Larry Killip Music

(Original music and music/production for television)

Ribbon Microphones and "The Naked Eye"


"In the course of my work I use many different microphones, most of all I love ribbon mics. Older ribbon mics were often hard work, extracting a good top end, avoiding "muddyness", getting enough gain, were all concerns and if you weren't experienced in using ribbon mics most likely you would give up before achieving that wonderful sound that they are capable of giving.

With this page I hope to encourage recording engineers/enthusiasts who may hitherto have been biased against using ribbon mics to take another look, this time at the new breed of ribbon mics, the Naked Eye being one such microphone."  Larry Killip




The "Naked Eye"

A page showcasing ribbon microphones and in particular, my favorite  mic, the "Naked Eye" ribbon microphone.

Update July 2009

Crowley & Tripp, the company who made the Naked Eye have been bought by Shure Microphones, the Naked Eye as such is now discontinued but lives on as the Shure KSM313

I am a musician/song writer/producer (Larry Killip) and I am fortunate to have one of the new breed of ribbon mics, "The Naked Eye" was made by Crowley and Tripp in the USA, it is the baby of the family, but make no mistake it is a great microphone with a very workable output level plus plenty of top end. This mic also has the added benefit of quite different sound responses each side. (See sound samples below.) More recently Robert Crowley came up with a new "space age" material he calls "Roswellite" for ribbon mics that renders the element unbreakable, the material also has a "memory" and thus retain's it's shape even under high spl's. This breakthrough attracted the attention of Shure Microphones and the rest is history.

My favourite setup for recording my acoustic steel string is to use the Naked Eye rear, listen to samples below and make your own mind up. The Naked Eye has very good gain for a ribbon but of course the Neumann TLM103 is higher, levels in samples below have been made similar for comparison.





One off special:

My special "one off" (early prototype) green Naked Eye with serial number LK1 (I'm proud to say!)



Inside shots:

Inside a 1960's EMI ribbon


Inside my green (prototype) Naked Eye, this  differs quite a bit from the stock Naked Eye. This picture shows the screen temporarily taped into place.


The great Louis Armstrong singing into two classic RCA ribbon mics


The Naked Eye

       Stock "Naked Eye" ribbon microphone by Soundwave Research Labs

Naked Eye "Roswellite" version left beside standard mic

Polar Response of the Naked Eye microphone

Classic ribbons

Two typical 1960's ribbon microphones,

British "Reslo" and Japanese "Aiwa".


How they work

Ribbon microphone as described in Howard Tremaine's  "Audio Cyclopedia"

(Howard W. Sams & Co - Int book no. 0-672-20675-7)   clik pic for larger view


My homepage and my music "Larry Killip"

My television and radio soundtracks

My "How to re-ribbon mics"

More of my classic mics

My music on CD Baby


See Robert Crowley's blog



Larry Killip Music and Sound Design Ltd

Auckland New Zealand

Contact: larryk "at"