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tech / rec.audio.pro / Ribbon mics?

SubjectAuthor
* Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
+* RE: Ribbon mics?Roy W. Rising
|`- Re: RE: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
+* Re: Ribbon mics?geoff
|`* Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
| +* RE: Re: Ribbon mics?Roy W. Rising
| |+- Re: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
| |+* Re: Ribbon mics?Matt Faunce
| ||`- Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
| |`* Re: Ribbon MicsLiz Tuddenham
| | `- Re: Ribbon MicsLiz Tuddenham
| `* Re: Ribbon mics?Geoff
|  `- Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
`* Re: Ribbon mics?Scott Dorsey
 `* Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
  +* Re: Ribbon mics?Scott Dorsey
  |`* Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
  | `* Re: Ribbon mics?Scott Dorsey
  |  `* Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham
  |   `* Re: Ribbon mics?geoff
  |    `- Re: Ribbon mics?Scott Dorsey
  `* RE: Re: Ribbon mics?Roy W. Rising
   `- Re: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?Liz Tuddenham

1
Ribbon mics?

<1qphs8r.19m1oohjkgkr7N%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Ribbon mics?
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 16:26:24 +0000
Organization: Poppy Records
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 16:26 UTC

Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?

Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
find they are best at doing?

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

RE: Ribbon mics?

<HjLCN.312689$yEgf.89029@fx09.iad>

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From: rwris...@dslextreme.com (Roy W. Rising)
Subject: RE: Ribbon mics?
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 by: Roy W. Rising - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 18:05 UTC

On Sun Feb 25 16:26:24 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
> Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?
>
> Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
> find they are best at doing?
>
>
> --
> ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Great question! Ribbon dynamics are a special area of micland. Figure-of-eight patterns extend into condenser mics as well. I'll be interested to see the answers that address use of Fig-8 tools, be they ribbon or not. I shouldn't assume, but the inquiry seems directed at the pattern, not the motor.

"If you notice the sound, it's wrong!" ~ Roy W. Rising

Re: RE: Ribbon mics?

<1qphyle.1up9k0o14k6ys4N%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: RE: Ribbon mics?
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 19:06:25 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 19:06 UTC

=?UTF-8?B?Um95IFcuIFJpc2luZw==?= <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:

> On Sun Feb 25 16:26:24 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz
>Tuddenham) wrote:
> > Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?
> >
> > Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
> > find they are best at doing?
> >
> >
> > --
> > ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> > (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> > www.poppyrecords.co.uk
>
> Great question! Ribbon dynamics are a special area of micland.
>Figure-of-eight patterns extend into condenser mics as well. I'll be
>interested to see the answers that address use of Fig-8 tools, be they
>ribbon or not. I shouldn't assume, but the inquiry seems directed at
>the pattern, not the motor.

Yes, the pattern is the bit I was interested in. Metal ribbons can sag
if the microphone is mounted with the ribbon horizontal, but condenser
Fig-8 mics can be mounted in this way without damage, so there are ways
of using them that most microphone handbooks don't mention..

I have used a Fig-8 mic horizontally in a large hall with nightmare
acoustics: it was a cube with no scattering or absorbing material on any
of the walls. By mounting the microphone horizontally above the narrator
the 'plane of deadness' rejected the wall reflections and resulted in a
successful broadcast.

On another occasion I had to pick up the percussion department of a
large brass band without any spurious pickup from the other instruments
which would have thrown the stereo image of the main band out of place.
By mounting a Fig-8 mic above the percussion, slightly tilted so that
the 'plane of deadness' cut through the band I was able to get a clean
feed from the percussion.

The only snag with that arrangment became apparent at rehearsals when I
faded up the percussion mic and everything went crazy: red lights
flashed and meters hit their end stops. Nothing was audible on
headphones except the sound being intermittently blocked out by some
huge low-frequency overload. When I stood by the mic I realise that the
heating had switched on and one of the floor vents was blowing hot air
upwards straight into the ribbon. Luckily I carry an emergency pair of
tights and they solved the problem.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: geo...@nospamgeoffwood.org (geoff)
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
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 by: geoff - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 23:06 UTC

On 26/02/2024 5:26 am, Liz Tuddenham wrote:
> Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?
>
> Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
> find they are best at doing?
>
>

I have a couple of vintage Tannoy ribbon mics in my locker. Intended a
PA mics, so not exactly extended HF freq response, and I keep them more
for looks and 'investment' than anything.

