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Microphone Month

Extending the life of your ribbon mic in close-miking applications.

Ribbon mics are back in a big way thanks to new technologies that allow them to stand up to some pretty fierce SPLs for close miking, but keep in mind; a ribbon is still a 2.5-micron strip of aluminum. We’re talking thin — positively anorexic. The point is you still want to protect it.

If you’re close miking a kick drum, the wind coming out of the shell will cause the ribbon quite a bit of movement. If you have a side-address ribbon mic like a Royer 121 in front of the kick in a straight up and down position, the force hitting the ribbon will put about two to three months wear on it in one session. A solution is to angle the ribbon mic forward (approximately 30-45 degrees) so that the top of the mic is pointing into the kick drum’s shell. This way, you still get a full, deep kick sound, but the ribbon isn’t getting hit straight on, saving quite a bit of wear and tear.

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