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Extinct Audio....new ribbon mics inspired by B&O Equalisers (HW)
Old 3rd April 2018
  #1
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Extinct Audio....new ribbon mics inspired by B&O

Here's a review of the new Extinct audio passive ribbon mics (complete with ears !), made in the UK and inspired by the revered B&O BM series....there's a lot of interesting constructional detail included: Extinct Audio BM9 |
Old 3rd April 2018
  #2
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emrr's Avatar
Cool, I hadn't heard Stewart had a product now.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #3
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Initial files I heard sound like a mix between the vibey end like Coles and the purity end like Samar/Royer or such. Detailed but with a 'place imprint/angle of reality' definitely not boring. And great price. Go Stewart!
Old 6th September 2018
  #4
Gear Addict
Initial impressions. The mic is well built, just love the box. The mic is one of the quietest ribbon in operations but as with all ribbons keep away from RF sources.
The mic has enough low end to it, not overdone low end like Stager or some of the older RCA. It has a slightly scooped Lo mid to it and it has a clear top end. A little more then the older RCA variants more top end then Stager more top end then Cloud ribbons.
But it has a hint of, and this is just my opinion, scratchy hi-mid range maybe even resonance to it is what I am hearing. Probably not the best description. ITs certainly not a deal breaker in any way just a minor scribble. Not sure if its a design in the metal head unit and reflections that are happening in there.
I would say it sits real close to the RCA KB2C mic with more top end. I quite like those paintbrush mics. Which is why I quite like this BM9 as well.
I think if you have chased down a lot of the older Ribbons you could have saved yourself a whole lot of time and just bought a pair of these and all your problems with Ribbons are now solved.
Nice work Extinct Audio
Old 6th September 2018
  #5
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Thanks for your report Kumbari....I'm wondering how symmetrical the front and back is, in terms of it being usable as a side mic in a mid-side arrangement ?

Few fig 8 mics have true front/back symmetry (and most of them tend to be condensors rather than ribbons)...while some ribbon makers engineer a pronounced bright side/dark side into their mics through various constructional tweaks...to produce 2 tonal characters within the one mic

I couldn't find anything on their website pertaining to this aspect of their performance: Home - Extinct Audio

Did you buy yours through a local dealer, or direct import from Extinct ?

Update : I sent the same query to Stewart at Extinct, and just received the following reply: "Thanks for your message.

The BM9 is a perfectly symmetrical figure 8, with the obvious caveat that the rear is reverse polarity to the front of the mic, which is true of all figure 8 microphones. It is ideal for mid-side or Blumlein recording.

The ribbon sits bang in the middle of the motor assembly, and the grills are the same front and rear"

Last edited by studer58; 6th September 2018 at 06:54 AM..
Old 6th September 2018
  #6
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zebra50's Avatar
 

>I'm wondering how symmetrical the front and back is, in terms of it being usable as a side mic in a mid-side arrangement ?

I was about to come in and answer that one, but looks like Studer58 has saved me a job.

We don't yet have a dealer for these in Oz-land so direct sales for now.

The mics do have just a fraction of top end lift designed in, to compensate for the when the ribbon naturally starts to roll off, which I suspect is what Kumbari has picked up.

Cheers!
Stewart

Old 6th September 2018
  #7
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Those ears are pretty but could be a pain for MS config
Old 6th September 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Those ears are pretty but could be a pain for MS config
All you'd need is a corresponding notch/slot cut into the rear body of the M mic, then just slide it in alongside, like a tongue and groove joint in carpentry.....
Old 6th September 2018
  #9
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Nice and accurate response Stewart. Spot on.
Thanks
Old 20th September 2018
  #10
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PS, if you were wondering about MS recording with a BM9 as the side mic, Johannes Buff does it nicely here....

Old 20th September 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra50 View Post
PS, if you were wondering about MS recording with a BM9 as the side mic, Johannes Buff does it nicely here....

Would sound dreadful with the capsules that far apart.
Old 20th September 2018
  #12
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Would sound dreadful with the capsules that far apart.
Yep, that configuration doesn't really make technical sense; could sound . . . well, maybe not

I get that the "ears" are homage to B&O but it certainly does make the mic body a PITA to use in M/S on location. Maybe easy enough to make an ear-less body style and call it, perhaps, H&O after that big-hit band of the 70s-80s?

