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Ribbon mics?? What to get???
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ziegenh5
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#1
26th May 2006
Old 26th May 2006
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Ribbon mics?? What to get???

OK.....I want to add a couple ribbons to the collection and need some advice. Uses would be primarily as drum room mics and electric guitar, maybe drum overheads. I'm interested in the Royer SF-12 and the Coles 4038. If you could only have a pair of Coles or an SF-12 for drums and guitars, which would it be? Can these mics handle electric guitars(mostly clean to mildly distorted and not very loud) without a problem or should I budget for an R121 as well, or just get two R121's for room mics and guitars and call it a day. Opinions??
Thanks,
Sean
#2
26th May 2006
Old 26th May 2006
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I love my Royer 121, Absolutely No Doubt, but, I just finished tracking 6 different female vocalists (Pop Rock) with a Beyer M160, which I borrowed, and now I MUST own at least 2 of these great mics. The beyer was great as a room mic, vocal mic, guitar cab mic. They each have great qualities.
I suggest you buy both and only send one back only if you absolutely have to.

Good Luck,
Thaddeus Corea.
#3
26th May 2006
Old 26th May 2006
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I second the Beyer option. I have an M200 and M130 and theyre awesome overheads, the M200 is great on elec and acc guitar and male vocals. Theyre also quite cheap compared to the others. Apparently the M160 were the mics that recorded John Bonham on When the Levee Breaks...just a pair of them and a tape echo.


M
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26th May 2006
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If you can stretch to it, get a pair of M160s and a Coles 4038. Perhaps replace the Coles with an AEA R92, but the pair of M160s is where I'd start.
ziegenh5
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26th May 2006
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Wow....so the M160 outshines the Coles and the Royers for drums and guitars?? If so, that's great, saves me some real bucks.
Sean
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26th May 2006
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Not necessarily, but for me they are every bit as useful and you can have a pair for the same cash as a single Royer. I absolutely love the Coles as well. How good is your drum room?
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26th May 2006
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If your drum room sounds really good then the Coles or the Royer would be my choice. Those with figure-8 patterns.

In my basement studio the room is only OK so the Beyer M-160 works better for me. The hypercardioid pattern puts more focus on drums, less on room.

I've done room/overhead shootouts against the more open sounding B&O and Royer mics and it just doesn't work for me here. I got better acoustic and vocals out of those mics but not drums and cabs.
ziegenh5
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27th May 2006
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My room is pretty decent now that I have GIK traps all over. I've been using a U87 or U67 in figure 8 or omni as a mono room mic and I really like it, however I want to get a pair of mics, and I'd like them to be a bit less brassy(smoother on the cymbals). Thus the ribbon mic inquiry. I also want to use the U87 and U67 elsewhere and don't really want a pair of either one($$$). Again they would be used primarily as drum room mics, and I'd also like to use them on guitar overdubs as a secondary use, although I get satisfactory results already with a 57 or one of my condensers. I was initially thinking Coles because I love William Wittman's drum sounds and I know he uses them for room mics. I just wonder if they can handle a moderately loud guitar amp at a reasonable distance( I like a little room sound in my guits), and if they sound as good or better than a royer 121 in this application, which I've owned in the past. Also, the SF-12 on the Royer Cd sounds killer, but I've never heard anyone say they use that mic on guitars, what's up with that? Now I have the Beyer's to look into, but they don't have the figure 8 thing going on which I prefer to cardiod in my room mics( in my LDC's at least). What a dilemma. Which mic does it all??
Sean
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27th May 2006
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The SF-12 is a Blumlein pair right? I doubt you'd want to use that all the time on guitar amps. A pair of figure 8 mics would probably be more versatile overall so I'd say AEA R84's or Royer R121's would be your best bet. The 4038 might be good but unfortunately I've never heard it on a guitar amp. I'm sure some here have...

