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A Brief Introduction to the Historical RCA 44 Microphone


In the 1931 #RCA introduced the 44 series #microphone. The 44 is a ribbon microphone that works by converting the vibration of ribbon between a fixed pair of magnets into a very low electrical signal also known as "voltage". Naturally, the physics of microphone design only hears from the front and the back, while is unable to hear from the sides. We call that a figure 8 polar pattern.


Since the Golden age of Radio, We’ve seen the RCA 44 on stage for theater productions, on stage with Frank Sinatra at the original NBC Studios, and it’s typically a treasured prize for studios that can afford one. Today in 2023 a vintage specimen in excellent condition serviced by an excellent technician such as #Wes Dooley at #AEA Microphones could fetch an easy $10,000.


AEA R44 - in 1976 Wes Dooley founded #AEA microphones to service vintage RCA ribbon microphones and by 1998 were manufacturing 100% of their own parts to repair and restore vintage RCA mics and began manufacturing their own version of the RCA 44, the AEA model R44C.


Although a delicate instrument, and not suitable for every situation with it's low output and delicate nature, The RCA or AEA R44 has a unique sound that simply can't be replicated by any other than AEA. You'll recognize it instantly when you hear it.


At Costa Mesa Recording Studios, I have two AEA Microphones. A R88 which is a large format dual ribbon stereo microphone, and a classic R84 large format mono element. The two work fantastically well together for situations like a #live #Piano and #Cello #permormance #recording because of their natural rejection when positioned correctly.


Written by Nick Fainbarg without the use of AI in 2023 - Copywrite September 2023

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