of preamplifiers and audio interfaces. This ensures that the microphone signal is transmitted with maximum fidelity, without significant loss or alteration.

Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Universal Audio SC-1


Low noise level

The Universal Audio SC-1 microphone is known for its low noise level . This is an essential criterion for professional quality recordings. With a noise level of just 12 dB, the SC-1 guarantees exceptional clarity, capturing sound without the unwanted interference that can spoil a recording.

This noise performance is particularly important in studios where the purity of the audio signal is paramount.

Maximum sound pressure level

Universal Audio's SC-1 microphone is designed to withstand extremely high sound pressure levels, with a maximum level of 145 dB .

This capability, particularly useful when recording very loud instruments such as drums or guitar amplifiers at high volume, allows the SC-1 to faithfully capture a wide range of sound sources, from the softest to the loudest, without risk of distortion.

guitar recording with Universal Audio SC-1
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Sound quality of the Universal Audio SC-1 microphone

The SC-1 microphone was designed to capture every nuance, every breath, with remarkable fidelity. At the heart of this exceptional sonic performance is its high-precision , gold-plated capsule, which represents the very essence of SC-1 excellence.

This capsule offers an extended frequency response, allowing you to capture crystal clear highs and deep bass. It doesn't matter whether you're recording soft vocals or roaring electric guitar, the SC-1 reproduces every detail with stunning clarity.

In addition to its high-precision capsule, the SC-1 offers noise reduction . Whether you're in a professional studio or on stage, this mic allows you to record without distractions and guarantees exceptional sound in all recording conditions.

The fast transient response is also a key component of its sound quality. So even at high sound pressure levels, the SC-1 remains faithful to the source.

You can record powerful vocals, overdriven guitar amps, or horn sections without fear of distortion. This ability to maintain signal integrity, even in the most demanding situations, is a testament to the reliability and ruggedness of the SC-1.

Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Universal Audio SC-1


A microphone that combines aesthetics and performance

When it comes to choosing a microphone for vocals or other applications, sound quality is of course an essential criterion, but design and finish therefore play a crucial role in the user experience. The Universal Audio SC-1 microphone does not disappoint on this point, with its elegant design and impeccable finish .

Universal Audio SC-1 demonstrates Universal Audio's commitment to excellence. Sleek and modern, this microphone features a deep black anodized aluminum body, enhanced by brushed steel details. This fusion of minimalism and sophistication provides a remarkable aesthetic that will appeal to the most demanding audio professionals.

The gold-plated capsule is also a true statement of intent. In homage to great vintage microphones , it not only guarantees sound capture with unparalleled precision, but also gives the SC-1 an aura of undeniable prestige.

Regarding the magnetic switch, located on the body of the microphone, this detail is a perfect example of high-end engineering. Its smooth and silent action allows you to switch from recording mode to mute mode seamlessly, without disturbing the recording and the artist.

The stainless steel acoustic grille of the Universal Audio SC-1 microphone is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Finely perforated, it filters unwanted noise while preserving sound clarity.

In short, with this high-end microphone , Universal Audio has succeeded in creating a microphone that perfectly combines aesthetics and performance.

microphone Universal Audio SC-1
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Features of the Hemisphere Mic Models plugin

Universal Audio's Hemisphere plugin offers microphone simulation based on the same technology used in UA Sphere microphones. The plugin faithfully reproduces the authentic sound renowned dynamic, ribbon and condenser microphones Neumann, Sennheiser and AKG .

The plugin's interface is both simple and clean, offering a microphone selector, phase switch, proximity control, axis control, and three-position filter switch. It is compatible with SP-1, SD-1 and SC-1 microphones, and provides near-zero latency recording when used with an Apollo interface.

To install Hemisphere, you need to own one of the three microphone models mentioned above, register it in your personal UA Connect account, then download and install it for free on Mac or Windows.

Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Universal Audio SC-1


Application areas of the SC-1 microphone

The Universal Audio SC-1 microphone is suitable for a variety of application areas due to its advanced technical features and superior sound quality. It finds its use in:

  • Studio recording

The SC-1 excels at faithfully capturing vocals and instruments, providing an extended frequency response, making it an ideal choice for recording vocals , guitars, pianos and other acoustic instruments.

  • The live

With its exceptional sound reproduction and excellent isolation, the SC-1 is a preferred choice for artists and audio engineers. Its ability to handle high sound pressure levels makes it a suitable microphone for live performances.

  • Broadcasting and podcasting

For capturing vocals with exceptional clarity, whether for podcasts, voiceover recordings, interviews or high-end audio-visual productions, the SC-1 offers a reliable, high-quality solution.

Technical characteristics of SC-1

  • Microphone type: Electrostatic condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: -39 dB (0 dB = 1V/Pa @ 1 kHz)
  • Output impedance: 200 ohms
  • Power supply type: Phantom power ( 48 V DC, 3 mA )
  • Connector: 3-pin male XLR
  • Accessories included: Microphone clip, 15.9 mm to 9.5 mm threaded adapter, semi-soft carrying case, with U logo
  • Dimensions: 162 mm in length, 52 mm in diameter
  • Weight: 363 grams
Universal Audio SC-1 microphone test
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Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5

Value for money

4,7 /5

Global mark

4,8 /5

Our final verdict on the SC-1 microphone

After examining its features in detail and testing it in various recording situations, here is our opinion:

The SC-1 is solidly built, with attention paid to durability and aesthetics. Its modern design makes it a microphone that is as beautiful as it is functional. It thus offers good value for money, since it is offered on the market at a price three times cheaper than the Neumann U87 Ai, while its finish is impeccable.

In terms of sound quality, the SC-1 shines with its clarity and precision. Its frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and sensitivity of -39 dB ensure faithful capture of sound sources, from deep bass to crystal clear highs. The low noise level of 12 dB and maximum SPL of 145 dB enable distortion-free recording, even in demanding environments.

Other standout features of the SC-1 is its compatibility with the Hemisphere plugin, which offers post-recording modeling of legendary microphones. This feature greatly expands the microphone's versatility, allowing users to choose from a variety of sound profiles to find the perfect timbre for every recording.

Ultimately, given these many strengths, there's no stopping us from saying that this SC-1 microphone is the choice to make if you're looking for a microphone for studio recording, live performances, broadcasting, and podcasting. We recommend this model whether you are an experienced audio engineer or a home audio enthusiast.

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Universal Audio SC-1-purchase
Universal Audio SC-1


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