Saturday, July 15, 2006

TEA\Nanoribbon Ribbon Microphone

This Transducer Engineering Assocates TEA/Ribbon-ONE (also TEA/Nanoribbon) is a unique "mule" and the first of our mics to use a motor unit with some attention to voicing, or tuning, of the timbre, of the mic. Though rudimentary, the use of 1/4 wavelength matching principles (as a series matching sections) to tilt the response for higher voice articulation, is patterned directly from the response curve of the Shure SM57.

Of course this is a ribbon mic, so it doesn't sound at all like an SM57, but it does bring a vocal track forward. Since everyone seemed to be familiar with this response, and comfortable enough with it from stage experience, we decided to adapt it to the Crowley and Tripp Studio Vocalist ribbon microphone, which recently got an excellent review in Recording magazine.

This is where the development of high output ribbon mics that compete against tube condensers got started, by offering high vocal articulation but without nasty tizz, fizz and shzz of an LDC. (see Chladni post about multimodal effects on a tympanic membrane to better understand tizz)

We keep this mic in our museum as part of the permanent collection.


Sunflute's Blog said...

Hello Bob,

Did this microphone use "carbon nanotube" technology? Thank you, Marco

Bob Crowley said...

No this one does not use carbon nanotubes although we did try out that name in anticipation of later models with the technology.

At various times these mules get modified so we can try things out. In one instance we tried many transformer variations, for example.

This just happened to be the earliest intact unit we have, sort of a historical piece. There is one even more rudimentary mic that preceded it which is a laugh to look at as it is so primitive. Perhaps I'd better put it up so people can see that it's OK to start with stone tools and mud brick.