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Old 4th October 2017
Lives for gear
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.