RCA 44, AEA R84 & The Blue Dragonfly

Speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi July 1, 1948

It is worth mentioning that ribbon microphones based on classic designs like the RCA 44‘s in the picture above are making a comeback in our age of digital recording as they are known for their warm tone – Jinnah’s speech at the inauguration of Pakistan Broadcasting Service, 15 August 1947:


New ribbons like the AEA R84 shown below are reminiscent of the glorious past of audio recording and sound good on almost any source. Details aside, the aluminum ribbon is tensioned and responds to sound somewhat like the human eardrum – Graham Hodge sings Georgia Lee written by Tom Waits in 1999:

AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone - 'The R84 is an outstanding general-purpose microphone, ideally suited for solo and accent work. It is hard to find an application where this mic does not shine'. --Wes Dooley (Click image for larger view.)


But there are also condenser microphones, the type predominantly used in recording studios these days, which sound as shimmery and light as they look! I mean, the Blue DragonflyAustrogomphus cardioidil of the order Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics:

Blue Dragonfly Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone - 'I would not call the Dragonfly a bright mic even though it's got an accentuated high end. It's got this top end sheen to it. It's not just a bump. It's a complex flavor that's a lot more than just simply bright.' --Steven Langer (Click image for larger view.)


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