However if I could afford them I would buy a pair of the likes of Royer
R-122 for general use, especially high-level. Or SF-24 for live stereo
miking. Or anything with high sound levels - supposed to be great on
electric guitar speakers.

Many' ribbon mics available, such as Royer, AEA, Shure, Cloud, Nady,
sE, Rode, MXL, etc.

geoff

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2024 13:43:28 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Mon, 26 Feb 2024 13:43 UTC

geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote:

>... - supposed to be great on
> electric guitar speakers.

The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
deeply into theory.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

RE: Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: rwris...@dslextreme.com (Roy W. Rising)
Subject: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?
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 by: Roy W. Rising - Tue, 27 Feb 2024 17:35 UTC

On Mon Feb 26 13:43:28 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
> geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote:
>
> >... - supposed to be great on
> > electric guitar speakers.
>
> The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> deeply into theory.
>
>
> --
> ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Liz - Please go "too deeply into theory". At present, I disagree with your statement about loudspeakers and proximity effect. The Audio University discussion on topic specifically addresses the matter, stating "By placing microphones very close to kick drums or bass amplifiers, you can also play upon the proximity effect. Youll get that deep, round tone that has become an essential element of many genres." https://audiouniversityonline.com/proximity-effect/. At the wavelengths in question, how does the mic "perceive" a difference between planar and spherical wavefronts?

Re: Ribbon mics?

<urli1l$3deku$1@dont-email.me>

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From: geo...@geoffwood.org (Geoff)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 09:52:03 +1300
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 by: Geoff - Tue, 27 Feb 2024 20:52 UTC

On 27/02/2024 2:43 am, Liz Tuddenham wrote:
> geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote:
>
>> ... - supposed to be great on
>> electric guitar speakers.
>
> The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> deeply into theory.
>
>

The theory notwithstanding, or withstanding, they can sound great.

After all in many circumstances pure fidelity is not the object of the
exercise !

geoff

Re: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Tue, 27 Feb 2024 22:08 UTC

=?UTF-8?B?Um95IFcuIFJpc2luZw==?= <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:

> On Mon Feb 26 13:43:28 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz
> Tuddenham) wrote: > geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote: >
> > >... - supposed to be great on
> > > electric guitar speakers.
> >
> > The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> > because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> > rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> > deeply into theory.
> >
> >
> > --
> > ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> > (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> > www.poppyrecords.co.uk
>
> Liz - Please go "too deeply into theory". At present, I disagree with
> your statement about loudspeakers and proximity effect. The Audio
> University discussion on topic specifically addresses the matter, stating
> "By placing microphones very close to kick drums or bass amplifiers, you
> can also play upon the proximity effect. You"""ll get that deep, round
> tone that has become an essential element of many genres."
> https://audiouniversityonline.com/proximity-effect/. At the wavelengths
> in question, how does the mic "perceive" a difference between planar and
> spherical wavefronts?

Too late tonight, but I will reply properly tomorrow.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: mattfau...@gmail.com (Matt Faunce)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 01:52:33 -0000 (UTC)
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 by: Matt Faunce - Wed, 28 Feb 2024 01:52 UTC

Roy W. Rising <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> On Mon Feb 26 13:43:28 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
>> geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote:
>>
>>> ... - supposed to be great on
>>> electric guitar speakers.
>>
>> The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
>> because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
>> rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
>> deeply into theory.
>>
>>
>> --
>> ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
>> (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
>> www.poppyrecords.co.uk
>
> Liz - Please go "too deeply into theory". At present, I disagree with
> your statement about loudspeakers and proximity effect. The Audio
> University discussion on topic specifically addresses the matter, stating
> "By placing microphones very close to kick drums or bass amplifiers, you
> can also play upon the proximity effect. Youll get that deep, round tone
> that has become an essential element of many genres."
> https://audiouniversityonline.com/proximity-effect/. At the wavelengths
> in question, how does the mic "perceive" a difference between planar and
> spherical wavefronts?
>

