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Cardioid valve condenser microphone
The ARIA from British microphone brand Sontronics is a cardioid-pattern valve condenser microphone specifically designed for vocals that simply can't stop winning awards. Every studio should have one!
Launched in 2014, the Sontronics ARIA was originally conceived and developed as the perfect vocal mic by Sontronics founder and designer Trevor Coley. Working with several engineers at Abbey Road Studios, Sontronics honed the microphone to give stunning, beautifully silky results on every sung or spoken vocal recording thanks to its accurate response, incredibly low self-noise and supremely smooth high-frequency roll-off (which has become Sontronics' trademark).
The ARIA is one of Sontronics' more traditional designs (see also their retro-inspired Saturn and Halo, or their more Bauhaus-influenced Delta and Sigma) and features a hand-crafted 27mm edge-terminated capsule inside the tapered grille. Inside the microphone is the European-made 12AX7/ECC83 tube, each of which is hand-selected and fitted by Trevor himself, and this lends the ARIA a specific silky smooth character that you'd expect to find in a classic vintage valve mic.
Sontronics ARIA is supplied in a wooden box with its simple ring-mount, and this comes in an aluminium flightcase along with the shockmount, cables and the dedicated SPS-2 power supply. On here you?ll find a two-stage pad switch (0, -10dB) and high-pass filter (linear, 75Hz) which add that extra bit of flexibility to your recording process, plus a tube-ready LED so that you know when the valve is warmed up and the mic will perform at its best.
As an interesting extra touch, the power supply boasts a professional electricity filter, like the kind found in high-end medical equipment, to ensure that the electricity reaching the microphone is pure and interference-free.
As well as the Abbey Road input, the ARIA was also beta-tested with top producer Paul Epworth (Coldplay, U2, Florence & The Machine) who used it on the recording of Skyfall, singer/songwriter PJ Harvey (who says the mic has changed her recordings forever "Your Aria brings light into my life") and legendary musician Paul Weller, all of whom readily admit that they can?t imagine life without their ARIAs.
In the first four months following ARIA's launch, it won awards in from ALL its reviews (Future Music Platinum Award, Music Tech Choice Award, Pro Tools Expert Editor's Choice award) and it hasn't stopped since! Everyone who uses it says it sounds wonderful on sung vocals as well as voiceover. However, the mic has also become well known for its beautiful results on acoustic instruments, especially cello, acoustic guitar and piano.
Whatever you try ARIA on, it will truly take your breath away!
"ARIA is incredibly smooth with bags of character and it easily competes with any vintage valve microphone!"
Paul Epworth, Producer/Writer
(Adele, Plan B, Florence + The Machine, U2)
"ARIA is silky smooth with all the classic characteristics that I'd expect from a vintage valve mic. Yet another well designed and beautiful sounding mic from Sontronics!"
Andrew Dudman, Recording Engineer, Abbey Road Studios
(Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass, Robbie Williams, Elbow)
- Valve/tube condenser microphone
- Designed specifically for sung and spoken vocals
- Beta-tested with Abbey Road engineers and producer Paul Epworth
- Supplied in flightcase with shockmount, power supply and cables
- Winner of the following awards (so far): Future Music Platinum Award and Gear of the Year Award, Music Tech Choice Award and Gold Award, Pro Tools Expert Editor's Choice award
- Also stunning on piano, cello and acoustic guitar
- Covered by Sontronics' LIFETIME WARRANTY
- Mic type: Valve condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Cardioid
- Pad: 0, -10dB
- High-pass filter:
- Linear, 75Hz
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
- Sensitivity: 18mV/Pa -33dB ±1.5dB (0dB = 1V/Pa 1,000Hz)
- Impedance: -200 Ohms
- Equivalent noise level (A-weighted): 84dB
- Max. SPL (for 0.5 THD @ 1,000Hz): 125dB
- Power source: Phantom power supplied by includedSPS-2 power supply (115/230V)
- Connector: 8-pin connector (mic), 3-pin XLR-M (power supply)
- Dimensions: 230 x 55 x 55mm (mic)
- Weight: 744g (mic), 1155g (mic with shockmount), 1880g (power supply)
- Comes with: Ringmount, wooden box, shockmount, SPS-2 power supply, cables, flightcase