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Samar MF65 High End ribbon microphones

Wow, check this beauty out. Samar MF65.

 


With unparalleled sound, attention to detail, and craftsmanship, the MF65 is an instant classic, combining State of the ART technology with a completely original and innovative design, the MF65 sets a new standard for High End ribbon microphones.



We have created a microphone with the bottom end response ruler flat down to 20 Hz (-0.43 dB) and the most extended high frequency response ever seen in figure eight ribbon, exceeding well beyond 25 kHz. It took eight years of R&D for the company’s owner and chief engineer, Dr. Mark Fouxman, to achieve this goal. For an unprecedented top end and balanced frequency response, he has created one of the most advanced motors with the shortest front-to-back path ever seen in a ribbon microphone. For design efficiency the motor is an extension of the main body, integrating the two into one cohesive structure.



For such a unique approach, only precision machining can achieve the tight tolerances required for the MF65's innovative design. All the parts are fabricated using State of the ART CNC machines in Utah in a shop specializing in manufacturing for the medical and aerospace industries. The body is cut out of a solid piece of steel while the separate top and bottom caps fit seamlessly for a streamlined appearance. The extreme attention to detail is apparent from the first glance.



The MF65 includes a mechanism for fine ribbon adjustment with consistency, offering the highest possible performance. The top quality toroidal transformers were designed and tuned specifically for this particular model and are made in-house.



The MF65 is a precision instrument of uncompromised craftsmanship with the utmost attention paid to every detail both sonic and cosmetic. Its very tight manufacturing tolerances ensure the highest level of performance and uniformity from unit to unit. The MF65 tonal balance combines vintage vibe with modern sound, creating a unique recording tool. It excels on piano, brass instruments, drum overheads, acoustic and electric guitars, choir, violin, voice, and as a room microphone, among other applications.
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Comments

RemyRAD Sat, 02/02/2013 - 22:23
The description is certainly enticing. Maybe I'll get to hear it this October at the AES NYC? It'll be my 41st year of attendance. Wow... where has the time gone? I've been going off about ribbon microphones since I heard my first one at 15. Actually I had one when I was nine LOL for a short bit. Can't even remember whose? I remember it was painted flesh colored LOL. Yuck. Sort of looked like a BK 44 but smaller. Don't think it was an RCA? I actually thought my Electro-Voice 636 Omni dynamic sounded better through my Western Electric 23 C, radio console from 1943. LOL. What did I know? I was only nine. I didn't go esoteric until 15 LOL.

I like ribbons in my hair but they're so heavy.
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Sun, 02/03/2013 - 17:52
The ribbon microphone craze is rather fascinating to me. There seems to be quite a push to create a ribbon microphone that sounds like a condenser microphone? Everybody wants that high end that we are so used to hearing from condenser microphones and dynamic microphones that we don't want our ribbon microphones to sound any different? If I want that true ribbon microphone warm lushes quality, I don't think I would purchase this new microphone? I liked the Royer tube, which was over $3000 like an 87. And it sounded more like an 87 than it did say, a 44 which it sounded nothing like. Very smooth very clean extremely articulate, very fast but it didn't really sound any more quite like a classic ribbon. Because when I want a ribbon I don't want a condenser or a dynamic and I don't want the ribbon to portray that kind of sonic signature. So it doesn't make it the perfect microphone. It only makes it a different microphone.

I mean does anybody else decide whether they want to use their long or short geometry ribbons? I have both. While they both sound similar they're not. So it's just another microphone that folks will obviously like. And I can hardly wait until I hear that one? In most obviously looks like a long geometry ribbon design? What if I want a 44 sound how will it compare? It likely won't. It'll be smooth and not harsh but from the descriptions, not sure where this will fall? Whoops. Don't want to do that LOL.

How come nothing else other than new will do? You see, as we get older, we start to lose our own high frequency response. And what I hear going on is a whole bunch of baby boomer folks like myself who are all losing their hearing creating equipment that is getting brighter and brighter and brighter sounding. Why? Because the folks designing and building it can't hear properly anymore. And the women designers are trying to please their male counterparts for obvious reasons. They know all the men in their lives are going deaf or are already halfway there LOL. This just like our financial collapse of a few years ago will also come to a head. The head won't know what's going on because they're already too stoned. And that's what I'm hearing and seeing. The head? Is listening to old Led Zeppelin. You're not listening to tutti & the frutti's, are you? Maybe you are? I'm not. Because I'm an adult. And I have no interest in catering to children. Other folks do and that's OK that's the way they like to work. Or where they think they can make their money? I'm catering to an aging and dying demographic. Those are the folks that grew up listening to what I grew up with. And that's what I deliver for them. That's what they want. And you just cannot get that sound on this newfangled modern stuff quite the same way. Which is why the old stuff is still quite valid. We're not dead yet. Although about 50% are. So I have a 50% less chance of making money than say Chris? In fact I'm probably making a lot less than Chris? In fact I'm making nothing today. But not because of that in which the way I go about producing my product. Plenty of people across the country want just that and not the new stuff. Who wants a new $200 Taiwan built Stratocaster if you could have a 1970, classic American made Stratocaster even if it cost you more? They both sound good. In fact they don't sound much different from each other. It's just a personal preference. Is that 1970 Stratocaster no good because of its age? Of course not. It might need work? What wouldn't of that age? I mean do all of you guys still have all of your hair? And if not? Why not? You can fix that you know? But I see a lot of rich bald guys? Why? Not interested in that luscious looking 26-year-old at 50? You want to look like her daddy or her boyfriend? And what would you change or modify to accomplish that outcome? Hats, hairpieces, transplants. Ya don't have to be bald. I like guys with hair. I grew up listening to HAIR. It's part of what defines us in the early 1970s LOL. And I find men with beautiful long hair very enticing. The bald guys? Not so much so. I mean my hair was down to the middle of my back. At 50, I thought change was good so now it sits nicely upon my shoulders. But I don't engineer any different because of that LOL. I would if my hair still did not fall over my ears. As that actually kind of works for me like Bob Clearmountain and his toilet paper on the NS-10's. My mixes get all screwed up when I pull my hair back away from my ears. So when I go to mix, I'm always letting my hair down.

