Overall, I found that the sound was a little less fat and warm than the Coles, but still very musical. First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. Both are useful in a variety of situations. Delivering the warmth and natural sound of a classic ribbon microphone, Audio-Technica’s handcrafted AT4081 offers a robust build for long-lasting performance and higher output for maximum compatibility with microphone preamp Introduced in 2009, the AT4080 and AT4081 feature several new ribbon-motor developments. The AT4080 has the most natural ribbon sound overall, but the AT4081 is a great ally when you need to add some upper‑mid attitude. That said, this same tonality worked in its favour when recording electric guitar, as the note attacks were better defined, and overdrive guitar had more 'rawk' and attitude, but without the top end getting too ragged. Q. The perforated metal grille allows a good view of the ribbon element, while offering reasonable protection from air blasts. Moving onto acoustic guitars, if you want a sound that tends towards the 'zingy', a ribbon mic is probably not the best choice (unless used in conjunction with a capacitor mic), but if you're going for a more natural sound, or recording classical guitar, the AT4080 is certainly worth trying. 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. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. The Audio Technica AT4041 is a small electret condenser, what is commonly called a "pencil condenser". Weighing 152g, the mic is 155mm long and 21mm in diameter at its widest point. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Most of the crucial processes during manufacture, including the imprinting of the ribbon, are done by hand. It’s a pretty cool looking mic actually; a design that’s grown on me over time… despite earlier concerns that the mesh loo… Similarly, the attack of hand percussion was emphasised in a useful way, bringing out both the slap and ring of my dharbuka. You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address. However you can change your cookie settings at any time. Mastering Essentials Part 3 - How loud should I master? These are both very flexible and beautifully built microphones that capture the familiar ribbon‑mic character, but without the usual low signal‑level complications, and they preserve a little more of the high end too. 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. Both mics deliver adequate output levels, thanks to the active circuitry, and the noise level is acceptably low for most types of studio recording. A conventionally wired, three‑pin XLR carries the balanced output.Our review sample came in a vinyl box with no shockmount, though the documentation says it normally ships with an AT8449/SV shockmount, a microphone dust cover and a protective carrying case. Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates & SOS. None, really, although the AT4081's coloration makes it better on some sources than others. 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. 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. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. Other than the smoother‑than‑life high end, the sound comes over as very natural, with plenty of low‑end depth and mid‑range detail, and because the circuitry is active, the output level is high enough when working with quieter acoustic instruments, without needing a dedicated ribbon‑mic preamp. One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back! Q. What is a "hybrid" audio interface anyway? The AT4080 comes closest to what I think of as the classic ribbon‑mic sound: there's no obvious coloration, other than the characteristic high‑end smoothness of a typical ribbon model. The AT4080's documentation describes an acoustic baffle system which, in conjunction with a generously large output transformer, maintains an extended low‑frequency response, while maximising dynamic range and allowing SPLs of up to 150dB to be tolerated. AT4080 £910; AT4081 £710. The AT4081 also worked adequately on acoustic guitar, helping to enhance definition without allowing the top‑end to become rough or scratchy‑sounding. When the company offered to loan me the new AT4080 and AT4081 active ribbon mics, I jumped at the chance. As with all conventional ribbon mics, the polar pattern of the AT4080 is figure‑of‑eight. All exhibit the ribbon's characteristic smooth high end, but there are significant tonal variations between different models, ranging from warm to downright dull. Mastering Essentials Part 4 - Mastering EQ: Balance, Don’t Match. Audio-Technica AT4081 Bidirectional Active Ribbon Microphone. N50 neodymium magnets are employed to maximise the output from the ribbon motor. Accessing our website tells us you agree to our use of cookies. A-T's brand-new transducer technology has produced a robust design intended to deliver high signal levels as well as that prized ribbon character... A peep inside the AT4080 reveals the ribbon elements and the chunky transformer beneath. Why Are Some A-B Stereo Arrays Angled Outwards? 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. Despite my initial impressions (I found the forward character somewhat surprising), the AT4081 has some very useful characteristics that can help pull sounds out of a mix without adding an abrasive high end. It has bags of bass extension and a natural, warm quality that allows it to produce good results across a wide range of sound sources — but remember that because figure‑of‑eight mics exhibit a proximity bass‑boost you may need to apply some low‑cut filtering when working close to the source, to achieve the best results. All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2020. There are mid‑priced ribbon mics on the market these days, both active and passive, from companies such as MXL, Sontronics, SE Electronics, Shiny Box, Superlux and Golden Age Projects, to name but a few. 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. 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. 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. Like the Coles, the AT4080 still has the characteristic smoothed‑over high end of a ribbon, so it won't be the best choice in every situation — but it in our tests it delivered silky‑smooth vocals, warm acoustic guitar and a very respectable electric-guitar sound. 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! 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. An open-circuit sensitivity of –39dB (11.2mV, ref 1V at 1Pa) is specified, and the signal‑to‑noise ratio works out at 72dB (1kHz at 1Pa), with dynamic range of 128dB at 1kHz for maximum SPL. Audio-Technica AT4081 Active Ribbon Microphone | Sweetwater Overall, these two mics make a very welcome addition to the Audio Technica product line, and uphold the company's reputation for engineering quality microphones at a realistic price point. Choosing A USB Microphone | Audio Examples. Again, this is an active mic, and it uses the same MicroLinear ribbon technology and hand assembly techniques as the AT4080, though the slimmer profile precludes the use of such a large transformer. Audio-Technica claims to have 18 patents pending for these new mics.

audio technica at4081 review

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