Ribbon Mics, What Are They For?

A Ribbon For Everything

Throughout the recording industry’s long history, ribbon mics have consistently defied the limitations of other conventional microphones through sheer, unmatched versatility. Be it piano or kick drum, electric guitar or trumpet, and all that’s in between, every instrument draws outstanding benefit from being recorded by a ribbon.

The greatest strength of a ribbon mic is its ability to capture a sound much like your ears hear it. Rather than accentuating sibilance and top-end like condensers do, ribbons have a convenient, natural high-frequency roll-off that is more naturally attuned to human hearing. For this reason, instruments with harsh top-end like brass, strings, and cymbals pair quite well with ribbon mics.

While ribbon mics roll-off high frequencies, they also retain the low-end present in instruments like drums, electric/upright bass, deep brass, and baritone vocalists.

The transient response of a ribbon is very smooth and realistic. If you like the sound of your instrument, put a ribbon on it!

The Right Mic For The Room

By adjusting the proximity effect inherent in ribbon mics, we’ve developed microphones tailored to specific instruments and recording distances. Far-field microphones like the R44 and R88 can capture balanced sound from as far away as 20 feet, but can also be used at close range to boost the low-end of thin sounding instruments.

Near-field ribbon mics like the N22, KU5A, and R92 are designed for close-range use with limited proximity effect and room tone.

Recording The Room

The natural tonality of ribbon mics makes them highly effective at capturing the sound of an instrument within a room. For instance, by supplementing the direct sound of an instrument recorded by an N22 with the room sound recorded by an R88, one can achieve an outstanding, natural depth of sound

John Storie performs an original tune with an N22 on his amp and an R88 in the room.

Whether near or far, in the studio, or on stage, ribbon microphones are the perfect choice to achieve natural sound. There is a ribbon mic for any sound.

Ribbon Recap
Are Ribbon Mics Dark or is Everything Else Hyped?
Tricks of the Trade
Four Places You Never Thought of Using A Ribbon 
Tricks of the Trade
How To Choose the Right Ribbon Microphone for the Job