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Oktava MK-012

Multi Capsule Studio & Sound Reinforcement Condenser 



Buy original Oktava MK-012


The MK-012 is a compact, high quality capacitor microphone with interchangeable capsules to provide a choice of cardioid, hypercardioid or omni-directional polar patterns.

The wide, flat response ensures that all sounds are captured with a high degree of accuracy. A -10 dB pad is included for use in high SPL environments. The capsules, which screw onto the microphone body, utilise a precision, integral connection system to ensure reliable electrical contact.

The MK-012 is suitable for use in any situation where an accurate sound is required, the size of the system makes it ideal for use in broadcast, sound for picture, installation, sound reinforcement and theatre situations as well as the recording studio.

In pairs, the MK012s are perfectly suited for coincident and spaced stereo miking techniques, and also overhead useage in live and studio situations. Factory matched pairs can be specially ordered.

The MK-012 has following options:

MK-012 with 3 capsules
MK-012-01 with 1 capsule
MK-012-02 with 2 capsules
MK-012 mini with mini preamp
Oktava MK-012
Oktava MK-012 with shock mount

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Technical specifications

Mic type Small diaphragm condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid, Hypercardioid, Omnidirectional
Freq. Response 20-20000Hz
Phantom voltage required 48 +\- 2V
Full impedance, module less than 300 ohms
Weighted SPL (ref. DIN 45412) 18 dBA
Maximum SPL in 250-8000Hz range, (less than 0.5% THD) 130 db
Free field sensitivity at 1KHz 10 mV/Pa
Free field sensitivity roll off from 40Hz to 20KHz should not exceed +\- 3 db
Weight with 3 capsules and pad 200 gr
Length, mm 128
Max diameter/width, mm 23
Accessories included Mic holder
Accessories optional Shock mount
The difference in free field sensitivity between 0° and 90° should be as follows:  
For omnidirectional capsule:  
in 40-1000 Hz range: no more than 2 db
in 1-5 KHz range: no more than 4 db
in 5-8 KHz range: no more than 8 db
For cardioid capsule:  
in 250-8000 Hz range: no less than 4 db
For hypercardioid capsule:  
in 250-5000 Hz range: no less than 8 db
Average sensitivity difference between O° and 180° for cardioid capsule in 63-12500 Hz range: 16 db

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Frequency responses

Oktava MK-012 cardioid capsuleOktava MK-012 cardioid frequency response
Oktava MK-012 cardioid response
Oktava MK-012 hypercardioid capsuleOktava MK-012 hypercardioid frequency response
Oktava MK-012 hypercardioid response
Oktava MK-012 omnidirectional responseOktava MK-012 omni frequency response
Oktava MK-012 omni response

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Oktava MK012 Capacitor Microphone
Sound on Sound

Oktava have created a storm in the microphone marketplace with the MK219. Now they hope to follow up their initial success with the MK012, designed for both studio and broadcast use.
PAUL WHITE dons his fur hat, converts some roubles, and gives it a spin...

Oktava's MK219 has caused quite a stir in the microphone world. It delivers a tonal performance to challenge mics which its own list price wouldn't even pay the VAT on, despite a standard of cosmetic finish that would make a Trabant engine casting look like a work of art. In that respect, Oktava's MK012 microphone couldn't be more different, being well-engineered and very conservatively styled. As tends to be the case with ex-eastern bloc microphones, the technology is largely 'borrowed' from the major mic manufacturers, but implemented in a slightly less refined manner.

The basic package comprises the mic body plus a stand clip, a 10dB pad and three individual capsules providing cardioid, hypercardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns. A figure-of-eight capsule might have been more useful than two cardioid types -- the importers tell me they're already looking into the possibility.

The capsules screw directly to the microphone body, where the thread-to-thread contact forms the negative signal conductor, and a central pin in the capsule mates with a sprung contact in the microphone body to carry the positive signal. If the 10dB pad is needed, it fits between the mic body and the capsule. Low noise, transformerless preamplifier circuitry is housed in the mic body, and can be driven from any nominal 48V phantom powering source. Unlike vocal mics, where the response is often deliberately coloured, the 012 has a nominally flat frequency response extending from 20Hz-20kHz -- though that's not to say that it isn't also a good vocal mic.

