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BidirectionalBlue Microphones Woodpecker

Bidirectional Active Ribbon Microphone

The Woodpecker is a phantom-powered ribbon mic, following the model of Royer’s R122 (which was the first “active” ribbon design).

The pickup pattern is bidirectional. The ribbon is not offset, so the sound from the front and back of the mic is the same.

The frequency response plot shows an exaggerated low-end response, peaking around +6dB at 30Hz, and a bump between 5k and 10k.

Reviewers commend the mic’s low noise floor; due to the active electronics, less preamp gain is needed for typical uses.

The mic ships in a Cherry wood box with a brass shockmount.

Note that the mic’s finish has changed over its production runs; the metal finish varies from a dull copper tone to highly polished brass. The wood veneer body has changed species, color, and finish as well.

We have also noticed a possible discrepancy, or possibly a change in the microphone’s weight. Originally specified at 725g, our review sample weighed just 455g, which might indicate a change in body composition or internal components.

MIX, 2008

With the Woodpecker, the company nailed its first foray into the ribbon category. It rendered nearly anything that I threw at it with such personality and tone that it practically gave me shivers.

SoundOnSound, 2007

Blue’s intention with the Woodpecker was apparently to create a ribbon with an unusually extended high-frequency response, and our tests bore this out, showing a top-end response in the same ball park as the Crowley & Tripp Studio Vocalist.

Electronic Musician, 2008
When I plugged in the Woodpecker, I immediately noticed a higher-than-usual noise floor, clearly audible as a high-end hiss. One reason is an approximately 4 dB boost centered around 8 kHz. Another factor is an extremely hot output signal, far exceeding an average ribbon mic’s output by up to 30 dB, and even rivaling that of most condenser mics to which I compared it.

…it was almost hard to believe they were ribbon mics. In addition to having a hot output (putting fewer restrictions on the choice of preamps), the top end was very present, unlike with any other ribbon I’ve ever used.

The Blue Woodpecker was part of our $60,000 Ribbon Mic Shootout.

Permalink: Blue Microphones Woodpecker

The mic was released in 2007.


Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Woodpecker Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (26 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
Aluminum ribbon 50 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 136 dB
Self-noise: 22.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
725g (25.57oz) 227mm (8.94'') 45mm (1.77'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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