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AT4080 AT4081 Ribbon Mics

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by audiokid, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Audio Technica Ribbons look interesting. Anyone have the opportunity to demo either of these?

    Nice to see Full Compass adding more videos, Kudo's there.
    Also, Steve Levine talks about the Radial Phaser, something on my wish list.

    Cheers!







    Not the best engineering on that but I love the look of that 4080!
     
  2. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I had a 4080 for well over a year. I used it on a variety of sources including vocals and guitar, piano. It didn't live up to my expectations, nor was it up to par with other mics in my possession so I sold it off on eBay. I found it relatively dull both sonically and dynamically. Mind you I do mostly acoustic music and own a nice collection of mics including other great ribbons, so take my experience in the context of me seeking a great ribbon with exceptional characteristics for my intended use and compared to my other available choices.

    Jeff
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    yikes, well I would trust you on this, Jeff. We have similar tastes. Thanks for chiming in.

    Out of curiosity, same question as for Dave on the 5040. What chain, pre ?
    Do you think that had an impact worth thinking back on or was this thing just dull as some ribbons are?

    ( I think) I would patch a Millennia HV on this one though . A transformerless design so the ribbon is exactly what it is. Did it need a lot of gain?
     
  4. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Hard to recall for sure now, but I probably ran it through my Great River MP-2NV, or possibly directly into my board inputs, depending on what I was recording. In either case I usually shoot for transparency over color, so I don't think this affected my opinion of the mic, especially considering my comparison of the mic to other mics run through the same chains.

    As an active ribbon mic, it doesn't need as much gain as most passive ribbons, but definitely needs more than a condenser. By the way, for passive ribbons I highly recommend the AEA preamps... I own both the RPQ and the TRP and both do an exceptional job of providing high gain with little or no noise.

    Jeff
     
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I like what Steve said, when he mentioned that there are times when as engineers, we want the coloration of a particular piece, or at least the choices of color.

    While there are certainly times where I'm looking for the most natural, transparent sound I can get, there are just as many times where I'm looking for certain coloration, a larger than life presentation of a vocal, for example.

    Having a choice of mics and pres at our disposal allows us the choice of going for a natural, organic reproduction or choosing to hype up the recordings to a level where they aren't necessarily "natural", but pleasing all the same.

    Also, he was talking about the ribbon as being a bit "darker" and "warmer" ... more reminiscent of older recordings, which I guess is what I would expect when using a ribbon, as opposed to the accented top end presence, at which point, I'd be looking at a nice condenser, if that's what I was after.

    I listen to some of those old Capitol recordings with artists like Nat King Cole or Judy Garland, and yes, in comparison to what our ears have grown used to in terms of presence and the abundance of condensers used on popular recordings, these old recordings do sound darker BUT, to my ears at least, no less pleasing, and in some cases, even more so.

    And, while they sound darker, they still have a beautiful warmth to them, along with a silky top end that isn't harsh or glassy, and to my ears, they still sound timeless and great, both in performance, and sonically, from an engineering ear as well.

    IMHO of course.

    Thanks for posting the videos, Chris. They were an interesting view.
     

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