Old 10-17-2010, 04:43 PM   #41
TedR
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Yes, I have tried a cardioid as the Mid mic while using the ribbon as a side mic. To be honest I much preferred the sound of a ribbon in both positions simultaneously. However, you may end up liking the cardioid/ribbon set up just fine, so give it a try


I have also used the R 144 ribbon as a vocal mic and I like it better than any condenser or dynamic I have ever tried on my voice. I used it on vocals yesterday in fact, I tried the Mid/Side technique on lead vox and it was wonderful, can't say enough about that approach.

Neither of my ribbons are modded.


Ted

Last edited by TedR; 10-20-2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:36 AM   #42
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TedR

From a different forum....post on removing the internal grills on the R144...which even the large body condensors can benefit from.....I have removed this intenal grill stuff from my Rode NT-1A...

copy post beginshere:

Here are the pix I posted earlier, with explanations about how I got it apart:

http://s774.photobucket.com/albums/y...ingremoved.jpg
The bottom ring-like part of the housing screws off of the threaded tube that also holds the XLR plug. This was REALLY TIGHT, but if you grab it firmly, maybe with latex gloves, you should be able to unscrew it. As you take it off, you'll see that the main cylindrical housing slides right off, too.

To get the basket off as in this shot...
http://s774.photobucket.com/albums/y...ketremoved.jpg
...you need to remove two tiny Phillips head screws on the base. It should be really obvious which two screws - there are four total on the base, and the other two align with the ribbon element. Note that one of the four screws has red paint on it, identifying the front of the mic. This is one of the screws you'll unscrew. The other is 180 degrees on the other side.

To get to the ribbon itself, as in this shot...
http://s774.photobucket.com/albums/y...aperemoved.jpg
... you need to remove that cheap yellow tape and the fine mesh screen. This is where you want to be ultra-careful, because the ribbon is f-r-a-g-i-l-e! I used a pair of small needle-nosed pliers to pull this crap off.

It's probably a good idea to remove this stuff if you can - it significantly improves the performance of the mic. You'll also find a second layer of screen inside the basket, which should be removed as well. I haven't done that yet, but if it's like the other MXL mics, you just grab it with a pair of needle-nosed pliers and pull. Then inspect carefully and remove any random threads. It's kinda mind-blowing how much the mic is improved when you pull all this "protective" stuff out. THANKS TO MIKE JOLY, MIC GOD, FOR TURNING ME ON TO THIS!!!
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:43 PM   #43
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removed the extra inner grill, and then the mesh covering the ribbon...visual inspection...ribbon looks like no sag.....

excited to give this a try.....
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:09 PM   #44
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Oh Yeah, I remember seeing that mod posted awhile back. Thanks for reposting it here


Michael Joly has quite a reputation

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Old 10-20-2010, 06:46 AM   #45
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OK...getting sreally close. I have the mic modded, and setup, but still have not found a free minute to test er out....

TedR....for tracking, do you trak each mic on a separate track, or do you use 3 tracks, as in mid-side???......or do you record as two tracks, but then split after the recording is doe????

Also, you previous instructions...sorry, but I was not clear on whether you were talking about EQ settings during recording or after, during mixing....

Lastly, I have looked up mid-side...the mic alignments for my small condenser and the MXL R144 look pretty straightforward....when you explained the way you aligned the mic array to the guitar, were you pointing the mid side mic at a 45 degree agle up along the fretboard??...then the R144 would be on top of the array, away from the guiter, grabbing sound a=on either side of itself???/
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:59 PM   #46
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Good Questions:

For Mid-Side ( which is all I am doing right now ) you record 2 tracks, one from each mic. After the 2 tracks are recorded you decode them using the procedure outlined in the 2 articles I linked to above.

I did all the EQ work after recording, during mixing.

I think I will have to take a picture of the array in front of the guitar and post it, it is difficult to describe in words. I won't be able to do that until this weekend though.

The side mic has to be a bi-directional mic ( in your case the R144) you can't use the 603 as the side mic. The 603 will be your mid mic.

