Before we start looking for the differences of ribbon vs condenser mic, it’s essential to know about them individually. Understanding and knowing how to use different microphones is essential knowledge for any serious recording engineer. What You'll Learn. I’m looking to purchase a good low end ribbon for my studio vocals. There are three transducer types commonly associated with microphones: condenser, dynamic, and ribbon transducers. ... Interestingly, ribbons mics and condenser mics were. clear and clean without complicating. The crown jewel of every modern recording studio is it’s mic cabinet. You may not have heard about these terms known as Ribbon Microphone and Condenser, but once you complete reading this article, you will soon realize that you already know these products. Ribbon microphones are more sound pressure sensitive than condensers and react differently depending on how close to the sound source they are positioned. It is famous for its conversion ability of sound into the frequency. This roll-off creates a frequency response similar to the human ear, and is responsible for the ribbon mic’s reputation as the most natural-sounding microphone around. This electrical process within the ribbon microphone occurs at a very low power level. Your email address will not be published. Dynamics are large sounding because they need lots of energy to get the parts moving and this large energy requirement is translated electronically into a big sound. Ribbon vs Condenser Example Saxophone. Why were vocal recordings so much better in the 1950s. Unlike the previous two microphone designs, a condensor microphone uses an electrostatic capsule. However, instead of a moving coil connected to a diaphragm, the active element in a ribbon microphone is a thin piece of aluminum or other type of material. These microphones were very popular … Since microphones are the literally the first element in the recording chain, they can make or break any recording. “Dark” and “bright” are just words used to describe the presence or absence of high-frequency energy in the frequency spectrum. Condensers are known for amazing detail and clarity because of the thin and smaller diaphragms ability to react faster to sound. Microphones are the lifeblood of any recording studio. Now talking about the condenser microphone, just like the ribbon mic, it also converts the sound into electricity, but in a different manner. More advanced patterns usually need two diaphragms to get the job done. One is stationary (the back), while the other one reacts to changes in sound pressure. They are also popular with drums and electric guitars because of their big sound. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others. It is probably the microphone that is used in most drum tracks on today’s popular music. Ribbon Mics. You may know them as the diaphragm and the backplate. You will commonly hear of “large diaphragm” and “small diaphragm” mics. The thin ribbon gives it sensitivity and clean sound that great for vocal and broadcast. Not only can they handle phyisical abuse, but they can also stand up to the loudest sound sources. Ribbon microphones are not very common these days. The diaphragm vibrates when the sound waves start passing over it. Ribbons are popular with a more distant miking technique such as drums overhead or even room sound microphones. Condensers have a wide array of frequency responses, too. The rear at 180 degrees rejects sound coming from that direction. The ribbon is very sensitive to pressure oscillations in the air since it has a very low mass. Condenser microphones have some of the features of dynamics and ribbons with new twists added. Why do people use ribbon micophone? I was going to buy a used MXL Ri44 ribbon mic but after reading your post I’m thinking it could be damaged. The backplate is a piece of metal that is electrically charged. Inside, you’ll commonly find dozens of microphones of all shapes, sizes, and types, each used for a specific situation or application. On the other hand, the condenser is much more sensitive than the ribbon. However, for most vocal applications dynamic and condenser microphones are used. There are three transducer types commonly associated with microphones: condenser, dynamic, and ribbon transducers. It is not rolled off in a bad way, it is rolled off in a more natural way that more closely resembles the sound we hear in real life. However, for most vocal applications dynamic and condenser microphones are used. Famous Examples: RCA 44/77, Royer 121, Coles 4038. They live up to their name by being dynamic and are particularly useful for drums, guitars, and sources that have more explosive content. It is a big sound that only a dynamic can produce. We see you've found the Newbie subforum! Published with WordPress. Therefore, the ribbon itself used to be susceptible to physical damage. Smaller diaphragms have a bump at a higher frequency which is usually less noticeable. The ribbon is commonly made of aluminum and suspended between the poles of a permanent magnet. one tip i learnt if your recording electric guitars is to put a ribbon behind the cab wih the back open as thats where all the warmth is. Cardioid condensers are popular for vocals. I like the vocals with this mic, especially for female vocals as it really retains the sparkle in the female voice. This different mechanical reaction is the result of the microphone design which produces a unique sonic signature. Newbie Audio Engineering + Production Question Zone, Pictures Of Mic'ed Up Drum Kits In The Studio. One person’s bright may be another’s neutral. These mics are many times the go-to choices for kick drums, snares, guitar amps, and bass amps (not to mention live sound as  a whole). Kind of apples and oranges comparison. The condenser microphone has two main components that interact with each other to generate an electrical signal. Ribbon Microphone Vs Condenser. Here are the four types of microphones (dynamic vs condenser vs ribbon mics), what makes them different and when you should you should use each. The condenser mics are durable if compared to the ribbon microphones. While dynamic mics use a moving coil, a ribbon mic uses a thin metal ribbon suspended between two magnets. You have to take extra care while using a ribbon mic, as they are quite fragile. All ribbon mics need a transformer to match the very low impedance and signal voltage of the ribbon element with the mic pre input. Having said that, I have to disclose that I am moderately hearing-challenged, with the typical HF rolloff. You wouldn't want to place a condenser or ribbon microphone inside of a kick drum, that's a job for dynamics. That being said, ribbon mics were the go-to studio microphones in the late 40s, 50s and early 60s. A common technique used to record using ribbon microphones in stereo is called the Blumlein pair. A condenser microphone has two main components. Ribbons are great for vocals because they bring out the tonal variances in voice without the high end artifacts. Understanding and knowing how to use different microphones is essential knowledge for any serious recording engineer. The polar patterns of the ribbon mic can be Omni, cardioid, super-cardioid, or hyper-cardioid. Onyx WordPress Theme by EckoThemes. Capsule sizes often vary among condensor mics. Ok after my late night generalized fun comment here's the reality of ribbons. To make this site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. Stay tuned to know more about such things and stay up-to-date! So, I have decided to dig deeper and explain various accessories related to mics. Learn how your comment data is processed. Many legendary early rock ‘n’ roll records were recorded with nothing but ribbons. Dynamic microphones have a prominent upper mid range with a weaker and more grainy high frequency range. Understanding and knowing how to use different microphones is essential knowledge for any serious recording engineer. This necessitates the use of a dedicated transformer to boost the signal. Way too often, I hear stories of blown ribbons because of super loud sound sources or hot plugging (non grounded application of phantom power). This is due to the smaller size of the diaphragm. I am a sound engineer. However, modern advancements in materials science and technology have allowed for more resilient models to appear in the market. Dynamic, ribbons, and condensers are our three main types of microphones, each producing a different sound. The Shure SM57 is the most popular and common dynamic microphone that is used to record drums. I hope you guys are now clear about these two beauties. This design results in a hyper-cardiod pick up pattern as opposed to the traditional bi-directional. Some are bright, some are warm, and some are neutral. Each of our three main microphone types takes this process and reacts differently to the mechanical energy fed into it.