And so it goes.
Mx. Remy Ann David

audiokid Sun, 02/03/2013 - 18:16
Hi Remy,
I believe you have it wrong with the Active Royer's. I posted a quote from John @ Royer more than once after you posted these comments. I asked them about what you say and to my knowledge, they have a lower noise floor and are able to take a large variety of pre-amps but are no different is sonics like you claim. At least to be anywhere concerned about.
The SF-24 in particular is exact to the SF-12 but is more versatile because of this. People have done tests.

FWIW, I just got two 121's here, and I have a few 122's which are active but they are designed a bit different so its not a far test. All I can say is, I don't think you have this right. Maybe so with other ribbons, but not with Royers. If there is anything I could add, the active Royer's are unreal! No noise, 100 feet of cable and no problemo. The SF-24 is my most cherished mic ever. The 122's are amazing clarity and the 121 are creamy smooth. They are all silky cream smooth lol. :)

The 121 being idea for amping guitars is partly due to this because we like our Marshall stack cranked.

I wish I could send you one, but I don't dare because they are going to the grave with me.

RemyRAD Sun, 02/03/2013 - 22:16
No Chris I think you misunderstood me? These active ribbons both tube and transistor, it's something I wanted to do 30 years ago. I believe in it. And a ribbon active or passive still sounds like nothing else. What you do get with these new active ribbons as you have observed is this phenomenal lack of noise and the ability, without worry, to run your cables 1000 feet. Of which, generally, I would not do with my 77's nor 160/130's and that other little RCA miniature ribbon thing I can't even remember the model number of LOL? But I wasn't indicating that they sounded quite like a condenser microphone but they do have that more perceivable and extended high-end response. That was what I was actually referring to in comparison to a condenser microphone which is also an active microphone.

But under certain situations and conditions, they certainly don't sound like a 44 nor a 77. Which are nearly unmistakable in their sonic signature since we have heard them for so many years under so many different conditions. In those kinds of situations, should the need arise, a 3124 will go down to the stage to see the snake however long it might be. In a sense making for an active ribbon microphone. Still though with that sonic signature that I want for a certain purpose. Such as the concerts I recorded of the classic American 30s & 40s music of the era, at the Corcoran Art Gallery in DC. They had these old folks that had been singing this stuff from back then. I wanted that 77 in front of them on stage. And I wanted that sound. It would have sounded that way also going through the API up a microphone snake and into a Neve LOL. But it wouldn't sound like a Royer. A Royer sounds like a Royer and that's a winner in anybody's book. I thought that tube ribbon of their's was to die for. Really made me think about getting rid of my 67's and getting those in their place? So far, I haven't. Likely not to at this stage or any stage? LOL because I have to keep my sense of humor about this. If things were going better for me, I'd have both. And since I'm not well-off, the chances of me ever landing a 67 much less two in these fine originals is highly unlikely. So I don't really want to part with them. Not yet even though I desperately need dollars. I've had these for a long time. They are part of my life, history, career. But in time, all things pass. And I'm going through some really difficult decision-making right now in my life. I've really enjoyed my time here helping others make better sounding recordings they can be proud of. And you know how I've always talked about ribbon microphones. One of the oldest technologies we have. One of the best of the technologies we have. And those new ribbon microphones are all adaptations of something that was designed back in 1928. And how state of the art is that? We're still calling capacitor microphones condenser microphones. We haven't called a capacitor a condenser in years. But that old term from the bygone era still applies to our state of the art devices. And it's important for people to understand where this all came from? How it was used? What it was used on or with? And does it apply to anything today in our creative endeavors? We all know the answer to that is one big YES. But that's not how everybody felt as little as 10 years ago when they were all considered bad and noisy, unworthy of modern-day recording. Of course I knew better. But that's not what they were teaching at Full Sale. I'm sure they've changed their tune today. But even as little as 10 years ago I had to deal with this nonsense from recording school graduate idiots. And that doesn't bode well by me. I still get sick in the stomach thinking that just months before I went to work for NBC network TV, from the radio division, they threw out like fifteen 77's! Just as they had so many other pieces of equipment, along with all the 44's, I'm sure, years earlier? This just wasn't NBC I worked for, this was RCA who I was employed by. So that's pretty much the only equipment the place had. At least, until, but time around in which I was hired when the 2 Neve's (that I later got) were installed. That was the end of the RCA consoles. I worked with some of the RCA reel to reel recorders, cameras, VTR Quadra Plex machines. When we were upgrading, this stuff was a joke at that time. Virtually worthless. Today, you'll spend big dollars to get some of those old preamps. I got 2 Neve's and an API console (all but the equalizers enough for a full desk). The API stuff I got out of the dumpster at the loading dock, behind the building. It's criminal. So I'm the great recycler. Old Grass Valley video switchers that I had no use for at the time since they required studio cameras and had no frame store synchronizers built into the switchers as you find today. In hindsight, I should have finished those out also LOL. Lots of folks collect and restore this stuff. There are guys out there with a couple of Quadra Plex VTR's in their basement. Each one weighs the better part of a compact car. And these nearly 50-year-old machines are still rolling. Absolutely nothing like that is built the day to last any longer than that 18 months computer technology advancement formula. So people are really not getting anything even close to those kinds of products not unless you purchase an API or Neve or SSL or a couple of others. And what are they but consoles from a bygone era, still very much in demand today and how can you even consider them to be state of the art to be utilized with what you have? It's kind of sacrilege to take that sound and murder it with PCM coding. It doesn't matter what bit depth or sample rate we are talking about. That is not the way to do good digital audio. It's just the way that we are doing it with our current technologies in place.

