Pro Audio

Owen Penglis’ favourite mics of all time (so far)

Owen Penglis is the frontman/mastermind of Sydney garage rock band Straight Arrows. He is also one of the most sought-after producers when it comes to garage, psych and rock acts in Sydney. Aside from recording, producing and mixing the majority of Straight Arrows’ discography he has worked with a number of prominent Australian acts such as The Grates, Royal Headache and Food Court.

He also co-produced the 40th-anniversary compilation of the Australian Nuggets garage record, Nuggets: Antipodean Interpolations of the First Psychedelic Era, which features covers of the original track listing from prominent Australian psych bands such as POND, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and The Laurels. Penglis lives and works in Sydney and continues to play shows with Straight Arrows and produce records every day. He’s probably working on something right now…Owen Penglis, Best mics of all time

Owen Penglis is a DIY aficionado and one of Australia’s most in-demand punk, garage and rock producers. Here are his 5 favourite mics.


Penglis: Put one of these on the right vocalist and you’ll get an instantly warm, ‘classic’ sound.

Or if you’re game (and your drummer is good) try it as the single mic on the drums for a great old-style 50s/60s sound. And percussion. And backing vocals. Just not rock guitars, ok?

Name: RCA 77-D | Year Introduced: 1932 | Type: Ribbon | Pattern: Polydirectional

Electro-Voice 635a

Penglis: A GREAT cheap as shit omni mic that works great on percussion, group backing vocals, and my favourite for an SM57-style mic (but way better!) on a guitar amp.

If you’re lucky you can grab these for $50 on eBay. Plus they also sound great for backing vox too.

Name: Electro-Voice 635A | Year Introduced: 1970 | Type: Dynamic | Pattern: Omni

Shure KSM 32

Penglis: I didn’t think this would be anything special but damn, it just sounds really flattering on nearly everything you put in front of it.

My favourite workhorse mic – if nothing else sounds right, this one will.

Name: Shure KSM32 | Year Introduced: 1998 | Type: Condenser | Pattern: Cardioid

Beyerdynamic M88

Penglis: When I first started Straight Arrows I borrowed a 4 track and one of these.

Damn, it sounded good, and ’cause there was no EQ on the 4 track if I needed to roll off the highs I’d just put a blanket over it. Easy!

Name: Beyerdynamic M88 | Year Introduced: 1962 | Type: Dynamic | Pattern: Hypercardioid

Neumann U67

Penglis: Will I ever own one of these? Maybe one day if fortunes rise to the high tide. What can you say?

Every time I get to work elsewhere at a fancy studio it’s always a pleasure to set this up on anything (piano, drum OH, ANYTHING) and it’ll tend to sound perfect. I guess that’s why they cost around 10k these days.

Name: Neumann KM84 | Year Introduced: 1960 | Type: Condenser | Pattern: Multi-pattern