Ever wondered how thin a ribbon microphone ribbon actually is?

Click for full-size

That’s how thin. Edible gold leaf is much thicker than this.

You take aluminium this thin, cut it into strips, then corrugate it with great pressure, with wood, all by hand. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, but once it’s done, it’s like “…wow, that’s… really delicate work!”

I’ve made a couple of viable ribbons at this point and have been testing the completed microphone. This ribbon had a nick on the edge, so was useless, and never made it to the corrugation stage. I threw it out, then fished it back out of the bin for a photo.

You can’t actually touch them; they disintegrate on contact. The toothpicks shown here are for handling the metal.

I’ll make a microphone assembly post probably tomorrow.

eta: I just tried to measure how fast it falls (terminal velocity), and it fell about 60cm before deciding to hover there for a bit. Presumably in an updraft I couldn’t feel, not just out of sheer orneriness. So I’m guessing around 10cm/second? Except when it just doesn’t feel like it.