Ribbons and Proximity Effect

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Proximity effect is a physical phenomenon that results in increased low frequency response as a directional microphone moves closer to a sound source. Almost every directional microphone exhibits some proximity effect, but with ribbons, the effect is substantial - especially inside six inches. You can use this effect to great advantage. For example, proximity effect is often just the right thing to enhance a thin-sounding vocalist - naturally and evenly, without having to touch the EQ. Or you can use it to beef up an overly-bright acoustic guitar, a weak upright piano, or a lean cello. Any time you need a little more bass, try moving the mic a few inches closer to the sound source. Radio and television announcers have long used proximity effect to give their voices a full, rich, authoritative quality. We call this being "more real than real." Of course, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing: Too much bass can overwhelm the track, mask other tracks, and lead to an overall sense of unintelligibility in your mix. The solution? Simply move the mic back until the bass sounds natural and realistic. By learning how to work with proximity effect, you can literally custom-tailor your track's bass response to suit your needs.

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