AES San Francisco 2010
Product Design Track Event PD6

Saturday, November 6, 4:45 pm — 6:15 pm (Room 132)

Product Design: PD6 - Designing Microphone Preamplifiers

Gary Hebert

Microphone preamplifiers are a fundamental building block in professional audio systems, with a legacy reaching back to the beginning of audio times. Indeed, the mic preamp often defines the signature sound of a piece of equipment or even a recording studio. Its performance must exceed nearly everything else in the system, and as the first line of defense to the outside world it must withstand hostile conditions such as 48V phantom power faults or erroneously patched hot signals.

Today’s mic preamp developers face many challenges as new products demand lower cost and power, components that have been depended on for years are discontinued, demands for quality either increase or (worse) are forgotten, and so on. Fortunately, today’s developers have more options than ever before to design cost-effective, high-performance, small, green power, sweet sounding mic preamps. This tutorial presents a variety of circuit designs that trade off between cost, size, power consumption, noise, THD, CMR, and other factors.

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