Q. Weighing 474g, this mic looks more like a condenser mic than a ribbon, measuring 177.5mm long by 53.4mm in diameter at the widest point. In this video review for Pro Tools Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey reviews the Audio Technica 4080 and 4081 ribbon microphones. You choose ribbon mics for their sound rather than their accuracy, though, so the paper spec is rather less important than the subjective tonal character. Both mics deliver adequate output levels, thanks to the active circuitry, and the noise level is acceptably low for most types of studio recording. Audio Technica's first ever ribbon models, the AT4080 (far left) and the AT4081 (left), are both active designs, which means that 48V phantom power is required for operation. There is, of course, still rather less high‑frequency detail than you'd expect from a capacitor mic, but that's one of the main reasons that you'd choose to use a ribbon mic! The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. The mesh basket also incorporates an ultra‑fine layer to break up wind blasts, and the ribbon element is supported by a purpose‑designed shockmount to reduce stand‑borne vibrational noise. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean it's better at some things and worse at others, and thus less suitable if you're looking for a good all‑rounder. The other benefit of an active ribbon is that, unlike a passive ribbon mic, you won't risk damaging it by plugging or unplugging it with the phantom power switched on, and the choice of mic preamp becomes less critical. Although still a side‑address mic, AT's second ribbon model, the AT4081, has more of a stick-mic profile. N50 neodymium magnets are employed to maximise the output from the ribbon motor. None, really, although the AT4081's coloration makes it better on some sources than others. Traditional ribbon mics (and many newer models, come to that) are very fragile in comparison with their capacitor and dynamic counterparts, so Audio Technica's engineers set themselves the task of creating a more mechanically robust ribbon element that was still capable of delivering the familiar sonic character of a ribbon. It’s a pretty cool looking mic actually; a design that’s grown on me over time… despite earlier concerns that the mesh loo… Typically, ribbon microphones start to roll off the high end at 10kHz or below, but the useful range of this mic is cited as 20Hz to 18kHz — and examination of the response curve shows the response to be fairly flat up to 15kHz, but with a pronounced bass bump. An AT8471 isolation clamp with thread adaptor, windscreen and protective carrying case are included with the mic. Prices include VAT. Mastering Essentials Part 4 - Mastering EQ: Balance, Don’t Match. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address. As with all conventional ribbon mics, the polar pattern of the AT4080 is figure‑of‑eight. With its low-profile stick design, this microphone is a natural for use on a wide range of instruments (horns, strings, drum overheads, orchestras and more) and guitar cabinets in recording studios and live-sound settings. I've used this mic in nearly every situation that I could throw at it. Win! The Audio Technica AT4041 is a small electret condenser, what is commonly called a "pencil condenser". It will perform just as well live as it will in the studio. For comparison, I put up a Coles 4038, which has a particularly warm sound and a very generous low end. Like other manufacturers, they've also tried to increase the output level by adding active circuitry, because traditional, passive ribbon mics tend to need a lot of preamp gain, which in turn can lead to unwanted noise. Delivering the warmth and natural sound of a classic ribbon microphone, Audio-Technica s AT4081 offers outstanding durability and phantom-powered active electronics in a low-profile stick design. Similarly, the attack of hand percussion was emphasised in a useful way, bringing out both the slap and ring of my dharbuka. Its main strength is in bringing out the detail in sounds where the upper mid‑range needs a helping hand — just like many condensers, but again with the ribbon's natural ability to put a positive spin on the high‑frequency end of the spectrum.

audio technica at4081 review

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