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The Analog Microphone Interface and its History

[Feature] The interface between microphones and microphone inputs has special characteristics and requires special attention. The low output levels of microphones and the possible need for long cables have made it necessary to think about noise and interference of all kinds. A microphone input is also the electrical load for a microphone and can have an adverse influence on its performance. Condenser microphones contain active circuitry that requires some form of powering. With the introduction of transistorized circuitry in the 1960s, it became practical for this powering to be incorporated into microphone inputs. Various methods appeared in the beginning; 48-volt phantom powering is now dominant, but this standard method is still not always implemented correctly.

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JAES Volume 60 Issue 9 pp. 735-741; September 2012
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AES - Audio Engineering Society