And so with that kind of perception and observation that I experience, PCM is highly unworthy when you really do care about sound. But what's a girl to do? That is all that as being offered. DSD is not like PCM. Does not sound like PCM even at 24-bit, 32-bit float, 192 kHz, sorry. And if you can't hear that, that's all right. I can and it bothers me a lot. Just as much as fluorescent lighting which I refuse to work under. Some people are more sensitive to other things than others. I have been told my senses are too keen and it causes many problems. I can't help that? Wasn't my decision. But when you realize you have a unique and special talent for something? And you can pursue it professionally and reap a comfortable living with your trade and skills, I was one lucky puppy. But nothing stays the same. Though some things do, religion, language, musical genres. I don't believe that people need to go into a large dark cement and block, stone building and look at a floor to pray to a god no one knows really exists. They know God exists. They'll tell you god exists. Some people even have seen God in person and come back to us. So maybe God is underneath the floor of the Church or the synagogue or the mosque, the Temple, the TV, under the bed? Who the hell knows? How many different religions are there any gods? The same is true for audio. We all have those folks that we look up and aspire to maybe come close? Some folks make it. Others are just working engineers. And then there is all of the unemployed engineers of which I am now a part of apparently.

So in the end, I certainly wouldn't turn down one of those active ribbons but I also wouldn't give up any of my passive ribbons. Two different flavors.

This is all about passion kids. And that's why we're good at what we do. It's the passion. You'll be good at anything if ya don't have passion for what you're doing. And the emotional fortitude to learn all that you can learn about this wonderful, black magic, of voodoo like world of making cool recordings for all to enjoy. It gives you a warm feeling in your heart to know how many souls your work touches. It's not the masses that I want listening to my work. It's the souls that can feel it, hear it, live it, love it and at the same time, I engineer for myself.

As you know being an engineer is about 20% engineering and about 80% psychology/sociology. You have to be more in tune than with just the equipment. And I'm the kind of Producer that does not necessarily play any instruments for anybody. I don't necessarily change their songs around telling them what would be better slow down speeded up pitch corrected. No. I am there to get the best performance out of this person. And to translate their emotions into a most unkind and unfriendly media called recorded sound.

I mean if you want to get technical, one of the biggest problems with recording, is that nobody really knows that sound travels at 1100 ft./s? How can you get to a high school diploma and not know that? Or a college degree? And if you did know that? How does it apply to your engineering? I use that all the time. I like to play with time. Advance it. Retard it just to change the overall perceived acoustic environment of which actually never existed. So you can make a room larger manipulating time. It doesn't change the acoustic aberrations. But the timing differentials you play with, can change the perception of said compromised acoustics. Some of that is through comb filtering. Dynamix modifications. Software oriented manipulation of some sort or another from things such as noise reduction?

I got to meet Col. Sanders. And I realized, as a kid, a lot of people had their own special, secret, 11 herbs and spices that they highly guarded and protected. Lots of engineers are like that. Others not so much so. I love sharing technique with others. For instance, one of the guys was teaching down at the University of Miami, Ken Pohlman. My wife had been contracted to be the lead in one of their operas I forget which one. Ken of course was there. And I also got permission there in the early 1980s, to also record this production. I had my API 3124's and I had my Sony PCM-F1 (With a portable VHS to record the data). Ken wasn't using one of those. He told me he would, but you can't do any editing. Like fading out the applause and stuff like that. I told him he absolutely could do that. He said " no it's impossible ". Now remember, he was a professor there teaching. I then showed him how to do it. He was dumbfounded. It worked flawlessly, beautifully. He was rather taken aback by that and quite impressed. And the funny part is, it was so stupidly simple that he also got quite a laugh. Which is part of my charm in engineering. It's something he had never thought of? Never considered? No student at the top of the class could come up with this? Are they teaching these kids to think? No they are not. They are not opening their minds. My mind has been opened by so many things and so many people! And this is another reason why I have been asked by numerous people to start writing a book. I'm not literate enough to write a book? But I'll do it. And it will be very good the first time out when it gets handed to the editor. Because that's the only way I can work. And while I have never written a book before? This will be my first. And I think it will attract an interesting and wide range of very eclectic people? It's not designed for the best seller list. But you never know what's going to happen in your life? Crazier things have happened to me. So that also could happen? And I don't consider myself a writer? My grammar totally sucks. And ya really can't think for a minute, that this engineer, isn't taking full advantage of my computer technology because I don't type worth a damn. Don't want to. Can't make me do it. So most everything I do if my computer today, is under voice command. And rightly so. All these people playing with 50-year-old mouses? I never knew a mouse could live that long LOL? And QWERTY keyboards? What do we need these for? These things go back to the turn-of-the-century, one century ago. And we're state of the art? No we're not. Not even close. While the computer is fabulous, no doubt. The human computer interface is nowhere near up to snuff as it should be. And I don't hear people complaining? I don't use a mouse. I use a trackball. What the heck is with this in mouse you chase all over your tabletop? It's completely idiotic. The military adopted trackballs in the 1960s. Why? Seems to be obvious to me. They don't fall off your tabletop when you're getting shot at. And so I've never really used a mouse. Not since 1995. I'll pick my nose in public before I use a mouse. In fact I'd rather have a 52 inch flat panel, multi-touch sensitive display, with a software console under my fingertips. And we haven't seen many of those yet? Why not? Who needs knobs? Knobs go bad. Honestly I'm ready to make the change. But I'm not going to give up my 1970s preamps, no way. And because the ones today I find cold and impersonal sounding. About as nice as a wide-open sounding gynecological exam. Ask women how popular that is for them? I mean they pay a doctor to do what? We need to have a boyfriend and husband training in this matter. And then it might not be as bad an experience for the women? But do men care about that? No, they're doctors a.k.a. medical engineers. I'm glad I don't need those kinds of exams LOL. Good man-made versions don't have that problem. And I bought mine in Montréal. So I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco when I left San Francisco. I left something else behind in Montréal however. Better that you should Canadians have them. We have so many down here in the lower 48. More than we need. And I needed to focus more on my work and not those other distracting things walking around LOL. Though most of this blather I leave for my standup comedy routine.

