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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => The Acid Test => Topic started by: Fenris Wulf on June 01, 2010, 03:28:48 am

Title: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Fenris Wulf on June 01, 2010, 03:28:48 am
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.
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: cgc on June 01, 2010, 10:07:51 am
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.

Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: jstuart on June 01, 2010, 07:28:18 pm
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.
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: itsapleasure on June 03, 2010, 10:41:07 pm
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...
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Berolzheimer on June 04, 2010, 03:10:32 am
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.
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Fenris Wulf on June 29, 2010, 09:07:14 pm
I've tried it on more sources.

Guitar amps: good, but the low end is too much and it needs a low shelf cut. I preferred the midrange focus of an Oktava 319.

Vocals: good on some singers, not so good on others. I compared it to an AKG 414 B-ULS (the darkest 414 variant). After EQ'ing the ribbon to match the condenser, the ribbon had a lot more silibance, to my suprise.

Cello and violin: wonderful.
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Kris on July 01, 2010, 07:11:40 am
For guitar amps, you could also pull it back off the speaker for less lows...
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Devil's Rope Studios on September 18, 2010, 07:20:26 pm
My next purchase! Sounds stellar...
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Chromatic Paste on September 22, 2010, 08:08:02 pm
The AEA R92 sounds great on guitar amps and has less low end than the R84. It is designed for closer proximity than the R84.
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: Adam The Truck Driver on September 23, 2010, 03:09:53 pm
I have the R84DJV which I've liked a lot on my voice in VO apps up close as well as my tenor singing voice about 2 feet back from the mic. I can't compare it to a standard R84 which I guess can have more prominent low end. The DJV has some extra silk lining within it's grill to supposedly cut lows but it has plenty of lows to my ear. I've also liked my DJV on acoustic guitar. In any case my Daking preamp was used, gain maxed, or nearly so. Sounded great, but I expect the preamp is an affect of that sound also.
Title: Re: AEA R84 ribbon
Post by: studjo on December 31, 2010, 08:01:19 am
I use the R84 on almost all electric guitars I record. I don't put it where I'd put a SM57. The R84 is farther away from the speaker but it captures this huuuuuuuge sound. To me it sounds very vintage.
I also love it as Sax mic or drum room mic - a really really great mic!