>

Years ago, Don Pearce put an explanation up on the web of polar patterns
and proximity effect.

www.soundthoughts.co.uk/read/mic/

At the bottom of the page he writes, “The source for this material is the
1954 edition of the Radio and Television Engineers Handbook, published by
George Newnes Limited”

--
Matt

Re: Ribbon Mics

<1qpms6a.68a7l83uzuh8N%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon Mics
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:19:53 +0000
Organization: Poppy Records
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:19 UTC

=?UTF-8?B?Um95IFcuIFJpc2luZw==?= <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:

> On Mon Feb 26 13:43:28 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz
> Tuddenham) wrote: > geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote: >
> > >... - supposed to be great on
> > > electric guitar speakers.
> >
> > The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> > because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> > rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> > deeply into theory.
> >
> >
> > --
> > ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> > (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> > www.poppyrecords.co.uk
>
> Liz - Please go "too deeply into theory".

OK, here we go.....

Assume a 'conventional' ribbon mic with a strong magnet and some narrow
pole pieces with a thin aluminium ribbon tensioned loosely in the gap
between them. The voltage [technically the E.M.F.] developed across the
ends of the ribbon is directly proportional to the rate at which it cuts
through the magnetic field in the gap, the 'velocity' of the ribbon.
This movement is caused by a difference in air pressure between the two
sides of the ribbon as the result of air vibration caused by sound.

The tension in the ribbon is very low, so its resonance is below the
audio spectrum and its mass is more important than its compliance at the
frequencies we are interested in. The density of aluminium is a lot
greater than air, so the tiny volume of the ribbon has more mass than
the tiny volume of air it displaces. Therefore it does not move as
freely as the air around it, but its mass is accelerated by the
difference in air pressure between its two sides. At high frequencies
the ribbon has little time to be accelerated to a given velocity and the
force needed to do this is high -- but, as the frequency falls, it has
time to be accelerated to the same velocity by smaller and smaller
forces. The relationship is 6dB per octave between force and velocity,
so, for a constant force caused by a constant pressure difference, the
output voltage increases at 6dB per-octave-of-frequency-fall.

Theoretical Plane Wave Response

We can think of the pressure difference across the ribbon as being
caused by plane sound pressure waves passing it. The distance the wave
has to travel between the front of the ribbon and the back, means that
each side is exposed to a different point on the (assumed sinusiodal)
pressure waveform. If we take an example where the half-wavelength of
the sound is exactly equal to the path length between the two side of
the ribbon measured around the pole pieces, one side will be at peak
positive pressure while the other side is at peak negative pressure.

As the frequency falls and the wavelength of the sound becomes greater,
the fixed path length will be a smaller and smaller proportion of the
increasing wavelength and the difference between the two pressures will
reduce. The reducing pressure with falling frequency very neatly
compensates for the increasing sensitivity of the ribbon with falling
frequency and the overall result is a flat frequency response. [At
least up to the frequency where the half-wavelength equals the path
difference and down to the point where resonance takes over.]

Theoretical Spherical Wave Response

If sound waves are issuing from a point source, they are spherical, not
plane; this introduces another source of pressure difference across the
ribbon. The spherical waves expand into a greater and greater volume of
the surrounding air, so the energy density in each wave drops as the
square of the distance from the source (the 'inverse square law'). This
effect is independent of the wavelength. When an expanding sperical
wave passes a ribbon mic, there will be an additional pressure
difference across the ribbon caused by the drop in pressure of the wave
itself, as it expands. This drop depends on the ratio of the path
difference of the mic to the radius of curvature of the spherical wave;
so it is greater nearer the source.

