One important advantage that the ribbon microphone had when it was introduced is that its very lightweight ribbon, which is under very little tension, has a resonant frequency lower than 20 Hz[1]; in contrast to the typical resonant frequency of the diaphragms in contemporary high quality microphones which used other technology. But prior to the 1998 introduction of Royer’s first ribbon mic, the R-121, ribbons were generally off-limits for use on electric guitar cabs. What is a Ribbon Microphone? Ribbon microphones are also called "velocity microphones" because the induced voltage is proportional to the velocity of the ribbon and thus of the air particles in the sound wave, unlike in some other microphones where the voltage is proportional to the displacement of the diaphragm and the air. Modern ribbon microphones do not suffer from this problem due to improved magnets and more efficient transformers and have output levels that can exceed typical stage dynamic microphones.[2]. But what advantage does that give you? [11] By turning the ribbon circuit in the opposite direction, they also invented the first ribbon loudspeaker. If you are new to ribbons, you are in for a treat! More recently, a new breed of active ribbon microphone has hit the market. Now is the perfect time to get the gear you want with simple, promotional financing. While passive ribbon microphones deliver fantastic sound quality when paired with the right preamp, active ribbon mics make it easier to accomplish that sound. On the other hand, each mic can just as easily sound terrible if used incorrectly. Phone Hours | A ribbon mic is actually a type of dynamic microphone. , Give your Sales Engineer a call at (800) 222-4700. Ribbon mics have a reputation for being delicate and fragile. The ribbon microphone is an electrically simple design with no active circuitry; it is possible to build one from a kit, or with basic tools and materials. Happy customers, one piece of gear at a time! Ribbon microphones were once delicate and expensive, but modern materials make certain present-day ribbon microphones very durable, and so they may be used for loud rock music and stage work. An active ribbon includes onboard electronics that allow the mic to deliver its full potential to a mic preamp regardless of the preamp’s input impedance. If the ribbon microphone is improperly wired, which is not unheard of with older microphones, this capability can damage some ribbon elements;[9] however, improvements in designs and materials have made those concerns largely inconsequential in modern ribbon microphones. Due to their bidirectional pick-up pattern, ribbon microphones may be used in pairs to produce the Blumlein Pair recording array. The reason for this is that sound waves arriving from the side of the thin ribbon element won’t cause it to move at all, since the pressure on both sides of the ribbon is identical. [18] The acoustic complexity of ribbon microphones is comparable to other types of air coupled transducers. Classic ribbon mics have a lower output level than contemporary condenser mics, and their greater sensitivity to input impedance can make them sound dark. When recording a project with only a few instruments and tracks, the figure-of-8 polar pattern and proximity effect of a ribbon … Today, countless engineers, producers, and artists rely on ribbon mics for their electric guitar sound — in the studio and onstage. In the words of the Academy, these mics "were revolutionary and moved the art of recording... Get dual-purpose performance from Shure's KSM313 ribbon microphone! You can use ribbon microphones for basically anything as long as the instrument or voice doesn’t have a very loud SPL (sound pressure level) which would harm the delicate transducer used inside ribbon microphones. 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