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Ribbon mic storage and ferric dust
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ribbon mic storage and ferric dust

When I purchased my sE Voodoo VR2 ribbon mics they came in an elegant silk/satin bag with a drawstring...see pics below

I wondered if this was to prevent air movement from damaging the ribbon, if I happened to move it too quickly when placing it in the shock mount ? That's certainly one way of protecting the ribbon against stretching due to air resistance... by leaving the bag in place until the mic is secured in the mount. I found no reference to the bag in the owner manual at all...

Then I read other mfrs warning against leaving their ribbon mics on stands in studios, exposed to the air, for several days or weeks.

The rationale was to avoid the mic's strong magnets from attracting atmospheric dust (ferrous particles, like microscopic iron filings or 'rust dust'). Such a cover would protect against such particles being drawn directly to the magnets, and perhaps bridging the gap between poles.

Has anyone read of or experienced such warnings with their mics...and over what time period could one expect this dust buidup to become significant in a ribbon mic ?

The first time I read the term 'tramp iron'...I thought it was the shards of recycable metal that hobos would find next to railway tracks, or in salvage yards ?

Or perhaps the title of an upcoming album... by Madonna, or Cher ?
Attached Thumbnails
Ribbon mic storage and ferric dust-750-voodoovr2_detail5.jpg   Ribbon mic storage and ferric dust-se-electronics-voodoo-vr2.jpg  

Last edited by studer58; 4 weeks ago at 03:30 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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RobAnderson's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
With the exception of a couple of dynamic mic's which I use for daily teaching/telemeeting, all of my mic's live in cases when not in use - ribbons and condensers inside an open plastic baggie inside the case. Most are packaged and look just as they did when they came out of the factory. Dust, humidity, rapid temperature fluctuations, water leaks, theft, being knocked over by musicians coming and going - the chances of any or all of these damaging your investment are magnified by leaving them floating around on stands.

I've never understood someone leaving an expensive or delicate mic on a stand in the studio, or even between sessions on a multi-day recording (except in the most extreme circumstances, when repositioning would be a constant nightmare - when they are hung or in some impossible-to-reach position, for instance; or mounted inside of something, or on a tall stand whose position needs to be exactly replicated - even then...).

By all means, leave the stand and cables in place - even leave the clip or shockmount - but the 2 minutes it takes to strike and put back the mic are worth the trouble.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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cracker satchmo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
When I purchased my sE Voodoo VR2 ribbon mics they came in an elegant silk/satin bag with a drawstring...see pics below

I wondered if this was to prevent air movement from damaging the ribbon, if I happened to move it too quickly when placing it in the shock mount ? That's certainly one way of protecting the ribbon against stretching due to air resistance... by leaving the bag in place until the mic is secured in the mount. I found no reference to the bag in the owner manual at all...

Then I read other mfrs warning against leaving their ribbon mics on stands in studios, exposed to the air, for several days or weeks.

The rationale was to avoid the mic's strong magnets from attracting atmospheric dust (ferrous particles, like microscopic iron filings or 'rust dust'). Such a cover would protect against such particles being drawn directly to the magnets, and perhaps bridging the gap between poles.

Has anyone read of or experienced such warnings with their mics...and over what time period could one expect this dust buidup to become significant in a ribbon mic ?

The first time I read the term 'tramp iron'...I thought it was the shards of recycable metal that hobos would find next to railway tracks, or in salvage yards ?

Or perhaps the title of an upcoming album... by Madonna, or Cher ?
The same advice came from Wes Dooley with my first AEA mic and i followed it ever since. Guess a material as non-static as possible would make sense as well... the worst for an unprotected ribbon mic would be opening a window during a break not knowing there's another one open and a draft ripping the ribbon. But also all the minute dust stuff in the air clogging up the gaps over time causing distortion etc over time we can do without... not to mention hobo metal. (New genre with auto-detune for Cher?)
One hears nice things about your voodoo ribbon... how would you decribe its sound?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
. . . and just a little bit of Ferric Dust . . .

I would imagine it was the main reason all the vintage RCA ribbons had a fine-weave 'silk' inside the metal mesh. I fear too many modern ribbons are being produce with insufficient protection from fine particles; buyers want to see the 'magic inside'.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
my Coles 4038 lives in it's Case !!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
STC 4038s hung forever in BBC Radio studios
They were on bungees and the metal mesh had a silk membrane.
I always kept my 4 x PGS ribbons in a poly bag and in a flight case.
Well away from my Nagra and AGFA PER 368.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Well away from my Nagra and AGFA PER 368.
I use an external hard disk for recording and am always careful not to let my ribbon mic (a Samar AL 959 stereo mic) get anywhere near it; I assume those strong magnets could do a number on the hard disk.

One poster above mentioned keeping his ribbon in an open plastic bag. Is that to prevent condensation with humidity changes? I would have though tramp iron could get into an open bag but if the open bag's in a case that's probably enough protection.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
In my college radio station we had an RCA 44BX that was in the main studio. It had been there for years even before I was a college student. It sounded GREAT and was used on a daily basis. In one of our classes the professor would take an RCA "junior velocity" mic apart and "blow" into it thereby stretching the ribbon. Our chief engineer kept telling him not to do it but it was somewhat of a tradition. So the microphone had to be sent back to RCA for a new ribbon every year. Our chief engineer got tired of spending money for the replacement so he cut some aluminum foil and put it in the microphone in place of the ribbon. All the student engineers knew about the swap and we never used the mic. The professor never caught on and when he retired the mic went back to RCA for the ribbon replacement. Some people never learn.

One other story. I was at a flea market about 4 miles from here. On the table were two RCA 77DX microphones in the original boxes with just stripped ends on the cable meaning that they had probably never been used. They still had the grey bags with the red RCA logo on them in the box. The seller wanted $175.00 each. I did not have that amount of cash and he would not take a credit card. My bank was four miles away so I jumped into my car and took out $350.00 and rushed back. I told the seller what I was going to do before leaving. I got back and the seller was gone. When I asked a person next to his table where he was they said as soon as I left the person gathered up all of his merchandise and put it in his car and drove away. What a bummer... I never saw him again even though I went to the flea market on numerous occasions. YUCK! FWIW
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