Recording Studio Ribbon Microphones
Here at The Coolest Recording Studio in London Town – we don’t only have one of the best collection of vintage & modern mic preamps, eq’s and microphones – we also have one of the nicest sounding live / recording studio rooms in London Town!
Which is of primo importance in capturing good sounding audio.
When recording an instrument or voice – whether live or in the studio, you’re not just capturing the sound source – you’re also capturing the environment the sound source is placed in.
Microphone Setup & Placement
The Reslosound mics shown above are generally used on guitar cabs – but we love them on drums & percussion.
There’s something about their construction that adds to the tone & texture on a cab.
A ribbon mics sound is governed by a few factors – the width & length of the ribbon, the transformer at the output – & the basket or head of the mic.
This is where all the audio bounces around before hitting the mics diaphragm.
The less resonant the shell (or head) the better – so damping down said space is a very good idea. You can use all manner of materials for this – but cotton wool or sponge is a good bet. In the setup above we used a stereo bar to fix the mics in an X\Y configuration – which means a smaller stereo spread, but also less leakage from any other instruments in the same room – & more importantly, less phase issues. See HERE about mic phasing.
The kit tone is very lovely – cymbals are rich & silvery and the toms – while maybe not the fattest in the world (use condenser mics for more body) sound sweet & right – especially if you’re after a classic recording studio drum sound from the 70’s.
Tannoy Ribbon Microphones
In the two pictures above you can see us adding Tannoy ribbon mics to the close mics & overheads on the in house Pearl drum kit.
The larger mic in the pic on the left is our go to centre mic on kits (& also on guitar – outstanding tone !). It always sounds just right regardless of the type of music we’re recording at the time – and as it’s figure 8 – we add a bit of compression to add energy & bring out a bit of the room ambience. Depending on the compressor settings this can either add a lot of natural feel to the kit – or in extreme cases a whole ton of energy & motion.
Kinda depends on which compressor we use for the job.
The closed back ribbon mic on the right is directional (sound only comes in the front) so it’s great for picking up either the top end or bottom end of the kit depending on where you place it in the recording studio. Also brilliant as a distance mic when you heavily compress it – adds a ton of gorgeousness to the mix.
Royer / Bang & Olufsen Ribbon Microphone
The Bang & Olufsen BM6 ribbon mic is a very high quality piece of kit (Royer based their ribbon mic on this design).
It is the clearest most transparent ribbon mic in our recording studio collection – not what you want all the time – one generally wants a bit of colour from the less expensive mics to add a bit of Je Ne Sais Quoi to the mixture of elements – but if it’s clarity you’re after – this is the chap you want!
Needless to say it’s a beautiful vocal mic – is exceptional on classical instruments (why we have 3 !) – & is a wonder on guitars both electric & acoustic.
We generally use these mics with solid state preamps for drums & percussion.
For everything else we try various pre’s until we achieve the desired effect – the Vortexion or Ampex generally come up gold.
Here at Shstudios – we got most things covered!