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Firestudio Mobile and Ribbon Mics
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timnc
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Joined: 29/07/2010 00:24:30
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OK..... so I will try this, mainly because I am leaning toward a Mobile purchase. Has any one tried using ribbons with Mobile??? Any success???
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
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What kind of ribbon are you using? The gain specs on the FSM are pretty good, so it may work just fine. Some ribbons might prefer a little different load than the FSM presents (they want a higher impedance than the FSM has), or be a little too low in output to be usable without a higher-gain preamp. I've used an Octava ribbon mic with success on the same type of preamps as in the FSM. The preamps are pretty quiet when turned up all the way, and that helps a lot. I think the gain of the FSM preamps is about 55-60dB, and some mics might require up to 65-75db of gain to get a good signal going. Some people like to have a dedicated preamp just for ribbons. AEA makes a nice one that sports a whopping 83dB of gain! Not cheap but lots of people swear by that one.
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
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I forgot to mention that the impedance match of the preamp can have a pretty significant impact on the tone of a mic, too. So even if you get a reasonable amount of signal using the FSM preamp, the character of the sound may not be as optimal as if there were a better impedance match.
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
timnc
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 00:24:30
Messages: 26
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Talman, thanks!! I don't have a ribbon yet. As it is I am trying to decide whether to sell my MH ULN 2 -- to support another habit, flying gliders -- and pick up a Mobile or Project. The ULN 2 has 2 70+ db gain pre's and top notch converters. It is a great unit to be sure, but how much better is it than the Mobile or Project??? Of course the Presonus units integrate with S1 like no other interface as well. Oh if we had unlimited financial resources.....

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/09/2010 16:35:15

Monolithent
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Joined: 28/07/2010 18:47:25
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Location: Central New Jersey
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From the look of it (and the cost), the Metric Halo box should be as good or maybe a little better.

You can still use it with S1. Many people on here have used prettty much every brand of interface on the planet with S1. As long as your computer registers it then S1 can use it. I've presonally done setups with M-Audio, Edirol, Art, MOTU, and probably few others that I can't think of at the moment.

I'd say if you already have it and it works and you're comfortable using it then stick with it. And save your money for gliders.
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My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

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talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
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The ULN2 is indeed a very nice unit. I'm not really sure how much better the preamps/converters are in the ULN, but they are reputed to be quite excellent. You could maybe try picking up an FSM (from a good dealer with a good return policy) and A/B'ing it with your MH to see what you'd think. I'd be curious as heck to see how they did in a shootout.

I did a gig a while back where the FOH guy had an MH ULN2, and I was using an Alesis IO26. On later listening, I thought my Alesis sounded as good as the MH, and I rank the IO26 on par with the Firestudio family as far as sound goes.

If what you're after is something really good for a ribbon mic, the ULN probably won't sound any better than a PreSonus unit would, as I think they both have a similar input impedance. (A rule of thumb is to have the input impedance of the preamp be 4-5x that of the output impedance of the mic. Depending on the mic in question, either the ULN or FSM would be OK, although depending on what you are tracking, you may not get sufficient level with the FSM on its own. Even though you'd have more gain with the ULN, you wouldn't necessarily get the ribbon to sound better/its best -- just louder. If you want to get every bit of juice out of a good ribbon mic, you may want to think about a dedicated pre with both a variable input impedance and a high gain circuit.

Like Mono says, you can use always use your ULN with S1, too. Setup is pretty painless.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/09/2010 21:12:10

Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
timnc
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 00:24:30
Messages: 26
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Thanks 'yall.... I think, of course, the best thing to do would just get a fsm and do a shootout. The idea being that could sell the MH and be about $1000 ahead..... Thus my flying lessons..... heeheh. In the end, it would be cool to see how an fsm would stand up to the MH. The only other consideration is the DSP that comes with the MH 2D. One can do a lot of processing before the DAW..... Money money money monnnnney....... money.

And actually the MH impedance is 3k and fsm is 1.6k. Talman, thanks for the comparison to the Alesis. The main thing I want to try a ribbon for is M/S technique as well as other things..... and if I use an fsm, I would have to either get another preamp or not use a condenser along with it for the fsm does not have separate fantom for the pre's like the MH does. Or I could just get another condenser with figure 8 pattern....
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
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Thanks for alerting me to the difference in the input impedance on the MH -- that is good to know. I shouldn't have assumed that is would be so similar to the normal 1200-1500 Ohms you seem to see in most gear these days. Sounds like the ULN2 would work great with most ribbons mics, then.

So many choices, eh? Well, I guess it is good to have lots of options!

M-S is a nice/useful technique. Are you working in a home studio/studio setting, or using M-S in a live setting? I ask because I use M-S primarily in live, "free-field" recording situations because I do a lot for broadcast, and I like the mono compatibility without sacrifice of a rich stereo image.

You don't really need ribbons to do M-S. What is important in M-S is to get a side-mic that has close enough specs to the mid that you don't get unusual stereo imaging artifacts due to the differing response characteristics of the mics. I use 3 (hyper-well-matched) small diaphragm cardiod condensers to create my own unique, custom M-S matrix, and it has worked very well for me.

Forgot about the processing in the MH. Can see where it would be very nice to hang onto that, too. It is, after all, a pretty rock-solid piece of gear, with superb drivers and control software. I could see where if you ever needed to replace it you'd probably be sorry you'd parted with it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 11/09/2010 21:58:24

Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
timnc
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 00:24:30
Messages: 26
Offline

Ahhhhh thanks talmen.... You are REALLY helping me to KEEP the MH hehehehe. I thought you were going to say at some point, " Yeah the the MH is cool but the Firestudio stuff is just as good..... " or something to the effect. And I have thought exactly what you have said at the end, "I could see where if you ever needed to replace it you'd probably be sorry you'd parted with it."

And I am aware that a ribbon is not NEEDED for m/s technique. I guess I just want to play with a ribbon and see what the stink is all about. I was thinking of getting a Cascade Victor -- NOT the Fathead. It seems as though it has a bit more extended frequency response and that it would be a bit more versatile overall, especially in an m/s application. If not that, I was thinking on a CAD M179. Both about the same price. And my intentions are to using the technique in a studio environment. I really like the overall sound of the m/s technique. It keeps things really focused and intimate with the stereo room sound without smearing the sound field. M/S sounds more like when I go to a venue rather than some artificially enlarged image. Not that one is better than the other..... just got to know what's right when needed for a given application.

All in all thanks for the comments. BTW where are you located? I am in Western NC.
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
Messages: 3002
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I have some M179s. Very nice mic. For the price, hard to find anything to beat it. You won't get a truly great ribbon mic for the kind of money you can get an M179 for. There are some pretty decent cheap ribbon mics out there, but many times they come from the factory with poor ribbon tension. Some of the budget models have been popular with modders, though, and it seems a modest investment in the right tweaks can get you some pretty significantly improved performance.

To use M-S in the studio, you'll want a pretty controlled acoustic environment. If you have an ugly sounding room, it may not be the best technique.
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
 
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