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Live Sound Month!

Angle Ribbon Mics for Safety

Q: I love the sound of my ribbon mics, but I am paranoid about using them on kick drum, bass amp, and other sources, because I heard that the mic could be damaged. Should I be worried about my mics?

A: Ribbon mics sound great on just about any source. But most ribbon mics are sensitive to air blasts, so you are right to be concerned — an inopportune puff of air can easily stretch a mic’s delicate ribbon, potentially requiring a pricy repair or even the loss of the mic.

The solution? Place the mic so that the ribbon is angled away from the source — in other words, tilt the mic so that the ribbon is not at 90 degrees to the source. For even greater protection, place a pop filter between the mic and the source.

We’ve never had a ribbon damaged while using this angling technique, but of course, we can’t guarantee your mics will be safe, even if you angle them. Use caution! If you can feel a burst of air come from the source, take precautions to protect your mics.

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