top of page

A handcrafted, museum-quality replica of the 1936 to 1938 RCA 44BX, the AEA R44C is the ultimate solution for engineers, producers, and musicians who desire the acclaimed sound of the 44BX without the drawbacks of an aged and worn vintage microphone. Utilizing an RCA-spec 2.35" long ribbon, 44BX-interchangeable parts, and a bidirectional figure-8 polar pattern, the R44C delivers true-to-the-original tonality with up to 90 dB of rejection at the sides. Plus, it can handle extreme SPLs and capture anything from soulful vocals to full orchestras with character and class.


Its recognizable sound produces thunderous lows due to the h3 proximity effect, full and rich mids, and a unique top end to take the edge off of harsh instruments. This beautiful, natural-sounding microphone provides an unmatched authenticity of sonic reproduction, particularly when placed at a distance in a well-tuned room. 


The 10' attached cable is terminated with a standard XLR 3-pin male connector for hookup to virtually any microphone preamp, no phantom power required. High-gain, high-impedance preamps are recommended for optimal microphone performance. The integrated yoke-style cushion mount reduces bulkiness while ensuring ease of positioning in the studio. A vertical case is included for proper storage of the mic between sessions.


The Applications


Try using the R44 for a warm, clear vocal sound. The smooth character of the R44’s treble response means that it may be extensively shaped and processed without risk of nasty resonance artifacts.


Start by placing the microphone 8 to 24 inches (20-60 cm) directly on axis from the singer. The closer the singer is positioned to the microphone, the stronger the proximity effect. The ribbon is well protected from damaging plosive blasts, but to avoid noises from wind blasts, we recommend using a pop filter.


Orchestras, Ensembles, and String Instruments

Because the R44 has equal treble and bass response from a distance, it can be placed almost anywhere without sounding thin. Trying positioning the mic further away than you normally would with a condenser.


For ensembles, a good starting point is to place the R44 a few meters away where the musicians have a nice balanced sound. Blumlein configuration positioned at a distance of 4 – 6 meters from a section can capture the sound with a lot depth. Be careful of the strong magnetic pull of two R44s in close proximity to one another.


R44s can also be used with great results to capture an entire orchestra. Try positioning the mic in the same way that you would for sections, but from a much further distance. Two R44s facing outwards at 90 degrees can give you a realistic spacial image that will sound like you are standing in front of the orchestra.


For solo instruments, try placing the R44 a few feet away (90 – 150cm). This will give a very up-close and personal sound. Set the microphone above or in front of the instrument.


Brass & Woodwinds

The R44’s warm and detailed characteristics make it a great focus mic for brass and woodwinds. Soprano saxophone, trumpet and most high-pitched brass and woodwind instruments are known to have “edgier” or “brilliant” frequency characteristics. The R44’s smooth treble response on the back lobe is great at preserving these frequencies without aggravating the striking tonal qualities.


Drums & Percussion

When recording drums, there are many techniques to capturing the sound of the kit. A good starting point is to use a pair of R44s above the kit as a spaced pair. Try positioning them a couple of feet above the drummer’s head with a few feet of space in between the two mics. Make sure to use a stand that can support the weight of an R44. Listen to the combined signals summed to mono to catch potential comb filtering that could be caused by out-of-phase signals. A quick technique that can help avoid phase problems is to keep an equal distance between the two overhead mics and the snare or kick drum.


Another popular technique to record drum overheads is to setup the mics in a Blumlein configuration (coincident pair at 90 degree angle) above the head of the drummer with each mic pointing in a different direction. This will give you a very wide image of the drums that sounds like you are in sitting center stage.


For more room tone, try pointing the null of the microphone directly at the drums so that the front and back side of the microphone will be positioned perpendicular to the drums. If done correctly, the sound waves of the drums will travel directly past the front and back side of the mic which will phase-cancel the direct sound of the drums, and capture only the indirect sound of the room. This can be very useful when trying to record the natural ambience of the room.


The Features

Unparalleled warmth and legendary character

Full and rich tonality with generous low-end and proximity effect

Faithful reproduction of the RCA R44BX

Ribbon material meets or exceeds original RCA spec

Handles SPLs up to 165 dB

Versatile in close-range or ambient applications

Made in the USA


The Specs

- Operating Principle: Pressure gradient microphone
- Directional Pattern: Bidirectional (Figure-of-8)
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 15 kHz
- Maximum SPL: 165+ dBSPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)
- Output Sensitivity: 2.25 mV/Pa (-53 dBV) into unloaded circuit
- Output Impedance: 270 O nominal
- Recommended Load Impedance: 1.2 kO or greater
- Powering: Not required or recommended
- Polarity: Pin 2 high for positive pressure on front of microphone.
- Connector: XLR-3M wired to a 3 m captive cable

The Off Axis Response
Polar Pattern: Native bi-directional pattern
- Horizontal: Level changes with angle, frequency response is consistent, –35 dB null at 90° / 270°
- Vertical: Level changes with angle, reduced HF response above and below 0° / 180° axis, –35 dB null at 90° / 270°

The Transducer element
- Ribbon Thickness: 1.8 μ (0.0000018 m) of pure aluminum
- Ribbon Width: 0.185" (4.7 mm)
- Ribbon Length: 2.35" (59.7 mm)

The Accessories
Custom storage / shipping case, stand adapter, manual
Weight with case: 7 lb 9 oz (3.43 kg)
Height: 12.25" (31.1 cm)
- Width: 4.62" (11.7 cm)
- Depth: 3.25" (8.3 cm)

AEA R44C Ribbon Microphone

    bottom of page