20 years servicing ribbon microphones gave us a lot of insight into why RCA 44s are still in daily studio use. During the 1990s, 44 collectors made it difficult for even recording studios to acquire one. Reborn as the AEA R44, today you’ll find engineer/producers such as Bruce Swedien, Kevin Bacon and Shawn Murphy using them around the world. Half the movies scored in Los Angeles now have at least one 44 on the scoring stage.
The Reinvention of a Classic
The AEA R44 series microphones all share the authentic sound, feel and look of the 1936-38 RCA 44BX. They combine the 1930s US sound with British engineering from RCA that reduces the mic’s weight and hum sensitivity. The R44 series microphones are all hand-crafted replicas in detail, using parts that are made to be interchangeable with an original RCA 44, even featuring ribbon material originally manufactured for RCA. The R44C was designed to meet or exceed the output of an RCA 44 when it was new. The R44CX is a high-output version of the R44C especially designed for scoring and other applications demanding a wide dynamic range with the “classic 44” sound.
The R44 series microphones are passive, like an RCA 44 is, and can be used in a wider range of situations without distorting than active microphones can. For the active version of the R44, check out the AEA A440 page. The A440 has the hottest signal and therefore can boast to be the quietest (highest signal to noise ratio) of any ribbon mic on the planet!