• 2015

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

Designed By:

  • RØDE Microphones

Commissioned By:

RØDE Microphones

Designed In:


At first glance of the NTR you’re aware that it’s very special. Its creation has been a labour of love for a company that is amongst the world’s top pro-audio companies. Traditional ribbon microphones have always been coveted for their high sensitivity and transient response, however they are also considered to be somewhat ‘dull’ in high frequency character and typically have additional preamplifier requirements that limit their use. In creating the NTR, RØDE set out to not only create an incredible example of a ribbon microphone, but to address these criticisms and offer a superlative microphone that exhibits the desirable ribbon characteristics with none of the negatives.

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  • At the heart of a ribbon microphone lies the delicate ribbon motor. Wafer thin and tensioned to a precise rigidity, the ribbon element sits within a magnetic array which allows it to detect even the minutest change in sound pressure. The NTR ribbon motor is a feat of design and manufacturing, starting with an aluminium sheet measuring only 1.8 micron thickness. This is then precision laser cut to exact size and locked into its housing, secured within the ribbon motor using a multi-stage tensioning process. The unique hourglass-like body of the NTR isolates the ribbon motor almost entirely from the microphone transformer and electronics, increasing the acoustic performance of the element.

  • The ribbon motor is mounted within the microphone body by an internal suspension system. This unique structure decouples the motor assembly from any impacts to the body, eliminating the need for external shock mounting. This ensures greater acoustic transparency between the performer or instrument and the ribbon element, but reduces any additional apparatus that can negatively impact on a performance. The suspension system is moulded from silicone rubber - a material that is capable of retaining its original moulded form despite being subjected to tens of thousands of shock cycles on a regular basis. This ensures the suspension system will remain fully active for the life of the microphone.

  • Sonically, the NTR is capable of reproducing unprecedented high frequency detail and accuracy, addressing the common criticisms of other ribbon microphones. Married to the NTR's ribbon motor is a high output, ultra-low noise, low impedance transformer and coil, completely designed and manufactured by RØDE using custom built machinery. The NTR transformer exhibits remarkably low impedance, delivering a high output, which then passes through the active topology of the microphone, providing an additional transparent lift to the output level. This allows it to be used with a diverse range of studio preamps, without the additional gain requirements of other ribbon offerings.

  • Surrounding the ribbon element is a chemically etched all-metal layer of mesh designed to protect the ribbon motor and element. This is extremely rigid while exhibiting super low density, resulting in greater acoustic transparency and ensuring the most authentic recording of the performance. This mesh covering is engineered to be firmly captured, without multiple unsightly fixings, while maximising acoustic damping and electrical shielding of the motor housing structure. The outer structural geometry (the frame) is reduced and positioned within the ribbon motor's acoustic rejection zone. This allows the greatest possible transparency around the acoustically sensitive component and minimises resonance.

    Ribbon motors are intrinsically fragile and can easily be damaged due to the delicate nature of the ribbon element. Close attention has been paid to accessibility of internals, making service of the NTR incredibly simple. The microphone mesh is only removable by service agents using a specially supplied jig, reducing unauthorised servicing that could easily damage the product further. The enclosed ribbon motor is designed to be replaced as a single unit, ensuring that the precision placement and tensioning of the ribbon element within is calibrated by RØDE.