Craig.
#10
27th May 2006
Old 27th May 2006
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we use an aea r84 and a royer 121 for overheads and we are very pleased with the results. If you're looking strictly for a room mic, I think the r84 would be very good, but I've never tried it in that application, so I don't know. Just pulling that out of my ass.
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27th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartMac
If you can stretch to it, get a pair of M160s and a Coles 4038. Perhaps replace the Coles with an AEA R92, but the pair of M160s is where I'd start.

exactly what i'd do.........coles 4038 and beyer 160........mmmmhhhhhh yummy
ziegenh5
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27th May 2006
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Ok. I'm seriously considering a pair of M160's now.....what's the scoop on 260's?? How do they compare to the M160 and are they still made???
Thanks,
Sean
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27th May 2006
Old 27th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
My room is pretty decent now that I have GIK traps all over. I've been using a U87 or U67 in figure 8 or omni as a mono room mic and I really like it, however I want to get a pair of mics, and I'd like them to be a bit less brassy(smoother on the cymbals). Thus the ribbon mic inquiry. I also want to use the U87 and U67 elsewhere and don't really want a pair of either one($$$). Again they would be used primarily as drum room mics, and I'd also like to use them on guitar overdubs as a secondary use, although I get satisfactory results already with a 57 or one of my condensers. I was initially thinking Coles because I love William Wittman's drum sounds and I know he uses them for room mics. I just wonder if they can handle a moderately loud guitar amp at a reasonable distance( I like a little room sound in my guits), and if they sound as good or better than a royer 121 in this application, which I've owned in the past. Also, the SF-12 on the Royer Cd sounds killer, but I've never heard anyone say they use that mic on guitars, what's up with that? Now I have the Beyer's to look into, but they don't have the figure 8 thing going on which I prefer to cardiod in my room mics( in my LDC's at least). What a dilemma. Which mic does it all??
Sean
Actually, the Beyer M130 is a figure of 8 mic. Double ribbon like the M160. I've never used mine for drums, but I imagine it would be like the M160 but with more room. Both the M130 and the M160 are very nice mics.
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27th May 2006
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You can consider a M-130 and a M-160 too. That's a Mid-Side Stereo for your drums and the M-160 for the cabinets.

I like having the two types of ribbons (hyper and figure-8) as well as a solid stereo set.

However, the Mid-Side is more suited to a room micing rather than close cymbals.
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27th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
OK.....I want to add a couple ribbons to the collection and need some advice. Uses would be primarily as drum room mics and electric guitar, maybe drum overheads. I'm interested in the Royer SF-12 and the Coles 4038. If you could only have a pair of Coles or an SF-12 for drums and guitars, which would it be? Can these mics handle electric guitars(mostly clean to mildly distorted and not very loud) without a problem or should I budget for an R121 as well, or just get two R121's for room mics and guitars and call it a day. Opinions??
Thanks,
Sean
The Royer sf-12 is a good choice on drums, and is not as fragile as the Coles. The Coles, however, is a great all around mic. Great on brass, woodwinds, piano, strings, you name it.

The royer is a bit better as a drum oh. Use a top shelf mic pre. Don't insult a slutty old ribbon mic with an ART or Berringer. Go TUBE if possible. That is to say, a mic pre without solid state components in the signal path, not one of those cheap-ass, op-amp, ic chip type boxes with a tube in it to add "warmth" (distortion). Let's face it, they should be called "distortion boxes". Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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27th May 2006
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I just ordered an Beyer M160
ziegenh5
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27th May 2006
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Where from?
#18
27th May 2006
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Here are some drums done with the M200 in an MS pair with an LDC mic as the side.



M
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 M200 drums.mp3 (376.5 KB, 324 views)
#19
27th May 2006
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I justy read this and cant believe that nobody has suggested the Coles 4040. Are they not available to you guys in the US or something? Compared to the 4038 the 4040 has an extended top end and higher output. I have done tests with it against the AEA84 and preferred the "thickness" of the 4040 on the applications we tested it on. The AEA84 was great but sounded a bit "thin" compared to the Coles 4040. Please note that it sounded thin COMPARED to the Coles 4040, but any ribbon mics sound could hardly be decribed as sounding thin in general.

