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Ribbon mic & sibilance question

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by spark, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. spark

    spark Guest


    I've heard that ribbon mics are less prone to sibilance than, say, condensers. But is that just because they just have less top end?

    If so, I guess this wouldn't solve a sibilance problem, because on boosting the high frequencies to get a desirable tone, wouldn't the sibilance return?

    Or is there some special feature about the tonality of ribbons that
    effectively reduces sibilance frequencies but allows the more desirable high frequencies to come through when eq'd?

    The reason I'm asking is that I've read very good reviews of the AEA R84 ribbon mic, and I'm wondering if it would help solve some sibilance problems I've been having recently. I'm aware of certain mic techniques to reduce sibilance at source, but if a ribbon would help in the overall sibilance war I'm thinking it would be a good investment.

    Dave Wheat
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    "Less top end"? How about "smoother top end"...I have done a couple of voiceovers with the AEA, am lusting for an active Royer, and own a Beyer M88 and (don't laugh) an Apex ribbon. They are smoooth, baby. The top end is extended, but not "peaked". Sibiliance is an issue for my voice ( and that gets more pronounced with age), but the M88 "softens the blow", so to speak.
  3. spark

    spark Guest

    Thanks for your reply Moonbaby,

    Why is it that sibilance becomes more pronounced with age?
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    It has to do with the teeth "shifting around" as you age. Your oral cavity changes, and the teeth tend to get a bit more gapped and so the air you exhale takes a slightly varied path through those little gaps. The tongue gets thicker, too. It has been something that I have had to recognize and adjust for. Better be ready for it, baby, it happens to all of us!
  5. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    I own a AEA R84 as well as a Neumann TLM-103 (condeser). The AEA works well for that "up close", full sounding narration (and female singing voices I am told), and some instruments. The TLM-103 is definitely "brighter". The AEA brings out a warm bass tone that the TLM-103 does not have, but deosnt' have the same clarity as the TLM. I bought the AEA specifically for some narration that I had to record. If you are recording regular male SINGING vocals I would stay away from a ribbon though... unless it's a female voice OR a QUIET male voice singing along with an acoustic guitar or something.
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