D.
Old 21st September 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Yep, that configuration doesn't really make technical sense; could sound . . . well, maybe not

I get that the "ears" are homage to B&O but it certainly does make the mic body a PITA to use in M/S on location. Maybe easy enough to make an ear-less body style and call it, perhaps, H&O after that big-hit band of the 70s-80s?

D.
In the pictured scenario, the fins/ears are less the problem than the cap/dome on top...in terms of separating the mic diaphragms from one another. Still, I'd rather hear the result of this pair first....than critiquing it on purely visual assumptions alone.
Old 21st September 2018
  #14
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
In the pictured scenario, the fins/ears are less the problem than the cap/dome on top...in terms of separating the mic diaphragms from one another. Still, I'd rather hear the result of this pair first....than critiquing it on purely visual assumptions alone.
I think I'll still stand by my statement; I said nothing about the sound of the mic. Only that in the work that I do, it would be impossible to rig it and so of no use to me whatsoever.

D.
Old 21st September 2018
  #15
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zebra50's Avatar
 

Cap comes off easily. I guess we could supply a flat top for those who need the extra millilmeters.

Form follows function. The 'fins' are the magnetic circuit, as they are in Royer and B&O microphones. Not homage or cosmetic.

I am curious to see how you are all doing mid-side with large ribbons.... say, an RCA or AEA 44, or Coles 4038, which have a longer ribbon to body distance. Photos please!
Old 21st September 2018
  #16
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As has been pointed out in other discussions of using large body mics in an over/under Blumlein set up, the critical factors are that both capsules - motors in this case - are as close together as possible as well as perpendicular and on-axis to the sound source so that the sound arrives at the top and bottom mics simultaneously. Blumlein himself would have had much larger and clumsy figure eights to work with...not all Blumlein arrays need to be as compact as a pair of side-by-side MKH30 mics...but I completely agree with Doug that its no fun working with big, heavy, awkward rigs. That said, on occasion I have had to use an over/under pair of AT4050f or MS, which results in a large capsule to capsule distance, and the results sounded fine to me.

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 21st September 2018 at 11:39 AM.. Reason: clarification
Old 21st September 2018
  #17
Is there a frequency response plot available?
Old 21st September 2018
  #18
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Heres a pair of PGS ribbons in MS
Not for the faint hearted
Roger
Attached Thumbnails
Extinct Audio....new ribbon mics inspired by B&O-dscf5769.jpg  
Old 21st September 2018
  #19
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra50 View Post

Form follows function. The 'fins' are the magnetic circuit, as they are in Royer and B&O microphones. Not homage or cosmetic.
Of course. I should have realized that they might have a function. My bad.

In any case, I use nothing but SDC for my M/S arrays although I could use my Samar VL373A or the AKG C426B if I wanted larger diaphragms. But the diaphragm center-lines on both of those are still far, far apart. I work only on location so set-up ergonomics are high on the "list of importance". I can imagine doing things differently in the studio.

D.
Old 22nd September 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Heres a pair of PGS ribbons in MS
Not for the faint hearted
Roger
It looks like you've spot welded the two mic heads together at 90 degrees...that takes balls !
Old 22nd September 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
It looks like you've spot welded the two mic heads together at 90 degrees...that takes balls !
Looking at the photo, Roger's motto is "In cable ties we trust"! But how did the Beeb handle such beasts in the days before zip-ties?
Old 22nd September 2018
  #22
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This was my preferred fix, retort clamps
The cable ties worked but the thought of failure when run into by a motorbility scooter was too pythonesque
Any how big magnet ribbons are a liability in public imho
Roger
Attached Thumbnails
Extinct Audio....new ribbon mics inspired by B&O-dscf5793.jpg  
Old 22nd September 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
failure when run into by a motorbility scooter
I had my first "almost disaster" of the new season last night when a woman tripped over the well-marked leg of a tripod mic stand. The stand stayed upright as did the woman. I walked over to her and ask "are you all right?" That was professional speak for "why don't you look where you are walking you clumsy oaf."

At least I didn't need to call my lawyer. Grateful!

D.
Old 23rd September 2018
  #24
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Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I had my first "almost disaster" of the new season last night when a woman tripped over the well-marked leg of a tripod mic stand. The stand stayed upright as did the woman. I walked over to her and ask "are you all right?" That was professional speak for "why don't you look where you are walking you clumsy oaf."

