Equipped with a nickel custom-wound output transformer for accentuated highs, the EM-Blue is the brightest sounding of the EM Series. It produces an airier, more top-end oriented tone than its EM-Series brothers and sisters. Many aspects of recording can be counter-intuitive; and, in many cases, you’ll want to pair opposites. For example, when used with a dark-sounding microphone or an alto vocalist, the brighter EM-Blue can open the sound up perfectly. This pre is also useful for providing a crisp “crack” when recording a snare drum. If you use the direct input, you just might fall in love with how an electric guitar sounds going thru its nickel transformers. The EM-Blue has a -20dB pad that enables you to get down and dirty with an electric guitar - just switch in the pad and crank the gain for a slight growl.
The 500 series platform makes it possible to easily construct your own custom signal-processing array by combining a variety of physically compatible electronics modules in all sorts of differently configured power supply mounting frames. It’s an affordable and flexible way to incorporate state of the art and boutique devices into just about any studio, live or broadcast environment.
The A-Designs Audio 500 microphone preamp series is comprised of five 500 series-compatible mic/line pres, each one meticulously voiced with a specific sonic functionality in mind. These units are physically compatible with any API or VPR Alliance mounting device, and also meet the precise power rating requirements necessary to function perfectly from the moment you plug them in. A basic understanding of electronic components and how their inherent physical qualities affect sound is helpful in selecting the proper module for the right application. Transformers occupy a key position in circuit design due to their ability to affect timbral quality. Apart from the utilitarian task of electronic isolation for noise-free operation, the alloys used for the transformer’s winding - along with the number of windings - will impart a distinct sonic quality: nickel-wound transformers provide a more transparent sound with an airy high end, while steel can impart a thick “Neve-like” midrange or low-end “API growl”…you get the idea. To give each preamp in the A-Designs Audio EM-Series its own unique character, each has custom-wound transformers using proprietary A-Designs alloys that have been painstakingly tested to produce the perfect sound for the right application….but that doesn’t mean that the EM-Series preamps are one-trick ponies - far from it! What it does mean is that decades of collective experience between A-Designs Audio and highly respected audio professionals have taken the guesswork out of finding the right preamp for the job.
Think of each of the EM series preamps as the master of a specific domain in the frequency spectrum. For example, the EM-Silver is stunning on the lower frequencies thanks to its steel-wound transformer, making it a perfect choice for bass or kick drum, while the EM-Blue’s nickel transformer provides the clarity needed to bring out the “crack” on snare drums, or to gently coax the highs from ribbon mics.