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Timeline: Classic Ribbon Mics, Part 1 - EMusician

Timeline: Classic Ribbon Mics, Part 1

Read a Timeline of Classic Ribbon Microphones for Professional Audio Production
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Early '30s
RCA Photophone PB-31

One of the earliest ribbon mics, the PB-31 was designed for film use and was not widely available.

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1931
RCA Type 44-A

The 44-A was the first commercially successful RCA ribbon mic and was popular among vocalists. Bing Crosby bought one for himself.

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1939
Western Electric 639A Bird Cage

This mic included both a ribbon and a dynamic element and offered three pickup patterns. The 639B offered six patterns.

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1950
American Microphone Company DR330

The DR330's compact design combined a dynamic element with a ribbon and offered switchable polar patterns.

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1952
STC (Coles) 4038

This BBC-designed, horseshoe-shaped classic is still in production today.

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1957
beyer M160 Double Ribbon Mic

The M160's hypercardioid pattern allowed Eddie Kramer to use it on Jimi Hendrix's voice and his amp in live playing situations because of how it rejected the bleed from other instruments.