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Review Ribbon Microphone

El Diablo's test

Hot ribbon With few exceptions, microphones today are more or less inspired by german classics which were released in the 1950’s and 60’s. With a few exceptions... Here is one: The Crowley & Tripp El Diablo, a kind of revolution in the small world of ribbon microphones. Let’s review it! read more…

User reviews on Ribbon Microphone products

Oktava ML 52-2 Ribbon Microphone (Oktava - ML-52)

By bubba 9, 14/01/2016
After an exhaustive search I took a chance on the Oktava ML 52-2 Ribbon Microphone. I was very pleasantly impressed with the sound of this Mic, far exceeded my hopes, in a word it is a Fantastic Microphone, I put it up against Royer, Rode, sE, and others and the Oktava out preformed those in a big way. I use it in a multiple mic set up along side my Neumann and AKG C 414 Mics and the blend is out of this world, alone it is outstanding as well, all you could hope for in a Ribbon Mic, I place it further out than the other mics to capture the room, I record mostly acoustic guitar but it works killer on amplifiers as well, super warm and articulate. You need a good mic pre and careful set up for best results, impressive in every way, compared to microphones at 5 times the price. You must get the elastic shock mount (47$ US from Oktava, shipped) .The only thing I can think of is the mic is delicate and must be handled gently, but it takes hugh SPL and is wonderful. I use a DBX Tube Pre, Do NOT use phantom power, this is a passive dual ribbon, plus it looks cool as heck, Old School design, I can not say enough about the quality of this Mic, I highly recommend the Lundahl 2911 transformer upgrade as the stock tranny is not so good, you can get the Lundahl from Oktiva or other places, a real must (75$ US) so for under 300$ you get an extraordinary good mic for less than 1/3 the cost of a used Royer, sounds better. Check one out, you will not be sorry, well built and sounds fantastic, cheers,,,
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Oktava ML 52-2 Ribbon Microphone (Oktava - ML 52-2)

By bubba 9, 15/01/2016
Took a chance on the ML52-2 Ribbon and in a word, "Psyched". I mostly record acoustic and electric guitars in combination with my Neumann and AKG C414's. I set the Oktava quite a distance from the acoustic and behind the Condensers to capture more room (sound treated). I was super impressed, I put it up against the Royer and the Oktave out shined it at 1/5th the price. Mine came with the Lundahl 2911 transformer,recommended, also I use a quality Mic Pre, which is a must. The stock mic clip is junk so I ordered the Oktava Elastic mount (47$ shipped). This is a killer ribbon, warm, articulate and fast, really brings out the bass in a good way, it does need careful placement and is a bit delicate. Handle with care. But it is wonderful sounding and looks cool as well. I am very happy with it and I have a lot of mics of the high end type, what a value, so get one, get the Lundahl tran and the shock mount and you be happy,,for reals...
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An excellent ribbon mic that sounds natural – a real professional-level gear. (DIY - Microphone à Ruban)

By milsabords, 24/12/2017
I’ll add a few details missing from the product presentation:
weight is approx. 350 grams/.77 lb
Diameter is almost 28 mm/1.1 in

My first impression on it after a few weeks during which I could compare it with a ribbon biv-1, an oktava mk-012 (omnidirectional and cardioid) , as well as a dpa 4011 .

I’ve only use dit for nylon-stringed guitars, a negra and a blanca flamenca that I have at the moment.
The result sounds natural and surprisingly straight! No excessive roundness, but enough warmth on the entire sound spectrum, and finally the mids sound true to the original, not distorted, warm, natural and pleasant – a result I don’t get from condenser mics.

The brand is sometimes referenced as Diyac instread of Diy.

Compared with this model, the dpa 4011 which is a very straight-sounding and neutral mic sounds aggressive in the mids and highs… yes, it does!
On my lead guitar, I get better results using the DIY rm6 than the dpa.
It say a lot as to how appropriate it is to record guitars, and the boss of a famous local importer told me long ago… Except for the fact that Royer mics are way too expensive for me, and back then I feared I would lack in output volume. The Dpa wasn’t a bad choice either, it is a great complement to the DIYrm-6.

The (ribbon) biv-1 which I also own is somehow like that too, except for the fact that the biv-1 sounds rounder with more lows – plus a technical addition (an integrated jl-décor preamp) that the DIY-rm-6 doesn’t have, as it features some sort of “homebrew” output transformer that provides a very hot level for a ribbon mic, even a sound interface’s preamp is enough to record a guitar like mine using the DIYrm-6.

If used with a very good preamp, the result is of course even better. A Summit, Drawmer or API suits it well, it also works fine with a ReVox. These mixers provide straight and dense preamps.

