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continuously variable pattern selectionPearl Microphone Laboratory ELM-A

Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

The ELM-A is a FET condenser microphone with an unusual rectangular-diaphragm capsule and two separate audio outputs, enabling infinitely variable pattern control via the console.

Like most of Pearl’s condenser microphones, the ELM series’ capsules are rectangular. New to the ELM series is the company’s new “linear” capsule, which measures 75mm x 15mm and has a diaphragm whose length-to-width ratio is 7:1.

Rectangular capsules are claimed to convey some of the benefits of large-diameter round capsules, such as low self-noise, while reducing the effect if in-band resonance that is characteristic of such capsules.

The surface area of the ELM diaphragm is 690mm (69mm x 10mm), which is 40% greater than a traditional 1-inch round diaphragm. The mic’s self-noise rating is 11dBA.

The diaphragms in this capsule are made of polyester, metallized with vaporized aluminum. The diaphragms are covered by a perforated metal plate, which is used to provide stability to the membrane. According to Pearl, the plate does not affect the frequency response of the capsule.

The ELM-A capsule has dual back-to-back cardioid membranes, each wired to its own output circuit. Each signal can be tracked separately, via the 5-pin XLR jack on the microphone. These two signals can be combined to produce an infinite variety of mono pickup patterns, from omni to figure-8, according to the relative gain and polarity settings; see the multitrack page for additional information.

Another useful characteristic of the rectangular capsule is its variable directivity. Directionalty, especially at high frequencies, is indirectly related to the capsule’s size. Therefore the 2700 capsule has a wide and even pickup pattern across its 10mm width, but a narrower (more directional) pattern in the vertical plane. This feature can be used to minimize the pickup of reflections above and below the sound source.

The ELM mics use transformerless output circuits.

The ELM-A ships in a padded metal flight case, p/n AC01. A stereo mounting bar (p/n 1215) and shockmounts (p/n 1928) are available separately.

SoundOnSound, 2011

The mic’s natural character, combined with its ability to reject unwanted sounds in the vertical plane, gives it some ‘special powers’ that competing mics may lack…

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Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
ELM-A Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
ELM-A Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
ELM-A Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (22 mV/Pa; 20 - 25,000 Hz)
Cardioid (22 mV/Pa; 20 - 25,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (22 mV/Pa; 20 - 25,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 10mm
Capsule diameter: 69mm
100 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 126 dB
Self-noise: 11.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
305g (10.76oz) 192mm (7.56'') 32mm (1.26'')
  • 5-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power

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