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Hello Everyone,

Just finished up another Instructable.

In my never ending quest for a high quality ribbon microphone in every studio locker (chicken in every pot), I designed a tool to help corrugate ribbons for ribbon microphones.

Using some crafting gears, I fashioned a 3-D printed frame, a stepper and Arduino and a foot switch to allow you to corrugate your ribbon microphone elements easily and consistently.

Please check it out.


Next project in the queue is a fully automated Ribbon element tuner. Basically put a ribbon microphone truss into a carrier, lay the ribbon in, fix one end of the ribbon, and the other will be held down on a sliding part. It will automatically inject a (user select-able) frequency at (user select-able) amplitude and a stepper will adjust the tension for optimal gain. Then fix the other end of the ribbon.

You should then have a nicely tuned ribbon element. Well at least that's the plan, but I'm sure I will face a number of challenges.

Trick here, is I’m designing a set of interchangeable carriers for a variety of different ribbon microphone trusses. So pick the carrier for your mic truss, such as an MXL R80, put the truss in the carrier, and the carrier in the tuner, and you are ready to go.

Once done with that, I'm going to revisit this corrugator, modifying it for 1" wide gears with a diametrical pitch of 64 and a larger stepper. But since custom made gears are so costly this will take some time to get back to.

I hope you find it useful, and look forward to any suggestions you might have.




kmetal Tue, 05/10/2016 - 22:02

Hey man! Whether it actually works or not is irrelevant. 3D printing is wicked cool! And Audrino stuff is just too awesome. I'm personally just starting to get into all that stuff over the past year or two, and the ability to program chips like that really opens up doors. Good luck w your next one, it'd be great to hear how the ribbons/mics sound, feel free to post something up. Cheers.

guitartoys Wed, 05/11/2016 - 08:18

Thanks, it's working really well, and makes some nice ribbons. I'll add some pictures of some corrugated ribbons in a few weeks (too many other commitments at the moment).

Of course the moment I finished it, I immediately started looking for improvements, and figured a wider gear would be nice to have. So that will be the next update to it.

In the mean time, I'm on to the automated ribbon tuner. I'd working on the CAD files now, and have carriers for 3 different ribbon trusses sorted out, MXL R80, MXL R144 and a truss from Rick at I'm just trying to size it up, so I make the universal carrier tray big enough to support unknown ribbon trusses I haven't seen yet.

Making the tuner body is going to be pretty straight forward, and having a stepper to adjust the tension is pretty easy. I'll quickly be able to just hook it up to a signal source and measure the resonance and manually adjust the stepper. The fun part will be coming up with an automated means to tune the ribbon. I'm thinking of a touchscreen, you set the testing frequency, the amplitube, and the end stops for the stepper (this way you don't tear a ribbon by over stretch the ribbon). Then the thing would measure the output, adjust the stepper. Probably starting with a floppy ribbon, slowly putting tension on it, it should then hit resonance, and as it puts too much tension on it, the output goes down, and the stepper slows, and then backs up to get back to resonance. Should be fun.