On Location RecordingRCA-44 classic ribbon microphone

There are some wonderful spaces to record in that allow us to capture a performance with little to no processing, letting the real sound of the instruments, voices, and natural reverberations in the room make their own magic. It's akin to natural light photography. There's no multi-tracking or use of multiple microphones. We use two microphones arranged in a Mid-Side, X/Y, or Blumlein configuration. This produces a true stereo image. Additionally, we typically use "ribbon" microphones. Ribbon mics were invented almost 100 years ago and they were the first microphones to bring real fidelity to recorded music because of their smooth, extended frequency response and transparency. Ribbon mics were the standard of the recording industry from the early 1930s until the late 1950s as condenser mics started coming into their own.

 

Ribbon mics operate very simply. An extemely thin piece of material, usually aluminum, is suspended between poles of a magnet. Soundwaves striking the ribbon produce a tiny voltage through electromagnetic induction which ir then increased with a transformer. Modern materials and technology have improved the output and overall performance of ribbon microphones.

 

Nady RSM-4 ribbon microphoneCondenser are still the most used type of mics, but about ten years ago Chinese microphone manufacturers started producing inexpensive ribbon microphones. While quality control might have been spotty, mics that worked properly performed quite well, and with modifications, were outstanding! This has created new interest in ribbon microphones and now many manufacturers are expanding their line of these wonderful units. Modern ribbon mics have a higher, cleaner output. Coupled with modern electronics, ribbon mics are becoming the microphone of choice in many situations. They are especially good at capturing vocals and acoustic stringed instruments.

 

Our minimalist recording techniques work best in resonent spaces like churchs, warehouses, and halls. Good musical balance is the responsibility of the performers, as in any real performance. The best candidates for this type of recording are small, mostly acoustic groups, vocal groups of any size, or anyone looking to capture the sound of a live performance but with more control.Warehouse interior with crate and postsOlder Catholic church interior

 

Our service area covers central Vermont and New Hampshire. Our simple configuration requires very little set-up time and allows changes to be made expediently, saving you time and money.

Fees:

At your location - $40/hr, 2 hr min, +$20/hr travel

At our location* - $50/hr, 2 hr min

Mastering in our studio - $40/hr

*Our "location" is not our studio, which is a small acoustically dead space, but a space nearby with very good acoustics which we rent for this purpose.