Will the Chandler Abbey Road REDD redefine the microphone?
The first mic in over 50 years to wear the legendary EMI badge
Reporting on new equipment everyday and reviewing the latest products is really exciting, but it can be predictable. Here, however, I am truly excited by today’s announcement of the Chandler REDD Microphone. I have it on very good authority that it sounds jaw-droppingly good.
Chandler Limited/Abbey Road REDD Microphone
This new REDD Microphone may been visually designed to look like an iconic mic from yester-year. However, apart from the Abbey Road/EMI association, apparently that’s where the comparisons stop. This isn’t a clone or derivative of a U-something, but in fact a completely new product that’s been in development for several years. It also promises to be technologically ground-breaking by offering a microphone and pre-amp in the same product. The idea that the mic and the preamp are separated by as short a piece of cable as possible is something we all understand the theory but overlook.
I think the the REDD Microphone should be referred to as a microphone ‘system’. The package comprises of a mic and preamp resulting in a single “recording device”, with all the necessary accessories including external PSU, shock mount, 25ʼ Mogami cable, and a custom flight case. The microphone itself contains a platinum membrane capsule with a valve based REDD.47 microphone amplifier circuit. Therefore, this means it can be used with or without an external pre-amp. There’s a phase invert switch and a stepped gain control on the mic itself, along with a norm/drive switch. This switch will let enable you to run the mic cleanly, of for a more tonal and coloured sound.
I can’t wait to hear what this mic can deliver. Apparently Chandler’s chief designer Wade Goeke has been working on the product for six years. He comments that he “began thinking how appropriate it would be to have an Abbey Road microphone that uses historical EMI circuitry and paid homage to those sounds, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of microphone technology.”
As part of the R&D of the new REDD Microphone, the engineers at Abbey Road were regularly asked for their opinions when comparing it to the countless of priceless mics they have at Abbey Road. One engineer who I know personally, Andrew Dudman, commented that this new mic is “full of character”.
For more information visit the webpage for REDD on Chandler’s website. There’s also quite a nice read on the Gearslutz forum, with quotes from Wade Goeke, the chief designer and Lester Smith, Abbey Road’s mic tech, who has been working at the studios since the days of the Beatles recordings. The microphone system will cost around 4,499 USD, which I think is actually quite cheap.