However... Unlike the plane wave effect, the spherical wave effect does
not change with frequency or wavelength and the pressure difference on
the ribbon does not reduce with falling frequency. This means that a
lower frequency gives the ribbon a greater velocity, so the voltage
across the ribbon caused by spherical waves increases at 6dB per octave
as the frequency falls.

Practical Response

In reality, most sources of sound give wavefronts which are spherical to
some degree near the source and become more and more plane at a
distance. Thus, as a ribbon mic approaches the source, its distant
plane wave response (flat) will gradually be overpowered by its
spherical wave response (bass tip-up). If the wavefront near the
source is mostly plane because the source is large and flattish, for
instance at the back of a double-bass or close to the cone of a large
loudspeaker, the bass tip up effect will be weak or absent.

Other Types of Microphone

Cardioid and hypercardioid microphones achieve their directivity by
combining a bidirectional [ribbon] response with an omnidirectional
[pressure] response. They exhibit bass tip-up from the bidirectional
component, but this is only part of the whole response and the effect is
less than it would have been in a ribbon mic.

Response Correction

The transition from a flat response to a 6dB per octave one is exactly
matched by a single-section RC high-pass filter and can be corrected by
nothing more complex than that ...if the correct time constant is
chosen. A variable time constant can be set by ear to correct for a
range of mic distances. Multi-section sharp-cut filters for removing
wind noise are unsuitable, so are shelving 'tone controls' of the
Baxandall type.

Hope I have gone deep enough , but if you want to go even more deeply
into this, at a mathematical level, the best book I have found is a BBC
Engineering Training Manual called "Microphones" by A.E. Robertson
(London - Iliffe Books, New York - Hayden Book Co. Inc. ,1951)

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

<1qpmxhg.1i2wcfg1eprqwwN%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:19:54 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:19 UTC

Geoff <geoff@geoffwood.org> wrote:

> On 27/02/2024 2:43 am, Liz Tuddenham wrote:
> > geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote:
> >
> >> ... - supposed to be great on
> >> electric guitar speakers.
> >
> > The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> > because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> > rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> > deeply into theory.
> >
> >
>
> The theory notwithstanding, or withstanding, they can sound great.

If the cone is flexing and producing a spherical component because only
the central part is emitting sound, then bass tip-up can occur. Theory
can explain anything, given time. :-)

> After all in many circumstances pure fidelity is not the object of the
> exercise !

Yes. Some of my technically most accurate recordings have been the
worst-sounding.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon Mics

<1qpqr1s.1i1fw7qrp418oN%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon Mics
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2024 12:38:55 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Fri, 1 Mar 2024 12:38 UTC

Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:

> =?UTF-8?B?Um95IFcuIFJpc2luZw==?= <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>
> > On Mon Feb 26 13:43:28 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz
> > Tuddenham) wrote: > geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote: >
> > > >... - supposed to be great on
> > > > electric guitar speakers.
> > >
> > > The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> > > because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> > > rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> > > deeply into theory.
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> > > (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> > > www.poppyrecords.co.uk
> >
> > Liz - Please go "too deeply into theory".

It is probably easier to visualise with a few diagrams and graphs, so I
have uploaded some at:

http://poppyrecords.co.uk/other/BassTipUp/BassTipUp.htm

Hope this helps.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

<1qpso4r.7wd9rod66q68N%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2024 13:52:00 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Sat, 2 Mar 2024 13:52 UTC

Matt Faunce <mattfaunce@gmail.com> wrote:

> Roy W. Rising <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> > On Mon Feb 26 13:43:28 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz
> >Tuddenham) wrote: > geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote: >
> >>> ... - supposed to be great on
> >>> electric guitar speakers.
> >>
> >> The bass tip-up effect should not be apparent close to a loudspeaker
> >> because the wavefront at that distance is plane, not spherical. It is
> >> rather counter-intuitive and difficult to explain without going too
> >> deeply into theory.
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> >> (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> >> www.poppyrecords.co.uk
> >
> > Liz - Please go "too deeply into theory". At present, I disagree with
> > your statement about loudspeakers and proximity effect. The Audio
> > University discussion on topic specifically addresses the matter, stating
> > "By placing microphones very close to kick drums or bass amplifiers, you
> > can also play upon the proximity effect. Youll get that deep, round tone
> > that has become an essential element of many genres."
> > https://audiouniversityonline.com/proximity-effect/. At the wavelengths
> > in question, how does the mic "perceive" a difference between planar and
> > spherical wavefronts?
> >
>
> >
>
> Years ago, Don Pearce put an explanation up on the web of polar patterns
> and proximity effect.
>
> www.soundthoughts.co.uk/read/mic/