I heard this mic as part of a comparative test undertaken at the Gateway School of Recording in Kingston, where they have a grand piano set up in the middle of a large studio. Several mics were set up on boom stands about four feet away from the open piano lid, and positioned as closely together as was practical. We then repaired to the control room and scrutinised the various mics while someone played the piano. Though every mic produced a slightly different sound, the 012 stood up surprisingly well, delivering a clean, open sound with plenty of depth. Further studio tests revealed that the mic also works well with acoustic guitars and, indeed, it should suit any application requiring an honest, natural result. As you might expect, there's a reasonable degree of consistency between the sounds produced by the three available capsules. Two of these mics would make a versatile and affordable stereo recording kit, though M&S recording is not possible, because there's no figure-of-eight capsule.

Because this mic doesn't produce a coloured response, it would be fine for classical and choral work, as well as for recording smaller ensembles (for example, folk, chamber, or ethnic music). Its small size also makes this mic suitable for broadcast, sound-for-picture, installation, and theatre situations.


Given the low cost, the MK012 is a surprisingly competent and flexible microphone, suited to virtually any application where an accurate sound is sought. In the project studio, it can handle vocals and all manner of acoustic instruments, and should also function as a top class sampling mic. A stereo pair would make great drum overheads or location recording mics, and their relatively high sensitivity means they could also be used for gathering sound effects on location, without noise posing too much of a problem.

There are plenty of professional mics already available which do essentially the same job as the MK012, but none at anything like the price. Traditionally, project studios go for large diaphragm capacitor vocal mics, but given its very attractive price, the MK012 makes a welcome and useful addition to the mic locker. The MK012 is optionally available with an elastic suspension cage, a phantom power supply, foam windshield and cable, all in a wooden case. Given that this costs only £50 or so more than the basic package, it adds further value to what is already a bargain.


Oktava Studio Microphones

Terry Kok

The Oktava MK-012

The MK-012 is the next microphone up on the list and is a compact, high quality capacitor microphone with interchangeable capsules to provide a choice of cardioid, hypercardioid or omni-directional polar patterns. This is our favorite multi-purpose microphone and we've successfully used it for miking instruments, drums (especially good) or anything else in particular. The reason behind this is the multi capsule design of the MK-012 which allows you to choose between three different polar patterns matching your application.

For vocals, the cardiod or hypercardiod patterns are often used but I found the omni pattern to be the most useful especially when recording acoustic guitars or stringed instruments (violins, cellos). The MK-012 is a full range design with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and comes with a -10db pad which is useful when used under high sound pressure levels such as when miking loud guitar amp stacks.

MK-012 In Use

As I mentioned earlier on, the MK-012 is my favourite multi purpose microphone, I've done many recording sessions miking everything from guitars to violins to drums and I've always been impressed by the flexibility of the MK-012. When used with vocals, I strongly suggest that you use a pop screen with it as the MK-012 is a rather sensitive microphone and tends to pick up a lot of pops in vocals if used without a screen.

If you're on a tight budget, I'd personally pick the MK-012 as it's flexibility allows novice home studio enthusiasts the flexibility of having a few mics cramped into one amazingly compact package. The MK-012 works very well with acoustic guitars and violins and because of the sensitivity of the mic. Like the MK-319 , it managed to capture alot of detail and if spaced sufficiently from the instrument, also records a very nice room ambience in the recording. Somehow though, I preferred the MK-319 for use with acoustic instruments because the MK-319 had warm sound which complements these stringed instruments which the MK-012 lacked.

The best application for the MK-012 I feel, would be a drum set. It worked exceptionally well on our Pearl kick drum because of the full range offered by the MK-012. It worked really well too at a snare or tom position as the sensitivity of the mic captured a very nice attack on snare beats. Overall, the MK-012 is an excellent compact and flexible microphone that is a must in any studio, especially if you're looking for a multipurpose microphone!


The three Oktava microphones (MK-319, MK-012 and ML-52) reviewed are amazing performers for the price. First up, we have the MK-319 which is magical with vocals and stringed/acoustic instruments. Then comes the MK-012 which is another amazing performer that is so flexible, it's like having a whole bunch of mics cramped into one compact design. Get a stereo matched set and have them setup as drum set overheads! Last but not least, the ribbon based ML52 proves yet again that ribbon mics should not be forgotten offering an inviting and warm sound. If you're looking for great microphones that offer an amazing value for your money, I would not hesitate to suggest that you give the Oktava line an audition. Highly recommended!

