Monday, August 20, 2007

The Roswellite Mics

Roswellite tm advanced material was invented by medical device pioneers Bob Crowley and Hugh Tripp who together went through several years of R&D, process development, material testing, outside contracts, and patent writing, not to mention the mics!

How do they sound? If higher dynamic range, easily capable of withstanding plosives without distortion, high sensitivity, high output, low noise and freedom from tizz are important to you, we know that you will like the sound of Roswellite tm.

Actually there is very little of the ribbon microphone sound produced by the ribbon itself. You may have read elsewhere on the blog where I point out that the sound is produced by the physics of the structure and the shape, and other factors. But a thicker ribbon will have more mass, and greater inertia, so it may be slower than a thin one. Yet a thin ribbon (of the old aluminum type) will have lower inertia, but can be fragile. I've recently found out that the 4038s keep AEA busy doing reribboning. That's just too fragile and I had no idea that they reribboned dozens per month. A nice little business.

So Roswellite tm has low mass, but isn't fragile. Our mics are generally a bit brighter than a 4038, and have more shielding, and may have a lower noise floor. A Studio Vocalist with Roswellite tm is likely to sound like a Studio Vocalist with aluminum, just be more capable of extremes, misapplied p-power, and so forth. That's because the Studio Vocalist ribbon mic is voiced using a dual transmission line and a particular series acoustic resistance, plus a transformer good up past 1 MHz, more than anything else.

The big impact is what the new material affords to new designs. Now that the touchy ribbon is solved, the designer can change other parts of the mic to take advantage of Roswellite's extreme strength. And that's exactly what we are doing.


Anonymous said...

If they still make 4038's the way they used to then the ribbon is only .6micron thick (unlike the standard 1.5micron fare) One of the thinnest on the market. Just moving through the air on the end of a boom is risky. Replacing the ribbon is probably akin to brain surgery!

Bob Crowley said...

It's the old engineering tradeoff. Lightness or strength - pick one. Or at least it used to be that way.

I read on 3DB where they replace a lot of those ribbons at AEA, so it's a maintenance thing. I used to go for Triumph GT6s and still love old Jags and such, but they required more attention which was accepted at the time.

The Coles STC people and the BBC engineers did a great job though, establishing the foundation for all ribbon mics. You've gotta give them that.