He explains what the proximity effect is and what it sounds like but, in
common with most other sources, he doesn't explain what causes it. That
is the difficult bit which took me about 10 years to work out.

I tried designing multi-capsule mic arrays that could have omni>
cardioid > Fig-8 responses at the turn of a knob, but I wasn't happy
about the Fig-8 because I didn't fully understand what was going on.
The key to understanding it was a chapter of maths in a BBC training
manual from the 1950s, which nearly addled my remaining brain cells.

Slowly the practical implications dawned on me: the ribbon is under the
influence of two different forces, one giving a flat frequency response
and one giving a response that rises as frequency falls. The second
one, which causes the proximity effect, is due to the drop in pressure
of the wavefront as it rapidly expands near the source.

Simplified graphical explanation at:
http://www.poppyrecords.co.uk/other/Microphones/BassTipUp/BassTipUp.htm

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

<uslka5$maj$1@panix2.panix.com>

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From: klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: 11 Mar 2024 00:47:01 -0000
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 by: Scott Dorsey - Mon, 11 Mar 2024 00:47 UTC

Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
>Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?
>
>Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
>find they are best at doing?

I use some figure-8 mikes that are ribbons and some that aren't ribbons.
I also use some ribbons that aren't figure-8 (like the BK-5).

The most important thing about a figure-8 is the null, which is deep and
sharp and can be used to eliminate guitar leakage into a singer-songwriter's
vocal mike or slap echo from the side of a room or from a floor.

People get all het up about technology when they should worry more about
pattern and sound.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: Ribbon mics?

<1qq90a8.1spaaxy1ooad2gN%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2024 09:21:40 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Mon, 11 Mar 2024 09:21 UTC

Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
> >Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?
> >
> >Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
> >find they are best at doing?
>
> I use some figure-8 mikes that are ribbons and some that aren't ribbons.
> I also use some ribbons that aren't figure-8 (like the BK-5).
>
> The most important thing about a figure-8 is the null, which is deep and
> sharp and can be used to eliminate guitar leakage into a singer-songwriter's
> vocal mike or slap echo from the side of a room or from a floor.
>
> People get all het up about technology when they should worry more about
> pattern and sound.

You have hit upon the effect that makes the ribbon so special and useful
in difficult circumstances: It is the *null* that singles it out,
rather than the response.

Cardioids have a single point null which is rarely useful because the
unwanted sound rarely comes from a single direction, but Fig-8 mics have
a whole circle of null which can eliminate an entire wall reflection.
Putting the mic horizontally can eliminate reflections from all four
walls and give reasonable sound in an otherwise impossible room. (Not
recommended with a true ribbon mic, where the ribbon is likely to sag.)

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

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Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
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 by: Scott Dorsey - Mon, 11 Mar 2024 14:20 UTC

Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>You have hit upon the effect that makes the ribbon so special and useful
>in difficult circumstances: It is the *null* that singles it out,
>rather than the response.

Not necessarily. There are plenty of figure-8 condenser microphones out
there that have great nulls too. I will often use a 414/TL in figure-8
when I want a solid null.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: Ribbon mics?

<1qqb63s.s7i2sia60kuoN%liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid>

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2024 13:21:50 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Tue, 12 Mar 2024 13:21 UTC

Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
> >
> >You have hit upon the effect that makes the ribbon so special and useful
> >in difficult circumstances: It is the *null* that singles it out,
> >rather than the response.
>
> Not necessarily. There are plenty of figure-8 condenser microphones out
> there that have great nulls too. I will often use a 414/TL in figure-8
> when I want a solid null.

