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What difference does a

microphone processor make?

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Behringer's VX2496 Mic Processor is based on the well-known predecessor the VX2000 and provides 24-bit 96kHz performance. It features an AES-3 output and features an opto compressor, dynamic enhancer, expander, de-esser and tube simulation.
The output sampling rate on the VX2496 is adjustable and can be tied to a clock reference. There is a ultra low-noise mic/line input stage with soft mute, 48vdc phantom power. The tube emulation circuitry provides tube and tape saturation sounds, and the true RMS expander offers smooth noise reduction. An opto compressor provides dynamic control and creative signal processing options.Voice-optimized equalizer.
Also available in Behringer's range are these models: Ultragain Mic 100, Ultragain Mic 200, Ultragain Pro Mic 2200 which we have tried and all are more than capable of enhancing mics for radio use.  A valuable addition to any studio's rack.
Gear4Music - Behringer page
Behringer Mic Processor & SFX
DBX microphone processor PreAMp
Sonifex Microphone SFX
The Sonifex RB-DMA2 is not really a special effect but a professional quality dual digital microphone pre-amplifier.  It has  two independent, low-noise mic pre-amplifiers with studio standard AES-3 and S/PDIF digital outputs as well as analog outputs. The unit can be used as two independent mic amps or one mic input can be copied to both channels of the digital output. Inputs are electronically balanced.
The input gain for each input is adjusted on the front panel. Each channel has a selectable high-pass filter and 48V phantom power. A TTL word clock sync input is also provided. The EIN is 130dB. A tri-color LED indicates the audio level.  These are available from Broadcast Warehouse for either £225 for the single mic preamp (MA1) or £525 for the dual digital mic amplifier, click on the red preamp.
One of the easiest ways of adding a variety of SFX to your mic channel is the MIC MECHANIC. 
It's a complete vocal toolbox in a compact, easy-to-use pedal. Designed for stage users but its quality is so good we have seen dozens of them in use in radio stations all around Europe.
Reverb is the essential vocal effect, loved by all singers and used in practically every venue and recording studio in the world. Mic Mechanic's lush reverb's are from their flagship VoiceLive series. They'll surround your radio station's voices with a great sense of space. From short slapback echoes to lengthy repeating phrases.
Helicon Mic Mechanic and SFX  box
Delay adds that special "something" to the sound of any vocal and can have huge impact if used sparingly, adding pizaz and excitement. The Tap Tempo feature is great for timing and beat matching to perfection. The Mic Mechanic also has 'Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction' which many vocalists use to gently guide towards the "true" note. The Mic Mechanic is usually over £100 at most good music stores;
These are currently available for around £141 through Amazon.  Just click this button for more details.
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dbx 286S

The DBX 286S is a very versatile microphone Pre-amp with compressor, de-esser, LF & HF  Detail & expander and gate. It provides all the mic processing tools you need in one box including a full featured Channel Strip Processor that includes studio quality microphone preamplifier and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination.
The sonically pristine dbx 286s Mic Preamp has all the features you need, including wide-ranging input gain control, switchable +48V phantom power, and an 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low frequency hum, rumble or wind. These are artefacts that are best removed BEFORE your regular audio chain. Its also a good idea to use dbx's patented OverEasy compressor to transparently smooth out uneven acoustic tracks or deliver that classic "in your face" vocal performance that only a dbx compressor can. It eliminates vocal sibilance too - now for £137 from        
Amazon SFX supplier lopgo
Microphone effects & processors
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DBX Mic processor
Microphone Effects
and Processors