Quote:
The Royer sf-12 is a good choice on drums, and is not as fragile as the Coles
Are you referring to longevity? While I dont own the 4038 I know of studios (and the BBC) who havnt needed to service them since they originally came out decades ago. Apart from anything else the Royers are very new on the market compared to the 4038's so a fair comparison cant really be made (regards longevity anyway).

To cut a long story short I went for the Coles 4040 and havnt regretted it. I have used it with great success on percussion, acoustic guitar. cello and even vocals.

I heard the Royer demo CD where Steve Albini compared the 4038 with one of the Royer ribbons on horns and I preferred the Coles. Having said that I havnt yet had the pleasure of using a Royer ribbon and Im sure they are very nice mics.
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27th May 2006
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The fragility of the Coles is in the susceptibility of the ribbon to moving air damage. From what I have been told by other engineers, the Royer has less of this type of fragility. I used to own a pair of RCA 44-BX's (which I sold before the value went insanely high, doh!) and they were by far the toughest ribbon mics I have worked with. It takes a lot of air to hurt that ribbon.

However, today I have a pair of 4038s, and even though it costs a bundle to have them re-ribboned, I prefer the sound of them to any ribbon I have worked with recently. I miss those 44s though.

I recommend using the little cloth bag, leave it on the mic until it's time for the music to start. If the mic doesn't come with one, make one, or use a plastic bag. Keep the mic away from the A/C, and don't move them fast or allow someone to walk past them fast.
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27th May 2006
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Do you happen to know if this fragility applys to the Coles 4040 as well?
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27th May 2006
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I wish I knew, but I have not had a chance to work with a 4040. Never even seen one in person.
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27th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Where from?
I like to Deal with Vintage King for these products. I am about to have the RCA mod done to my beyers...well see.
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27th May 2006
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Quote:
I wish I knew, but I have not had a chance to work with a 4040. Never even seen one in person.
Thats a shame as I fell in love with mine pretty quickly. Apart from the obvious sonic excitement that it invokes it also looks pretty damn incredible (beautiful build quality). I have to say that the build quality on the AEA84 didnt impress at all. Very plasticky and that grill was pretty shoddy. From what Ive heard the same cant be said for the Royers stuff though.

Regards looking after it I always keep mine vertical on the stand with the velvet bag over it when not using it. The only thing with the bag is remembering to take it off! It becomes a little like the photographer and the lens cap scenariotutt
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27th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
The only thing with the bag is remembering to take it off! It becomes a little like the photographer and the lens cap scenariotutt
And I would be afraid to ask the artist to take the bag off, they might whisk it off with a ribbon-destroying flourish!
ziegenh5
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27th May 2006
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Ok, let's change the question a little bit. If you could only have one mic to pull double duty being a mono compressed drum room mic and then electric guitar mic overdubs, regardless of price, would you chose:
1. Coles 4038
2. Royer 121
3. Beyer M160
4. Other ribbon, if so which one

Thanks
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28th May 2006
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Hmm, if there's only one mic in the bag then I'd say the R121 fits. I sounds nice overall and good on cabs. It's a good choice for guitar cabs since it's rugged.

But for the same price you can get a pair of M160's or a M-S set.

I know you said no price consideration but it's hard in that application to ignore...
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28th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Ok, let's change the question a little bit. If you could only have one mic to pull double duty being a mono compressed drum room mic and then electric guitar mic overdubs, regardless of price, would you chose:
1. Coles 4038
2. Royer 121
3. Beyer M160
4. Other ribbon, if so which one

Thanks

AEA R92
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28th May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Where from?

full compass has them for prett cheap
#30
28th May 2006
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Dont wish to harp on about this but why not add the Coles 4040 to your list? Or even replace the 4038 with it? Have I imagined this Coles 4040 or something? (beginning to question my sanity here)
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