Anybody remember John Wayne Bobbitt?
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Sun, 02/03/2013 - 23:55
It's really amazing to know... These ribbon microphones seem to prevent all that we dislike about the sound of digital as close as we can get? I would say they literally help to "cut through" the harshness of PCM coding. And when you have to have a couple of directional microphones a little too close together, you're not getting get all that nasty hollow phase cancellation sound. They're literally unique in that application. Figure of 8, who would have thunk? These things don't suffer from those off axis sound sources. In fact they sound rather good. And just sticking a couple in our room can sound oh so cool. They're magical devices. And as fragile as that Pettitte gal lying next to ya. Who couldn't love them?

What's old is new again
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Tue, 02/05/2013 - 16:39
I'm going to be working on a little project for a friend of mine I've been working with now for over 20 years. I've always recorded him in the bands that he has been in. This time, I'm just going over to his apartment in Takoma Park, Maryland. I'm taking with me a single 3124 and my computer audio interface and laptop. It's just going to be acoustic guitar and vocal. Both him and his lovely and talented beautiful significant other, Sheila. And I'm going to do it with all ribbon microphones. He has never recorded nor even really known about ribbon microphones. He's not an engineer. But he knows what he likes of all the recordings of others that he has. And he particularly likes the sound of some of those much older recordings. I wonder why LOL? He's excited what I'm going to do for him. His dad was a rather famous harmonica player by the name of Bill Dicey. And so this is Joe Dicey. I heard his dad play with him and the band before he succumbed to lung cancer. He really was fabulous. And so is Joe. He also plays great Frank Zappa covers. He's really good on the electric. Great voice. Powerful. Gutsy. Clear. And as gruff sounding as he wants to make it. And I actually think, I'm going to cut the equivalent of two full albums in a single evening. And he's right in front of the main artery with lots of traffic noise along with other folks upstairs who you can hear walking around. And I don't give a damn about that. Too much noise and it's take two. Big deal. He's so good, we won't be doing more than one or two takes. And when you've got folks this comfortable in their own home environment it always works out better. Acoustics? What acoustics? You want to hear the toilet filling up? I don't think so? Would one want to use condenser microphones? I don't think so.

I haven't even heard his girlfriend Sheila, sing yet. But as he described her voice and her delivery, yup, ribbon microphone. But I'll bring a condenser microphone or two with me also. And I'll probably recorder on both simultaneously. Just so I have it that way. And I'm already mixing something in my head and I haven't recorded it yet. I already know what it's going to sound like. And I'll post it here when I'm done with it. He also covers a couple of songs by a couple of our other mutual friends which are quite excellent. Y'all will like them. (I just like saying y'all because I'm from Detroit and I never said that before I moved south LOL)

Y'all come back now ya hear?
Mx. Remy Ann David

audiokid Tue, 02/05/2013 - 19:11
Right on. That's the way I like it too. Real works and some times the best music happens like that.

Actually Remy, I had a wonderful hotel owner in a small town give me a place to record for 6 months years back. The hotel was situated right beside a rail track lol,
I setup a 16 track and starting writing music. When the train came by it would shake the hotel. And what was worse, the horn ( what ever you call it today)of that thing was so loud. My point here, we timed takes. We knew when it was coming and would stop, smoke a bowl and hang out until it passed.
One time we just kept going and to our surprise, the horn was in pitch with the song, everything was perfect. The rumbling, everything that happened was the real deal. The sound of that train in our song was the best ever.
We got so used to living there, I swear that key it was in, and the speed it traveled was inspiring us to be in sync with it. You can hear in the song, that horn from the start, which was miles away to when it sored right by us in time with everything. It was amazing. I wish I had it now to share with you.

I hope you share this with us. I'm excited for you.

RemyRAD Tue, 02/05/2013 - 20:27
That is so cool Chris, I love it! Yeah baby.

I just finished producing this rock 'n roll documentary film. In this documentary, the singer songwriter's ex-wife was interviewed outside. And during one of her spoken lines this car came roaring through behind her.

