Ribbon mic and SQ5 live

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of nottooloud nottooloud 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #101413
    Profile photo of David
    David
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I have searched around this forum about this subject, but could not found a answer.

    At a live gig (mostly pop rock bands)I pick up (till now) the Electric Guitar with a sm57 or E606 on the amp. But i want to improve my FOH guitarsound and was thinking about buying a Royer R-10 (ribbon mic). Are the SQ preamps (and DX128 stagebox) suitable for this job? Any tips for using ribbon mic live with a SQ mixer.

    Many thanks for your help.

    #101415
    Profile photo of tourtelot
    tourtelot
    Participant

    I can not say whether the SQ preamps have the available gain to allow the use of a ribbon mic. I don’t have the specs in front of me. But in front of an electric guitar speaker cabinet, I am guessing that a Royer R-10 would have enough SPL input to allow it’s use with “any-old” preamp. If you find that there isn’t enough ooomph and you are running the preamp in the SQ at a higher level than you would like, and that it is injecting preamp noise into your sound at a level that is unacceptable, you can always add an in-line pre-pre-amp such as the Royer dBooster, or the Triton Audio FETHead, or even the Cloudlifter CL-1 (my least favorite of the three) which, using P48 power, will add -20-30dB of output to a ribbon mic.

    If you want to get fancy, you could add a “real” ribbon preamp like the AEA “The Ribbon Pre” (TRP) which you can leave on stage to produce a line level signal at the SQ.

    So yes, a couple of things.

    D.

    Remember, the R-10 is a figure-of-eight polar pattern and will pick up the guitar speaker fine but will have the opposing side pointed outward. Again, the SPL of the guitar cabinet will probably make this a non-issue but if any source is “out front” of the mic (drums or a bass cabinet for instance), you might need some sort of gobo to keep the bleed out of your guitar mic.

    #101416
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    SQ will not be the limiting factor.

    Can you define improvement first and then also measure the improvement in your guitar sound with that mike?
    Will your audience care or even notice?

    I would wonder about the fig8 pattern and what else it will be picking up in a live on stage situation.
    While it has high SPL rating and is ruggedized I would still prefer ribbons to be used in a studio not live with rock/pop.

    #101417
    Profile photo of tourtelot
    tourtelot
    Participant

    So why not try it? Will the audience notice? Who knows,. But as a live engibneer, isn’t it a good thing to try and make the sound coming off the stage better? I know personally of some big time FOH guys pairing dynamic mics and ribbons like the R-10 on guitar cabinets and getting a “fat” sound that wasn’t available with dynamics alone.

    D.

    #101418
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    Why not?
    Cost and effort.
    If the audience does not care why do it? It would be to make yourself happy thinking you made it ‘better’.

    Sp just how do you define ‘better’?
    Better is VERY subjective and hard to get everybody to agree on it.
    Assuming they can actually hear any difference at all.
    ABCX testing shows that ‘better’ result is usually not proven with a test audience.

    What is ‘fat’ sound?
    I would suspect you could get an effect that would do it as well and also cheaper easier.

    So it looks like it you care and are willing to spend the time and money then it should be tried.
    Or even if you just want to do it and can afford to try,
    otherwise reconsider what you will do if anything.

    #101419
    Profile photo of David
    David
    Participant

    Hi both thanks for your replies. Band like Maroon 5 is also using ribbon on E-guitar.
    But of course, the question of “devine improvement” is a good one. But i find it very difficult to explain. I am sometimes just not happy about my guitar sound. I need a more nicer/complete guitar sound, not screaming to the ear, but present in the mix. If i am looking around the internet i come often to the R-121, but this one is out of my financial range. Thats the reason i am looking at the R-10.
    A seperate extra pre amp is not my goal, more stuff and more money. (inline db booster is do-able)
    Maybe they are Some SQ users who allready have experience in this discusion?

    Thanks!

    #101420
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    hmmm… a ribbon mic will not improve your sound that much… you already have good guitar mics

    But the SQ should be able to provide the needed gain to use it.
    60dB of gain is normally enough and you can still slightly boost with the trim.

    my RB500 has a sensitivity from -60dB the Royer R-10 has -54dB so it’s already a bit louder than the RB500

    #101421
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    Unless somebody is playing games with mike sensitivity ratings the R10 is not a problem. Nor is the SQ.
    Look at all the SM57s and 58s that are in use. They work just fine with the SQ.
    There are bigger questions to consider like response and polar pattern. Durability, and other factors too.

    from the manual at https://royerlabs.com/pdf/manuals/R-10manual.pdf
    Sensitivity: -54 dBv Ref 1 v/pa and
    Recommended Load Impedance: 700 Ohms (or greater) (from their web site at https://royerlabs.com/r-10/ )
    SQ Input Impedance: >5kΩ is just fine.

    And from Shure web site:
    The 1 Pascal the SM57 is using a 94 dB SPL input level. That is, 1 Pascal is equal to a sound pressure level of 94 dB.

