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Ribbon mics with ultra-low noise floor Ribbon Microphones
Old 2nd October 2017
  #31
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
I've never seen or heard of one being used on a microphone cable.
I use them all the time. I think I might have got the idea here? You put one down right at the end butted up against the male xlr. Makes a ribbon mic free of EMI/EMF noise which is a big part of typical ribbon mic noise equation and does not effect the tone unless you like noisy mics?

That link was just an example. You have to size them up to the cable outer diameter because they come in a number of inner diameter sizes. I used to cut the mic cable lengths short and have the preamp sitting as close to the ribbon mic as possible. I've not felt the need to do that since using these.
Old 2nd October 2017
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcabbage View Post
I use them all the time. I think I might have got the idea here? You put one down right at the end butted up against the male xlr. Makes a ribbon mic free of EMI/EMF noise which is a big part of typical ribbon mic noise equation and does not effect the tone unless you like noisy mics?

That link was just an example. You have to size them up to the cable outer diameter because they come in a number of inner diameter sizes. I used to cut the mic cable lengths short and have the preamp sitting as close to the ribbon mic as possible. I've not felt the need to do that since using these.
Anybody else? Is this snake oil or real science?
Old 2nd October 2017
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Anybody else? Is this snake oil or real science?
They're probably less than a buck a piece on ebay. I don't think you need to worry about the investment. Try one for yourself and see, no snake oil involved.
Old 2nd October 2017
  #34
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I don't have any particular noise problem to solve. I'm just curious about the science involved.
I wouldn't paint all my mic cables yellow just because someone said it made them quieter. The low cost of yellow paint wouldn't be an important consideration.
And I'm not taking sides against you, I'd just like some explanation of the why and how these little barrels could make a mic cable quieter.
Old 2nd October 2017
  #35
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How bout the neve/se rnr1
Old 2nd October 2017
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paraudio View Post
How bout the neve/se rnr1
If you look at the GS reviews for this mic, the first posts remark about how hissy and noisy it is.

Last edited by Bushman; 2nd October 2017 at 09:13 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 3rd October 2017
  #37
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Anybody else? Is this snake oil or real science?
They can solve one sort of noise problem, but it's not one I've ever experienced at my locations.
Old 3rd October 2017
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
I don't have any particular noise problem to solve. I'm just curious about the science involved.
I wouldn't paint all my mic cables yellow just because someone said it made them quieter. The low cost of yellow paint wouldn't be an important consideration.
And I'm not taking sides against you, I'd just like some explanation of the why and how these little barrels could make a mic cable quieter.
No, it's real science.

The principle behind how it works is actually similar to the principal behind both faraday cages, as well as how transformers can help reject noise.

I would look for white papers from Deane Jensen or Bill Whitlock...they've both addressed this over the years much better than I could!
Old 3rd October 2017
  #39
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Rode NTR

NTR Specifications
Acoustic Principle Velocity Transducer
Active Electronics Step-up Transformer and signal balanced preamp stage
Polar Pattern
Address Type Side
Frequency Range 20Hz - 20kHz
Output Impedance 200Ω
Maximum SPL 130dBSPL
Sensitivity -30.5dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (30.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted) 15dBA
Power Options +48V phantom power
Weight 1047g
Dimensions 216mmH x 65mmW x 65mmD
Output XLR Output

Rode: NTR active ribbon mic | Tape Op Magazine | Longform candid interviews with music producers and audio engineers covering mixing, mastering, recording and music production.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-ntr
Old 3rd October 2017
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Rode NTR

NTR Specifications
Acoustic Principle Velocity Transducer
Active Electronics Step-up Transformer and signal balanced preamp stage
Polar Pattern
Address Type Side
Frequency Range 20Hz - 20kHz
Output Impedance 200Ω
Maximum SPL 130dBSPL
Sensitivity -30.5dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (30.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted) 15dBA
Power Options +48V phantom power
Weight 1047g
Dimensions 216mmH x 65mmW x 65mmD
Output XLR Output

