The Marantz Pro MPM-3500R is a high-quality ribbon microphone built for detailed studio recording. With high sensitivity, low self-noise, and a wide dynamic range, this microphone will bring the best out of any instrument from strings to rock vocals and percussion. This article discusses some of the popular questions about it's features and specifications.
- What is included?
- What type of polar pattern does it have?
- What is the frequency response?
- What is the benefit of a ribbon mic compared to condenser or dynamic microphones?
- Do I need to use phantom power or a power supply?
- Can I use this microphone with my audio interface?
- What instruments can this mic record?
- How do I mount the microphone onto a stand?
- Which side is the front?
- Further Technical Support
The MPM-3500R comes with the following:
- MPM-3500R Microphone
- Custom pop-filter
- Custom shock mount
- Spare shock mount band
- Carrying case
- User Guide
The MPM-3500R has a standard dipole or bi-polar pickup pattern, also known as "figure 8." This is inherent in the design of ribbon microphones and allows them to pickup signal equally from both sides of the microphone. In the graph below, you'll see an example of the microphones response characteristic at 1kHz:
The MPM-3500R has a full 20-20,000Hz response. There is a slight bump in the low end as well as around 1.5kHz and 6kHz that will help bring out clarity and warmth without being overly fatiguing.
Ribbon microphones, by nature, are great at picking up fast transients. This makes them ideal for applications where tiny details are important, i.e. the pick of an acoustic guitar, the texture of a bow on a cello, or the attack on a percussive instrument. The ribbon is much smaller and more delicate than the capsules found in a condenser or dynamic microphone, which means it can be more sensitive to small changes and can respond faster.
Their sensitivity can make ribbon microphones more delicate than their counterparts, so it's important to not to drop the microphone or place it in front of an extra loud source (i.e guitar amp at eleven). A broken ribbon may result in distortion, crackling, or no sound at all!
Still, the MPM-3500R can handle up to 135 dB SPL, which is about the equivalent of a jet engine. So, don't worry about using it to mic your drum kit or guitar amp at a listenable level.
Unlike most ribbon microphone, the MPM-3500R will require 48vDC power, either supplied by phantom power through the interface or mixer, or through an external phantom power supply. Check the specifications for your mixer or audio interface to find out if it can provide phantom power on it's own, or if you will need to supply this through an external adapter.
Here is a simple procedure for connecting the microphone:
- Make sure that the gain or volume on your pre-amp, speakers and headphones are all turned down.
- Use an XLR cable and attach the female end securely to the MPM-3500R. Connect the male end to your microphone pre-amp or phantom power supply.
- Once the MPM-3500R is fully connected to the pre-amp, turn on the phantom power.
While disconnecting, always be sure to turn down your pre-amp, speakers, and headphones before turning off phantom power. Wait approximately 30 seconds after turning off phantom power to disconnect the MPM-3500R. This can help avoid damage to your equipment.
Important Note: Some ribbon microphones may be harmed by the presence of phantom power. If you are using an interface or mixer that sends phantom power on multiple channels at once, make sure that all other microphones connected are able to receive phantom power before turning it on.
Your audio interface should be able to supply phantom power and have enough gain and headroom to adequately handle the sensitivity and dynamic range of the microphone. For recording quieter sources, an interface/pre-amp that can supply at least 50dB of gain would be ideal. This may not be necessary for louder sources like drums or guitar amps. Most, if not all audio interfaces available will be ok to use with this microphone.
The warm, natural tone paired with the ability to handle high SPL's make the mic ideal for loud but subtle instruments like brass or percussion instruments, though it can also excel with a variety dynamic vocals. Acoustic and stringed instruments like guitars, violins, cellos, etc. will also benefit from it's clarity without making the instruments sound overly harsh, as may be evident with some condenser microphones.
Keep in mind, ribbon microphones like the MPM-3500R are also subject to the proximity effect. This is a build up of bass response as the microphone is placed closer to it's source. While this may not be ideal for every situation, understanding this while positioning the mic can help lead to new and exciting ways to make the mic work for virtually any source.
The MPM-3500R comes with a custom shock mount for mounting to your microphone stand. It's always recommended to mount the included shock mount first before attaching the microphone to prevent any accidental damage to the mic. Here is a simple procedure to follow:
- On your microphone stand, loosen the screw that holds the boom arm in place. This is the final arm where you will be attaching the microphone. After loosening the screw, this arm should be able to easily spin in place.
- Loosen the screw on the shock mount's mounting piece and move the mounting piece up so that it is free to attach to the microphone stand. Note that the shock mount also has a mounting piece for the included pop-filter. Make sure to use the mounting piece that faces downward towards the bottom of the mount.
- Hold the shock mount firmly in one hand and bring the mounting piece up to meet the threaded end of the arm on your microphone stand.
- Instead of spinning the shock mount, continue to hold it in one hand while using the other hand to spin the arm of the microphone stand, screwing it into the shock mount's mounting piece.
- Once the shock mount is secured firmly to the microphone stand, position the shock mount for recording and tighten the screws on the shock mount and microphone stand so that they stay firmly in place.
- Place the microphone in it's shock mount.
- While holding the microphone in one hand, gently spin the microphone mounting piece on the shock mount to secure the microphone in place.
Important: Always, make sure that the screws on the microphone, shock mount and stand are loosened before making any adjustments to their angle. Forcing any joint without properly loosening it's screw can damage and strip the joint, affecting it's ability to remain secure. The joints should also never be made too tight and should never require more pressure than can be provided by one hand. Again, this can damage the joint and affect it's ability to remain secure in the future.
The MPM-3500R is a side-address microphone, meaning the ribbon is parallel to it's body. The microphone will accept sound from sources perpendicular to the microphone body, as opposed to a front-address microphone, like the Shure SM58, that accepts sound from it's top or end.
When positioning the MPM-3500R, the front will be the side marked by the Marantz logo. Point this side towards your source for the best results.
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Marantz Professional product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Marantz Professional technical support team is available to help!
Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: phone support, email support.