Auditions: Snapshot Product Reviews

Feb 1, 2008 12:00 PM

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CAD TRION 7000

Studio Ribbon Microphone

The passive CAD Trion 7000 ribbon microphone offers a figure-8 pattern, ships in a sturdy aluminum case and comes with a shock-mount. This short mic with a bulbous top uses twin ribbon elements, and the nice thing is the $479 list, although I've seen it priced as low as $279, which is right where this entry-level mic should be.

The 7000 has a low-frequency bump (a few dB) from 40 Hz to about 150 Hz. From there, it flattens out until 4 kHz, where it starts diving, ending up -10 dB down at 10 kHz. Output impedance is 940 ohms, and as it's a ribbon this can fluctuate greatly when your source material approaches the ribbon's resonant frequency; a preamp with an elevated input impedance is recommended. (For more info on this, check out “Wes Dooley on Ribbons” at mixonline.com/news/audio_wes_dooley_ribbons.) The bottom line: If you're loading down your mic by running it through a preamp with a lower impedance than the mic puts out, it will result in increased distortion and a thinner sound.

Like most ribbons, this mic can take a boatload of SPL, so I first used it on a kick drum. Placement was about four inches from the front head with a pop filter in front of it to protect the engine. I paired it with a Shure Beta 52 placed about four inches from the beater head inside the drum. The 7000 added a nice, round and compressed ribbon-like sound to the track. The top transient was shaved off as the ribbon moved beyond the magnetic field — beautiful. This pairing was used on a number of different sessions with the same results.

I next used the 7000 to record a guitar through a Fender Supersonic amp. It was placed in front of the speaker where the dust cover meets the cone and was paired with an SM57. While the 7000 sounded a bit dull by itself, in combination with the SM57 it worked great, providing a nice bottom-end component that the 57 lacked as it starts rolling off where the 7000 starts boosting the bottom.

The Trion 7000 provides a great way for entry-level engineers to get into a ribbon, not to mention a nice, inexpensive extra mic to have in the arsenal for any studio at any level.

CAD Professional, 800/762-9266, www.cadmics.com.
Kevin Becka






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