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AEA R84 ribbon

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Fenris Wulf:
I spec'd this mic after not finding any LDC's under $2000 that I considered to be worthwhile. Retail price is $1000.

AEA has various ribbons optimized for close, medium, and far micing. This one is medium. It works well on a wide variety of sources.

Great on acoustic guitar. EXPENSIVE sounding. Also great on vocals. Big lows and plenty of highs with the application of some high shelf EQ.

Due the the ribbon's geometry, it has an off-axis HF rolloff in the vertical plane, but no roll-off in the horizontal plane. This can be very useful. I used it as a mono drum OH. I oriented it lengthwise so the null was aimed toward the crash cymbals, while the ride and hat were attenuated by the HF rolloff.  It picked up a perfect balance of the entire kit including the kick drum, with a huge tom sound. Astonishing.

Haven't tried it on guitar amp yet, I'll report when I do.

It's a large ribbon tensioned so that the resonant frequency is below 20 Hz. No weird resonances, definitely the smoothest and most neutral of any of our mics. AEA definitely knows how to make proper ribbon mics.

I couldn't figure out the reason for the captive cable, then I realized it's so the mic moves properly on its shockmount. A Shure SM5b has the same thing, except it's a shorter cable leading to a male XLR jack on the shockmount.

Have you done any voice over work using this mic?  I am considering getting one expressly for this purpose, but the main users will be students.  I am trying to figure out if the ribbon mic will simplify or confuse the learning process compared to a LDC or large dynamic.  I suppose I could just get one of each!

Thanks for the review.

I've used one for VO. Sounded great on my voice- ( I've got a low baritone VO w/ quite a bit of natural  "air")  the producer added a bit of comp,a couple of db of top, and ho boy it sounded  nice. but, he had a pop filter on it, and I know how to move my pie hole to avoid the plosives. Still was very sensitive about the low end. not sure I'd plunk it in front of  students with no experience....
but they would sound great until they  stretched the ribbon...

It is a seriously nice sounding mic.

hmm.. students?  Sounds like a job for an RE20 or SM7 if you ask me...  or u87 if you're feeling 'fancypants'..  

there are too many ways to kill a nice ribbon if you ask me...

Wes lent me an r84 for a weeklong session at my house a few years ago, I LOVED it.  Used it on amps, acoustic 6 & 12 string (along with a nice tube modified u87 IIRC), lead & Bg vox, & percussion.


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