Recording - May 2018 - 24

beyerdynamic
TG V90 Ribbon
Microphone

A new chapter in a long history of directional ribbon mics
REVIEW BY SCOTT DORSEY

F

or some years, beyerdynamic has been selling the TG
series of microphones. Standing for Tour Group, the TG
microphones are aimed at the higher-end sound reinforcement
market, for touring bands.
So why does this interest a magazine aimed at recording and
not at live sound? Because microphones designed for live sound
often have attributes that are very useful in the studio, and that
includes some of the beyerdynamic TG mics.
The latest addition to this series is the beyerdynamic TG
V90, a handheld ribbon microphone intended for stage
vocals. That's not a misprint; beyerdynamic has over the years
made a number of small ribbon microphones with highly tensioned ribbons, such as the M 160, M 260, and M 130. The
TG V90 is derived from that technology, although the manufacture is a little different.
There are two reasons why you should care about this
microphone. First of all, because it's designed as a microphone for use on loud stages, its isolation is very good. It
has a very tight hypercardioid pattern with excellent rejection
from the sides, and if you have to track vocals with a live
band, a microphone like this will help get you a clean vocal
track without so much leakage in it. Because the pattern is
accurate and does not change too much with frequency, it
means that with careful positioning, you can track a guitarist's
vocal with the guitar in the null of the microphone and get
good rejection of the guitar signal in the vocal mic.
The second reason why you should care about the microphone
is the way it sounds on vocals. It doesn't sound like a dynamic
microphone, it doesn't sound like a traditional RCA-type ribbon
microphone. It is its own thing, and there isn't anything else quite like
it... except for an older beyerdynamic product mentioned below.

Listening

First of all, picking up the microphone, it's comparatively
heavier than a typical stage microphone. It's got a ball grille on
the front and the top of the handle is flared to match the ball.
24

RECORDING May 2018

This helps prevent problems from
people who cup their mics,
something that the older beyerdynamic ribbons didn't do.
Plugging it in and speaking,
the vocal reproduction is clean
and not dramatically altered.
There is no big bass boost up
close like you'd get with an
RCA, and there isn't obvious
boost in the presence region.
Even so, higher frequencies like
tonsil sounds are not suppressed.
In use, it worked very well
tracking a vocalist with a fairly
loud band behind her, giving
good rejection and allowing her
to climb up in the microphone
without becoming woofy. It worked
pretty nicely on an acoustic guitar
as well, being a bit more forward
than my reference Josephson
condenser while losing some of
the string clatter and attack.
The more I played with it, the
more I felt it was a useful studio
microphone on more than just vocal.
That said, it was definitely a solid-sounding vocal mic when you
want extreme rejection and you want a smooth jazz crooner sound.
It is very much not a super-forward, U87 kind of vocal sound, not
a pop sound that will bring the vocal up to the front of the mix, but
it's a realistic sound. Leakage is low, and what you do get sounds
sufficiently uncolored that it's relatively hidden in the mix.
The only real tonal disappointment for me was that the
TG V90 did not cure nasal vocals in the way the original
beyerdynamic M 500 did. The old M 500 had some sort of
dip in the upper midrange that really took nasal sounds out;
it was a great choice on a certain kind of nose-heavy vocal.
That didn't happen here-for better and worse, this is a more
neutral microphone than the old M 500.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2018

Contents
Recording - May 2018 - Intro
Recording - May 2018 - Cover1
Recording - May 2018 - Cover2
Recording - May 2018 - 1
Recording - May 2018 - 2
Recording - May 2018 - 3
Recording - May 2018 - 4
Recording - May 2018 - 5
Recording - May 2018 - Contents
Recording - May 2018 - 7
Recording - May 2018 - 8
Recording - May 2018 - 9
Recording - May 2018 - 10
Recording - May 2018 - 11
Recording - May 2018 - 12
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Recording - May 2018 - Cover3
Recording - May 2018 - Cover4
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