Left: VR-1 Right: VR2 The sE Electronics Voodoo VR-1 and VR-2 are pressuregradient ribbon microphones with 2-micron aluminum ribbons: one passive (VR-1, $799), the other with active electronics (VR-2, $1,199). The Voodoo mics offer an extended 20 Hz-20 kHz bandwidth via a patentpending “mechanical device” (a diffuser that attenuates direct sound and enhances high-frequency reproduction). Specifications include a figureof-eight polar pattern, less than 300 ohms impedance VR-1 (less than 200 ohms VR-2), 17 dBA self-noise (20 dBA VR-2), maximum SPL of 135 dB, 1.6mV/Pa -56 ± 1.5 dB sensitivity.
On a drum kit in both hi-hat and ride-cymbal positions, each two feet from source, my tests found the VR-1 required approximately 20 dB more gain than the VR-2 in similar SPL positions. Both mics handled the high SPL well, exhibiting no audible distortion. Both models exhibited extended low-frequency response, largely flat midrange response, highend response extended to just below typical condenser microphone levels and the normal transient compression generally found in ribbon microphones. I would define their performances as classic, with moderately extended highs.
On acoustic guitar with placement two feet from neck/body of instrument, my tests found similar frequency response between the two, with slightly more high-end response from the VR-2 and a slightly higher noise floor from VR-1 (due to the additional mic pre amp gain) . Overall response could be defined as smooth, classic and in need of minor corrective EQ around 200 Hz (cut) and 10 kHz up (boost).
The sE Electronics Voodoo ribbon microphones are “small form factor” transducers, easy to place, due to their smaller-thanaverage size, as well as a very versatile shockmount. Both Voodoos exhibit the useful combination of an extended “condenser – like” top end, but with the substantial bottom- end response and compres sed transients of traditional ribbons. Reasonably priced with a “zero downtime/ free replacement” warranty (within three years of purchase), the Voodoos are worthy competitors in today’s ribbon mic resurgence.