Royer Labs SF-1 by Myles Boisen

You'll find here information about MK-012 applications as well.


Enregistrement batterie + pedalboard



Drum overhead mic shootout and review: Oktava MK-012, AKG C1000S, EV 635a

Review by Matthew Mcglynn of debris.com from 15.09.2005


CIAO Unabhängige Kaufberatung (Independent purchase consultation)

Erfahrungsbericht von locationrecording über Oktava Oktava M012
1. Mai 2002


Mikrofontest of three Oktava microphones

Studio Magazin 11/07

An Overview of Popular Short Shotgun, Supercardioid, Hypercardiod and Cardioid Microphones By Dan Brockett

As I Hear It - Choosing the Right Microphone By Dan Brockett


Oktava MC012 - The Tape Op Review

TapeOp Issue #25/September, 2001 | by Andy Hong


Oktava MK-012 - the review in Mojo Pie

Oktava MK-012
You'll be Russian to buy the Oktava MK-012 small condensers


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User comments

Sound Quality Overall Rating
Clean sounding very accurate sound reproduction with no significant coloring to the sound to my ears. I have read scores of user review and those that have a basis for direct comparision rate them favorably against Neumans-- I run mine through either an Art Mic Tube Pac--or an Art (dual channel) Voiced Valve pre amp with OPL-- sounds great with both. So far my working experience is to use these mics to record both a big band jazz ensemble and jazz combo. I use a stereo (near coincident) mic pattern with very good results. I have also experimented a bit with using the stereo pair on acoustic guitar with an XY pattern with favorable reproduction of the natural acoustics. Looking foward to doing many projects with these mics. I love these mics--so much so I ordered an MK-319 large diaphram--- I think the general consensus given the price vs the quality/sound of these mics is that they hold their own against some very high end icons. If your looking for a budget mic for a personal studio or even for professional purpose I think you will find these good mics
OK, so I guess I'm easily impressed. Wow. I've been using a Sure Beta 58 for vocals & a Sure 57 for guitar or for drums & percussion. I know that's a pretty humble start, but this is a quantum leap in sound quality. The night I got my pair from Guitar Center. I plugged one into my Mackie 1604 VLZ board, put some headphones on & played acoustic guitar into it. The mic was about 18" away. I was transfixed. The guitar sounded better than it does in real life. Warm, rich, silky on the top end, and all together intoxicating.I also used it this morning to do some voiceover. I spoke through a pop filter with the mic about 7" back & to the side a bit. Fantastic! The sound is very rich, but not at all muddy. I never really like the sound of my recorded voice . . . until now. I listened to it over & over narcisistically goofing around with the compression & De-Esser settings in Cubase. It sounded like a male radio voice with the rich deep bottom end.
I'm a believer now. I guess they're not really ideal for stage use as a vocal mic, but what a boon for any recording enthusiast. Now I need to figure out how I can feed them Phantom Power for location video shoots.
I'm absolutely ecstatic that I own these mics now. I'm sure there are better mics out there, but presently I don't have the resources to buy Neumans or AKGs or any of the other fine condensor mics I'd love to get. These mics are a quantum leap above the Sure dynamic mics I've been using (sm57 & beta58). I can't wait to try them out on drums & percussion.
Of course, if you don't own any mics, you might want to get a Sure SM57 first. It's a good all around mic & you can talk or sing right into it. You can't talk into the Oktava MK-012 without a pop-filter. Even from 2' away, your unfiltered breath makes booming noises on the Oktava's VERY sensitive capsule.
My guess is that I'll buy all the Oktava models & get the various capsules for the MK-012's before I start buying other microphones. Of course one day I'd like to have an AKG or two & Neumann U-87, & a couple of Sennheisers, a Sure 421, etc. But for the time being, I'll put all the money I would have spent into the other facets of my studio
Good sounding mic. Nice for acoustic guitar, surprisingly good on female vocals. Well known to be good as drum/percussion overhead. I like it as the "far mic" when 2-mic'ing electric guitar. Sound can vary from on mic to another, but have yet to hear one that sounded bad, only different. All three capsules sound good on mine Very good value if you aren't afriad of trying a few and buying the one(s) you like. I've bought more. Nice general purpose mic that excels in certain applications. Very good bang-for-the-$. Be sure and check out a wind screen