I was using the term "ribbon" too loosely - I actually meant to include
all mics with a ribbon-like response. I have made several capacitor
capsule array mics, using cardioid capsules back-to-back to get a Fig-8
response. Even with all the approximations that arrangement involves,
the null is pretty good.

Having the directional control on a separate control box, it is possible
to 'steer' the mic during a performance. I had to record a concert with
a piano at one end of a room and an organ at the other. I suspended the
mic in the centre and, as each one played, steered it in cardioid mode
from one to the other. Then they played a duet, so I balanced them with
a slightly uneven Fig-8 response.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: 12 Mar 2024 23:25:52 -0000
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 by: Scott Dorsey - Tue, 12 Mar 2024 23:25 UTC

Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>I was using the term "ribbon" too loosely - I actually meant to include
>all mics with a ribbon-like response. I have made several capacitor
>capsule array mics, using cardioid capsules back-to-back to get a Fig-8
>response. Even with all the approximations that arrangement involves,
>the null is pretty good.

But the ribbons I use most often are probably the M-260 and the RCA BK-5,
both of which are cardioids!
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2024 08:54:43 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Wed, 13 Mar 2024 08:54 UTC

Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
> >
> >I was using the term "ribbon" too loosely - I actually meant to include
> >all mics with a ribbon-like response. I have made several capacitor
> >capsule array mics, using cardioid capsules back-to-back to get a Fig-8
> >response. Even with all the approximations that arrangement involves,
> >the null is pretty good.
>
> But the ribbons I use most often are probably the M-260 and the RCA BK-5,
> both of which are cardioids!

The nomenclature is a bit of a problem:

The expression "Microphone with a figure-of-eight response similar to a
bidirectional ribbon" is a bit of a mouthful, and "Fig-8" in the text of
an article could be taken as a reference to Figure-8 in the
illustrations. "Bipolar" has medical implications and "Dipole" has
already been taken by aerial engineers.

The BBC used "Velocity response", which is confusing if you don't
understand the maths behind the response - and it doesn't really help
you to visualise how the microphone is going to behave.

"Bidirectional" seems to be the best compromise, although it could
include hypercardioid, which has a smaller back response and a conical
null.

Perhaps we should settle for "Equi-bidirectional" - but I can't see it
catching on.

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: geo...@nospamgeoffwood.org (geoff)
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
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 by: geoff - Wed, 13 Mar 2024 20:38 UTC

On 13/03/2024 9:54 pm, Liz Tuddenham wrote:
> Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:
>
>> Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>>
>>> I was using the term "ribbon" too loosely - I actually meant to include
>>> all mics with a ribbon-like response. I have made several capacitor
>>> capsule array mics, using cardioid capsules back-to-back to get a Fig-8
>>> response. Even with all the approximations that arrangement involves,
>>> the null is pretty good.
>>
>> But the ribbons I use most often are probably the M-260 and the RCA BK-5,
>> both of which are cardioids!
>
>
> The nomenclature is a bit of a problem:
>
> The expression "Microphone with a figure-of-eight response similar to a
> bidirectional ribbon" is a bit of a mouthful, and "Fig-8" in the text of
> an article could be taken as a reference to Figure-8 in the
> illustrations. "Bipolar" has medical implications and "Dipole" has
> already been taken by aerial engineers.
>
> The BBC used "Velocity response", which is confusing if you don't
> understand the maths behind the response - and it doesn't really help
> you to visualise how the microphone is going to behave.
>
> "Bidirectional" seems to be the best compromise, although it could
> include hypercardioid, which has a smaller back response and a conical
> null.
>
> Perhaps we should settle for "Equi-bidirectional" - but I can't see it
> catching on.

Nomenclature not a problem at all.

- Ribbon mics are ribbon mics.
- Condensor mics are condensor mics
- Fig-8 responses are Figure-8.
- Cardioid responses are Cardioid.
- Hyper-cardioid is just that, with an inevitable (unwanted0 minor rear
response.