It was up to me where to place these rock 'n roll songs from two different albums. I had wanted to use a different song behind the ex-wife, which I had already placed in the timeline. But that car was in such the wrong key that it stuck out like a sore thumb. So I started going through other songs. I found a song where I was able to get the car traveling by and the musical pitch, to match this particular section of the song. And while you can still hear it, at least it's in the same key. And it's really cool because of the Doppler shift. It it swept from one fundamental note down to the next fundamental note that was being played. And it's cool to hear the Doppler shift over top the music. It worked perfectly. And I went through most of the songs from the album to get there nudging it back and forth in the timeline to make it work just right and hit just in the right place.

I also nudged the music in the timeline to match the cadence of the dialogue frequently. And where people would stop to breeze or compose their next thought, I made sure that there was a musical sting at that empty moment in time. Supercool. And then... I even worked some of the lyrics into and between dialogue sentences to work with what was said in the dialogue. It's wacky wild cool. And while they used some of the music in the original cable access production, it was only a few seconds of a song here and there. Now this entire documentary has continuous rock 'n roll music that plays loudly, throughout the entire documentary overtop the dialogue. But the dialogue I have so expertly crafted, is neither obscured nor interfered with by the music. I made certain you would not miss a single word from anyone.

So when you watch and listen to this documentary you can actually listen to it, quite easily, just for the dialogue or, just for the music. And so, in many ways, I also have virtually integrated the dialogue to be almost like lyrics with the music and the other vocal singing parts. I've only delivered it in stereo. However, what I have and what I can do can very easily be remixed for true 5.1 surround. And right now, to the best of my knowledge, it's in the hands of Discovery Networks. I'd love to post it for all to check out and enjoy here. And I will little reluctant to do that for obvious reasons. The DVD is being marketed for sale by the distributor who has the contract with Discovery. So if I do put it up, it might only be on Drop Box without the official title since I also made a high definition, highly data compressed MP 4 that is only 760 MB's (along with some visible blocking and other small data compression artifacting as to be expected).

The worst thing was is that this started off as a cable access production. The problem was, they took both video and audio that I had done and screwed it royally. Then they gave me a screen credit OMG. My only request to the producers were to allow me to repair my audio for them. And they granted me that. I wasn't going to make any money doing it. But then I realized now that the sound was much better this 4 x 3 production looked like total crap. And because one of the producers is dying, he wasn't there for the edit session. It wasn't quite the vision that he had. So since he granted me the opportunity to fix the audio track, I told Paul that I would reedit the video for him the way he wanted it to be because I know he's going to die. And from that point on, things got way out of control LOL OMG HOO Boy! And then that producer got a communiqué from the distributor. And the distributor had specific delivery requests. Oh no. So I had to start over again from the top with the video to deliver what the distributor requested. He told me this look so awful he could not sell it like this LOL. Some midway into the second video edit, he signed a contract with Discovery. And they had a completely different delivery request. Oh boy... six months in and I get to start all over again from the top Jesus Christ! Six months later, and late in delivery, it's done. But not really you see... I took quite a number of shortcuts and suffered through quite a bit of burnout. All of which could be better finished off again.

To make matters worse, this was a final cut Pro production and I don't have final cut Pro. All I was given was a hard drive with all of these QuickTime files. And hey... I know how large these files are supposed to be of uncompressed DV video. These QuickTime files are one tenth the file size they should be. And I think these are proxy files? And to do what I've done from proxy files is virtually impossible to do. I don't care if it's impossible. I just do it. And it has to look good enough for high definition television. But I didn't stop there. I didn't make it 16 x 9. Its 1.23 x 1, Widescreen Theatrical Release. And very few documentaries, if any, have been produced like this. So it is a rock 'n roll, "RockUdramamentary" There! I said it!

It was quite a learning curve for me on my Sony Vegas 9. Never have I done digitally composited color correction, digital lighting techniques, focus and depth of field manipulations, my oh my. Really I think we should have gone back to the original DV camcorder tapes. But that would've taken many more hundreds of hours. I think one year of my life was good enough? Especially since it's pro bono! But the distributor was really excited to have someone like myself come on board with this right at the time that he signed that contract with Discovery. I've shown a few bits and pieces of this to a couple of other highly esteemed editors I know. I worked with them at NBC TV. They told me it looks like any other network television production. Right it should because I did that. This was really polishing a Turd. I'm a freakin' alchemist! I turned lead into gold. I've created a silk purse from a pig's ear.

And they say it can't be done. Ha!
Mx. Remy Ann David

thatjeffguy Wed, 02/06/2013 - 10:49
Okay, I have to correct my earlier posting where I said that MSRP for the Samar MF 65 was $2299. I had found a page that indicated that which apparently was out of date. The Samar website shows an MSRP of $3599 for this mic. However, they are running an introductory special price of $1799. I emailed them to confirm that this special price was currently in effect and it is. I also asked the pricing on a matched pair with their Blumlien shockmount. That price (on special) is $3998.00
I have also listened to numerous shootouts between this and many other ribbon mics (there are links to the shootouts on the Samar website). While it didn't absolutely kill in every category, I would say it enjoys all the smoothness of the best ribbons, but has a bit additional sparkle at the top and a noticeable fullness at the bottom that none of the others provided.
Having been in the market for a pair of high-end ribbons (in addition to my existing pair of Royer R-121s and a pair of Fatheads) for a while now, these might just fill the bill. I had been considering a pair of AEA R-84s, but am now leaning towards the Samar.
For those interested, the Samar website is http://www.samaraudiodesign.com
Apparently, for the time being these mics are sold only direct from Samar.
Jeff

Samar Audio Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:36
Thank you all for your nice words about our Samar MF65 microphone! Hopefully I am not crossing any boundaries posting commercial content, just wanted to answer some questions, first hand.