Rode: NTR active ribbon mic | Tape Op Magazine | Longform candid interviews with music producers and audio engineers covering mixing, mastering, recording and music production.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-ntr
That leaves the NTR 10.5 db noisier than the NT-1a, but 2 to 5 db quieter than some classic tube LDCs. I wouldn’t expect it to be a great mic on quiet sources. It could still be a great mic, IDK.
Old 3rd October 2017
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Anybody else? Is this snake oil or real science?
Falls under the category of a little knowledge is a dangerous/useless thing. One bead over a screened cable will do nothing useful in the audio bandwidth, wrapping each (both) signal conductors around a bead many times will have an effect on RF (which the screen already deals with) and will also create an inductor in circuit. You dont want more inductance in a mic cable carrying a tiny signal.
Old 3rd October 2017
  #42
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I used yesterday two Apex 205 modified with Lundahl Trannies (Michael Jolys modification) and two Trition Audio FETheads on my Yamaha C7 Grand piano. Next to these mics two Neumann KM 184. I was wondering how quiet the ribbons were in comparison. I used a Yamaha MLA 8 Preamp for the two pairs, and Lake People AD Converters ADDA F45. For me, the modified Apex 205 are high-end for a bargain. The Fetheads are not only responsible for the transparent gain of 20dB, its also a impedance converter which makes the ribbons really silent.
Old 3rd October 2017
  #43
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I should have added, when I said there was some science to back it up...afaik the place to put it would be on the power cable, and at that the influence on noise suppression has a limit of a few dBs if that, I believe.

I think it only applies to some borderline cases where differences in ground potential between sockets seem to cause hum...but I don't want to swear to it since I haven't read up on it in so long. May possibly reduce noise or interference in some other cases, since come to think of it, you do see them on video equipment quite often.
Old 4th October 2017
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
Falls under the category of a little knowledge is a dangerous/useless thing. One bead over a screened cable will do nothing useful in the audio bandwidth, wrapping each (both) signal conductors around a bead many times will have an effect on RF (which the screen already deals with) and will also create an inductor in circuit. You dont want more inductance in a mic cable carrying a tiny signal.
So we might say this is a form of reptile lubricant.
If it worked at all on mic cables, I would think that the boutique cable companies would build the bump into their cables and charge you an extra $25 per cable. Anyone who has paid extra for “directional cables” would stand in line for this.

Last edited by Bushman; 4th October 2017 at 12:07 AM.. Reason: Extra extra word word.
Old 4th October 2017
  #45
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Don't forget that there's a whole lot more to great sound than noise specs. It really comes down to the character and tone of the source and how the mic captures that.

Ribbons are a great way to capture sound in a very smooth and pleasing way and its silly to think they aren't up to the task because of noise specifications. If you're in a quite room, have a good pre and understand gain staging, mic placement etc you'll have no problem getting a great sound with a ribbon mic even on a quite source.
Old 4th October 2017
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Don't forget that there's a whole lot more to great sound than noise specs. It really comes down to the character and tone of the source and how the mic captures that.

Ribbons are a great way to capture sound in a very smooth and pleasing way and its silly to think they aren't up to the task because of noise specifications. If you're in a quite room, have a good pre and understand gain staging, mic placement etc you'll have no problem getting a great sound with a ribbon mic even on a quite source.
Not always true. In recording a musical in a 1200 seat theater with a balcony and a very large and tall proscenium, I wanted to put a mic above the top of the proscenium to get that somewhat distant “roar of the crowd”. I thought the ribbon’s tighter front pattern and somewhat rolled off top would be perfect. Nope. Not enough gain. Even with the ribbon feeding a Cloudlifter, feeding a very clean True Precision preamp, there was no adjustment of the various gains that captured the crowd without a ton of amplifier noise. And it was a great 1950s television crowd sound behind that noise. Switched to a Rode short shotgun and the noise dropped to an unnoticeable level. There was no other practical mic placement that gave the same big room sound. The Rode didn’t sound quite as good aesthetically, but it solved the noise problem. So yeah, on a close miked vocal, even a very quiet one, a ribbon should be useable, but there are tasks that some mic types are not suitable for.
Old 5th October 2017
  #47
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Here's the Rode NTR on classical guitar. Sounds good to me..

Old 5th October 2017
  #48
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Love my Samar my 65
Old 6th October 2017
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Here's the Rode NTR on classical guitar. Sounds good to me..

