Ribbon Mics

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JoeHempel
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Ribbon Mics

Post by JoeHempel » June 1st, 2010, 12:01 am

I've sold my Samson C02 Mic Pair and am looking for something a bit better, and I've noticed that the MXL R-144 Ribbon Mic is on sale for $100.

I just don't know anything about them. I'd be using the mic for recording acoustics as well as voice acting.

I've seen the MXL Brand, and I like the sound, even on the 990's those are $50 right now and have a great sound!

But this seems to be of much higher quality. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

oh here's the link to the mic!
http://www.guitarcenter.com/MXL-R-144-R ... 1470672.gc
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Blue Jay
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by Blue Jay » June 1st, 2010, 6:06 am

Excellent description and lowest price. It reads as if it is a good product. And they have 30 day satisfaction guarantee. 8)
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JoeHempel
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by JoeHempel » June 1st, 2010, 6:08 am

The only concern I have is I "THINK" the ribbon mics don't pick up the softer sound of acoustics/classical as well as condenser, but I don't know.
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Blue Jay
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by Blue Jay » June 1st, 2010, 6:52 am

JoeHempel wrote:The only concern I have is I "THINK" the ribbon mics don't pick up the softer sound of acoustics/classical as well as condenser, but I don't know.
I guess you're right. So, I would agree, they are for vocals - see what others have say! :wink:
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JoeHempel
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by JoeHempel » June 1st, 2010, 6:13 pm

Seems the overall consensus from other forums would be that I'd need a good pre-amp, and I don't think that my Zoom R16 has a good enough pre-amp to handle the ribbon, so Condenser here I come!!
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Scrybe
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by Scrybe » June 1st, 2010, 8:00 pm

JoeHempel wrote:Seems the overall consensus from other forums would be that I'd need a good pre-amp, and I don't think that my Zoom R16 has a good enough pre-amp to handle the ribbon, so Condenser here I come!!
check carefully - condensers generally require phantom power and, having just googled your Zoom, it's not listing as having phantom power, so you'd need a separate preamp with phantom power for that. for good preamps, the only entry-level I'd recommend is the FMR RNP. All the others I've tried have been crappy by comparison.

I like ribbons, though I've not used them much and don't own one. I find them to be really pleasing, but then I like my mids and lows, and ribbons are great at warm mids, so that's not surprising. Never tried micing a classical guitar with one, but I googled ribbon mics and pulled up this article from Sound on Sound on them - http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov07/a ... nmics1.htm - deffo make note that most ribbon mics aren't phantom powered and, if you accidently hit the phantom power switch on your preamp/mixxer/interface, you can ruin the ribbon on it. Dunno how difficult and costly that is to repair - it'll be company-specific.

Best place to ask specifically about using a ribbon to mic a classical guitar would be the forums at Sound On Sound and at Gearslutz - I doubt anyone on here owns one or has used them extensively enough to advise you, but those forums both have a lot of professional engineers who will be able to advise you better. Hope this helps.
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JoeHempel
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by JoeHempel » June 1st, 2010, 8:04 pm

Thanks Scrybe!

I've got Phantom Power on my mixer, my Samson C02 Condensers run through it, but I'm buying an ART Tube MP because it's not that great of a pre-amp. The ART's have gotten mixed reviews, some people say WOW some people say MEH, like any other piece of equipment LOL.

I think Condenser is getting the vote here! I'm going to be picking one up by the end of the week!
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Scrybe
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by Scrybe » June 2nd, 2010, 12:01 am

cool, for some reason I figured the condenser was a first-time buy. good luck with that.

I'm not keen on the ART, but it really depends a lot on what pres you already have. best bet there is, if you can, take your zoom with you when you go to buy, and do an A/B comparison of them (the zoom must let you bypass the onboard pres). for £80, if you notice a strong improvement, that £80 could well be bargain. but if it's only a slight improvement in sound, consider holding out for a better model some time down the line.

yeah, ribbons have their niches, and they don't get a lot of love among home recording folk. mainly 'cause they always used to cost the earth, plus they don't really handle the usual rock n roll set up as robustly as dynamics plus a condenser or two. they also don't survive hard gigs and/or hitting the drummer with one quite like the infamous Shures... :lol:

I'm gassing for the Blue Woodpecker though, or something similar. Alas, I reside in the compound-gas-futility land of having no spare cash and a desire for quality gear I'll still be using 10-20 year's from now. so I have to make do with occasional google-image fixes for my craving for costly mics.
Ra Er Ga.

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JoeHempel
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Re: Ribbon Mics

Post by JoeHempel » June 2nd, 2010, 12:07 am

Meh, who needs a drummer to hit over the head? I do that to myself all on my own :lol:

I'll be taking the Zoom with me to compare for sure. I'm almost positive I'll get a better output though, I've heard the pre-amps on the Zoom aren't that good. I'm actually thinking of trading it in because I don't really use it for anything, and getting another BOSS BR Micro to replace my broken one instead. They have better guitar modeling as well.

Not sure yet though.
In Space, no one can hear me sing!

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