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Sound Samples

Recording Piano: Ribbons or Condensers?

When you record piano, do you use condensers or ribbon mics?

Here's an A/B comparison between pairs of our 4400a condensers and our VR2 active ribbons - see if you can hear the subtle differences. The condensers have a more immediate attack and transient response, but the ribbons have a lovely midrange and low-end warmth to them - which do you prefer?

Full-res WAV files are below the video - we recommend listening on good headphones!

 

Sound:
Frederik Brandt Jakobsen, www.frederikbrandtjakobsen.dk

Piano:
Artur Tuźnik, www.arturtuznik.com

Photos:
Rune Rogren, www.runerogren.com

 
 
 

Sound Samples

Ribbons vs. Condensers: Solo Violin

Stringed instruments, especially in a classical setting, often call for your finest microphones - and a solo violin deserves the very best. But there's still the question of whether a ribbon or a condenser is going to be the right match for your track.

Violinist  Cæcilie Balling  with the VR2 and 4400a.

Violinist Cæcilie Balling with the VR2 and 4400a.

 


The 4400a is a good example of classic condenser tonality: this is typically clear, bright and detailed, with plenty of "air" and definition. A good choice for hyper-realistic recordings.

 
 

 

A ribbon mic like the VR2 tends to bring out the crucial midrange intricacies of a stringed instrument, while also keeping the highs mellow and controlled - ideal for any source that might potentially be too harsh.

 
 

 

Our unique RNR1 ribbon, designed with the legendary Mr. Rupert Neve, uses custom-designed transformers and active circuitry to find a balance between midrange magic and extended high-frequency response.

 
Hear all three mics here, with no compression or EQ applied, listen for the tonal differences, and think about which one you'd choose for your next session.