Just bought a stereo ribbon - anyone used them?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Scott Whigham, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I'm pumped - I have this very cool Lavry AD11 coming in as a demo unit next week and now I have the perfect mic for acoustic gigs: a stereo ribbon. It's cool - it has what's basically a Y-cable: a single XLR end goes into the mic and then two XLRs come out of it.

    I've been wanting to test out stereo ribbons for a while - I've lusted after a Royer SF12 or an AEA R88 for a long time - but most are out of my price range. I ended up going with the Cascade X-15 which is moderately priced @ about $400.

    I bought it mainly for acoustic guitar stuff but I think it would be great on drums too. Anyone else using a stereo ribbon?

    Check out this fabulous track from Thomas Oliver on his Weissenborn that shows the differences between various mics. I love the detail and width the X-15 provides:

     
  2. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I'm friends with Thomas on facebook, but I've never heard him play - OH MY GOD!

    Incredible.
     
  3. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Got the Cascade X15 and I'm loving it - it handles strumming well and it handles really sensitive fingerpicking well. Here's a test piece I did today that has both (and is a good test piece for almost any mic given how dynamic it is). The rattle you hear is actually the guitar (I'm working on finding/fixing that!):

    [soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/scott-whigham/scott-whigham-kalimba-20120312[/soundcloud]

    Yes, I know the guitar's out of tune but it's just a "How does this mic handle this tune?" piece!!!
     
  4. Somniferous

    Somniferous Member

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    I've used the Royer one as a drum room mic in one session and it sounded great. I've never felt the need to purchase one though, although it did make placement way easier.
     
  5. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    Cool to see this thread Scott,about 2 to 3 weeks ago I stumbled onto the same video and was instantly sold,it's my next purchase.Your clip sounds great and only galvanized my initial thought of this mic...
     
  6. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Thanks! I'm going to try some more standard acoustic guitar stuff today and see how it handles that. The resonator works really well with ribbon mics overall - the darkness of a Royer 121, for example, really tames some of the "garbage can" harshness the resonator can impart. I think this Cascade X15 did a really great job with that too.

    On a side note, I switched around the monitor/desk position in my studio last week and this is the first clip I "mixed" with the new position. In the studio, it sounds full and fabulous. When I listened on another system, it sounded like there was almost no low end at all. Interesting....
     
  7. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    OH! That mic sounds like a record....damn it Scott, now i have to have it. Recorded at STL, that's where i bought my Fatheads from haha...looks like they may have some more business from me soon.
     
  8. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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  9. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    Can't wait to get mine now......BTW I'm a fingerpicker myself and the condensers just don't do it for me,I just realized this lately when I picked up my first ribbon (Fathead) and although that mic does not have enough air for acoustic I find myself using it over my condensers because it sounds more natural/organic/analog.....This mic sounds perfect for that application to my ears
     
  10. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Did the SoundCloud version sound warbly/messed up to you? I just listened to it on SC and it sounds all goofy still. I recorded it 24/96 but then uploaded the 48k mp3 - I wonder if that caused some issue.

    EDIT - I just uploaded the WAV version and it sounded the same. Hmmmm - the files sound fine on multiple systems of mine so I'm thinking the SC system has a problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  11. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    Scott, just listened through headphones and yes what you describe as "warbly" is there.Didn't pick this up earlier because I was just paying attention to tone, and from the ear it just sounds out of tune, also there are some artifacts there as well.......Issues aside,the tone of the mic sounds beautiful.
     
  12. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    My understanding is that you have to download to get the uploaded version. Otherwise you're streaming at a horrendously low rate. Even worse if you upload a compressed file to begin with.

    This is why I don't use SC--I don't want people streaming, which is what they'll do since it's right in front of them. It's that convenience thing, lol.
     
  13. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    The first stereo ribbon I used was one of the original Bob Speiden microphones back in the mid '90s... they're more or less what the Royer SF12 is based on. Also used the B&O quite a bit on Swampadelica's "Sac Passe" on the tracks we did at The Barn... the mixerman didn't use a whole lot of it in the final mixes, opting for a "dryer" and more direct sound rather then room.

    That video seems kinda whack, the ribbon sounds good but the 414 & other mic are not only mono sources but in a completely different position! Not a viable A/B comparison and really, he's a good enough player that any of those (at least through utoob compression) would be great in a mix...

    Good stereo mics are great if you have a great room... I don't have any stereo ribbons in my collection but one of the favorites is a Shure VP88, stereo condenser. Used that for anything and everything at various points... drums, guitar amps, vocals... you name it!
     
  14. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Member

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    These sound fantastic, Scott! Hmm, didn't know I needed one of these. Would this be terrible on vocals?
     
  15. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Yeah, I agree it was a bit weird. The X15 caught my ears though regardless - it wasn't "I liked it in comparison to the others" but rather "Wow - that sounds really good and I play that sort of music so I'd like to try it out for myself." So far, I'm really digging it. Did you check out the MP3 version I uploaded? I think it really sounds nice.

    Thanks, Jack :)

    I have no clue about vox though - that seems weird to me but I don't know enough about recording vocals.
     

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