Studio bi-directional microphone in China

Like: Classic ribbon sound, Incredible price;

Dislike: Not a thing.

by Jack Macinnis

It is coming up on twenty years since engineer/producer Steve Albini told us of his many uses of the Coles 4038 ribbon microphone and how the Nirvana half stacks massive level were ripping the mics to pieces. Yet, Albini would have them re-ribboned and go on, determined to capture the sonic magic of a harsh guitar sound recorded through a ribbon microphone.

Through the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, ribbon microphones were the workhorses of live, recorded and broadcast music/voice. As a distant cousin to the dynamic microphone, the Figure-8 pattern (bi-directional) ribbon uses a thinly-stretched, metal membrane element that offers a big, warm and smooth sound with a bit of midrange and low-treble presence and a diminished top en

Despite the deluge of condenser microphones since the 1960s, ribbons have always held a special place in many recording engineer’s acoustic sensibilities. This affection allowed companies, such as Speiden and Coles, to continue the ribbon niche in the 1970s

And today, thanks to more companies carrying the ribbon torch (Royer Labs, AEA and budget newcomers like Cascade Microphones) many a session are now set up with ribbon microphones. In fact, the Cascade line has brought the ribbon microphone to the masses for studio and home recording — without diminishing the essence of the classic ribbon sound.


The made-in-China, Cascade Fat Head II, is priced at 9 as a single mic with standard mic and case; and 9 for a matched pair, mic mounts and a Blumlein stereo-mounting bar. (Invented by engineer Alan Blumlein in the 1930s, the Blumlein technique mounts a pair of Figure-8 patterned, ribbon microphones close to each other on a threaded bar. Each microphone is placed 45 degrees off-axis from the music source. Since this mic placement method puts the mics 90 degrees off-axis from each other, the Blumlein approach is close in placement to the stereo X-Y configuration of two cardioid mics. However, the polar patterns of the two Figure-8 mics in this “X” configuration creates a detailed stereo image — with a bit more room sound and ambiance than a cardioid X-Y setup).

Gadgets from Hyderabad, Fin & more  — Free Press Journal
These include microphones, headphones, telephony accessories, and avionics headsets for consumer, professional, and business applications. Sennheiser was in the news recently with the launch of its PMX 95, PCX 95 and PX 95 headphones in India.

Blackmagic Design BlackMagic Design ATEM Studio Converter 2, 4 Bi-Directional Converters in 1RU Unit, 4 x Fiber to SDI 10 bit Converters
CE (Blackmagic Design)
  • 4 built in optical fiber SDI converters, one for each camera feed up to 25 miles away.
  • Optical fiber converters to 3G-SDI and de embedded balanced analog XLR stereo audio out.
  • Global SDI input for sending program feed to all optical outputs.
  • Microphone and headphone connections for commonly available general aviation style headsets.
  • Built in talkback includes AES/EBU loops on rear for expanding to extra ATEM Studio Converters.

Popular Q&A

What type of microphone is the Neumann TLM 103?

The Neumann TLM 103 microphone is the kind of microphone that musicians use when they are in the studio recording a new album. The microphone is fairly expensive retailing at $1100.

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