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AEA Launches Online Listening Room

AEA (Audio Engineering Associates) in Pasadena, Calif., has added a new feature to its Website called “The Listening Room,” which features a wide range of audio samples of AEA products. Current and future customers can learn how AEA Big Ribbon microphones and preamps sound, how others use them, and how they can to help craft a sound.

AEA states that it will expand this section over time with more content to provide as much information and hands-on support as possible.

The AEA Listening Room is split into two segments: Instruments and Projects. The Instruments section features isolated (usually unprocessed) recordings of individual instruments grouped by instrument type, with the intention of helping customers to evaluate and compare AEA products. The Projects segment features AEA ribbon microphones and preamps within the context of a real-world project.

Whenever possible, AEA has made available both isolated tracks, plus the full mix, so that recorded signals within a finished song can be evaluated.

The Listening Room allows instant streaming playback of the available files via embedded SoundCloud players. Because the streamed playback is data-compressed and therefore of a fairly low quality, the uncompressed, linear PCM audio files are available for download as well. However, the use of the SoundCloud player allows for more user interaction in form of user comments and sharing with others through social networks.

Any of Both front man David Schwager was recorded
with an AEA KU4.

Photo: Marek Bruns

The first project to be featured in the AEA Listening Room is a recording session with the German band Any of Both. An acoustic version of the song “Watch You Sleep” was recorded almost exclusively with AEA ribbon microphones in May 2011 at Maarweg Studio 2 in Cologne, Germany. Additional tracks were cut with high quality condenser microphones in parallel, so that they can be compared with the ribbons. German producer/engineer Wolfgang Stach–who is known for his work with BAP, Guano Apes, Such A Surge, Jupiter Jones, and other German artists–engineered the sessions. In addition to isolated tracks and a fully mastered mix of the song, an HD video introduces the band and the studio, and documents how the microphones were used in this particular session.

Watch the video “AEA Mics in Session: Any of Both – “Watch You Sleep” (Acoustic).”

The Listening Room’s second project was produced by Sean Slade and engineered by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, Mass., and features a song by The Macrotones titled “Shake.” Slade and Grotto recorded all instruments together live in one room, except for the horn section, which they recorded in a separate booth. Slade and Grotto embraced the bleed in the microphones picking up other instruments within the room, which formed an important part of the sound of the finished mix.

Check out the Listening Room and experience AEA’s products in action.

Visit AEA at

Visit Maarweg Studio 2.

Visit Mad Oak Studios.