Parts of this album were recorded with a True Systems P-Solo Ribbon mic.Nashville, TN (April 23, 2008)–Long-time Skaggs Family Records recording engineer and studio manager Lee Groitzsch can take much of the credit for properly capturing and conveying the performances of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, as well as of the other bands that call the Skaggs Family Record label their home.
As all of the music is acoustic and the vast majority made by stringed instruments, Groitzsch has collected an array of new and vintage ribbon microphones that spend most of their time up and in use. Recently, he acquired a True Precision P-Solo ribbon mic pre for the studio.
“Back before condensers, when ribbons were the only high-end type of mic, preamps were ohm-matched to particular ribbons,” says Groitzsch. “Modern preamps generally have lower impedance suitable for condensers, but they can cause the ribbon’s signal noise to be hard to deal with in quiet sections of music. That’s what was difficult to work around.”
The True Systems P-Solo Ribbon has high input impedance and offers no phantom power, unnecessary and potentially damaging to ribbons. Groitzsch demo’d a P-Solo Ribbon and says that he was relieved to hear the warm personalities of his RCA 44, RCA 77, Royer R121, and Coles Ribbon without the noise that had previously attended them. “We cut a few instruments and a check,” he laughed.
The True Systems P-Solo Ribbon has been used throughout the projects that Groitzsch has worked on since its acquisition: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder’s Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass (Skaggs Family Records) and a yet-unreleased acoustic re-cut of some of Skaggs’s hits for Cracker Barrel Records. “I’ve been here eight years now and we’re getting better and better sounds as we get new tools,” he says. “Moreover, it’s not just me; the comments haven’t been solicited. We didn’t tell the banjo player Jim Mills that we were doing anything different, but when he heard his playback, he was blown away. It was the best banjo sound he had heard on himself in a while!”
True Systems (distributed by TransAudio Group)