Maybe a ribbon mic is more suitable for my needs? (info inside)

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by woodnote, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. woodnote

    woodnote Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    Hi, i'm looking for a vocal mic and the sound i'm really aiming for is something like James Taylor's old classics.

    Now, i'm not talking about finding out JT's recording chain, or recording with tape, or anything like that.. I know they used very expensive equipment, and i know that the whole chain effects the tone. Please don't get into this because there are a million threads about it and those threads never end. Sorry for writing so much about this, its just that i wanna stay on topic. I know i can't match this sound with just a mic and audio interface, so i'm just trying to get closer to it within what i can afford.

    Ok, now that that's out of the table, my plans until now were something like a Sure SM7, EV RE20, or maybe an AT condenser. But i recently read some stuff saying that ribbon mics has a more vintagy sound, low end, "dry" tone.. And it really sounds like what i'm looking for for that old JT sound style. I really don't want to end up with a mic with a crisp high end, and that "perfect" tone we hear in modern music so much (again, please don't say "tape" lol). I'm looking for this older "imperfect", you know, less clean tone. So i thought i'll ask you guys if maybe i should go for these ribbon mics instead for my needs.

    The mic is gonna be plugged into a Saffire Pro 40 interface. I know, it's nothing comparing to the sound i described, but just wanna get closer to this sound with the mic selection. Budget is around 400$, share thoughts about the whole idea and specific mic recommendations if you can.

    Thank you!
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I love ribbon mics, but for general use I'd get both a high quality dynamic such as one of those you suggested and a condenser of the quality of the AT 4xxx series. A ribbon might be the right choice for a particular vocalist, but you'd have to audition them before you'd know. If you are going to try a ribbon in that price range, Dave likes the Aventone, and Remy thinks the Cascades with the better transformers would be good. I've used the lower priced Cascade fat heads, and while I've found them to be useful mics I would not recommend them as a main vocal mic.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Personally I feel you need a pretty nice pre and clean converters to make a ribbon cut with vocals.
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