Ribbon VS Condenser Mics

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by kevtexbass, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Geoff Firebaugh

    Geoff Firebaugh

    Apr 1, 2004
    Nashville TN
    Endorsing artist:Blast Cult, BNA Audio, Fender, Innovation Stings, K&K
    AEA-R84 ribbon. simply amazing for URB.

    a couple of my friends swear by them for URB and I am sold. I am actually saving up for one, so that when I go to do a session, I can just hand the mic to the engineer.

  2. Geoff, have you used an R84 on YOUR bass? it might work great, and it might not... (For example, a Royer doesn't sound particularly good on my Juzek, and my trusty RCA 74B didn't sound good on Byron House's bass). You might also want to make sure that the engineer to whom you hand your mic has a preamp capable of 60 dB of gain...
  3. Geoff Firebaugh

    Geoff Firebaugh

    Apr 1, 2004
    Nashville TN
    Endorsing artist:Blast Cult, BNA Audio, Fender, Innovation Stings, K&K
    I've used the AEA on My custom Kingdoublebass Tiger King, my '51 Kay C-1, My Pfretzchner flatback, and on my friends american standard. and with a little positioning adjustment got amazing sounds on all 4 basses. In some cases I used a condenser (KSM-44) as well for room sound, but the majority of the sound comes from the AEA. Unless you have a very dark sounding bass, I imagine the AEA would work beautifully.

  4. Cool!
  5. Geoff Firebaugh

    Geoff Firebaugh

    Apr 1, 2004
    Nashville TN
    Endorsing artist:Blast Cult, BNA Audio, Fender, Innovation Stings, K&K
    hey dave, just checked out your site, looks like a great studio. I love that Time Jumpers record.

  6. hi folks,

    one question: do you always need a preamp in connection with ribbon microphones? I have a small recording studio in the basement and I normally use condenser mics straight in to an Alesis IO 26 audio interface. Would it also work with a ribbon mic?
  7. Hi!

    Well, there are mic preamps in the IO|26, but according to Alesis, their maximum gain is 50 dB, which is on the low side for ribbon mics. Unless you're talking about mics with integrated preamps like the R-122 or the R-122V from Royer, a ribbon will be needing LOTS of clean gain from a preamp. A preamp with 70 dB of gain should be fine.
  8. so I would need a preamp if I buy a ribbon mic ... now I've seen tube preamps ranging from about 100 usd up to several thousands USD. What would be the the cheapest, still usabe, preamp I can get to match an AEA or RCA 74B? Any suggestion? My budget for recording equipment is unfortunately very limited at the moment.
  9. Thanks! They have a new CD/DVD project (that I wasn't involved with, but it's a great project nonetheless). And you might want to check out Carolyn's solo record - still a western swing project, but dissimilar to the Time Jumpers. I'm really proud of it. http://cdbaby.com/cd/carolynmartin2
  10. Umm, I'd strongly suggest that you begin saving, then. There's no savings in buying an inexpensive box that you'll have to replace soon anyway... I have had great success with the Great River NV preamps; here's a link to their single channel pre. http://www.greatriverelectronics.com/product.cfm?ID=20&type=0
  11. +1. Wise words. I learned the hard way that if you're really serious about something, buying cheap equipment is a great way to lose money. And if you don't have much money to start with, you don't want to lose any.

    So if you're really serious about recording music (and the fact that you want to invest in a ribbon microphone indicates that you are indeed serious), you should save up like Dave says, and wait for the right moment to get a good preamp that sounds great, is built like a tank, and that you will be able to use your whole life. It's cheaper in the long run. And while you're waiting, the chances that you might stumble upon a cheap second-hand preamp increase.

    There are a lot of options: Great River, Millennia, Avalon Design, etc. The studio I work at has a Millennia HV-3D that works great for ribbon mics.
  12. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I absolutely agree there is a big difference when you get up to the high-end gear, and Great River is certainly a great preamp. There is a handful of budget gear that does a respectable job, though. For around $100, the Studio Projects VTB-1 provides enough clean gain for a ribbon mic. It's not going to sound like your GR, but it will sound decent.
  13. Sadly, unless you're gonna be happy with 'decent', you'll end up dissatisfied with a $100 preamp sooner rather than later.
  14. ok, I got it ... starting saving the money for a preamp. I also started looking for a second hand preamp and it looks like there are quite a few Avalon U5 and TL Audio 5051 for sale, here in Denmark. Are these particular preamps any good with ribbon mics?
  15. The U5 is primarily a DI - Avalon's M5 is a microphone preamp.
  16. sorry Dave. Yes I mean the Avalon M5
  17. I like the M5 - I think you should go for it.
  18. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Recently I have been using a Sennheiser 421 through my UA LA 610 and getting a very good sound from my upright. I don't have any groovy ribbon mics, previously I was using my EV RE-20 but now I prefer the 421. I do need to crank the gain on the LA 610 and I add a little EQ boost at 70hz and 4khz. I've been aiming between the bridge and fingerboard from about 18 inches away. I have a bass with the new Evah Pirazzi strings on it and that bass in particular is sounding good this way.

    I'd love to try some ribbon mics but I think that dynamic mics can work well too. But I'm usually less happy with the sound from a condenser mic. Lots of engineers are not hip to recording upright, especially the gut sound. They always want to whip out a fancy condenser and have a lot of high end on it and try to make it sound like a fretless electric. :rollno:
  19. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    421 is a great mic that seems to sound good on just about everything.
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