Zoom H6 vs RME UFX – Ribbon Mic Samples

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

I added some ribbon mic samples to the H6 vs UFX shootout in my last post, but I created the samples using a very low level test tone and what passes for silence in a suburban bedroom. I’ve gotten some requests for samples using voice and guitar, so here they are.

As in the previous comparison I connected the Beyer M260 with its ENAK re-ribbon to my Coleman LS1 passive switcher/splitter. I used a 1 khz tone from my Studio Six Digital Audio Tools iPhone app to adjust levels although in this case I simply cranked both devices to their max gain where they seemed pretty close. Then I recorded a bit of that tone to use for fine tuning levels in post.

I hooked up my Oscar Sound Tech headset mic to a Zoom H1 to capture the overall narration, shot a video using the Sanyo Xacti HD2000, and played a bit of slack key on the Wingert Model E.

I recorded the RME in REAPER, then pulled the Zoom H6 file into REAPER as well. I used the Sonalksis FreeG meter to trim the levels so they matched on the test tone. This required adding 1.5 dB of gain to the RME track.

Here are the resulting audio tracks, which include a bit of the test tone, some narration, room tone, and solo acoustic guitar. They are mono 44.1 khz 16 bit PCM so they will not stream well. You should download the clips to your own system to compare them.

UFX Ribbon Sample

H6 Ribbon Sample

Here’s a video of the comparison session:

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About the Blog

    Howdy, my name is Fran Guidry and this is my Homebrewed Music blog.

    I play Hawaiian slack key guitar and recorded my solo acoustic CD at home. Most of the recording information I find on the internet seems focused on bands, drums, multitracking, and so on but my main focus is recording solo acoustic guitar. Lately I’ve been enjoying video recording along with audio, so that shows up in the blog as well.

    I’m also a guitar nut. I love big ones and little ones, handmades and factory guitars, cheap ones and expensive ones. So I’ll be sharing the fun of exploring guitars as well, along with the challenges of amplifying acoustic guitars for live performance.



    My recording philosophy is pragmatic, skeptical, not super critical. After all, the performance is by far the most important component of a track, and every aspect of any recording is a matter of taste.

    But I do like to know “about stuff.” Back in hifi days I learned about double blind testing. I learned that we humans can easily hear differences that don’t really exist. The more I’ve learned about our human auditory system, the more I’m skeptical of what people say they hear, especially if they claim that a particular microphone or preamp or cable has some magical property.

    I’ve only been recording since 2001, and when I started I found the usual places on the internet. I sought advice and accepted it, thought I would improve my recordings by using more expensive equipment. It didn’t work.

    Two things that did seem to lead to better recordings were experience and room treatment. Getting an appealing sound is the combination of many small details, and learning those details only comes from experience. Amd the sound of the recording space is obviously a big factor.

    I’ve only recorded seriously using digital technology, but I remember trying to record rehearsals and gigs back in analog days. I don’t have any nostalgia for analog recording and playback systems at all. I think even low end digital systems can capture marvelous recordings. So when I look at gear, I look for good specs: low noise, broad flat frequency response, wide dynamic range, low distortion. I’m not interested in colorful components, mics and preamps with a sound, I want the sound to be the sound of my guitar.

    But the last word is that I’m just learning and I hope you find something useful in my posts.