At least I didn't need to call my lawyer. Grateful!

D.
I now go for high mass low centre of gravity mic stand bases like these, rather than 'easy to carry, lightweight, sensible, industry-standard, convenient' stands like Manfrotto for example. Sandbags just don't cut it....sheer brutal ground-level mass is the only way for me I'm afraid.
Attached Thumbnails
Extinct Audio....new ribbon mics inspired by B&O-image.jpeg  
Old 23rd September 2018
  #25
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I don't really understand the criticism of the pictured M-S rig as having the capsules too far apart. You can't really get them any closer together even with a dedicated stereo ribbon mic, because ribbon elements are unavoidably long and thin. Does this mean we should only be using SDCs for our coincident stereo recordings?
Old 23rd September 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peller View Post
I don't really understand the criticism of the pictured M-S rig as having the capsules too far apart. You can't really get them any closer together even with a dedicated stereo ribbon mic, because ribbon elements are unavoidably long and thin. Does this mean we should only be using SDCs for our coincident stereo recordings?
Until some manufacturing genius comes up with a way to bisect the actual ribbon and insert another at 90 angle inside it you'll never keep the theoretical purists happy I suspect Rode and their laser beam cutter methods might be the prime candidates for making the first integrated 2 ribbons in 1 mic M-S device

Last edited by studer58; 24th September 2018 at 01:51 AM..
Old 23rd September 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I now go for high mass low centre of gravity mic stand bases like these, rather than 'easy to carry, lightweight, sensible, industry-standard, convenient' stands like Manfrotto for example. Sandbags just don't cut it....sheer brutal ground-level mass is the only way for me I'm afraid.
Do you find they're any better (or worse) for transmitting stage-borne vibrations?
Old 23rd September 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I now go for high mass low centre of gravity mic stand bases like these, rather than 'easy to carry, lightweight, sensible, industry-standard, convenient' stands like Manfrotto for example. Sandbags just don't cut it....sheer brutal ground-level mass is the only way for me I'm afraid.
These must keep you fit! Joking aside, could you recommend any currently available mic stands that have very heavy round bases but which are not priced at the Panamic Cathedral level? (And the Panamic is evidently not designed to support a stereo bar with more than perhaps four small SDCs.) The Atlas models that have round bases (as opposed to the triangular bases that come with their largest models) seem only to have bases weighing about 2-3.5kg, which doesn't strike me as sufficient when there's trip risk. (I suppose the ideal would be a modular round base system where the user could add additional rounds, as a weight lifter can add additional weight discs to his bar...)


Thank you for any suggestions.

John Pk
Old 24th September 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
(I suppose the ideal would be a modular round base system where the user could add additional rounds, as a weight lifter can add additional weight discs to his bar...)
You can actually do that with the round-based Atlas stands. Slip lifting plates over the tube and let them rest on the base.

But there is a clear trade-off with taking heavy based, non-collapsing, and short stands on location. And that trade-off is, mostly, unacceptable.

My stand had a 30 pound sand bag on it and there was, in reality, no way the stand was falling over. It had one SDC on top and was only about 10' tall. But the woman could have certainly tripped and fallen; a really bad outcome.

In the end, we can only tilt the odds to our favor. Never eliminate them. And sometimes I just need a stand that will go 17' in the air and tripods are the best choice. Fingers crossed.

D.
Old 24th September 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmaier View Post
Do you find they're any better (or worse) for transmitting stage-borne vibrations?
They undoubtedly 'couple' the stand to the floor it's on more effectively than a lighter one...and that probably extends to transmitting vibrations as well. The footprint mine occupies usually means that, if there's a raised stage for the players, my stand goes on the lower (audience level) floor behind the conductor...so there's already automatic isolation from the floor the players are on.

That said I'd never run a session or concert recording without mic shock mounts (Rycote INV etc) as they handle the bulk of the vibration mitigation. I do lend the stand a helping hand by placing a square of low pile high density rubber backed carpet under the stand, or a similar sized square of 1/4" (6mm) industrial density rubber sheet underneath. I'm sure these decouple the stand quite significantly.

I've seen others use compressible sponge foam under the feet of tripods (Manfrotto type) but in my case the stand mass would compress such sponge so much as to render it less useful...hence the carpet/rubber idea.
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