And mics with variable patterns (preset or variable in-use) patterns are
just that, irrespective of the motor type. And can often do Figure-8
continuously varied (favouring one side) through to cardioid, and onward
through to omni.

Your tilting from Fig-8 favouring one side OR the other sounds
particularly nifty ;- )

geoff

Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: 14 Mar 2024 00:45:04 -0000
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 by: Scott Dorsey - Thu, 14 Mar 2024 00:45 UTC

geoff <geoff@nospamgeoffwood.org> wrote:
>- Hyper-cardioid is just that, with an inevitable (unwanted0 minor rear
>response.

It's not always unwanted! It can be a nice technique for getting some room
sound in while avoiding slap echo from the sides. Or getting some piano into
the same pair that has the vocals, without getting TOO much piano.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

RE: Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: rwris...@dslextreme.com (Roy W. Rising)
Subject: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?
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 by: Roy W. Rising - Thu, 14 Mar 2024 16:08 UTC

On Mon Mar 11 09:21:40 2024 liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
> Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:
>
> > Liz Tuddenham <liz@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote:
> > >Can I be the first person in ages to ask an on-topic question here?
> > >
> > >Who uses 'ribbon' (i.e. Fig-8) mics on a regular basis and what do you
> > >find they are best at doing?
> >
> > I use some figure-8 mikes that are ribbons and some that aren't ribbons.
> > I also use some ribbons that aren't figure-8 (like the BK-5).
> >
> > The most important thing about a figure-8 is the null, which is deep and
> > sharp and can be used to eliminate guitar leakage into a singer-songwriter's
> > vocal mike or slap echo from the side of a room or from a floor.
> >
> > People get all het up about technology when they should worry more about
> > pattern and sound.
>
> You have hit upon the effect that makes the ribbon so special and useful
> in difficult circumstances: It is the *null* that singles it out,
> rather than the response.
>
> Cardioids have a single point null which is rarely useful because the
> unwanted sound rarely comes from a single direction, but Fig-8 mics have
> a whole circle of null which can eliminate an entire wall reflection.
> Putting the mic horizontally can eliminate reflections from all four
> walls and give reasonable sound in an otherwise impossible room. (Not
> recommended with a true ribbon mic, where the ribbon is likely to sag.)
>
>
> --
> ~ Liz Tuddenham ~
> (Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
> www.poppyrecords.co.uk

The null of a cardioid is surrounded by a zone of diminished sensitivity. A football sideline "parab" benefits greatly from a cardioid pointed into the dish, reducing the sound of the crowd across the field.

Let's not overlook the null of the hypercardioids! I think of it as a "cone of silence". In the Lawrence Welk orchestra the strings were on a riser behind and slightly above the woodwinds. I placed the EV RE-15 string mics angled upward with their nulls pointed at the woodwinds. One violinist was bothered by the mic's upward angle when the section was seated. He would adjust the mic downward, thus including the woodwinds in its pattern. I could hear the difference, I repeatedly had to send my A2 to correct the angle. After many attempts, during a break the A2 assumed the musician's chair and sat pretending to tune the instrument. When the player returned there was that "How dare you touch my rare and precious instrument?" The A2 responded with "I'll leave it alone if you'll agree not to adjust our special and sensitive instrument". There are other cases where this has worked almost magically well.

"If you notice the sound, it's wrong." Roy W. Rising

Re: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?

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From: liz...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid (Liz Tuddenham)
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Subject: Re: RE: Re: Ribbon mics?
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2024 17:35:03 +0000
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 by: Liz Tuddenham - Thu, 14 Mar 2024 17:35 UTC

=?UTF-8?B?Um95IFcuIFJpc2luZw==?= <rwrising@dslextreme.com> wrote:

>[...] When the player returned there was that "How dare you touch my
>rare and precious instrument?" The A2 responded with "I'll leave it
>alone if you'll agree not to adjust our special and sensitive
>instrument". There are other cases where this has worked almost
>magically well.

Nice one!

--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk


tech / rec.audio.pro / Ribbon mics?

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