This may be said to be a tube characteristic, but it was excessive, and the result was a nasal sound that didn't suit this particular voice at all. One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back! Although we discovered that some of the mics would have suited use at greater distances, we thought a constant distance would enable us to compare the proximity effect in each microphone. With a very BBC politeness being evident in the bottom end, it's not the warmest of the mics tested, by any means, nor is it breathy and bright like the Crowley & Tripp. www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec07/articles/ribbonmicsaudio.htm, Win! You save £90 . We generally felt that, 'ess' strangeness aside, it was competent but a little lacking in ribbon magic when compared with some of the other mics on test. The 4038 is a classic Studio Ribbon Microphone designed by the BBC and originally manufactured by STC. Greg recorded clean and distorted guitar miked six inches from the speaker grille, slightly off-centre from one 12-inch speaker in a 4x12 cab. Its lower price tag was audible in its lack of transient detail and fairly two-dimensional presentation, but it was eminently usable as a 'crunch mic'. Punchy yet warm, the kit sounded vibrant and balanced, if a touch dark. It was eminently useable, and a very nice contrast to the Oktava which, by comparison, offered all detail and no body. 6. The Beyer's hypercardioid pattern, predictably enough, led it to give us a tighter sound, with less room than any other mic on test. The Sigma was notable for another reason: being phantom-powered, it required far less gain than most of the other mics on test. The lovely smooth lift at around 4kHz has the effect of making snare drums jump out of the wider mix and really punch you in the face: the effect is similar to giving your drummer a double vodka and Redbull and then insulting his mother just before a take! £1,054 . The panel described the Mk2 as "even, smooth and with more presence than many of the mics on test." For female voice, it had a nice presence without much high end. The output connector is a Western Electric 4069; the mic can be ordered with a 4069-to-XLR adapter. Last month we ran through the background of a number of ribbon mics and their manufacturers, but left you hanging for the test results. It is used in both sound recording and radio broadcasting. Extended HF response but still very smooth. It is used where a clear smooth wide range frequency response, absence of transient distortion and relatively high sensitivity is essential. Here's what Coles Electroacoustics have to say about the 4038. The Golden Age Projects ribbons, while not getting the most favoured response in the comparison test, actually performed pretty admirably when you take their price into account. The Amp was an Engl Powerball, paired with a VR cabinet. The mic’s frequency response is flat from 30 to 15,000 Hz. In the same bracket, Groove Tubes have manage to price their Velo 8 extremely competitively, despite it being made in the West. Coles, the outsourced manufacturer, bought the rights to the STC microphone line in 1974. This was definitely the most charismatically vintage in character of the mics on test. We really liked the R2 in this role — it had a lovely kick and snare drum ring, and some of the character of the Sontronics Sigma. We tested four pairs of mics as stereo overheads. The Royer R121 and AEA R84 turned out to be my favourites from this test. Coles 4038 Studio Ribbon Bundle offer comprising Coles 4038 Studio Ribbon Ribbon Microphone, Figure of 8 characteristic, Frequency range: 30 Hz - 15 kHz, Sensitivity: -65 dB (W.R.T. We liked some of the high notes, and the soft, smooth character it displayed generally. However, we also felt it 'swallowed' sibilants, rather as though we'd over-applied a de-esser — the result being that it almost gave our singer a lisp in places. We thought it would be more useful as a main overhead in pairs than as a crunch mic, for which role we felt it would capture too much cymbal information. The ribbon maintains a uniform figure-of-eight polar response in both the horizontal and vertical planes. Easy baby... the Sigma turned our guitar into an instant bit of imaginary 1950s vinyl history — all mid-range cool, with no pretence at trying to be zingy at the top. Please let us know! Best as a room mic when recording guitar, due to the emphasised proximity effect. The R84 had a nice character, but was a touch soft and a bit uncontrolled at the bottom, so it wouldn't be one to use for overheads, but it offers a nice, extra-warm flavour if you don't need detail in great quantities. While it is not so useful for the styles of music I work with, it is an impressive mic for its character alone. The R1 had lots of upper-mids and brought out the strumming/plectrum sound nicely, but it lacked a touch of crispness, didn't offer much charisma, and had a rather uncontrolled bottom end. We all donned our shades and Tiki shirts and sipped our pina coladas as we soaked up the sound of early Motown jazz-funk guitar (well, Motown didn't make jazz-funk, but you get the idea).