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New Microphones at NAB

An exciting array of new microphones and related technology will be introduced at NAB this year. AKG Acoustics and Nady Systems are both unveiling high-performance studio condenser microphones, while Audio-Technica is offering two new stereo shotgun microphones, and Azden is offering a dual pattern shotgun. Meanwhile, Shure has an interesting new subminiature omnidirectional condenser microphone.

At the same time, support products are being introduced by a number of other manufacturers, including wireless mic transmitter systems by the Audio Specialties Group, Azden, Systems Wireless and Zaxcom. Wireworks is also on the scene with several new lines of microphone cable, and ENG Gadgets is offering new location accessories for audio recording.

AKG Acoustics (booth E5606) is announcing its new C4500 B-BC on-air broadcast microphone. This large-diaphragm studio cardioid condenser microphone is, according to AKG, designed to meet the challenges of high-resolution digital audio. It has extremely low self-noise (ca. 8 dBA), an extremely wide dynamic range and is immune to external electrostatic and magnetic fields.

AKG has gone to great lengths to reduce proximity effect for consistent voice work at varying distances. The company has also reduced the effect of vibration and pop noise with the C4500 B-BC. No external signal enhancement nd a spider-shockmount and external windscreen are included as standard equipment.


Over at the Nady stand (L5033 in the South Hall), Nady Systems is introducing the TCM 1050 studio tube condenser microphone. This high-quality retro microphone has a classic vintage look combined with extraordinary sound and performance, derived from the grand tradition of legendary vacuum tube mics combined with the benefits of 21st century technology.

The microphone features gold-sputtered ultrathin dual diaphragms that yield nine different directional patterns, which can be remotely selected at the power supply. The tube preamp in the microphone uses a 6072 vacuum tube coupled to a specially designed output transformer to optimize performance and sonic transparency. Standard accessories include an aluminum flight case, 30 feet of mic cable, a spider-shockmount and a windscreen.

In addition, Nady is introducing several other products, including the UHF-16, a 16-channel wireless microphone signal transmission system that yields a dynamic range of 120 dB over a 500-foot range, plus a variety of production features. The company is also introducing the SRM Series of small mixers, ranging from six to 12 full-featured console channels of audio.

Nady will also be showing its current lines of studio condenser microphones, powered mixers, headphones, power amplifies and a 16-channel personal ear monitor system.


Audio-Technica U.S. (booth R2647) will introduce a pair of stereo shotgun microphones, in addition to a new camera-mount wireless transmission system. The AT815ST and AT835ST stereo shotgun microphones are designed for work where high-quality stereophonic audio is needed with isolation from ambient sound in noisy environments.

The AT815ST is 15 inches long, the AT835ST is 9 inches long. A very useful feature on both microphones is the availability of either a nonmatrixed middle-side microphone pair output or one of two internally matrixed signals (with different mixes of M and S). A windscreen is included.

Audio-Technica’s new U100 Series "x"-version camera-mount UHF wireless microphone system is also available as either a bodypack transmitter or a plug-in system.

Audio-Technica will also show the AT895 adaptive-array microphone system, in addition to its comprehensive offering of stereo, boundary, studio condenser and other microphones, plus its ATH-M40 Precision Studiophones.


Shure Inc. (booth L4614) will introduce a subminiature omnidirectional condenser lavalier microphone called the WL50. The WL50 weighs only 0.34 gram (approximately 1 oz.) and has a diameter of about 1/4 inch, which makes it effectively invisible in normal TV production usage. Shure offers the WL50 in black, beige and white to further enhance its invisibility in production situations.

The WL50 has a broadband response of 20 to 20,000 Hz. It comes standard with two different types of equalization caps that can be interchanged for optimal sound and clarity. The silver-mesh equalization cap provides a mild 4 dB boost from 8 kHz to 18 kHz, the gold-mesh cap delivers a 10 dB boost centered at 12 kHz.

The WL50 microphone is offered with either a pigtailed (unterminated) cable or a TA4F connector compatible with all Shure wireless transmitters. Standard accessories include a magnet-mount, a swiveling lapel clip, a dual tie clip and a pin-mount – plus a pair of foam windscreens.

Shure will also introduce the FP24, a portable two-channel mixer/preamplifier for professional field production applications. Designed for high-resolution digital recording, the FP24 features 110 dB dynamic range, a bandwidth extending from 10 Hz to 50 kHz and exceptionally low distortion. The unit includes production niceties such as a built-in slate microphone, a 1 kHz tone oscillator and a headphone monitoring amplifier, as well as peak limiters with adjustable thresholds.

The FP24 can be battery- or AC-powered, and weighs less than 2 lb.


Azden Corp. (booth R3047) will introduce its SGM-2X shotgun microphone, which offers both super-cardioid and omnidirectional patterns. It comes with a shockmount holder that can be camera-mounted or connected to a mic stand. In addition, Azden will unveil the 1000URX UHF true diversity receiver, the 1000XT XLR plug-in transmitter and the 1000BT UHF bodypack transmitter.

New wireless microphone transmission systems will also be introduced by the Audio Specialties Group at booth R2763 (the Lectro 200 Series receiver and the HME System 800 wireless intercom), Systems Wireless Ltd. at booth R2763 (Lectrosonics), and Zaxcom Inc. at booth L8473 (the Zaxcom Digital Wireless system – while you’re there, check out Zaxcom’s DEVA II four-track HD recorder).

Wireworks Corp., at booth L8204 is offering new lines of microphone cable, the MusiLUX and the InstaLUX series, plus new speaker cable (SpeakerLux) and an array of support products for all cabling needs.

Finally, ENG Gadgets Inc. (booth E1747) will offer a couple of new accessories – specifically, the Boom Master, a custom audio boom, pole-mount, and a utility case called the Gadget Bag, for lugging all the audio bits and pieces you inevitably need around the soundstage or on-location.

© 2001 by David Moulton