Audio-Technica AT895

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Microphone technology has advanced steadily (if slowly) over the
past century, with changes occurring at an evolutionary-rather than
revolutionary-pace. However, as DSP control becomes an integral part of
the transducer chain, we can expect major advances in
microphone design. A recent example of the shape of mics to come is the
Audio-Technica AT895, unveiled six weeks ago at the NAB show in Las

The AT895 is intended as a replacement for the parabolic dish and
shotgun mic designs used in location recording, where long-range pickup
is required. However, unlike the 60-degrees acceptance angles (from 200
to 2k Hz) typical of shotgun mics, the AT895 uses
DeltaBeam[superscript]TM technology, with a single A-T MicroLine short
shotgun design and four cardioid capsules set in a co-planar diamond
configuration combined with a DSP-based controller. The result is a mic
with an ultranarrow 20-degrees pattern and off-axis noise cancellation
performance up to -80 dB.

Using a revolutionary software algorithm, DSDA-PRO, an acoustically
tuned element microphone array and analog circuitry, the AT895 provides
adaptive directional acquisition of sound sources. The system allows
for the isolation of specific sound sources, even in high ambient noise
environments or extreme wind conditions. And, unlike traditional
shotgun mics, the DeltaBeam mic offers three modes of polar response:
an X and Y beam adaptive lobar for an extremely narrow pickup angle; X
or Y beam adaptive response in only the X or Y plane; or MicroLine
lobar for a wider, more natural response in less noisy

Specs include a frequency response of 60 to 12k Hz, self-noise of 24 dB
(A-weighted), maximum SPL of 117 dB (1 kHz at 1% THD) and open circuit
sensitivity of 70 dB (1 kHz at 1 Pa). Among the AT895's performance
benefits are improved sensitivity, greater pickup distance and
gain-before-feedback as compared to currently available
microphone technology; unprecedented off-axis rejection, even in
high-interference environments; outstanding low-frequency
directionality (up to 78 dB rejection at 200 Hz); decreased proximity effect; and reduced susceptibility to
mechanical noise, wind noise and racking.

The AT895 mic body houses the array of five condenser capsules, preamps and a 7-pin XLR output
jack that connects to a compact AT895CP Control Pack. The five
amplified signals are sent individually down the seven-conductor,
detachable cable to the AT895CP, which provides all the power, digital
processing and control for the AT895 microphone. The audio output is a
standard 3-pin male XLR jack. Controls include a three-position mode
(pattern) switch; a three-position filter switch with flat, highpass
(-18 dB/octave at 80 Hz) and bandpass (300 to 5.5k Hz
with -6dB slopes) settings; a headphone output with gain control; and
an LCD battery condition indicator. In addition to providing remote
pattern control, the AT895CP supplies power to the mic and can, itself,
be powered by a clip-on pack containing three 9-volt batteries (battery
life for alkaline batteries is 5.5 hours, 12 hours with lithium cells)
or an industry-standard 4-pin XLR power jack for connection to 12 VDC
sources, such as Cine-60 belts, Anton Bauer packs, etc. A 120-volt AC
supply is also offered.

The AT895 offers versatile mounting possibilities. The 16.7-ounce,
14-inch mic body balances nicely in the hand, while reducing the
intrusive appearance and "always-gets-in-the-frame" nature of
conventional long shotguns. Microphone systems are available in two
configurations: The $2,995 AT895/RK Remote Kit is designed for field
use and includes a 10-foot (7-conductor) cable, click-on battery
housing, shock-mounted pistol grip, Zeppelin-type windscreen and
heavy-duty protective carry case. The AT895/MK Mount Kit is $2,495 and
includes a 25-foot cable and shock-mount plate with standard 51/48-inch
x 27-thread mount and a 120V AC supply. Accessories for mounting an
AT895 on a Fisher boom and for rack-mounting the Control Packs are
optional. Additionally, all modules and accessories are available
separately to expand systems or use as field spares.