The Truth About Recording & Mixing, Ep. 14: Jon Ulrigg of Ulrigg Ribbon Microphone Repair

Welcome back to the Truth About Recording and Mixing brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! studio in Ballard, Washington. On this episode, we speak to Jon Ulrigg of Ulrigg Ribbons & Shiny Box Microphones. Jon has had a long journey in both software and old school hardware and has found himself doing expert work in both areas. We are pleased to have cornered him for an hour of so to hear about all of his many passions.

1:10 Listener question about where to find the projects recorded at Crackle & Pop! Warning: shameless self-promotion to follow
3:20: Listener question about Stereo vs. Mono tracks and a question about electronic drums vs acoustic drums
9:10 Welcome Jon Ulrigg! And welcome to Jon’s heavy RCA mics which he brought along to record the interview with. A plug for Latchlake stands
12:30 Jon’s career path. How’d he get here? From software at Microsoft to working networking at Nordstrom to AT&T. Finding time to get back to playing into playing music and then… gear!
22:50 Beginning to build his own equipment and discovering ribbon mics. From a group buy on the audio forums to starting Shiny Box mics
34:00 the changing economy and transitioning into Ribbon repair work
39:50 Working for Brad Avensen’s company Silicon Audio and their seismic sensor / laser interferometer development program.
49:00 Installing these sensors on the ocean floor, on the moon and on one of the moons of Jupiter
55:55 – Let’s talk about the different families of microphones – dynamic, condenser and ribbon mics. Let’s start with dynamic mics
01:05:00 Let’s talk about condenser mics
01:11:05 What about multipattern condenser mics?
01:12:30 Listener question about cardioid vs figure of eight and omni patterns and the uses of each
01:18:00 Uses for the null of a figure of eight mics
01:20:00 Let’s talk about ribbon mics. Design elements
01:24:25 Variations in design, hypercardioid ribbon mics, acoustical labyrinths and sound damping
01:27:50 – the actual ribbon element in a ribbon mic. Ribbon lengths, materials, corrugating a ribbon. Traditional corrugation vs pistonic corrugation
01:38:00 Beyer mics and their ribbons and parts. Jon is currently servicing Beyer mics. Dual ribbons in the Beyer 160 and 130
01:48:55 Sleeper ribbons, affordable vintage ribbons? Octava ML19s. Rebranded Beyer mics
01:53:55 Jon’s new microphone designs

Gear mentioned: RCA 77, RCA 44, Shiny Box, Beyer Dynamic M260 Beyer Dynamic M160 Beyer Dynamic M130, Shure 57, Sennheiser 421, Sennheiser 441, Dynamic Mics, Condenser Mics, Ribbon Mics, Neumann U47, Neumann U48, Octava mics, Altec 639, B&O mics.

Thank you for listening to the Truth About Recording & Mixing. Please keep sending us your questions (voice memos are great!) to podcast@fretboardjounal.com