Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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rojarosguitar
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Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:16 pm

Hello, I finally came to make a short comparison between four ribbon mics for classical guitar:

https://soundcloud.com/rojarosguitar/sets/ribbon-microphones-comparison-classical-guitar

I compare here four different ribbon microphones numbered one to four. The mics with the same number are the same throughout the test. They all went simultaneously through Antelope Zenstudio interface Micpres at the same amplification level and were normalized to -0.9dB in Protools 11. Recorded at 96kHz/24 bit and bounced to 44.1/16 with no processing whatsoever. So within the differences of the placements of the microphones these are takes of exactly the same playing and as such can be directly compared to a certain degree.
The mics were level with my eyes and a good stretched arm length distance from me.

The guitar used here is a Sebastian Stenzel 'Enhanced Wood' modell (cedar/Hondurian RW).

I will divulge later which one is which. Any comments very welcome.

The pieces are by:JS Bach, Esim Can and SL Weiss.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

Ricardo Barros
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby Ricardo Barros » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:28 am

Very well played ! Congratulations !!

My favorite is number 3. I have to listen again with better headphones, but my first impression is that number 3 sounded "rounder", with less nail and string adventitious sounds.

Again, congratulations on the very nice tone and interpretation !
Sergio Abreu 2012 (sp/ir)
Ricardo Barros 2013 (cd/ir)

stevel
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby stevel » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:55 am

I think I like 3 the best too, at least through my laptop speakers. It is "rounder" and "woodier". However, I notice most people actually prefer a brighter sound - I play electric with a very dark tone and I actually had a sound engineer ask me if I could brighten up my sound the other night. First time that's ever happened. But I think the other guitarist in our band has a "clangy" sound because his is so bright. But that's what people seem to want becuase it "cuts through".

For that reason, I think a lot of modern recordists might go for Mic #2. Certainly on my laptop it has more clarity and definition than the other 3 and I bet the same would go for online streaming (which is how I'm listening) or listening through earbuds.

#4 is "brittle" to me, with the "brightness" of #2 but lacking the as much "warmth" (low end and low mids I'm not hearing).

#1 is "ok" to me. It just seems a bit lackluster.

I can't wait to hear which one the 121 is.

veetguitar
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby veetguitar » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:23 pm

For me it would be 2 followed closely by 3. ! and 4 are out of competition.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:01 pm

Veetguitar, why, if I may ask?
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gabasa
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby gabasa » Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:54 am

I just listened to the samples on my laptop. I think that #3 is midrangey, in a way that sounds nice with your guitar. #4 sounded the most natural, to me, on my computer speakers. Which is which?

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:20 pm

1. Samar Vl37
2. sE X1R
3. Royer SF-12 upper part
4. Cascade X-15 upper part (stock transformer)

All tracks simultaneously recorded mono via Antelope Zenstudio preamps 96/24 into ProTools 11 at 45 Gain. Apart from normalizing all tracks to -0.8dB and fades no processing whatsoever. Bounced to disk at 44.1/16 wav stereo and uploaded to Soundcloud.

That's it.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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gabasa
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby gabasa » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:47 am

My question is, how do you feel about your microphones? You've spent time with them, so you're in a better position to answer this than most of us. What's your favorite? Why?

I wonder how a Coles 4038 would compare to your four....

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:44 pm

My feeling is that I like the Samar very much, certainly more than Royer or sE X1r; Cascade is always a bit of a surprize for me; I consider it a very good microphone, though a bit on they bassy side, and as a coincident stere microphone I wouldn't use it allone because I don't like coincident techniques anymore.

I may end up using the Samars plus some condenser for more air.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

stevel
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby stevel » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:03 am

Move them all a foot away, or however much closer they can be, or a foot to the side, and see what you get ;-)

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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:41 pm

The microphones that are to be heard in viewtopic.php?f=1&t=98726 are the Samars combined with a pinch of DPA ...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

gasman
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby gasman » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:00 pm

there is not a "great difference" betwer x1r and the others considering price

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Four different ribbon microphones for classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:31 pm

gasman wrote:there is not a "great difference" betwer x1r and the others considering price


Well, that's the thing. This is called 'effect of diminishing returns'... But for my taste Samar are by far the best ribbons I know of.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...


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