The DIYrm-6 can’t be used for vocals without an antipop filter or it distorts, with a proximity effect hard to avoid IMHO – plus any air current could damage it. Don’t blow towards a ribbon mic. EVER!

The ribbon is extremely thin, especially mine as I chose the 1.2 micron option for more sensitivity and a more natural sound, according to the manufacturer.

I bought it as a kit.

A problem often mentioned by customers who left a review on Artur Fisher’s website is that you have to be cautious with the output transformer as it barely fits the microphone’s body.

I’d give it 5 stars willfully if I could have bought it preassembled, but it was an extra $60.
Assembling it finally is quite a delicate operation, so I’ll take a star off, but the sound result is worth a full 5 stars considering the mic’s value-for-money.

So, what about the transients? Perfect, their rendering is flawless, well-made ribbon mics do very well render transients, a ribbon mic is many things but definitely not too soft-sounding.
What about the output level? Well enough for just any instrument, my guitars offer a nive projection but are not so powerful-sounding.
The best result I’ve had so far was placing it 40 to 50 cm (15 to 20 in) from the guitar’s top, with the ribbon oriented towards the top, like you’d do with any given cardioid mic.

However, placement does matter. If you’re too far or the mic fronts the body/nack junction, it won’t sound well (while it would with some other mics).

So in a nutshell, placing the mic is very important. A “figure 8” mic is always quite particular in that regard.
In the end it’s all about trial and error, facing the axis but also a little off axis, above or all the opposite, listen with headphones… and most important, be patient, and you’ll get the best of it!

I don’t (or no longer) need to EQ the guitar’s mids, they fit perfectly.
Only the lows sometimes get EQed depending on the situation, either because the mic is close to the soundhole or facing the bridge, so I cut a little lows if need be.

I shall precise that with acoustic guitars, I never use a compressor in the mixing process, they make the sound worse IMO as it gets “hard-sounding” with a gross thickness in the attack – awful-sounding as possible. The body’s resonance is completely in the back while the attacks sound like hammering: as uninteresting as it gets.

This can be perceived in the most recent recordings by Vicente Amigo, while his first (vinyl) recordings provide a sound way closer to his guitar’s – and his songwriting was better too. This is why I don’t buy flamenco CDs, I’m sometimes lent some of them and that’s it. Btw, I ain’t bought a CD in a very very long time… The last were movie OSTs.

Here’s my review so far as to this rm-6 which I do recommend to all demanding recording guitarists.
To tell you the whole truth, I’ve just ordered a second one (a Christmas special pricing), which says a lot!
A demanding guitarist may find better with a Royer (and I haven’t even tried one), but for way more money.
A Brauner phantom? Why not, they’re really great mics. A Microtech-Geffel UMT-70 ? also an excellent choice (they tend to be forgotten). A brauner vm1 ? Perfect transparency, but it costs a used car.
Just to say all these models are also to be considered for guitar tracking.

The mic’s body is made of thick aluminium, very sturdy to say the least, but beware of a strong wing as the ribbon is fragile.

I also recommend the DIYrm-6-dedicated shock mount on the artur fisher website, it securely holds the mic – for an extra 30 bucks it’s really worth it.

This shootout explicits the clear differences between the rm-5 and a royer 101 : http://recordinghacks.com/2011/11/13/diyac-rm5-royer-r101-voiceover/comment-page-1/#comment-1485556

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A very important point in it:

Quels styles de travail de voix off sont adaptés aux microphones à ruban?

What styles of voiceover work are ribbon microphones suitable for?
The answer to this question is entirely subjective. In my humble opinion, ribbon microphones can be suitable for any kind of voiceover work. The gentle and warm sound these ribbons provide make the human voice very pleasant to listen to over long periods of time.
I see myself mostly using ribbons on long-form narration, along with specific animation or commercial projects that require a vintage/warm sound. Due to modern trends in audio technology, our ears have become accustomed to hearing the human voice with crisp, biting detail. Just listen to any commercial you hear today; the voice is extremely enhanced and processed regardless of how pleasing it is to listen to. This is why I don’t, currently, see ribbon microphones being suitable for modern commercial work.
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News Ribbon Microphone

Samar Audio Design VL37 ribbon mic

Published on 04/27/15
Samar Audio Design announces the release of its new VL37 ribbon microphone, a model that is hand built in the USA.

[NAMM] Rode NTR ribbon microphone

Published on 01/24/15

Feature Articles Ribbon Microphone

Understanding the Differences Between Mic Types Will Improve Your Mix

Published on 02/20/14
Understanding the Differences Between Mic Types Will Improve Your Mix
If you're not sure of the difference between condenser mics, ribbon mics, and dynamic mics, or what a polar pattern is, here’s a quick overview that will get you up and running when it comes to micro…

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AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone

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