Yes it does, but it’s not at all a very quiet, distant or challenging source.
Old 6th October 2017
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Not always true. In a musical in a 1200 seat theater with a balcony and a very large and tall proscenium, I wanted to put a mic above the top of the proscenium to get that somewhat distant “roar of the crowd”. I thought the ribbon’s tighter front pattern and somewhat rolled off top would be perfect. Nope. Not enough gain. Even with the ribbon feeding a Cloudlifter, feeding a very clean True Precision preamp, there was no adjustment of the various gains that captured the crowd without a ton of amplifier noise. And it was a great 1950s television crowd sound behind that noise. Switched to a Rode short shotgun and the noise dropped to an unnoticeable level. There was no other practical mic placement that gave the same big room sound. The Rode didn’t sound quite as good aesthetically, but it solved the noise problem. So yeah, on a close miked vocal, even a very quiet one, a ribbon should be useable, but there are tasks that some mic types are not suitable for.
Ribbons smooth over fast transients in a way that thickens things up, but for a room full of people clapping,,,, ribbon is a bad choice, ribbons don't handle transients like that well. SDC is the way to go for that task.

The real old time drummers would not play on the hats at the same time as the snare because the snare sounded better in the ribbon mic without the hats going. This is before there were things like a high hat mic.
Old 6th October 2017
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Ribbons smooth over fast transients in a way that thickens things up, but for a room full of people clapping,,,, ribbon is a bad choice, ribbons don't handle transients like that well. SDC is the way to go for that task.

The real old time drummers would not play on the hats at the same time as the snare because the snare sounded better in the ribbon mic without the hats going. This is before there were things like a high hat mic.
I have a completely different understanding of both issues.

Passive ribbons and active ribbons without EQ circuits do roll off on the top end, and sound “smoother” as a result of that and the required transformer, but they are not at all deficient in terms of transient response. The ribbon has far less mass than an SDC capsule and so is actually quicker, not slower.
Ribbons, particularly the RCA ribbons, were the usual talent mics and audience mics for the first ten years of television. That was the sound I was after.

The most well-known “old time drummer” who does not play the hat on snare beats is probably Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones. I haven’t looked it up today, but I think he said he didn’t like the sound of both played together. It had nothing to do with the miked sound. If I recall correctly, he just thought it sounded cleaner to him as a drummer.
Old 14th October 2017
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Anybody else? Is this snake oil or real science?
Ferrite cores are a useful tool when solving Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) problems. I keep a few in my gig box, and have built audio snakes with ferrites on the fan end. But before you rush out and order a box of them from eBay, there are a few things you should understand.
  • The "noise" problems they can help solve are those related to unwanted pickup of radio signals.
  • Ferrites won't help with thermal (Johnson) noise or with flicker (1/f) noise, which are the most important noise types when amplifying low-output ribbon mics.
  • Ferrites won't help with AC line noise.
  • Even at radio frequencies, ferrites are not a "one size fits all" solution. They need to be chosen to match the interference frequency and the input impedance of the device under challenge.

A very good reference on the use of ferrites in audio is this paper by Jim Brown

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 16th October 2017
  #53
AB3
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I have no idea why the Samar mics have a low noise floor, but that is what I am experiencing.

Otherwise, if money is no object, the AEA A-440 is safe choice imho.
Old 18th August 2018
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
If you look at the GS reviews for this mic, the first posts remark about how hissy and noisy it is.
I have three sE RNR1 ribbon microphones, but don't recognise the noise concerns mentioned here. There again, I'm using DAV BG1 mic amps, which are quiet, and not recording the beating wings of a butterfly!

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 18th August 2018 at 08:47 PM..
Old 18th August 2018
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post
noise concert
Great phrase! I'll be using that
Old 18th August 2018
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
Great phrase! I'll be using that
I've been to a few of those!

When I was quite young, a musician friend of mine attended a concert of modern music, circa 1960s early 70s. He had an open mind as far as music was concerned. However, this particular concert had one piece that 'went on' for an unreasonable length of time, if I told you how long you would think I was exaggerating.

The players comprised a soprano singer and a lot of percussionists. Basically there was a lot of screaming, and the soprano was involved in running about the stage a lot, she ran from one instrument to another screaming at the players. When the piece finally ended, in excess of 2 hours PLUS, there was a long hushed silence, mainly due to the fact that no one knew whether it was actually finished, or whether it was going to strike up again, I mean, it had been going on for so long! In the long silence following the final scream the woman sitting in the seat behind my friend was heard to say, "Oh!.......It's stopped".




I won't elaborate any further, but to hear the ending of a piece described in those words, I find very funny.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 19th August 2018 at 12:19 PM..
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