AEA N22 Ribbon Mic
The missing link in your recording
A NUVO Approach to the Ribbon Mic
The AEA N22 was designed with the singer-songwriter musician in mind. Hard working artists that have honed their musical craft for years feel strongly about their personal tone, so they need a microphone that translates their signature sound in a recording. The N22 delivers on exactly those key points – providing a great ribbon tone without the need for EQ in most applications. Just like the RCA 44, the N22 was designed by listening first and measured only after experienced musicians and engineers confirmed that the microphone sounded great. Consequently, it is a professional tool that holds up to the highest standards of recording. Bridging the gap between vintage and modern, ribbon and condenser, studio and live, the N22 is the perfect companion for musicians and engineers alike.
The Big Ribbon: reimagined
Featuring the same Big Ribbon technology that has earned AEA its reputation, the N22 offers an incredible sound in close-mic applications like acoustic and electric guitars, piano, vocals, and drums. With phantom-powered JFET electronics and a custom German transformer, the N22 achieves optimal performance with a wide range of preamps including USB or Firewire audio interfaces in home or project studio setups. The highly protected pure aluminum ribbon allows for using the N22 in live sound applications and vocal recording without the need for an additional pop-filter. The simplicity and the ease of use of the entire package allow the focus to be on capturing a great performance even in tight and difficult recording environments.
About the NUVO Series
The N22 is the first member of AEA’s NUVO series of microphones. Rooted in the RCA tradition just like other AEA ribbons, all NUVO microphones are designed to offer a fresh approach to the ribbon transducer and represent Wes Dooley’s take on the evolution of the ribbon microphone.
The NUVO Stereo Kit
AEA’s NUVO Series Stereo Kit enables serious musicians and engineers to rapidly set up and accurately record in stereo on a single stand. The NUVO Stereo Kit consists of either two matched N22s or two matched N8s, and comes with all of the accessories necessary to easily configure the figure-eight microphones in Blumlein and near-coincident. Using AEA’s SMS Stereo Bar and NUVO Microphone Coupler enables the user to arrange their N22s in a precise and accurate Blumlein array.
– Designed with singer-songwriters, musicians, and home studios in mind
– Top end clarity of a condenser with a ribbon’s smoothness
– Custom German toroidal transformer for 12dB more gain
– Highly protected ribbon for close-up use and live use with minimal proximity effect
– Phantom powered electronics for optimal performance with any preamp
Applications & Audio
Thanks to the improved pop-protection of the N22 you can use the microphone at close distances just like you would choose for a condenser microphone. If you should still encounter problems with plosives, it is advised to use a pop-filter. The microphone has a vertical sweet spot that sits in the middle between the top and bottom edges of the black cloth covered grill basket. Every singer will move a bit while performing, but since the sweet spot is located in both the horizontal and vertical axes, it is fairly wide and forgiving. If you are recording a singer-songwriter who sings and play another instruments at the same time, you can make use of the exceptional rejection offered by the 90 degree “null” planes of the bidirectional pickup pattern to reject the other instrument in the vocal microphone.
When recording a solo guitar a good starting point is to position the N22 four to six inches (10-15 cm) away from the guitar roughtly pointing at the 12th fret or where the neck meets the body. The closer you move towards the sound hole, the more bass you will get.
The N22 can handle very high sound pressure levels and has improved wind protection, so it can absolutely handle loud electric guitars right on the grill of the amp. Identify where the center of the speaker cone is located and place the N22 a few inches (5-10 cm) away from the speaker pointing right at its center for a very direct, “in-your-face” sound. This is the spot where you will get the most high-frequency content. If it sounds too harsh, try moving the microphone to the side parallel to the speaker. You can also try positioning the N22 at an angle.
Drums & Percussion
The N22 excels at close and medium miking of drums and percussion. A common use for the N22 is on kick drum. While it is never recommended to put a ribbon mic inside or in front of the kick drum port, positioning the mic a few inches away from the resonant head angled slightly down can capture a very natural sound. Make sure that you don’t feel an air blast on axis to the microphone. For extra protection, use an popscreen or one of our custom N22 windscreen’s designed by WindTech.
Engineers also love this mic on toms. The N22 excels both at capturing huge low end and upper midrange. A common technique is to angle the N22 so that it picks up the floor tom, but position it in a way that the ride cymbal is in the null. It can produce a huge thud that is very natural.