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how fragile are ribbon microphones

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by TheJackAttack, May 27, 2009.

  1. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Since ribbons are on everyone's mind including me, I'm wondering how fragile these things really are. I never considered using ribbons when I ran PA because I thought they were too fragile for Marines. Not much is Marine proof. Now I am mostly a classical location recordist. I am very quick at striking setup but there are many times where some "helpful" soul will just start grabbing mic stands and cause the occasional apoplectic fit. This "help" is why I have been hesitant to start the ribbon path.

    tap tap tap......is this thing on?...........pffffffff.....
  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    While I can't offer specifics, I do know that modern ribbons are a little more robust than their predecessors. The ribbon mic thread has recently taken a turn that way - check it out:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Maybe just put some tape on the ribbon cases w/ "DO NOT TOUCH!" written in bright red? Make it clear that while help is appreciated, only YOU are to touch the ribbon mics?
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well...here are a few of my recountings of events involving ribbons:

    Event 1 - Recording the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC - had 30 seconds to get a pair of mics into the pit aimed on stage before the downbeat. Grabbed a pair of M130s and started sprinting...didn't realize that I had them diaphragm out flapping in the wind as I do my best 100 yard dash. Thankfully, they still work like a charm with no evidence of the ribbons being even slightly damaged.

    Event 2 - Recording trumpet quartet for a loud/marching band scenario. After informing ALL of the kids to NOT blow in the direction of the mics (blow air, not blow their horns...), no sooner did they cut off before one of the girls in the room started whistling loudly and I heard not only her whistling through my cans but the sound of a ribbon in distress.. Thankfully, again, no significant damage (this was an SF12.

    Event 3 - using Beyer M160s as tom mics - usually not a problem if there's a little more distance than a traditional 57 positioning. This drummer got a little overzealous and beat the hell out of my mic (literally and figuratively). It's still in one piece and working like a champ.

    My R88 is the only ribbon that hasn't taken some form of unnecessary abuse. I hope to keep it that way.

  4. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    I am trying to follow the exortation of the apostle Paul to not lust or covet, but those beyer M160's sound really tempting...thanks a lot!
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Try Augustine, "Grant me chastity and continence .... but not yet!"
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well J, you keep dangling those Beyers and Royers in front of me and I might have to snatch them out of your hands ;-) Trade ya a Sansone double for 'em....
  7. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    You'll get my Beyers and Royers when you pry them out of my cold dead (monkey) hands

    - so sayeth the Apostle Jeremy in Ribbons Chapter 14 verse 4.
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Man...you guys are going to be sorry when I change my avatar and there's all these references to a monkey...
    Don't forget, it used to be a kitty with a gun...(Is there a theme? I suppose I just find it absolutely hilarious to juxtapose a cute animal with a tool of destruction and death).

    Seriously though - considering the price and the versatiliy of the Beyers, I think everyone should own a few. What I've finally worked down to is 2 M130s and an M160. For roughly $1800, this gives me the option of Figure-8, Hyper-card, Blumlein, M/S, Modified M/S, ORTF (it actually works pretty well with 2 fig-8s). And....the kicker is, all of these patterns are native - no electrical switching of patterns!

    Just make sure you get a Sabra-Som mount for them - then you can do whatever you want.


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