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Ribbon mic for V/O ... I don't NEED it, but I've got G.A.S. again :)

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by griz, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. griz

    griz Active Member

    Okay, I've got G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) again.

    My U87 doesn't thrill me in the 4x4 booth and the 416 is just marginally okay, but interestingly the old AKG street reporter mic I carried as a newsguy doesn't sound BAD in the booth. (DW Fearn VT1 & Daking to RME FF400)

    Not being happy with the sound of the booth stirred up another bout of G.A.S. I have no illusions that buying a fine ribbon microphone will make the booth sound better. It will make me feel better though. So I'm looking for opinions before I start to scratch my itch.

    * Passive vs Active ribbons - Do the electronics make the ribbon sound more like a LDC?

    * Pre-preamp booster like the Cloudlifter, a high gain pre like the P-solo, the AEA ribbon mic pre or just get a power pre with the proper impedance for a ribbon mic?

    * Of the modern ribbons, do you have a favorite for V/O work?

    To be honest, the stuff you guys can hear in mics and preamps amazes me (I seem to hear differences in the room more than vocal characteristics). I hear very little difference between good mics and pres unless I've got a lot of editing to do; then I notice the stuff that irritates me. It doesn't matter, I enjoy working with fine equipment and am about to go on another binge. Your opinions are appreciated.

    New studio construction is delayed until this economy turns around. ...but until then...a just a little G.A.S. fix :)
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I'm certainly not an expert on ribbons, but I did listen to one and monkey around with it a bit so I gotta say, check out the Shure ribbons. Ksm313(I messed with this one) and the KSm353. These are the Crowley and Tripp mics since sHure bought the company. The reviews are glowing, and you have the gear to make em work plus theres a LOT of GAS pleasure in this level of gear.....
  3. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    I've got a Nady RSM-4. Granted it's a $79 ribbon, but it is quite functional. I am very pleased with it because it tames the overly-sibilant aspects of my voice. A condenser is too sensitive for my particular voice.

    It can also be modded to improve it with a xformer swap and removal of some grill work. So, keep these things in mind. Might be a good way to get into ribbons without breaking the bank, esp, since the mods really make a major improvement. I've heard samples of before/after the mod and the difference is astounding.

    Hope this helps!

    PS Needs a good preamp!
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Just a general comment that I doubt you need a very high gain preamp for voiceover work. I've felt the need for extra gain with my Beyers when recording someone picking guitar with just the pads of their fingers. I don't think I would need it for V/O with any voice that I know of.

    Of course, with voice it's always a matter of fitting the mic to the pipes. But...I like my AEA R84, and I sincerely doubt that there is any other mic with quite the vocal booth vibe. You could put on red suspenders, marry a half dozen women, and pretend you are Larry King.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    And I have to plug the Royer R101's. This fall I bought a stereo pair and ended up with an SF12. I'm running all of them off of standard True Systems preamps (P8 and P2Analog) without issue recording classical chamber over on the other side of MT. I have looked at the Cloudlifter and am a hair away from buying one for no good reason whatsoever other than trying the ribbons out on a Zoom H4n as a small kit setup.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You fellers need to hear those Shures. Indestructible ribbons.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Whoa! Yer talk-kin t ah Gy-rene heyah. Taint much indy...indi...inder....heck...kaint be bust-ted.

  8. griz

    griz Active Member

    I'm fortunate in that I've never met a mic that didn't like my voice, some are a better for different types of work, but none that I've tried are unkind to my voice. That said, I don't know that I'd be willing to go $5500 for the big dawg AEA, on the other hand , if it is the best in class for V/O then I should have it because I will enjoy using it.

    I was ignoring the Shure, Davedog, thinking that Shure was just trying to jump on the ribbon bandwagon for some marketshare. I guess I shouldn't be so cynical. I'll read the reviews if you agree with them; usually I think of reviews as happy horse manure in exchange for ad $$$. I guess the cynical curmudgeon is showing again.

    Of course, I won't get full pleasure out of my studio until I move into the new studio. Damned economy! Not much we can do, but wait.

    You never regret buying the best.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Griz....I dont hype things unless they're w-o-r-t-h-y. That being said, yeah, I'm thinking that Shure looked around and thought about how much it would cost them to research and develop a quality Shure ribbon.....so they bought a company that was small and yet very high quality and innovative to boot. Yer gonna like the intimacy.

    And YES, if it absolutely positively has to be destroyed today, we know where to go.....
  10. griz

    griz Active Member

    I've gotten some real dandy :( buys in mics on eBay. So is the Shure ribbon one that can be safely purchased through eBay?
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Yes. I would think so. These are still the Crowley and Tripp mics. Shure might have packaged them a little different but inside they are the same. The ribbon material used is unlike anything else and this is a ribbon that can certainly be safely used on a kick drum and any other plosive source. Of course if you can find an original for a decent price you might consider that too. I guess Shure is honoring the warranty of all the C&T mics. The problem of finding a used C&T is apparently the original buyers will require they be dead before prying it from their cold rigored fingers.......
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Griz....I dont mean to shill here but give my friends @ Superdigital.com a call. They're direct dealers with most high-end gear. The Shure for sure......(see what I did) Donnie is very knowledgeable and being in Portland makes us neighbors (Oregon/Montana.) He'll beat any price from the mega onliners. Yeah I know, its a serious shill but hey, they're my friends.......He also has one of the new U67's....
  13. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    The Shure (and a most of the other great ribbons) are figure-8 patterns, is your room a good fit for that?
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    There's a spot on by dvdhawk! And I can relate.
  15. griz

    griz Active Member


    I'm currently trapped in a 4x4 booth and waiting for ample time and funding to build out another building on my property.

    ...and you can't make 'em front address only, so...

    Maybe I need to put my U87 in figure-8 mode and see what it sounds like in the booth. I've only used it once in the booth because it sounds so terrible in there.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Its pretty hard to make a U87 through a Daking and a DW sound 'bad' in any environment. Is this one of those porto-booths? Maybe before the buildout you can redo one wall to add some life. Nothing like nice red cedar next to an absorptive surface to add some life and warmth....
  17. griz

    griz Active Member

    Well health problems resolved my trouble with G.A.S! Still itchin' to get a ribbon, but I'm on hold until the piggy bank fattens up again. :( Maybe there will be another ribbon mic shoot-out testing mics & pres between now and then. :)

    BTW -Davedog, I've got a home-made, double-walled, 703 insulated, auralex foam booth that's 4x4 and 7 tall. The only mic that sounds "good" in it is an old AKG D230 that I use for on-site interviews. Maybe I'll hit the lottery ;)
  18. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I got one of these KSM313 ribbon mics today, I've got a session where I can try it tomorrow night - I'll have a second opinion over the weekend for ya Griz.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Dave,

    I was just looking at their latest video yesterday and wondering how they sound. Good to know and I'm also looking forward to your opinion!
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Tell us please!

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