Ribbon Mics On Loud Amps

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
palinilap
buyin' gear
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN

Ribbon Mics On Loud Amps

Post by palinilap » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:35 am

Up to this point I have typically recorded small-ish amps with either a beyer m260 or fathead. However, recently I've acquired a 5150 half stack which I love the sound of at higher volumes. Not tube melting loud, but definitely pushing some air.

Should I be weary of even attempting either of these ribbons on a big cabinet? I have some LDD's to choose from (SM7, MD421) so I'm not sweating it, just always loved the ribbons on smaller amps.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8682
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:15 am

FWIW, I use Chinese ribbon mic's on my Silver Jubilee, but only as the second mic, a cuppla feet (or more) back. I especially like 'em into a old Altec pre. My close mic varies, lately a E-609, or the Superlux PR copy, or a MD421II, or any old AKG, or a Shure 545.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
Recycled_Brains
deaf.
Posts: 1979
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Albany, NY
Contact:

Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:22 am

I use an M160 on a VERY loud Marshall stack all the time for my bands' stuff, and have never had an issue. I put anywhere from 3-6 inches back generally, so not smashed up against the grill.
Ryan Slowey
Albany, NY

http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8682
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:29 am

Oh, yeah! I sometimes use a M500 that way on my combo.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
palinilap
buyin' gear
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN

Post by palinilap » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:32 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:I use an M160 on a VERY loud Marshall stack all the time for my bands' stuff, and have never had an issue. I put anywhere from 3-6 inches back generally, so not smashed up against the grill.
Good info. Yeah, I was thinking the short ribbon would probably be the better choice.
vvv wrote:FWIW, I use Chinese ribbon mic's on my Silver Jubilee, but only as the second mic, a cuppla feet (or more) back. I especially like 'em into a old Altec pre. My close mic varies, lately a E-609, or the Superlux PR copy, or a MD421II, or any old AKG, or a Shure 545.
I'm usually totally lazy about using multiple mics on guitar. I definitely have to try this out though.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8682
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:51 pm

About the multiple mic thing: on occasion, where there's a sparse song with just one rhythm guitar, I will sometimes opposite pan the two mic's for a bit of stereoness. Interestingly, tho', when there are two guitars or more, I think it works better to have each guitar's tracks panned the same.

Besides the sense of depth that results, the two mic's can function as EQ; rarely but occasionally I'll put an effect on one track, not the other; finally, changing the balance can change the foreground position of the guitar, ex., bring it forward by using more of the brighter close mic when it solos. For me, this is why I like a ribbon into a dark pre for the more distant mic.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
JWL
deaf.
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Maine
Contact:

Post by JWL » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:54 am

In general ribbons can take high SPLs, it's just blasts of air that can be dangerous for them. If you close mic with a ribbon on a loud amp you might angle the mic a bit so the sound goes across the ribbon and not straight-on.

User avatar
Meriphew
deaf.
Posts: 1759
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 9:56 am
Location: Seattle USA

Post by Meriphew » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:01 am

I use my Royer 121 on my AC30 when it's cranked to face searing volumes. It's not the volume that's the problem, it's more plosives/bursts of air that will do the damage.

User avatar
ubertar
ears didn't survive the freeze
Posts: 3753
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by ubertar » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:55 am

It's probably fine, but you might put a pop filter on it for safety's sake.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

User avatar
JohnDavisNYC
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3035
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:43 pm
Location: crooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:24 pm

two dimed plexi half stacks definitely put the nail in the coffin for two of our m160's... but they were probably close to needing a reribboning anyway at that point. shug shug chuchuchuchug shugshaaaaaaaa can throw some blasts of air.

john
i like to make music with music and stuff and things.

http://www.thebunkerstudio.com/

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
speech impediment
Posts: 4854
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles California USA
Contact:

Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:17 am

A great article on the differences between microphone types.

Especially, it includes some common "cheap" mics, probably used by some forum members.

http://www.hometracked.com/2007/08/02/t ... selection/

And some nice techniques as well:

http://cdn.shure.com/publication/upload ... dio_ea.pdf

Cheers
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
speech impediment
Posts: 4854
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles California USA
Contact:

Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:33 am

To me, electric guitars coming from loud amps are already compressed enough
by the preamp and then the limiting of the speaker travel.

So I try to use a set of microphones that can capture the sound "accurately".

Usually, a ribbon mic, like my Coles 4038 about 6-12" away or more, pointed by my ears where it sounds best, along with a Shure SM57 and an AKG 451EB, both of which I usually place at a 45? angle to each other, along the same x axis.

