NAMM 2014: AEA Ribbon Mics & Preamps


AEA is a family owned business that makes amazing microphones and preamps in Pasadena, California! Their newest mic is the N22 phantom-powered ribbon mic (shown below).

"Audio Engineering Associates was begun in 1964 by Wes Dooley, an entrepreneurial spirit whose passion has always been for audio and recording. Wes Dooley began by working for radio stations and eventually running his own recording studio which took him on jobs around the world. These experiences led him to design his own equipment which he began retailing to other recording engineers, including, multi-channel microphone arrays, MS stereo processors, stereo phase displays and microphone stands.

Wes has now become better known for his pursuit of excellence in ribbon microphone technology. AEA became a dealer for Coles Electroacoustics, distributing ribbon microphones in North America. After nearly two decades of representing and servicing the BBC 4038, he began to experiment with his own ribbon microphones. In 1998, responding to the growing scarcity of vintage RCA ribbon microphones, AEA re-introduced the 44, much to the thrill of many in the recording industry. Les Paul told Wes that AEA's R44 is his favorite microphone and engineer/producers such as Bruce Swedien, Kevin Bacon, and Shawn Murphy routinely use AEA's R44. Even without such critical acclaim the numbers speak for themselves. Over half of the movies scored in Los Angeles have a 44 somewhere on the scoring stage.

Building off the success of the R44, in 2002 AEA began designing its own line of original ribbon microphones, including the award-winning R84. Because most affordable preamps are not made with the needs of a ribbon microphone in mind, AEA created the TRP and RPQ to match a ribbon microphone at an economical price point, yet without sacrificing the purity of signal that is traditionally the domain of mic pre's costing thousands of dollars more. Most recently, AEA is releasing the KU4, a unidirectional vocal ribbon mic, inspired by the RCA KU3A.

For nearly fifty years, AEA has created products to help resolve problems commonly encountered by recording engineers. In the fall of 2003, Wes was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Silver Medal Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of audio engineering." 



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