Gear Reviews

Lauten Audio Eden: A Mic For All Seasons

We put Lauten Audio’s flagship Eden tube mic to the test during a vocal session with frontman of UK rock band, Fuzz Skyler, to see how effectively its three dedicated circuits and filters can alter the sonics of a quality vocal performance.

There are many ways to record vocals, and a long list of quality mics that will get the job done: from the good to the very good, to the outstanding. As a recording engineer, I have my go-to mic(s) and chain; and from a production standpoint, I have a reliable starting point when heading into the box that will usually complement that chain. Yet sometimes catching that extra air at source or punch in the midrange will vary depending on the vocalist that’s performing, and more work will be needed in the box than I might have originally envisioned.

Another time consuming process, of course, can be finding the right mic for the right singer, and a bit of chopping and changing can be required before tracking. It can be a hindrance, particularly when working to deadlines and in small spaces. Some mics, for example, require external power and need warming up, and without the luxury of a sizeable vocal booth or spacious live room, they’ll often need setting up from scratch, which in my case means heading pretty deep down into a flight case which holds my mic collection while simultaneously propping up 6U of outboard, two drum machines, and a Vox guitar head. In a word, tricky.

A third potential issue is noise. My mix room is tuned and my monitoring setup is fully calibrated, so it sounds great and true – but it’s also small and vocal booth-less, so it can be challenging at times achieving the right gain structure, particularly when trying to get the vocalist maximum headroom and headphone output, and keeping the background noise low enough. Not helped, of course, by the proximity of vocalist to my 2017 Mac Book: when the fan kicks in, I know I’m in for a rollercoaster of a session. Bring on my Mac M1 Max, which arrives in February!

This was even true when I was fortunate enough to babysit a beautiful Neumann U67 in November 2020; it’s a truly brilliant-sounding microphone, and it got me some great results, but even that was not necessarily as manageable in my recording environment as I would have hoped.

The timing, then, was perfect when I was able to get my hands on a Lauten Audio Eden during December, just days after I reluctantly returned the U67. I’d heard a lot about these Lauten mics, knew they were handbuilt in California, and were built like tanks. I also knew that the brand recommended – and understandably so after setting one up – that you don’t skimp on your choice of mic stand when using this beast, as it weighs 8lbs!


When you open the box, Eden immediately has the wow factor: it’s a stunning piece of kit, aesthetically, and its heavy duty shockmount is as solid as I’ve ever seen on any mic. No corners have been cut here, and it is clear that this is a very serious piece of engineering all round.

I have been told to let Eden warm up before using, as is often the case with a quality tube mic, so I decide to head out for a coffee or three. Two hours later, I am back in the room with artist, and ready to record.

Eden is a tube mic with three switchable polar patterns and two high-pass filters, but its huge USP is a three-way switch on the back, where you can choose from one of three separate analogue circuits: F (Forward), N (Neutral), and G (Gentle).

I set Fuzz up at the mic - a great rock singer – to lay vocals on a new track I’ve been producing for his band, and ask him to run through the track a couple of times.

The vocal chain is as follows: Eden into a Focusrite ISA 828 pre, into a Black Lion Audio Bluey, into a Merging Anubis audio interface. As I start turning the dials on the pre and then the Bluey, it is somehow night and day to the experience I had with the U67. To the extent where I think, ‘have I got this mic turned on?’ That’s how quiet it is.

I then find I am able to generate fantastic headroom in Fuzz’s headphone mix, and the tone of the mic (in the G position initially) is just fantastic: warm and rich, with some genuine character. Way less ‘predictable’ sounding than many of the other top grade mics I’ve enjoyed working with.

We do a take in G position, and play it back – soloing it at regular intervals, I am still trying to establish how it’s so isolated despite my usual little room quirks still happening. Perhaps this will change when I move to the more aggressive of the settings?

But actually, there is hardly any change at all.

I soon discover that each of these circuits has a genuinely unique voicing, and the vast tonal palette I am able to access starts to become apparent. The second thing I can confirm is that even when driving the gain on the pre and the input and then output on the compressor (which is generating a pretty hot headphone mix), I am getting, at a guess, 50-60% less background noise than I normally would – and a stonking vocal sound.

Because the track we are working on requires an up front, in your face sound – and despite the ‘G’ take sounding warm and lovely – we decide to track it again, switching to ‘F’. And it works perfectly. It’s brighter, it adds air, and now has that bite I was craving – yet it retains the smoothness that I know I’ll need when I’m processing it in the box later. Also, I haven’t needed to crank the gain as much to get it to where I need it to be – so it’s actually quieter still on this setting. Madness.

Two days later, Fuzz (ever the perfectionist) tells me he wants to redo the vocal as he isn’t happy with his performance. As good as I think it is – and sounds, of course - I bring him back in. The thing is, in the time he’s been gone – just 48 hours – I have continued to experiment with Eden’s high-pass filter system. High-pass is the first port of call in the mic’s signal path. Another excellent vocalist I work with, Grace McGuigan, had come in the day after Fuzz, and I’d realised that playing with these low cut settings significantly impacted the character and colour of her vocal.


To recap, Eden essentially has three filter positions if you include ‘Off’, which lets in the full frequency spectrum. Then there is a Soft and Hard setting, each of which basically does what it says on the tin: Soft provides a steep curve at around 40Hz; Hard cuts way higher at around 160 Hz. So in theory, with three voicings, three polar patterns and three filters that’s... a lot of mic options!

After a few takes, I decided that actually moving Fuzz from F (Front) to N (Neutral) with a Hard cut provides the magic sauce: a sharpness in the attack with punchy, focused mids creates a vocal that sits in the mix way better than any of our previous efforts. He sings it better, too – kudos, Fuzz.

After the session, I experimented further with some acoustic guitar recordings and, as expected, each of the voicings allowed for a different sound: F is terrific when positioned on the neck of the guitar to get a driving acoustic sound, and playing with the filters here really mixed things up in terms of generating body versus sparkle; and I love the sound of a fingerpicked acoustic on G position with the Hard filter in place.

So the bottom line here is, despite the fact I have a healthy and pretty eclectic mic collection, after spending a few days with Eden, I see it not only as a new studio centrepiece, but also as a creative production tool. It is a breath of fresh air, and a genuinely exciting microphone to work with, with all the qualities you’d expect of a great mic, and an abundance of colour up its sleeve – it’s up to you how much you choose to untap it. There is simply nothing not to like about this microphone; it will deliver, no matter who or what you’re capturing.