Ribbon microphone for recording guitar amp?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by udoering, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. udoering

    udoering Friend of Leo's

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    Is anyone here who has experiences using a ribbon microphon to record a guitar amp? I mean a ribbon microphone that is broad under 1000$/€?

    Right now I am using a SM-57-clone or a Sennheiser E 609; would I get better tone quality? The loudness of the amp is a little above bedroom level, no massive sound pressure.
     
  2. Dave1

    Dave1 TDPRI Member

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    The standard to use with or without a 57 is the Royer 121. It is the industry gold standard.
     
  3. rdo1708

    rdo1708 Tele-Holic

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    This is a song I played session guitar on. All guitars are recorded using a Royer 121 ribbon.

    Rhythm guitar is a Mesa Dual Rec. Second guitar and solo is a Marshall JMP. Mesa 4x12 cab.

     
  4. rdo1708

    rdo1708 Tele-Holic

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    Ribbon mics tend to be fairly dark sounding. They blend well with an SM57's midrange spike.
     
  5. udoering

    udoering Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you for your inputs so far. A darker sounding mic wouldn´t be bad, because I love a warm sounding guitar; I place my mic relatively far away from the center. The Royer 121 is sold here at 1400 € which is far beyond my possibilities. Are there cheaper alternatives?
     
  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    NO you will NOT get a better tone quality.You will get a DIFFERENT tone quality.

    Fantastic mic for the price

    http://www.thomann.de/de/superlux_r102.htm

    VERY nice mic for any price

    http://www.thomann.de/de/oktava_ml52_baendchenmikrofon.htm

    The "JIMMY HENDRIX" mic, KILLER for recording any kind of guitar amps & my personal favorite when it comes to recording electric gtr

    http://www.thomann.de/de/beyerdynamic_m160.htm

    all the a/m mics will blend well w/ your existing mics if placed correctly (mic placement is more important than mics anyhow....;) )
     
  7. grandstick

    grandstick Tele-Holic

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    I picked up an MXL ribbon mic from Musician's Friend a while ago for $79.00US.

    I have it for just those occasions when I want to mic a guitar or cabinet.
     
  8. BuckSatan

    BuckSatan Tele-Meister

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    Beyer M160
    Beyer M130
    Royer 121
    Coles 4038
    Cascade Fathead II
    SE X1R

    These cover a wide budget spectrum and all sound 'good' for electric guitar.
     
  9. udoering

    udoering Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you all for your inputs.
     
  10. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    We had recorded about 3/4 of the electric guitar parts for the last album with a 57 close mic'd and a LDC a few feet away...Someone loaned us a nice ribbon, (forgot the name and don't have notes with me).

    I recorded another guitar part using the ribbon up close. After hearing the difference we went back and re-did just about all the other parts. It was that good. Very clean, full but "precise".
     
  11. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I loooove ribbons on guitar amps, particularly crunchy tones (doesn't suck on clean tones either, but sometimes I'll use something else there).

    I have an AEA 84 which is on the darker end of things, even for a ribbon.

    Most ribbons are figure 8 (some of the Beyers are hypercardiod) and most need a fair amount of gain.

    You'll need a windscreen as well. Not optional.

    That being said, not everybody loves them, so I'd suggest a budget brand to start. Something like the Cascades (the Lundhal tranny upgrade is a bit pricey, but apparently worth it) or perhaps find an Apex 460 (?I think) and get it modded by oktavamods.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  12. Audio Esoterica

    Audio Esoterica Tele-Meister

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    The MXL Ribbons are decent. Nady ribbons can be very good...the RSM 1 is a great sounding mic.

    If you're doing heavy distorted guitar, you'll probably want to blend the ribbon with a 57 or something similar.

    Also be aware that some ribbon mics need more preamp gain than a dynamic or condenser, and/or the correct impedence to really sing. If you have multiple preamps, you'll definitely want to try the ribbon mic through them all to see what works best for that particular guitar track.
     
  13. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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  14. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    SE X1R - by itself it is quite dark, but it mixes well with either a dynamic or a condenser mic.
     
  15. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I've tried a few ribbons on amp cabs for recording, sounds OK but never really grabbed me. Generally I prefer big condenser mics mixed with a Sennheiser e906 or a Shure SM57. :D
     
  16. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    And I don't like LDCs on guitar amps at all. When I first tried a ribbon in front of an amp, the tone I'd been searching for was right there - sounded like how I heard the amp in the room. It was just so easy. It almost felt like it was cheating.

    But, NiceTele ain't feeling the love. As with all this stuff you really have to try it with your rig in your space to see if it's gonna work for you. YMMV and all that stuff.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  17. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    You are in prime territory to find an old B&O ribbon mic, like an M6 or an M5 (stereo version m3+m6=m5). I have a feeling the M3 is the mic that the Royer is inspired by.

    You should also have access to fairly priced ribbons of old from several desirable manufacturers.
    It is not till they cross the pond that the price leaps astronomically as these "Rare, Gems, Almost impossible to find" is a certainty, even when in horrible, non-functional condition.

    Try to test them before you buy if possible, and be careful about keeping the phantom power off, unless you are absolutely certain it is an active mic.

    If it is, be sure the power is off when plugging and unplugging the mic.
    Hot swapping will often blow a ribbon to bits.

    If you are handy with a soldering iron, you should have no trouble swapping in a Lundahl transformer into a Cascade, Nady, Se, etc, if you decide to get a Pacific Rim product.

    Just don't sneeze on the ribbon while you are working on it :lol:

    LDCs can sound great on an amp, if it's the right one.

    If you like Mark Knopffler's tone, you don't mind the sound of a U-67 on an amp.

    The U-47 can be fantastic as well, and for what they and their variants cost, it should.

    Have a great journey "Into The Ribbon Zone":cool:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  18. udoering

    udoering Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks again for your inputs.
     
  19. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ribbons give a great tone and that muffled tonality
    is partly because the front and back of the mic
    is lined with protective material to keep one from
    blowing out the sensitive ribbon element.

    Some guys love that dark tone, but you can also
    remove some of those layers of protective screen
    material and get a livelier sounding ribbon mic.
    Just be aware as mentioned and treat it delicately.

    I have one of those Samson Ribbon Mics and it sounds
    fantastic! It's not a Royer, but it does come with some
    nicely added features to make it a little less delicate.

    Also, keep it (the ribbon) in an upright position at all times
    or the ribbon itself will develop a sag. Plus, cover it up when
    not in use. The magnet will pick up particles from the surrounding air!
     
  20. udoering

    udoering Friend of Leo's

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    Ordered a MXL 860 vesterday. The experts at the store told me I would not need a special microphone preamp, my interface (M-Audio C 600) would do. I am curious :).
     
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