5 Features of the Austrian Audio OC818 Microphone you might not know about
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5 Features of the Austrian Audio OC818 Microphone you might not know about

Back in 2019, Austrian Audio launched the OC818 – a dual large diaphragm condenser microphone, designed to be placed in front of a diverse range of instruments, voice and other sound sources. It's a combines a legacy of microphone design and engineering with innovative modern features. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to the OC818, so we've made a list - here’s 5 features on the OC818 that you may not know about...

1 - The OC818 has a dual output

The OC818 is built around the handmade CKR12 Ceramic Capsule, carefully suspended on 3 shock absorbing bands and internal diffusers – allowing it to capture the purest version to the original sound source. But did you know that you can tap into a second diaphragm to capture audio from both sides of the capsule? 

On closer inspection, you’ll notice a little rubber flap with a tab on the back of the OC818. Pull the tab back, and you’ll expose a second mini socket. The OC818 comes with an adapter for this socket, which breaks out to XLR. So there you have it, instant stereo with just one microphone and 2 outputs. This feature opens up further possibilities such as advanced polar patterns, stereo techniques and ambisonic recording, which we'll cover later on in this article.

2 – Every OC818 is Stereo Matched

Austrian Audio are so sure of their build process and component tolerances, that every OC818 will match any other OC818 (within a very very small margin!) This means that if you buy one now, but feel the need for a stereo pair later on, you only need to buy 1 more to match.

Of course, if you already know that you’re in need a stereo set of OC818s, Austrian Audio sell the 'Dual Set Plus' (pictured above). This package includes 2 mics, shockmounts, cables and stereo bar all contained in an extra large carry case to put everything in.

3 – The OC818 now comes in a black finish 

The special black edition OC818 was brought about due to demand for a more discreet finish for the OC818. Not to be confused with the OC18, which also comes in a black finish with red accents. On video and under stage lighting, the original silver OC818 can catch the light, and therefore attention. Where as the black finish is far less reflective, and can be hidden in plain sight. Whether you need an OC818 thats more subtle, or you just like the colour, the black OC818 is an option you may not have known about!

4 – OC818 can be controlled via Bluetooth 

Have you ever positioned a microphone in the perfect spot, probably out of reach, only to find that you need to add a pad or adjust the filter? Annoying isn’t it? With the addition of the OCR8 bluetooth adapter, you can do all of this remotely from your mobile device, and even change polar pattern!

The OCR8 is an optional accessory for OC818, but definitely worth a look if you plan on using an OC818 in hard to reach spots. The OCR8 plugs into the mini-socket that you’d otherwise use for the stereo tap we talked about earlier. The circuitry inside OC818 is 100% analogue, but digitally controllable via the OCR8. 

PolarPilot is the app that you use to control the parameters on the OC818. Using the app with Bluetooth, you can locate and connect to the OCR8 remote. You can then check that the OC818 isn't overloading, set High Pass Filter, set the dB pad, and also adjust the polar pattern. When adjusting the polar pattern via the app, you can unlock fine tuning the polar pattern to get even greater flexibility when recording. This is explained further in our PolarPilot blog article.

Download PolarPilot 

5 – Austrian Audio develop complimentary software for OC818

In case you missed it, Austrian Audio's software developers have come up with some clever tools that you can use alongside OC818s in your DAW – and they’re totally free! Aside from PolarPilot, here are the other apps & plugins you can use with OC818:


First we have Polar Designer – a piece of software that allows you to adjust the polar pattern of your OC818  after you’ve recorded. That’s right, in post! Simply record the front & rear capsules into your DAW, then run them both through the PolarDesigner plugin which does the rest. It uses the phase relationship between both capsules to create a polar pattern from both signals. But it also goes one step further, allowing you to shape the polar pattern response by frequency band. Very cool!

Download PolarDesigner


StereoCreator is another handy software tool, this time for working with stereo techniques in post. Using 2x OC818s gives you the most stereo options, but you can also use 1. You'll need to position the microphones as shown in the plugin, record both the front and rear capsules of each mic, then route those channels to StereoCreator accordingly. 

The 4 channels fed into StereoCreator are spat out as a stereo channel. With 2x OC818s, you can create 3 different stereo modes: 

  • True Stereo
  • True Mid-Side 
  • Blumlein pair

Whats unique about these configurations is that you can rotate the stereo field, stereo width and balance, without even moving the microphones. As with PolarDesigner, these changes are made in post. With just 1x OC818 you can create:

  • Pseudo Mid-Side 
  • Pseuduo Stereo

Download StereoCreator


As with StereoCreator, AmbiCreator utilises a pair of OC818s with all 4 channels being recorded together, positioned as they are in the image above. AmbiCreator processes these 4 channels from the OC8181s to create a recording with 3 dimensions - so not only left & right, but also forward, backward, up and down. This arrangement is what's known as '1st Order Ambisonics. 

Listening back to spatial audio isn't quite as straightforward as stereo. With headphones, you'll need a binaural decoder. This uses 'head related transfer functions' or HRTFs to simulate how you'd hear sounds in a 3D environment, but through headphones. You can also use multiple speaker formats such as Dolby Atmos in a treated room to get the full effect.

Spatial audio can seem quite complicated, but using 2x OC818s with AmbiCreator is one of the easiest routes recording 3D spaces. Definitely worth some experimentation! 

Download AmbiCreator

So there you have it, 5 things that you might not have already known about the Austrian Audio OC818. If you want to learn more about some of the points we discussed today, in particular the software and accessories, here’s a list of links that you can take a look at: 

PolarDesigner Blog 

Advanced polar response designer plugin 

PolarPilot Blog 

Realtime app control of the OC818 via bluetooth

Recording Techniques with OC818

Using the dual output on OC818 for recording

Austrian Audio website 

For everything Austrian Audio including software downloads

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