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RCA Ribbons for classical piano?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
RCA Ribbons for classical piano?

Hi,

I've recently been curious about RCA ribbon mics and was wondering if anyone has any experience using them for classical piano recordings? It is a good idea? A bad idea?

I looked around and couldn't find any recorded examples, so that may tell me what I need to know, but my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see if any of you have any experience or opinions about them? I was thinking specifically about the RCA 44 or RCA 77. Thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
There's not much top end on most of the RCAs, so you wind up with a very mellow sound, but I could see using them on piano spots which are accompanied by an overall room pair with more detail.

Of the RCAs, the BK-11 is probably the most detailed and has the most extension. If you listen to a lot of the 1930s and 1940s recordings on Columbia, many of them were done with RCA ribbons because that was what there was.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I agree with Scott here, I have a BK-11A and it is still soft sounding compared to many later ribbons. 77's have a response designed for human voice, really, there's a lot of upper mid info but less real top. Maybe useful for pop piano of a certain kind, but I don't see it for classical.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG1987 ➡️
Hi,

I've recently been curious about RCA ribbon mics and was wondering if anyone has any experience using them for classical piano recordings? It is a good idea? A bad idea?

I looked around and couldn't find any recorded examples, so that may tell me what I need to know, but my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see if any of you have any experience or opinions about them? I was thinking specifically about the RCA 44 or RCA 77. Thanks!
I included a pair of ribbons (RM700) in my mic comparison on grand piano:

Freestyle mic comparison on Steinway grand piano

I don't think ribbons are up to the speed and dynamics a grand piano will bring to the table. The RM700 is a nice ribbon, but of course a more modern and higher end Royer might fare better...
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Love ribbons on piano, but in general, I'd stick to the more modern designs. Things like AEA R88, N8, etc... are great as are Royer SF2, Coles 4038 (and the newer variants), etc...

RCA's are good, but they will generally be very dark and due to the age and condition of most of them, they're pretty uneven with sound.

--Ben
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G ➡️
I don't think ribbons are up to the speed and dynamics a grand piano will bring to the table.
This statement doesn’t make sense to me. Long ribbons have adequate dynamic range for grand piano, and “speed” is an unclear word in this context. Ribbons respond very quickly to transients.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
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Matt Nolan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
This statement doesn’t make sense to me. Long ribbons have adequate dynamic range for grand piano, and “speed” is an unclear word in this context. Ribbons respond very quickly to transients.
Especially given that the "speed" of the piano is limited by those metal strings with considerably more mass than any ribbon element.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Nolan ➡️
Especially given that the "speed" of the piano is limited by those metal strings with considerably more mass than any ribbon element.
Maybe there are some highly modified, super-fast racing pianos we are unaware of.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
0VU
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Maybe there are some highly modified, super-fast racing pianos we are unaware of.
That's why they're so shiny - it reduces the wind resistance.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
0VU
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I rather like AEA A440s on piano. It's not the most airy/super HF detailed sound but it is beautifully natural and clean sounding.
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