Depending on the amp and guitar sound, either the shure or the AKG will be the one pointed straight at the speaker cone. Typically I place them 3-5" from the speaker itself, depending on where the sound is best in that zone.

Once I have all three capturing sounds I like, I then do a little test recording to look at the differences in time alignment between the three mics. IF all three mics together sound thinner than only one or two, IF I know I will need them to be FATTER sounding, I adjust the one mic which is most out of time alignment with the other two, and do another test recording. IF I WANT a thinner sound, then I do the opposite, so that one of the three mics can be used as a "thinner", so I later on do not have to resort to EQ to accomplish this task. Instead I just use the one mic's level to adjust how "FAT" or "THIN" I want the overall sound to be.

Time alignment is not quite the same as phase alignment, but is closely related. With time alignment you are not concerned with the phase of the sound recording respective to each other. In phase alignment you are concerned about that. For a very close phase alignment, you do need to get all three mics' diafragms as close as humanly possible, to have the sound get captured as close to exactly the same time. ALSO you need to place the mics as close to each other as possible, so they "see" almost the same sound emanating from the source.

You all need to remember that tiem alignment as to do with linear time, and phase alignment has to do with how close you can get all 360? of phase aligned.
Time alignment = 2 dimensions.
Phase = 3 dimensions.

Thus why you must also use your ears and not just your DAW screen when doing phase alignment.

Cheers
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

User avatar
palinilap
buyin' gear
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN

Post by palinilap » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:04 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:To me, electric guitars coming from loud amps are already compressed enough
by the preamp and then the limiting of the speaker travel.

So I try to use a set of microphones that can capture the sound "accurately".

Usually, a ribbon mic, like my Coles 4038 about 6-12" away or more, pointed by my ears where it sounds best, along with a Shure SM57 and an AKG 451EB, both of which I usually place at a 45? angle to each other, along the same x axis.

Depending on the amp and guitar sound, either the shure or the AKG will be the one pointed straight at the speaker cone. Typically I place them 3-5" from the speaker itself, depending on where the sound is best in that zone.

Once I have all three capturing sounds I like, I then do a little test recording to look at the differences in time alignment between the three mics. IF all three mics together sound thinner than only one or two, IF I know I will need them to be FATTER sounding, I adjust the one mic which is most out of time alignment with the other two, and do another test recording. IF I WANT a thinner sound, then I do the opposite, so that one of the three mics can be used as a "thinner", so I later on do not have to resort to EQ to accomplish this task. Instead I just use the one mic's level to adjust how "FAT" or "THIN" I want the overall sound to be.

Time alignment is not quite the same as phase alignment, but is closely related. With time alignment you are not concerned with the phase of the sound recording respective to each other. In phase alignment you are concerned about that. For a very close phase alignment, you do need to get all three mics' diafragms as close as humanly possible, to have the sound get captured as close to exactly the same time. ALSO you need to place the mics as close to each other as possible, so they "see" almost the same sound emanating from the source.

You all need to remember that tiem alignment as to do with linear time, and phase alignment has to do with how close you can get all 360? of phase aligned.
Time alignment = 2 dimensions.
Phase = 3 dimensions.

Thus why you must also use your ears and not just your DAW screen when doing phase alignment.

Cheers
Good stuff, Nick. Thanks!

User avatar
Mixwell
pluggin' in mics
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:42 am
Location: Quincy, MA
Contact:

Post by Mixwell » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:50 am

Love Ribbons on gtrs!
Most of them have some extreme proximity, which is cool -

You can back it off the cab, get alotta air and OOOOMPH around the sound.
So I tend to use them in mid distance, but some can be jammed up closer and still sound great. I think you lose a little bit of highs when they are closer. Moving them around is like an equalizer!
Adam J. Brass
www.DSPdoctor.com
Pro Audio Dealer
adam@dspdoctor.com
(1) 866 988 9111

"Where High End is Still King"
________________

User avatar
trodden
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:21 am
Location: C-attle
Contact:

Post by trodden » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:20 am

I've used a ribbon along with a non-ribbon dynamic mic and/or condenser mic on every guitar amp it seems, for many years. I have a handful of ribbon mics to choose from that usually get paired with a 421 or sm7. And at times an AT 4047 or older CAD e100. I sum both or all three at the board, check phase, adjust placement, record onto one track. There are times though, as VVV mentioned, that having a mic on a separate track, and panning that track, sending it to the reverb, basically adding it outside of the "main" guitar tone adds some great depth. I've started just putting a room mic in the iso just for options later if not just a talk back mic for whoever is sweating their ass off in the iso doing guitar over dubs.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests