Ribbon Mics: Classic for a Reason Vintage ribbon microphones are sought after for their flattering top-end smoothness and full-bodied low end on vocals and instruments. Commercially available before condenser microphones, ribbons have a "vintage" sound that recalls early analog recordings of the 1940s. By design, ribbons pick up in a bidirectional, figure-8 pattern that responds well to sounds arriving at the front or rear, while rejecting 90 degrees to either side, which intensifies proximity effect for a tight, intimate vocal sound. Though ribbons went out of vogue around the 1970s, they have enjoyed a huge comeback in recent years, in part due to wider availability of modern preamps that can provide clean gain for ribbons' typically low outputs. Ribbon mics are classics for a reason: condensers can leave strings, woodwinds and vocals sounding harsh and scratchy, but ribbons are known to tame transients and smooth out strident sounds.
The Modern Ribbon: High Gain, Low Noise Today, ribbons are widely available in just about every price range. But cheap, sub-$200 ribbons are fragile and stretch easily, introducing phase or distortion problems. Not content to make a "me too" product, Blue took their time developing the Woodpecker ribbon microphone. So what makes this mic special? Well, the Woodpecker is an active ribbon, which means it requires phantom power -- and puts out a hotter signal than a typical ribbon microphone, requiring less gain from your preamp and keeping the noise floor low. You won't need a specialized mic pre with tons of clean gain, and you won't have to worry about impedance mismatches between the preamp and mic. Rather, any pre that works well on your studio condensers is likely to work well on the Blue Woodpecker.
Use It As You Would a Condenser The Woodpecker's lively, open top end rivals the high-frequency response found in large-diaphragm condensers, and Blue intends for you to reach for it on sources where you'd typically employ a condenser. But since it's a ribbon, it "grabs" intimate sounds and lends body, character and flavor to sources like vocals and acoustic guitar. Dark, yet detailed -- that's the Blue Woodpecker. And it's safe to say that when Blue Microphones throws their hat in the ring, it's a telling sign that the ribbon-mic revolution is no passing fancy.
BLUE Woodpecker Ribbon Microphone Features
- Active ribbon microphone with an unusually low noise floor
- Combines the warmth of a ribbon with the high-end clarity of a condenser
- Beautiful wood finish
- Can handle up to 114 dB SPL
- Includes a custom-designed brass shock mount and cherry wood storage box
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