    The SM58 spec that somebody said is using a 74 dB SPL input. That is, saying “0 dB = 1 v/ìbar” is equivalent to saying “74 dB SPL input”. Those two phrases are exactly the same.

    So, if you do the conversion, the SM57 and SM58 have the same input sensitivity.

    The last bit 1 Pa = 94dB SPL is simply stating the test criteria. That is, they are using the standard of 94dB SPL is equal to one pascal. This is the normal standard used these days by most manufacturers (an older standard used one pascal as 74dB SPL).

    There is more to a good mic than its sensitivity. We must also look at its frequency response, its tone, its maximum SPL without distortion, its directionality and its handling noise among other factors. It is also important to note that mic sensitivity is not necessarily telling us it is a good mic or not. It all depends on what the mic is being used for. Most folks wouldn’t want to use a Videomic as the vocal mic for a rock band singer, any more than we would want to use a SM58 for distance recording. But using them for their intended use is normally ideal.

    Much more on the R-10
    http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Royer-Labs/R-10
    Being less sensitive, the R-10 will need more gain from the mic preamp, especially on quiet sources.
    (So how quiet is your intended source?)

    The wind protection of the 3-layer mesh also dampens proximity effect.

    Three new features … also make it more rugged for live use. Royer states in their Sweetwater video that some artists didn’t want to take their R-121s on the road because of durability (and therefore cost), so the R-10 was designed with this in mind.

    Got just over a grand to blow on a matched pair and the time to play with it?
    Then give it a try.

    #101422
    Profile photo of David
    David
    Participant

    Thanks all for your comments and thoughts! I problably wait for a “good deal” somewhere and go for it!

    Some background information perhaps is that last weeks i did several livestreams of acoustic bands. (without live audience) Therefor the leadsingers were singing through a Neumann kms105 and the acoustic guitars were picked up by Neumann 184’s. The overal audio improvement was so big that I began to think about my “E-guitar” sound. So in my opinion mic’s can make an big audible difference for the audience listening.
    (my FOH system are Meyer Sound UPA’s and HP600 and should not be a problem)

    #101424
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    When you want to go the traditional ribbon mic route I will suggest to order some pre pre amp like the cloudlifter or triton too. The reason is, when you want to use the microphone also on some softer signals you might become problems since the SQ preamps tends to create some noise when you use a gain close to the maximum.
    I am using occasionally some beyerdynamic M160 and also Audio Technica AT4081 but these models are producing more output, the AT even needs phantom power. And they are sounding a little bit more modern to me.
    If you want to have some ribbon microphones with a good price-performance ratio you might have also a look at the models of Nohype Audio. Maybe you want to give them a try.

    #101425
    Profile photo of David
    David
    Participant

    it’s starting to become a bit of a phychelogical conversation, but to sum it up. I would like to be distinctive from the other FOH sound providers. for me it is purely hobby-based and so I will not earn extra money with it. So the conclusion will be that I mainly do it for myself that I want to make the FOH sound as beautiful as possible and also perhaps a few critical listeners in the audience …

    #101426
    Profile photo of David
    David
    Participant

    Thx for your tips! Mfk0815 👍

    #101427
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    So the conclusion will be that I mainly do it for myself that I want to make the FOH sound as beautiful as possible and also perhaps a few critical listeners in the audience …

    I am completely with you. I also started some day to extend my set of standard microphones with alternatives which allows me to you that one which can do the job at the best in the current situation. Otherwise you will work all the time with a bunch of SM57 and SM58 and thats it. Of course you will handle the job also only with these microphones but will this create the best result? I think not. It will be just that average sound you hear all the time. And, frankly spoken, I don‘t really care whether the average audience will hear any difference or not. I want to compete with the best and not the average.

    So, I really understand your motivation.

    #101437
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    Here in my small country in the center of Europe all sound technicians are equipped with a very sensible and accurate tool to measure the sound quality. I cannot go further into details because it is more or less a secret. Just one sample, it reacts very sensible when you use too much upward compression in your mix. 😉

    For all others around the world „good“ and „best“ will be very subjective. For some it will be the best result to bring the whole system up and running. Some are satisfied if they can hear any signal. Others will be happy to not create too much feedbacks. But if you love the job and want to improve yourself you will always compare your results with the one of others. This also is very subjective. Remember, there is no such sensitive tool outside of Austria. If you do this on a regular basis and consequently learn all the possibilities of your devices you will be able to improve your results.
    Thats my opinion.

    BTW: its the operator, not the device, who has the most influence on the quality of the sound. So, using a SQ or Behringer do not make that big difference compared to exchange the operator.

    #101447
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    My preference would be an RE20 over any ribbon to mic a guitar amp: an RE20 is the audio sequel to a swiss army knife. I do not believe prime pres will add a significant improvement over the outstanding DX168 D-Live pres. when micing a guitar amp, I own and use both and acoustic instrumentation & vocals are with out question the major sonic benefactor with the prime pres.
    Hugh

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