RemyRAD, post: 399984 wrote: The cost? $8000 like the Sony 800? And if you need more than one? Most of your visitors can't even afford a 58.

That would've been the most expensive ribbon mic on the planet I am aware of, including legendary ElaM ribbon :eek:. But no, right now it is on introductory special for 'only' $1,799 per microphone (we do not have a concept of matching fees, as with our QC all our microphones are matched). Unfortunately, that deal won't last for a long time, as last week Audio-Import GmbH of Germany:

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.audio-im…"]Audio Import - High-End Audioequipment: Manley Labs - Grace Design - Ocean Audio - Samar Audio Design - GML Massenburg - Grimm Audio - Smyth Research - Phoenix Audio[/]="http://www.audio-im…"]Audio Import - High-End Audioequipment: Manley Labs - Grace Design - Ocean Audio - Samar Audio Design - GML Massenburg - Grimm Audio - Smyth Research - Phoenix Audio[/]

became our distributor in Europe (known for representing only exquisite products of highest quality, they will be showing our Samar MF65 at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, April 10th-13th--please stop by location 5.1 B63 if you are in Frankfurt area).

As such, effective on May 1st we won’t be able to offer our $1,799.00 ‘Introductory Special’ price anymore and the price for Samar MF65 will become $2,499.00 per microphone.

Surely, we do realize it is not cheap and is out of budget for many project studios, however, the only way to make it cheaper would've been outsourcing the production to cheap labor countries, which will defeat the whole idea behind this microphone.

RemyRAD, post: 400050 wrote: There seems to be quite a push to create a ribbon microphone that sounds like a condenser microphone? Everybody wants that high end that we are so used to hearing from condenser microphones and dynamic microphones that we don't want our ribbon microphones to sound any different?

This certainly has some grounds, on the other hand, most of ribbon microphone users most of the time reach for the HF EQ part of their consoles (and I would not say to tame the highs, just a bit :biggrin:), so definitely, many ribbon microphones do lack some top end.

The more important thing, I guess, is the "quality" of the highs in condenser and ribbon microphones is very different. One of the reasons is overwhelming number of condensers (of course, we are not talking true pressure omnies, which are different) have a top freq. peak, while ribbons response is much smoother. Another reason (which is even more important) is the ribbons have a native pattern, which translates into much more relaxed, natural, and "easy going" sound. That would explain that even if we'd have two microphones--condenser and ribbon--with similar frequency response they'd still sound very differently.

Here is a little track--sincerely yours on Samick (by no means it is of Steinway quality) grand piano in Non Stop Music studio in Salt Lake City. That facility is basically an old church, so the hall has high ceilings. 2 MF65s in Blumlein attachment. No EQ or processing of any kind:

Somewhere over the Rainbow:

http://samaraudiodesign.com/RibbonA.wav

Best,
Mark Fouxman
Samar Audio Design, LLC
http://www.samaraudiodesign.com

RemyRAD Sun, 03/10/2013 - 16:07
It's really true that ribbon microphones really sound more like we hear things. And it certainly sounded like a small baby grand made by KAWAI, or a Baldwin. Sure doesn't sound like a Yamaha and of course not a Steinway. But it most certainly sounds like a grand. Small and not much depth to the piano but those ribbon microphones do sound absolutely yummy. And as good microphones go, that seems to be an acceptable price in competition with other well-known good ribbon microphones. I just thought it funny when Sony came out with that C-800, for $8000. Why didn't they just call it the C-8000?

The Neumann U87 should be rebranded as the You 3300? But then an API 550 costs a lot more than 550. Where is truth in advertising? I can see the ads now. Neumann 87's. Just $87 down and $87 per month for the next 87 months. Or maybe we'll just find it in the Spencer Gift catalogs? Maybe not in this lifetime?

Why don't they make ribbon microphones in different colors for girls?
Mx. Remy Ann David

pan60 Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:26
No disrespect intended here but I have never been able to understand the cost of ribbons mic on the high end spectrum that is. And yes if I planned on adding anymore ribbons they would be those more costly.
But, the cost of making a really really nice moving coil dynamic, from design up, diaphragm, moving coil windings, possible hum-bucker windings, acoustic chamber, tuning ports, resonator disc, and rather we are talking variable or fixed dynamic, head basket and damping.
Very much a LOT involved in design, this very hanging a piece of tin foil between to magnets and a high strung transformer? I just do not get it?

And yes I am in, and have been, involved in mic design both dynamic and ribbon.

Now mind you I am not disputing the cost of any given mic, I am saying it is far more costly to produce a great dynamic mic then a ribbon, so why do ribbons cost so much more?

And yes a small company making a dynamic mic would have to sell it for a LOT a small run usa made dynamic would be anywhere from 1500.00 to 2000.00 the same quality of ribbon under he same conditions would be half that.
Magnet tin foil tranny? I don't get it?


P.S.
i do love all dynamic mics, ribbon included and look forward to getting the chance to check yours out: )

RemyRAD Sun, 03/10/2013 - 23:57
I think there is this love affair with ribbon microphones since they really were the first high fidelity microphone ever invented, circa 1928. And this simple design, much like analog tape, really cannot be improved upon because of its sheer organic nature. And it says fragile as petals of a flower. And for others it brings back the memories of War of the Worlds when they merely jumped out their eighth floor window to prevent capture from aliens and then they changed the station and listened to Steely Dan instead. Yes I can hardly forget those days... making out in the back of a 1974 Pinto in the dark lovers lane parking area off the loch Raven dam and reservoir, while listening to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, with EG Marshall, that came on at midnight, on a radio station I would later work for, WFBR 1300 AM. It was old-time radio in the 1970s that was brand-new and you knew it was being done on those ribbon microphones. If you could stop making out long enough?

