Austin DIY Ribbon

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sears
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Austin DIY Ribbon

Post by sears » Mon May 12, 2008 7:56 pm

Did anyone else put the DIY ribbon together? I missed the print article. I discovered this on the sticky.

After doing Rick Chinn's Radio Shack PZM phantom mod I wanted to build something and boy, did I almost bite off more than I could chew.

Image

I decided to build two to amortize shipping costs and because it doesn't really take any longer to build two than one.

It took me a month which included shopping and waiting for parts to be delivered. I worked on it a little every day. The days I worked on it a lot were mostly because I'd made some stupid mistake or other.

Before I assemble the second I need to find shockmounts that will hold smooth 1.5" pipes in a blumlein without affecting the pattern. Does Gary th plant man's work for that?

Here is a quick demo, 24-bit wav, of what mine sounds like on acoustic.

http://download.yousendit.com/DED0A0081FBA97EA

I placed the microphone quickly, putting the guitar just inside the proximity effect, pointing at the fingerboard over the body. You can hear people and the computer.

At first I thought, why pay someone ten bucks for plans? Isn't that anti-internet or something? It was worth it. Rick answered a ton of questions for me. I was his problem client.

His instructions are breezy. There are definitely things that were way more difficult than I thought they would be. Think of it this way. Each page tells you how to build part of the mic and each part of the mic is equally difficult to build unless you've built something like it before. He devotes several pages to making, corrugating and mounting the ribbon, but to me building the ribbon truss out of acrylic, copper-plated PCB, screws and magnets was more difficult.

I had never used a hacksaw for its intended use, nor a Dremel at all. But the principle and design are so simple that it's really impossible not to make something that sounds good, provided you are tenacious.[/img]

substitute
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Post by substitute » Tue May 13, 2008 5:29 am

Hey Thanks for posting this I've been curious about that project for a while. The clip sounds good. Would it be possible for you to post some more clips? Maybe something with an A/B with a 57 or budget condenser.

rickshawrecords
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Re: Austin DIY Ribbon

Post by rickshawrecords » Tue May 13, 2008 3:29 pm

sears wrote: At first I thought, why pay someone ten bucks for plans? Isn't that anti-internet or something? It was worth it. Rick answered a ton of questions for me. I was his problem client.
I had never used a hacksaw for its intended use, nor a Dremel at all. But the principle and design are so simple that it's really impossible not to make something that sounds good, provided you are tenacious.
Hey Matt, Thanks for the writeup.
You were not my "Problem Client." I enjoy answering questions (obviously!), and I now have a backlog of good ones that I can simply copy/paste into future emails. Your excellent find about how to cut the ribbons has already found its way into several emails to other people, and eventually the next rev of the tutorial.

As we PM'ed last week, I just had a student from Oregon tell me that he built 2 AUSTIN mics in the space of 1 month, and he is really blown away by how they sound, especially for how easy they are to build. I'm waiting for some sound samples from him, and permission to use part of his email as another testimonial.
He also said Rode SM4 shockmounts work really nice with the AUSTIN design.

If anyone else has any questions about this project, feel free to post here, or email me directly via the link at www.rickshawrecords.com/ribbonmic
(I'm just a regular guy with a day job.)

EDIT: More Samples posted in This Thread

- Rickshaw[/url]
Last edited by rickshawrecords on Fri May 23, 2008 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

newfuturevintage
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Post by newfuturevintage » Tue May 13, 2008 3:54 pm

damn.

that sounds really good, doubly so given the lack of care given to placement and isolation from outside sounds.

While I've reribboned a few mics, this is inspiring, and may cause me to have to build some of my own.

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sears
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Post by sears » Tue May 13, 2008 6:04 pm

Yeah, I'll do some more samples, acoustic and electric. I don't have an SM57. Can you believe it? I'll do AT4040 and EV 635a but could also do RE10, CM700 (which are kind of an SDC SM57) or 441. That's what I have.

Everyone who is curious should try making it. If you haven't worked with acrylic, order way too much. I did, and have leftovers, but it's an interesting medium.

