Ribbon microphones are a type of microphone that uses a thin metal ribbon to convert sound waves into an electrical signal. They are also known as "velocity microphones" or "ribbon microphones" for short. Ribbon microphones are known for their warm, smooth sound, which makes them a popular choice in recording studios and other applications where a natural, uncolored sound is desired. They are often used to record vocals, instruments, and other sources of sound in music production, as well as in film and television production, voiceover work, and other applications.
Ribbon microphones work by using a thin metal ribbon, which is suspended in a magnetic field, to convert sound waves into an electrical current. When sound waves hit the ribbon, it vibrates and causes a change in the magnetic field around the ribbon. This change in the magnetic field is then converted into an electrical current by an electrical circuit in the microphone.
Ribbon microphones are generally more expensive than dynamic microphones, due in part to the precision required in their manufacture. They are also more fragile and require careful handling, as the thin metal ribbon is easily damaged.
Despite these limitations, ribbon microphones are widely used in many different applications due to their warm, smooth sound. They are an essential tool in many recording studios and are also used in live performances, voiceover work, and other applications where high-quality sound capture is important.