I only assumed they used ribbon microphones? It sounded like it? Though it's not something you pay close attention to when you're getting laid.
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:24
Oh yeah, as to why they are more expensive... You have to pay the Chinese children that are feeding their entire family more if they are really careful putting those fragile ribbons in the do hickey. And where Germans and Americans eat more knockwurst and beer instead of that stupid rice wine. Which actually smells more like dirty socks than kimchi.

I love my kimchi and rice wine. Reminds me of my days of paying my debt back to society.
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:37
You know? When ya go to that major awards dinner banquet, complete with the free-flowing alcohol. And then you wait around long enough until you feel sober enough to drive only to find out you have lost twice in the same evening. And then the judge sets you straight by sending you off to George Mason University....To help the all female Korean janitorial staff. And when they found out I loved kimchi, we all became good buddies so I brought the rice wine. And then I gave speeches in the lovely outdoor arboreal gathering area only to have students asked how to take my class. Which would have been really cool if I was being paid to be there LOL. I mean ya go there for law but who goes there for recording classes? Of course I wasn't talking about recording. I was talking about some kind of social injustice? And then I had to tell them I had to go back to work emptying more trash cans. Brother were they a bunch of dumbfounded looking students LOL.

I'm so brain-damaged I don't really know I'm smart? Especially when I've been stupid. So I guess I live up to everybody's lowest expectations?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Samar Audio Mon, 03/11/2013 - 23:43
audiokid, post: 401960 wrote:
Nice to see you here. There are people here that are definitely interested in your mic. Don't pay attention to Remy, she is infatuated with SM58's.
I tried your link but it cut off after a second. Can you re post it?

Thank you for your warm welcome! Also, thank you Remy and Kurt for your nice words about recording. It works fine here, as well... Not sure reposting would help something?

pan60, post: 401972 wrote: No disrespect intended here but I have never been able to understand the cost of ribbons mic on the high end spectrum that is. And yes if I planned on adding anymore ribbons they would be those more costly.
But, the cost of making a really really nice moving coil dynamic, from design up, diaphragm, moving coil windings, possible hum-bucker windings, acoustic chamber, tuning ports, resonator disc, and rather we are talking variable or fixed dynamic, head basket and damping.
Very much a LOT involved in design, this very hanging a piece of tin foil between to magnets and a high strung transformer? I just do not get it?

And yes I am in, and have been, involved in mic design both dynamic and ribbon.

Now mind you I am not disputing the cost of any given mic, I am saying it is far more costly to produce a great dynamic mic then a ribbon, so why do ribbons cost so much more?

And yes a small company making a dynamic mic would have to sell it for a LOT a small run usa made dynamic would be anywhere from 1500.00 to 2000.00 the same quality of ribbon under he same conditions would be half that.
Magnet tin foil tranny? I don't get it?

Hello Pan60,

Good question. Actually, to be honest, I don't get it either duh:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:. When I started designing that mic (I spent about 8 years for developing that model) I actually had in mind a budget one--kidding not! But when all things added together my eyes just wide opened. So let's see:

Everything is made out of stainless steel--material not extremely expensive, but fabrication really is. Quite a BIT more than usual brass--much harder material translates into slower machining and need for special tooling, etc. We could go brass, but then that would've been completely different microphone. It ought to be out of stainless steel for many reasons, and aesthetical is not the last one (to answer Remy, for girls we can powder coat it--special order. How about pink hammertone :cool:, but I still believe the polished stainless looks pretty cool).

For high degree of uniformity from unit to unit we developed a mechanism of fine ribbon tuning adjustment. For this (as well for some other construction reasons) the main body ought to be made out of solid stock, so the machining time increases at least 10 times, as opposed to using just a piece of tubing (indeed to bore a solid chunk of stainless steel takes time). For the level of precision required we are using ISO 9002 certified facilities, which specialize in aerospace, military, and medical equipment fabrication. As you probably know, their hourly rate is not exactly cheap and their employees have good benefits, including medical insurance--somehow we feel we need to support our own economy and our own workers. Heck! a set of custom thum'b screws for our Blumlein attachment cost us more than some entire Chinese made ribbon microphones!!!

So from production standpoint, everything--material, high precision, high count of the parts and their tight fitting, design, looks, and ultimately the quality--all of that comes with price. The result is (even without mentioning the sound) most of the people holding MF65 in their hands call it "as if you are looking at a medical surgical instrument".

Then go the transformers. Surely, we could use some cheaper off-shelf 'one size fits it all' options, but for the best results we went into troubles of designing custom units. They are optimized for that specific MF65 microphone model in noise, damping, ratio, frequency response, etc. Instead of outsourcing we chose to make the transformers in house, and they are not cheap either (you can check the prices on our website, but generally, one our toroidal transformer costs more than some entire microphones, out there).

Not to forget the hardwood box, which is the piece of art by itself. It does not have cheap stamped foam to deteriorate with time, but instead we have wooden pillow blocks, lined with piano grade felt. Again, everything done with meticulous precision, and the blocks just clamp the microphone right in place, holding it nice, tight, and secure. My woodworker (G-d forbid he ever quits due to my unreasonable demands) says: "I work with wood and am used to a ruler. Now I needed to buy a set of Mitutoyo calipers, graduated in thousandths".

