One of the great things about shows like Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound is the possibility of stumbling upon something truly intriguing from a company you have never heard of. The RS-2 from Hum Audio Devices well and truly falls into that category. The RS-2 is billed as “the world’s first remote controlled, Stereo/M-S ribbon microphone with built-in High-End discrete mic preamps. Quite the mouthful, indeed!
The mic itself is a sturdy, well-built object that can been milled using CNC machinery with tolerances of just 1.2 microns.
The ribbons are a coincident pair fixed at a 90 degree angle to one another. This means they can be used in a classic Blumlein configuration, with the faces of the ribbons each rotated 45 degrees away from the source. With a satisfyingly smooth twist, the top of the mic can also be used in M-S configuration.
The idea of keeping the preamps within the body of the mic is not a new one — recently we saw this on the Chandler REDD.47 microphone. The idea here, though, is to make the distance from the capsule to the preamp as short as possible. The theory goes that the amount of signal generated by a ribbon is so tiny that interference or signal degradation between the capsule and the mic preamp can be magnified over longer cable runs. This design avoids that.
The preamp circuitry is remote controlled from a little desktop device that connects with a regular XLR cable. The gain section of the circuit is actually controlled by photocells in order to separate the control signal from the audio signal. This philosophy stands within the rest of the circuit, with relays used for switching throughout.
The company itself is run by former SSL console install engineer Krzysztof Rudnicki and recording studio engineer Krzysztof Toon. The Krzysztofs told us that the RS-2 was born because they couldn’t find a ribbon that fitted their needs. Then, as fast as they could make models, people would buy them.
The pair are also working on a coincident condenser/ribbon mic, so we look forward to checking that out, too, in due course. Hum Audio Devices are currently looking for global distribution, but you can still order an RS-2 from their website for €5000.