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New Mics from AES

Wide-ranging design innovation on display By Frank Moldstad

AEA's R88 ribbon mic
There's plenty of innovation left in microphone technology, as evidenced by the new mics introduced at the AES convention in San Francisco. For instance, Josephson's C700A features multiple capsules that can be independently angled for stereo (or even suround) recording purposes, and Blue's new 8-Ball cardioid condensor has a built-in swiveling pivot mount to make fine-tuning easier. And the fidelity of high resolution audio formats such as SACD and DVD-A is addressed by Schoeps' CMC 6 xt phantom powered mic amplifier, which goes to "11." (Actually, it extends the frequency range of certain Schoeps capsules to 40kHz to capture the psychoacoustic intangibles that high res audio permits.)

But for the meat-and-potatoes crowd, there was also a healthy new crop of timeless high quality studio, location and stage mics introduced. Here is a recap of what rolled across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The AEA R88 features a 90 degree off-axis ribbon stereo pair of AEAs R84s in one capsule, using the same basic LRG and acoustic structure as the R44CNE, with "big ribbon" sound for stereo applications. Distributed by TransAudio Group. List: $1,895. www.wesdooley.com

AKG introduced the C 542 BL boundary-layer recording microphone. A round metal plate measuring 3.2 inches in diameter, it is designed to be placed on any large acoustically-reflective surface such as a wall or floor and uses a pressure transducer. List: $320. www.akg-acoustics.com


Earthworks DrumKit System
Earthworks' DrumKit system is designed to eliminate the need to mic every drum in a kit, bundling three mics and a KickPad XLR optimizer for what Earthworks says is a "dramatic improvement" in sound quality over setups that use five to seven mics. The DrumKit system comes in two flavors, one for recording and one for live performance. The DK25/R recording set (left) includes two TC25 omnis for overheads, an SR25 cardioid for kick drum, a KickPad and a windscreen. The DK25/L is for live performance and has three SR25s -- two for overheads and one for kick drum, a KickPad and a windscreen. The SR25's cardioid pattern is designed to provide more uniform off-axis response and less susceptibility to acoustic feedback. MSRP $2,100. www.earthworksaudio.com

Audio Technica introduced the AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone, a side-address condenser with a custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm, for extended frequency response and the ability to handle high SPLs. The AT2020 has a fixed cardioid polar pattern. MSRP $169. www.audio-technica.com

Blue's 8-Ball
Audix announced that its new FireBall microphone will be available in November '04. www.audixusa.com

Blue announced the 8-Ball, a cardioid condenser microphone for applications ranging from vocals to drum overheads and acoustic guitars. The 8-Ball features a swivel mount that allows it to pivot back and forth for mic placement. Blue also re-released the Bluebird Microphone, including the Bluebird Accessory Pak?a 22-AWG Blueberry mic cable, a BirdCage shock-mount and a BirdNest metal mesh pop filter. www.bluemic.com

Brauner Microphones' Phantom V is the companys first variable-pattern non-tube (FET) large diaphragm microphone. Brauner's latest addition to the Phantom Series offers switchable omni-directional, cardioid, and figure-eight polar patterns, as well as a -15dB pad. List: $2,575. www.braunerusa.com

DPA's Windpac-L

DPA Microphones debuted its 3521 Compact Cardioid Stereo Kit and 4088 Cardioid Headband Microphone. The 4088 is designed for live performances where high stage volumes are present. The 3521 Compact Cardioid Stereo Kit is good for piano micing and several other applications. It is a complete stereo kit with two 4021 compact cardioid microphones matched within 2dB on frequency response, sensitivity and self-noise. DPA also showed its new lightweight Windpac screen for field miking, which comes in two sizes the Windpac-L (large) and the Windpac-M (medium). There are two components: a universal shock mount and a zeppelin-shaped collapsible windshield made of fabric that blocks wind noise in gusts of up to 56 mph while retaining audio transparency. www.dpamicrophones.com

Flea offered a preliminary showing of its F-47 tube mic with selectable cardioid and omni patterns, which will be available in various tube configurations, including UF14, EF14, and EF14 Wermacht. Other options include M7 or KK47 capsule. Distributed by Independent Audio. www.independentaudio.com/CDCatalog/HTML/flea.html

Groove Tubes introduced the new PF-1 and PF-2 professional pop filters, which use a stretched mesh steel design for cutting back on plosives and other transients without losing high frequencies. They are intended for professional miking applications in the studio and on stage. www.groovetubes.com  

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Related Keywords:microphone, AES, AEA R88 , 8-Ball, Schoeps, Josephson, Brauner, DPA, Microtech Gefell, Neumann, Sanken, Sennheiser , Telefunken

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