OK, that was fabrication. Next goes our own labor. Instead of two magnets, usually found in MOST of ribbon microphones we have 6 (!), which are glued together with high degree of spacing. This operation by itself takes considerable amount of time (in addition, not many people know that before gluing them the surface needs to be roughen first, then the magnets carefully cleaned from the debries, which just get stuck to the surface because of magnetism). To glue the magnet in frame also requires use of special spacers, which also takes time. I wish we could just slab a couple magnets to a frame using its edge as a guide--DONE!--whole operation takes half a minute!--unfortunately, our mic doesn't even have a frame in its usual understaning duh...

After that comes ribbon. Unfortunately, being control freak as I am, this part I just cannot trust anybody (or at least, I haven't found yet a person I could trust to do it. The learning curve of getting required experience by itself will take awhile), so in every single microphone leaving our facility I install every single ribbon and tune it myself. In the end, fabricating ribbon, cleaning magnetic gap and inspecting it under microscope for any loose debries, installing ribbon, tuning it, letting settle, checking again and re-tuning (if needed), adds considerably. And as you could imagine, my time is not exactly cheap, either.

All of that aside, laser engraving, laser welding, badges, cutting and fabricating screens, machining parts which are inside of the microphone (even though nobody ever sees those, I can assure you, they all are done with the same attention to details as the rest part of the microphone), all the rest of assembly, using only stainless socket head and bottom cap screws throughout, shock mounts assembly, hand polishing, as well as numerous other things like custom made shipping padding, electrical bills, using gas for parts delivery, rent, equipment amortization, paying employees, and hundred other things, which right now just slip my mind, do add and result in the price tag you see.

I wish, with this microphone we could cut corners, make it cheaper, sell it much larger quantities, and make much more money. Unfortunately, we cannot. When we advertise it as a "microphone of uncompromised quality", we mean it.

Best, Mark Fouxman
Samar Audio Design, LLC
http://www.samaraudiodesign.com

RemyRAD Tue, 03/12/2013 - 02:07
I think I would look great with that microphone! Thanks! I'll give you my firstborn male child whenever I deliver it? You see? I'm already in the delivery business.And you never know when I might blow into town?

Now you will be at this Octobers AES in NYC won't you? So, you machined the entire body out of a block of stainless steel? Or is this just a stainless steel tube? I mean if you machined this out of stainless steel, it's obvious what model this microphone is. It's the DMC the "Dramatic Music Creations" Ribbon Microphone! And it's back to the future of audio with a design concept inspired by a 1928 design. That is one gorgeous and meticulously refined work of art you've given birth to. And there is a whole lot of people that are going to want that microphone.

I found it rather strange to have seen as many of those Rupert Neve ribbon microphones for sale, all over eBay, as I have? I've never heard it. Know nothing about it. Not made by him, I know. Another microphone company I know. And I've heard very very little about those? Apparently no one is impressed except perhaps Rupert? And your microphone was really smooth but with beautiful articulation and definition that I found quite different and quite desirable in comparison to a lot of the ribbon microphones I've loved to use for years. There was that little thing about it that gave it just the right je ne sais quoi. Or, Mojo. Chutzpah it's got got loads of chutzpah. I found it rather interesting how you got that aggressive quality with the smoothness. And now I know why. That was a beautiful explanation of the manufacturing procedures you had to take. Now I know why I'm not in the manufacturing business. It's the ADD. Which stands for Adult Dirty Diapers? No that can't be it? Something like that?

I think you should print your advertisements for your microphone with the microphone in front of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Maybe you should call this model of microphone the Mike Angelo? And then you will have to laser engraved your stainless steel with a little bit of that eye candy. Then you get the guys from Orange County Choppers, to build a special bike to deliver this microphone with? And it becomes an hour-long special on Discovery Networks. What'd ya think?I mean I know when people want the better masters, they have to go to the master better'er's. And that's us. That's why we all need your microphone. My mother is in good shape, she's only 89, got lots of mileage on her, happy to trade. She makes a mean chicken soup with kreplach and matzoh balls. Nothing finer than coming from a 49er Metropolitan Opera Star of your own. Surely that's worth a microphone isn't it? I wouldn't record mom on anything but a ribbon. Maybe you can get her to sing again? I think all ya have to do is give her some birdseed or something? And then she'll talk your ear off about the Old Met. And she won't be talking about baseball. So no worries there. And you can tell her you want to take some singing lessons and then record those. Then everybody will want one.

I can get her to sing me lullaby. She's so senile I just have to put my thumb in my mouth after I take it out of that other place...

Dirty Baby Diaper
pick up service

Yup, I know about advertising and marketing and those are the signs I have had professionally put on my truck. Who needs to pay the high cost of theft insurance? And hey I even have a slogan! And the slogan was..." we don't take just any shi_t " But the nice born-again Christian gentleman truck sign maker didn't want to put that on. Why I don't know? Or maybe it's because we are all TURD polishers? And I could not convince them of that. Lord knows I tried. It is a big hit with the Department Of Transportation cops and state troopers that all think I am carrying loads of state pooper's. And then they all demand my CDL and hazmat papers, neither of which I have. I'm going to have to get some of those on video because it would be great on TV. They never want to see what's inside? Some even start to get hostile. And then I open the door and give them a tour of the three room Dirty Baby Diaper rock 'n roll pick up service. Where something always smells funny.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program. (The days of the golden tone NBC announcers... who were all on those RCA ones... Working for either the Red or the Blue? NBC radio network. They simplified it by removing the N and replacing it with an A. And then there weren't any problems like that anymore. Especially when things got really confused because they didn't know their ABC's, from their RCA's, from their NBC's.

Did I miss Carnegie deli again?
Mx. Remy Ann David
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