Ted
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:14 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubergod View Post
ribbons are fantastic, especially now that we can capture them in full detail. I think when analog was king, the limited range of those systems rendered ribbons sometimes too "soft", but in the digital realm they really shine and almost never gives a "harsh, brittle" sound like we often hear with digital. (I personally think allot of mics we use were designed to cut through the "softness" of analog and simply don't compliment digital as well)
That makes a lot of sense. I really like the sound of the ribbon I have and it's just a cheap MXL 990. It really sounds "silky."

Although in a way it also sounds "cheap" but maybe that's just because this is actually a cheap microphone ... I'd like to try some higher end ribbons to compare. My only ribbon experience is with this $100 MXL 990.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:50 AM   #48
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I think the mxl 990 is actually a condenser
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:09 AM   #49
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MXL has the 990 in both condenser and ribbon makes....confusing eh???
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:46 AM   #50
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Woah...your right, pardon my ignorance. I just looked it up and sure enough their is a ribbon version also, I was unaware of that.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:47 AM   #51
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TedR

So...trying out the ribbon, and I do like the mix between the MXL 603 and the ribbon...also much prefer the array "pointed" toward the nut, rather than toward the bridge of the guitar...I think it places the R144 in a better spot for its magic....is that the arrangement you have been using?????

I tried two different tracking/FX arrangements:

1. two tracks, one for mid, one for side...once recorded, I duplicate the side track, and on the duplicate I placed the JS Utility Phase_adjust, which allows me to flip the phase of that track 180 degrees...then I hard pan the two side tracks left and right and go play with settings

2. The other option is to record the two mics on a stereo track and use the Blumleinr JS plugin (which is mis-named and actuallis an m-s plug)...this JS plug ha sliders for each of the M-S tracks within the single stereo track. The biggest downside I see to this option is that EQ and other FX would have to be applied to the entire stereo track, while in option 1, I can apply FX to each of the three tracks independently....

So the first option is more flexible...while the second is actaully much simpler....
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:04 AM   #52
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doh...brain dead here...actually, I tried the 603 pointing towardsthe nut, at about a 45 degree angle, and the reversed it with the 603 the pointing at the sound hole at a 45 degree angle....becauses the latter arrangement places the ribbon directly above the spound hole, I think the overall sound is improved...

Does that make sense???
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:49 AM   #53
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As far as the tracking/fx arrangement is concerned I would use option number 1. I feel that having the ability to control EQ and fx independently on all 3 resulting tracks is critical.

You can also create the decoding matrix by simply copying the side track and flipping the copied track 180 degrees out of phase with respect to the original side track. As you said the original track and the copied ( phase adjusted ) track are then panned hard left and right. The remaining mid track is adjusted in volume, with respect to the other two side tracks, to either in increase or reduce the stereo spread and intensity. Doing this requires no special plug in, the option to flip the phase of the track 180 degrees out is provided on the track itself.

The 45 degree angle I use is not a horizontal angle, it's a vertical angle. I think I still need to take a picture of this and post it in order to make things clear.

Last edited by TedR; 10-23-2010 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:07 AM   #54
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Thanks TedR
Quickie here....what do you mean by flipping....I used a JS plugin to flip the phase
Is there an easier way??
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:30 AM   #55
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If you look at the buttons that appear next to the meters on your individual tracks you will see one that looks like a circle with a slash through it. That button allows you to "flip" that track 180 degrees out of phase, real simple like
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:02 AM   #56
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would still love a pic of the mic alignment....very interesting alll......
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:00 PM   #57
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Would you guys say the Cascade Fat Head II http://www.cascademicrophones.com/ca...T_HEAD_II.html

is a big jump up in quality from the MXL 990 ribbon?

I was thinking of getting the Fat Head II (maybe with the upgraded Lundahl transformer?) with a the GAP PRE 73 micpre... and possibly a compressor too to create a new input chain... any suggestions on a reasonably priced (similar price point to the mic & micpre) compressor that would work well with these?
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:26 AM   #58
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Jonny

This article can answer your question better than I...

http://recordinghacks.com/2008/11/01...phone-designs/

and any Chinese ribblon will benefit from a transformer upgrade...
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:11 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runaway View Post
While I think I'd like to own a Ribbon mic it's pretty hard to make a Martin sound bad ;-)
It takes commitment and a lack of attention to detail, but it can be done. Did it myself just this week. Sounded like a dead horse farting. In stereo.

