However, if the ground pin is shorting an XLR cable or if a TRS cable is patched to the input of a passive ribbon mic while phantom power is engaged, this can blow a ribbon. In certain instances, long cable runs from a passive ribbon mic to a preamp can cause noise issues as well as impedance problems. Engineers can add color and saturation using their preferred preamps without concern that the device will affect the low-frequency response of the microphone. It’s important to note that the additional 12dB of output comes from the Lehle transformer itself and not from the phantom-powered electronics. To operate this circuitry, active ribbons require standard 48-volt phantom power. Enter: The Active Ribbons. This 12dB of extra gain helps avoid noise issues when using a lower gain preamp. Of course, high-gain and high-impedance is not a rule. Luckily for us, its reviews are almost universally positive as well. Ribbon microphones are traditionally passive and have been for decades since their inception in the 1930’s. Though passive ribbon mics have always been known for their incredible sound, their full sonic potential could only be achieved within certain parameters. These touring artists needed more consistency from their ribbons on the road. While the electronics protect the ribbon, we still recommend avoiding hot-patching while phantom power is engaged because it is hard on the electronics. This mainly involved pairing the passive ribbon mic with a very high-gain, high-impedance mic preamp, which are scarce in the preamp market. Some engineers like to use the preamp as an effect because it can drastically change the character of the mic. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. That isn’t always an option, but active ribbon mics are equipped for any circumstance. Since 2008, AEA has been creating active versions of ribbon mics to compensate for the differences in preamp performance. ... it's worth mentioning the mic's strong proximity effect which can be worked for a richer vocal texture. The active design has the benefits of a higher output level than traditional ribbon mics, which means less preamp gain in required which results in quieter recordings. View our NTR video playlist. A passive ribbon will react differently to each preamp based on the respective impedance and gain levels. Active microphones are the same as passive microphones, save one major difference — they have internal electronics and a custom transformer that boost the mic’s output level and maintain a consistent impedance over the entire frequency spectrum. Normally active ribbon microphones are very expensive, Audio Technica AT4081 is another affordable active ribbon microphone. Active; Figure 8 Passive ribbon mics can be paired with a variety of preamps to experiment with the overall frequency response and sonic character of the audio. Our active electronics are extremely transparent because of their JFET technology and do not impart any additional character. Passive R84 and Active R84A Passive vs Active Strategies. AEA deliberately avoided any coloration of our mics’ tone by the electronics. AEA’s active electronics are supremely transparent because of their JFET technology and do not impart coloration to the sound. Ribbon mics were the industry standard for recording and broadcast from about 1920 to 1950 and are one of the defining factors in the recordings from that period. Passive ribbon mics can be used with different preamps to really experiment with the overall frequency response. A passive ribbon will react differently to each preamp based on the respective impedance and gain levels. Some artists prefer the color and tonality provided by low impedance preamps. The problem is…the active ones are even more expensive than the passive ones. This is why AEA designs diverse mics that can be uniquely employed by users. Accidentally engaging phantom power in one of our mics is not always a problem. Audio Technica AT4081 sounds great on guitar cabinets, it has a nice smooth and warm sound. Active microphones can be used with any preamp and their frequency response will sound quite consistent. 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