Anybody in the DC area who wants some of the right nuts and bolts, or to borrow a tube wringer or 1 3/8" dowel, PM me. Or get together and compare it to your ribbon.

rickshawrecords
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Post by rickshawrecords » Tue May 13, 2008 8:27 pm

If anyone's interested, there are more samples of these mics - including some made in a Blumlein configuration - on the website in my signature.

- Rickshaw
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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blackdiscoball
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Post by blackdiscoball » Thu May 15, 2008 11:34 am

I just bought the plans and I've already started ordering parts. Cant wait to add two new mics two the cabinet... and glad thiers people around that have done it incase I screw it up!

rickshawrecords
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Post by rickshawrecords » Fri May 16, 2008 9:45 am

I just posted a new sample and some photos made by Jean Cesario in France. It's a Church Choir with a Pipe Organ.
His Austin Mic bodies are made from PVC pipe, rather than the metal chassis that's recommended. They look good, and he reports no noise issues with using PVC instead of metal.

The track could probably use a little EQ help in the high-end, but as recorded, it still sounds full and alive.

- Rickshaw
Last edited by rickshawrecords on Thu May 22, 2008 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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blackdiscoball
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Post by blackdiscoball » Wed May 21, 2008 10:31 pm

Well I just got my first ribbon motor completed so I think the hard part is over. I connected it to a preamp using a guitar cable and It did pass sound! Succuss! The directions were very good and even though I read it 20 times, looked at the pictures 100 times, I still managed to do everything wrong, but I was able to fix (that means hack job it) everything and the first motor being a success is awesome. Working with the ribbon foil will make you want to quit, I wanted to multiple times! But dont, it is possible.

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sears
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Post by sears » Thu May 22, 2008 7:36 am

Wow. Please tell me you didn't actually finish the mic in a week.

Did you cut the ribbon with scissors and folded paper? I made a Word template with stripes to cut along, .2" from each other.

rickshawrecords
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Post by rickshawrecords » Thu May 22, 2008 10:44 am

The paper & scissors method to cut the ribbon hasn't made it into the plans yet (I've been busy with other things!), but for those not in the know, here is the method that Sears mentions:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=159688

There are some other things I'd like to add to the next revision, so I'll think about updating it shortly. Anyone can always ask me questions about he plans directly. (...And probably ask Sears too - he's built one!)

FWIW, it took me about 3 weeks to build my first mic, and at least 3 tries to get my first ribbon installed.

- Rickshaw
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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blackdiscoball
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Post by blackdiscoball » Thu May 22, 2008 7:34 pm

No i didn't finish one in a week. I just got the ribbon motor finished. And to cut the ribbon I left paper on the bottom and used a circular razor thing. I left the paper on while I i corragated the ribbon as well.

newfuturevintage
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Post by newfuturevintage » Fri May 23, 2008 1:11 pm

one tip about working with the foil I've learned from reribboning reslos and the like with signwriter's aluminum foil:

wear a dust mask. A cheap one is fine. It's purpose is to keep your breath from blowing the ribbon away or causing other mischief in the process. And work where no one will open a door when you're cutting/ corrugating/ mounting the ribbon. I learned this the hard way early in my relationship with my wife. We got past that little hiccup, fortunately.

edit: of course if I'd actually bought the plans, I'd have seen it was mentioned :) (I've since bought them).

cdixon6
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the ribbon

Post by cdixon6 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:41 pm

I have been trying to decide on the material for the ribbon. I know that the art supply store aluminum is fine, but I was looking around for maybe titanium or higher quality aluminum foil. Easier said then done. Anyone ever investigate further or have any articles or experience with ribbon materials and the way they sound. Also about tension, what is the proper force to clamp it down at.
Cody

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sears
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Post by sears » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:26 am

You could get a group buy going with these guys:

http://www.americanelements.com/snnmf.html

Clamp the heck out of it. To get the correct tension I pulled it nearly flat so the corrugations started to disappear and then released it a tiny bit. When clamped, it's kind of bouncy.

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