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Old 11-19-2010, 04:02 AM   #60
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Default Ribbon mics $149 for one or Discount price $260 for 2!!

These are a great mic out of the box and great for modding!! check out the link it's the same mic with a different head basket

http://moonroomrecording.blogspot.co...n-mic-mod.html

Modeled after the AEA R84,This brand new unbranded bidirectional ribbon microphone is sold under various Brands names such as the T.Bone RB500, PPA R-1,Nady RSM-2 , Golden age projects R1 MKII and more. Reviewers commonly note the mic’s sound as “smooth” and “warm,”
The ribbon motor is known as “long ribbon / short path;” it measures approximately 50mm x 5mm and employs an hourglass-shaped yoke that minimizes the distance sound must travel around the side of the ribbon.
The mic ships in a soft padded case, has an integrated yoke mount and unlike some of its rebranded brothers, comes with a 3M detachable low noise XLR cable!!
PRICE $149 for one or Discount price $260 for 2 !! :shock: :shock:


check out the audio examples ! All tracks were recorded with no fx or eq only limiting has been used on the master bus just to boost the levels.

Email openplanrecording@hotmail.com


[img] http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/kj/...517g25_20.jpeg

[img] http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/kj/...54646e_20.jpeg

[img] http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/kj/...54928b_20.jpeg

http://soundcloud.com/open-planrecor...io/ribbon-test

http://soundcloud.com/open-planrecor...o-metal-guitar

http://soundcloud.com/open-planrecor...o-blues-guitar
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:55 PM   #61
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So I took the jump with my MXL R144. I removed all of the extra grill stuff internally last month, and then oredered a Cinemag transformer. When it came, I went to work. I took the mic apart almost completely. I did not take the yoke off its mount. I did remove all of the wiring, including the PCB board in the middle of the circuitry.

I then wired the inputs of the Cinemag to the ribbon motor, carefully threading the wires through the mount. Soldering in that small space was a bit awkward. I also kept the wires leading from the motor to the transformer as short as possible, so that no signal loss would be added...

The trickiest part was disassembling the base/XLR, so that I could solder. It turned out that I soldered extra wires onto the XLR, reassembled the base, and spliced the output wires from the Cinemag to the wires soldered inot the XLR. I spliced the wires the old fashioned way - with twisting and black tape.

Final assembly I threw away the shield that came with the originbal Chinese transformer, and simply taped the Cinemag to the two posts connecting the headbasket to the base.

Reasembled, tested....and frankly, I think the sound is very, very accurate. The only catch with all of this is that the input and output wires need to be in phase, and there is no info on the MXL ribbon motor. So I basically lucked out.

Total cost:

MXL mic-$90
Cinemag - $50

Total value -- priceless....

Cannot wait to try it again with the X-Y....

Happy modder here!!
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:55 AM   #62
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I've come back to this thread after a while, so it's a bit of a bump, but I see the one complaint about the MXL R144 is the casing has a resonant frequency of 400 Hz, which can be seen in the frequency response.

How do you handle this?
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:30 PM   #63
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I haven't noticed this, for one thing. I have heard of some folks removing the inside foam for a "better sound." I suppose you could experiment with making your own grill.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:55 AM   #64
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"The only catch with all of this is that the input and output wires need to be in phase, and there is no info on the MXL ribbon motor. So I basically lucked out."

It's an easy fix you just need to swap the output wires around and your good to go!

Also you can reduce the 400 hz head basket resonance by removing the inner layer of mesh and also you can fill the body with foam to stop any resonances in the body.

hope this helps
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:12 AM   #65
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Just pulled the trigger on two of them, along with an impact twin interface.

Only shame is I won't get my hands on them until June...but nice to know they're there, along with my Equator D5s and new Gibson SG.
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