It’s the materials placed in front of the ribbon that have a direct impact on what is being picked up, which differs between the R44 and R84. I auditioned the R88 with various instruments and ensembles: an amateur string orchestra, a small church choir, a pipe organ, a grand piano, and a small drum set. Like all of our microphones, we create tools that allow musical artists to create and tailor a sonic signature to their liking. Le microphone à ruban AEA R84 dispose du même large ruban, possibilités de réglage et transformateur qui ont fait la réputation du célèbre R44. The R84 produces rich and full low-mids and a smooth top end. Amateur string orchestras would normally fill me with dread, but the R88 managed to capture a well-rounded and natural string tone with plenty of body and detail, minimising the 'screechy' artefacts that many condenser mics would have emphasised. AEA R84 vs. R92 blind shootout inside! The R84A’s higher output and immunity to impedance-loading offer more flexibility in the choice of preamps and avoid noise problems in low signal level applications. hank alrich. By using a more compact transducer and magnets in the R84, we were able to create a mic that still sounds like the R44, but has less proximity effect and more top end. Given the size and weight of this mic, a robust stand is mandatory, and I preferred to use a stand without a boom arm for most applications, employing the supplied angle bracket when I needed to tilt the microphone. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The R88's output impedance is surprisingly high at 270Ω, and it requires a minimum load impedance of 1.5kΩ, which isn't likely to prove a problem. The cable is secured to the supporting frame as well, to provide some additional vibration isolation. I also tried mounting the mic directly in front of the kit at head height, and obtained very natural 'jazz style' results. An included mic-stand adaptor allows the microphone to be angled as required.Photo: Mark EwingFor the more adventurous, the mic could be rotated 45 degrees to the left and used as an M&S pair, with output two providing the Middle channel and output one the Sides channel. While touring the recent AES convention in New York, I was struck with how many companies were showing or launching ribbon microphones. Lives for gear . Thinking about pickup up an AEA R84, but I'm debating between the getting the active version. Post Jan 03, 2018 #1 2018-01-03T07:19. 2,112 313. The Blumlein configuration of the ribbons allows for a sweeping range of perspective, so an entire ensemble and room can be captured by the R88 alone. This mic makes an excellent package for anyone who appreciates the virtues of the ribbon and the convenience of a fixed-stereo mic. Many people try the R84 expecting the sound of a 77. hank alrich. I too love the r84, but if you can access a 44 it's a no-brainer. Q. The user manual quotes the maximum SPL as over 165dB above 1kHz (for one percent third-harmonic distortion), although care must be taken to protect the mic from direct wind blasts. From the 1930s — when it was introduced by RCA — the RCA 44 became a staple in broadcasting and recording studios throughout the world. Price is no object? It weighs in at a very hefty eight pounds — the weight of a newborn baby. That boost of low-end might not always be the right choice in tiny studios or on cramped stages. The stereo imaging is faultless, and when partnered with good mic preamps, the noise floor is extremely low. Its internal electronics require phantom power to operate and protect it from blowing a ribbon with an accidental hot-patch. Sound On Sound has carried reviews of AEA ribbon mics before (the RCA44 and the R84), but this review is a little different, because the new R88 is the only stereo ribbon mic I have ever come across. The XLR plugs are undifferentiated, but the wires themselves are clearly numbered to identify the two capsule outputs. A unique stereo ribbon mic in the classic Blumlein mould, combining the characteristic attributes of ribbon technology — a warm, pleasing sound, crisp transients, and natural dynamics — with superbly well-focused stereo imaging. The latter helps to prevent stray ferrous particles — 'tramp iron' to use the American vernacular — from being attracted by the magnets and eventually fouling the ribbon gap when the mic is not in use. Learn more Reply OPTIONS. Called the R84A, it sounds the same as an R84, but uses a custom Lehle transformer and JFET electronics to produce 12 dB more output. Obviously, the R88 is designed for use as a stereo mic, and its performance has been optimised accordingly. First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. Some of you must have experience with both of these mics - AEA R88 mk2 and Royer SF-12. The R84A works with a preamp of any impedance and has 12dB more output than the R84 giving you more flexibility when selecting a preamp to pair it with. They are pleasantly surprised to find the R84 actually has a much more balanced sound due to its incredible amount of low-end and much larger ribbon. The base of the support bracket is fitted with a 5/8-inch threaded socket for direct mounting on a stand or suspension cable, but the mic is also supplied with a very robust knuckle adaptor. PreSonus StudioLive 32SC Series III Mixing Console. What is a "hybrid" audio interface anyway? The User Manual reminds owners to store the mic vertically in its case to prevent the ribbon sagging under its own weight. The distance difference is due to each microphone’s optimum treble-to-bass ratio. Internally, the dual-aluminium-diaphragm design is unique to the R88, but is similar to that of the R84 — being tweaked slightly to improve the off-axis frequency response. As a result, this is a seriously large (and heavy) microphone. However, it still retains the R44’s warm color. This is a very important difference between the two mics because the further away they are positioned from the source, the bass response will change and the more room tone will be captured. The frame features a 90-degree offset across the middle to ensure that the vertical portions lie in the nulls of each capsule. Covering the two ribbons across the central portion of the microphone is a tight shiny black fabric supported by an internal wire frame. As a result, this is a seriously large (and heavy) microphone. Competent built-in shockmount and supplied angle adaptor. Relative to 200Hz, the mic is about 2dB down at 1kHz, 5dB down by 8kHz, and 10dB down by 20kHz — a rather steeper response tilt than that of the R84, although it doesn't sound 'dull' in use. The R84 has equal treble and bass up to ten feet (3 meters) away. This is a common characteristic of most ribbons, and is partly to do with the inherently low resonant frequency — most condenser capsules tend to resonate at around 8-10kHz, which is often a factor in the characteristic capacitor-mic 'edge'. It also uses a much smaller ribbon and has a very different transducer shape. Required to support it is a very heavy-duty microphone stand. As much as I love my R84, I had an AEA 44 on loan for several months. Of course, at the heart of all ribbon microphones is the ribbon itself. The diaphragm resonance is 16Hz, and I did find the mic quite prone to low-frequency rumbles, despite the built-in shockmounting. These aspects, combined with the reduced proximity effect, make it well-suited for both close-up and ambient mic applications in medium-sized rooms. The sound is incredibly detailed, rich, deep and 3 dimensional. Although good ribbon microphones deliver a beautiful and unique sound in the right circumstances, they were largely usurped by capacitor mics as the engineer's weapon of choice a long time ago. Touring musicians who are looking for consistent and risk-free performance in a wide range of venues and recording setups will find it a trusty companion. In normal left-right stereo use, the microphone's AEA logo would be pointed at the centre of the musical ensemble or instrument, with output one connected to the left channel and output two to the right. The 44’s unique rich sound is so ingrained in us, we recognize it when we hear it. ©2020 AEA Ribbon Mics & Preamps, All Rights Reserved, causing many people to think it’s a replica, big, 2.35-inch by 0.185-inch by two-micron pure aluminum low-tension ribbon element. The RCA 44 has an unmistakable sonic character that Les Paul called the first truly musical microphone ever built. It will appeal to the purist classical-music engineer without doubt, but it also has a much wider role in the studio. Ribbons are quite popular for drum overheads in the studio, and the R88 performed superbly when placed behind the drummer (looking down from about two feet above his head), delivering crisp, clean cymbals without splashiness. When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Focusrite also allowed some experimentation with input impedances, but I found the best results were obtained with the highest setting. This new monster mic incorporates two separate ribbon diaphragms, allowing you to use either Blumlein or M&S stereo recording configurations.
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