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Best ribbon mic to record double bass?


Beedster
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[quote name='slaphappygarry' post='1031022' date='Nov 20 2010, 11:50 PM']Ribbon on double bass!?

Not my first choice however in the ribbon mic markey you wanna check out the following:

- Coles 4038
- Royer R122

(if you have the pennies)

- Cascade Fathead II

(if pennies are tighter)

:)[/quote]

Cheers Garry

Get mixed messages on ribbon and DB so thought I'd ask the question. The Cascade was mentioned so possibly an option. I take you prefer condenser?

Chris

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Ultimate "for strings" ribbon mic has to be an RCA R44 - although not too many of those around. Of the more obtainable mics, you might prefer trying a Royer R122V - the value/tube hybrid - which is more suited to plucked/slapped, as opposed to bowed, executions. Blue's Woodpecker is also an option, delivering superbly detailed fundamentals. Don't ignore both the R1 and RT1 from SE Electronics, as these deliver on every level. And, of course, there's the Golden Age range, which includes active and tube active versions.

What context are you planning on using the mic?

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[quote name='noelk27' post='1031101' date='Nov 21 2010, 01:55 AM']Ultimate "for strings" ribbon mic has to be an RCA R44 - although not too many of those around. Of the more obtainable mics, you might prefer trying a Royer R122V - the value/tube hybrid - which is more suited to plucked/slapped, as opposed to bowed, executions. Blue's Woodpecker is also an option, delivering superbly detailed fundamentals. Don't ignore both the R1 and RT1 from SE Electronics, as these deliver on every level. And, of course, there's the Golden Age range, which includes active and tube active versions.

What context are you planning on using the mic?[/quote]

Thanks Noel. Aiming to use it for studio recording of DB and possibly vocals. Really feel I should have a ribbon in the mic box also?

C

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So, mostly general purpose and not a specific project. Mostly use the ribbons I have for acoustic guitar and strings (bowed). Hell's bells, ribbons and bows, what am I talking about? But seriously, I picked up both an SE Electronics R1 and RT1 for use at home, and find that I get good results - more than enough source quality to use in final recording, with a little noise filtering. Of the two, the RT1 is the more capable, and you can get a fantastic warm vintage texture - as well as it not needing to be as carefully matched with a pre amp as many ribbon only mics. SE has discontinued the R1, so you can pick one up for a crazy low price these days (under £200).

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Hey,

On double bass I have never tried a ribbon due to them (now this coming statement is a sweeping generalization) having a much narrower freq responce (rolled of top and bottom). I do find myself using u87's, Blue Mouse (this is affordable and brilliant) and such like on a DB. Sometimes if the player is quite mellow I put a pencil mic on the finger board as well.

As for having a ribbon in the mic box - YES. You will have 4 or 5 soon enough. They are brilliant solutions. Just maybe not for double bass but my biased expectations look forward to being proved wrong. :)

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[quote name='slaphappygarry' post='1031326' date='Nov 21 2010, 12:46 PM']On double bass I have never tried a ribbon due to them (now this coming statement is a sweeping generalization) having a much narrower freq responce (rolled of top and bottom). I do find myself using u87's, Blue Mouse (this is affordable and brilliant) and such like on a DB. Sometimes if the player is quite mellow I put a pencil mic on the finger board as well.[/quote]

Think you might be surprised at how much detail a ribbon can extract from the low and low-mid frequencies when used with double bass, but it does all depend on context. With many condenser mics you can be impressed by the detail that's extracted, but this can often lack the musicality and warmth that a ribbon can capture, and when set in a mix lack cohesion. It does all depend on context, and if the double bass is the feature part I'd be more inclined to a U68, but if it's as part of an ensemble, then a quality ribbon, although it might sound dull in isolation, can fit much better in the mix, and glue things together better. Saying that, my preference is for a ribbon tube design - such as the Royer R122V, or the SE RT1 which I own - although you can always add some tube warmth to a ribbon during production.

Edited by noelk27
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[quote name='slaphappygarry' post='1031326' date='Nov 21 2010, 12:46 PM']Hey,

On double bass I have never tried a ribbon due to them (now this coming statement is a sweeping generalization) having a much narrower freq responce (rolled of top and bottom). I do find myself using u87's, Blue Mouse (this is affordable and brilliant) and such like on a DB. Sometimes if the player is quite mellow I put a pencil mic on the finger board as well.

As for having a ribbon in the mic box - YES. You will have 4 or 5 soon enough. They are brilliant solutions. Just maybe not for double bass but my biased expectations look forward to being proved wrong. :)[/quote]


[quote name='noelk27' post='1031355' date='Nov 21 2010, 01:18 PM']Think you might be surprised at how much detail a ribbon can extract from the low and low-mid frequencies when used with double bass, but it does all depend on context. With many condenser mics you can be impressed by the detail that's extracted, but this can often lack the musicality and warmth that a ribbon can capture, and when set in a mix lack cohesion. It does all depend on context, and if the double bass is the feature part I'd be more inclined to a U68, but if it's as part of an ensemble, then a quality ribbon, although it might sound dull in isolation, can fit much better in the mix, and glue things together better. Saying that, my preference is for a ribbon tube design - such as the Royer R122V, or the SE RT1 which I own - although you can always add some tube warmth to a ribbon during production.[/quote]


Thanks again guys. I think Noel's post sums up my thinking and my needs. I want a warm and natural bass sound to sit in an ensemble setting. I've not read any specific material about ribbons and DB (hence this thread), but what I was reading generally about ribbons suggested that they would help me get the sound I'm after, certainly on a few tracks which need the warm feel and presence of a DB in a real space as much as any precise representation of the notes being played. Does that make sense? If the bass part is up front (think Step Right Up by Tom Waits for example), I wouldn't be using a ribbon, or at least, I don't think so. But if we were after the sound of - to use another Waits song as an example - Jersey Girl, I would perhaps like to experiment with one for that warm, slightly further back in the mix feel? I'm sure I'm being way too specific and I could get that tone with a bit of EQ, verb and more precise mic'ing, but it's good to know what my options are.

C

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