I use them pretty much for drum overheads only and they sound fantastic. I record traditonal music: rockaiblly, country, jazz & blues so they really capture that room sound very well. I have not tried them for anyting else. Proabably the best deal I got on a pair of mics that perform like champs. I would reccomend these to anyone who is on a budget but still want to get a great sound. These mics are the most versatile but for what they serve they are great.
I've had great luck with these mics on drums (toms in particular and CERTAIN snare drums) and acoustic guitars that aren't too boomy. They add a nice, woody quality. I also recently did a bluegrass session and had fantastic luck with them on dobro and mandolin. I have used them on female vocals, but because of sibilance they wouldn't really be my first choice. My favorite use so far, however has been use as an ambient mic in a room or concert hall setting. They blew away the sound of my AKG 414s in this application. They have a nice, smooth top more along the lines of a Neumann KM84 than an AKG 451 or AT 40 series. Love 'em. I bought four of them and am considering getting two more. And from what I understand, these mics were designed in 1963, so I would consider them sufficiently beta-tested. And just so you know, the new Oktava ML-52 ribbon mics are AMAZING!
I really like these for drum overheads. That's the primary use in our studio. They are a poor mans KM184. Not quite in the same league, but at less than 1/10th the price, I'll run with these for a while. I've also used them on acoustic guitar and liked them quite a bit. I just have the cardiod capsules, so don't know about the omni or others. I have tried the pads and don't like them at all. They seem to change the sound too much. If you need pads, I'd say use an inline pad or other. These are very warm sounding and make the toms sound great when used as overheads. Ditto on acoustic guitar...very warm. They sound better with a less boomy guitar too. Use em on your Gibsons, not the Martins. Overall, I love these mics...hardly a day goes by in the studio that I'm not using these for something. If these were ever lost or stolen, I'd definitely grab some more. As far as comparing with other, similar mics.....if you can afford the Neumanns or Schoeps mics, then get them. If you can't, then grab a pair of these...you won't be sorry. Even if you have some of the Neumanns or Schoeps, grab a pair as well...for a few hundred dollars you might find you like them.
Here's the big surprise -- These sound really nice! I agree with Chris about the accentuated lower mids, but I find that these mics sound smoother and more relaxed than many other condensers. I tried a pair in X-Y on a Yamaha grand piano (which can sound a bit on the bright side) and the MC-012's sounded rich and full, very smooth.  This is a really good 'beginners' or hobbyist mic, and can be a great workaday pro's mic too. The self-noise is higher than in an AKG or AT small condenser, but not so much that it would be a problem in low-budget circumstances (if you're going to record a symphony I'd expect you'd have the budget to rent a pair of B&K, Earthworks or Neumann mics!). I'll give it an 8 because of the slight lack of transparency and the 'thick' lower mids, but I just finished comparing it to a Neumann fer chrissakes! I'm going to give this mic an extra couple of points for its low price. I use my pair of MC-012's through a Mackie 1202VLZ into a DAT recorder, into an Alesis Studio 12R and ADAT XT20, or from the Mackie into my RME DIGI96/8 PAD (24 bit). So far, I've recorded acoustic jazz piano and classical guitar with these mics. Both projects worked out very well. These mics sound whttp://www.oktava-online.com/style.cssy better than a hundred bucks' worth. They're not Neumanns or C451s, but they're less sizzley than the cheaper AT mics and more musical sounding than Shure SM81's (in my opinion, anyway) or AKG C3000. If you need to record a solo piano or string quartet in less than ideal circumstances, these things will work much better than an AT825 or similar. There are a few things to watch, however -- One, while they sound good on singers, always use a pop screen on all vocals. These things go nuts on plosives. Two, they can boom like crazy if you use them too close to acoustic instruments. Three, you need to be careful when you thread the capsule to the body and/or the -10dB pad, because of the crude machining of the threads. But I'd buy another one if I had to. So there!

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