A ribbon microphone is also known as a ribbon velocity microphone. It is a microphone that uses a thin conductive band of aluminum, duralumin or nanofilm, which is placed between the poles of a magnet to generate a voltage through electromagnetic induction. Ribbon microphones are usually bi-directional, meaning they pick up sound equally well from both sides of the microphone.
Ribbon microphones are the most natural microphones you can use to capture instrument sounds, vocals, and even the atmosphere of a room. Ribbon microphones pick up sounds more like your own ears than any other microphone. This is due to their figure-8 pattern, plenty of low-end pickups and a natural high-frequency roll-off.
If you're a musician and if you've struggled a bit to capture the natural sound of your instruments, then you should definitely try a ribbon microphone. Ribbon microphones are the warmest, most natural microphones in the world.
The beginning with ribbon microphones
From the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s, most recordings and broadcasts were made using ribbon microphones. The basic design of ribbon microphones has always been very simple. The internals of the microphone itself consist of a thin strip of corrugated aluminum loosely suspended between two magnets attached to a transformer.
In the 1970s, as condenser microphones improved significantly in quality, ribbon microphones fell out of favor. There were clearly fewer supporters of the old ribbon microphone. This is primarily because the recording methods changed and the clear and bright sound from condenser microphones became popular. It is believed that the more and brighter tones compensated a little for the high-frequency roll-off on older mixers, tape machines, vinyl records and on the radio. It was also around this time that RCA shut down its ribbon microphone manufacturing, bringing the market to a standstill.
In the 1990s, when we began to produce music with digital recordings to a greater extent, the ribbon microphones made a great comeback. Because of the good sound. On the other hand, we have moved a bit away from condenser microphones.
The ribbon microphones you can get today are significantly stronger than in the old days. They are better and easier to work with. We have compiled an overview of the best ribbon microphones on the market:
- Royer SF-24
- Royer R-122V Vacuum Tube Ribbon Microphone
- Royer Labs R-122 MKII-MP Phantom Powered Ribbon Set
- Royer Labs R-121-MP Studio Ribbon Microphone
- Royer Labs R-121 Live Ribbon Microphone
At Cyberfarm, we sell the best ribbon microphones in the world. There is a good reason why ribbon microphones are the oldest type of microphone in the world. There is not a professional musician in the world who has not experienced the joy of working with a ribbon microphone.
If you want to look for some of the other microphones we carry at Cyberfarm, you can get quick access below: Tube microphones, Condenser microphone, Dynamic microphones, Wireless microphones, Close / Contact microphones, Stereo microphones og Drum microphones.