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Question for AEA R84 owners
Old 11th July 2005
  #1
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mindbend's Avatar
 

Question for AEA R84 owners

Hello All,

I am a rather new gear slut and I have a few questions about the AEA R84. I just received mine the other day and to be honest I am rather puzzled by it. I had used it before in another studio, and thought it sounded a lot different and a lot better. I am wondering if I might have received one that isn't working properly( I did buy it brand new from an AEA dealer.) I thought I would ask any one else if they noticed the things I am about to mention. First of the mic seems to have a ton of bass, whether I sing into it with a pop filter, or play a guitar in front of it(yes I know about proximity effect.) Even if I put the mic four feet from the acoustic guitar and angle it towards the fret board the mic still pics up more bass than anything else. It seems like it has too much bass for anything that I tried to use it on. I remember the mic being very crisp with a lot of top end detail and clairity but it seems like the highs are strangely absent. I have some vocals recorded from the studio where I first tried it and they sound much more crisp and dont have anywhere near the amount of bass. Although it is possible that the
bass was eq'd out of it before it hit the tape, but It doesn't seem like you should have to instantly eq so much bottom out of almost every source before you record it. It just seems really strange that all of the top end crispness and detail that I remember and hear on the vocals that I recorded before at another studio is missing(yes I know about the rooms, preamp, converters play a major factor.) Here is the setup that I use: AEA into Great River ME-1NV into Mytek AD96 into Protools, protools to benchmark DAC-1 to Dynaudo BM6a's. I have tried several cables, changing the impedance switch, reversing the phase and even tried a few other preamps and still found the AEA to have much more bass than any of my other mics at any distance and still not having the top end clarity. I tried my beyer dynamic m88 and it had way more top end crispness and about half the bass at any distance. The AEA does sound very smooth and has no harshness, just too much bass and it's missing the top end clarity that I remember. Maybe I just expected something different out of it, or maybe when mixing the mic will have the sound I remeber. On the songs that I used it on before at another studio, the vocals just seem to have a whole other dimension, very open and clear from the second I first sang through it with the headphones on and even after the songs were mixed. Who knows, maybe I received one with a problem, or maybe I just had reallly high expectations. Any thoughts before I send it in to have it looked at? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks
Old 11th July 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
My guess is there's nothing wrong with the mic.
The R84 does have a lot of bottom and it's not a bright mic at all.
You'll eq to taste.

This may help a little.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=001465
Old 11th July 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Yep, look at the frequency chart, a ton of boost all through the bass and mid, falls off fast. For vocals, I always add at least 6 dB at 10k, and many times 8-10 db! And sometimes add 2-6 dB around 5k to 8k as well. Then I cut a little, shelf at 380 Hz or so.

That may sound like lot of EQ, but this mic just takes it with no problem. I don't know if your previous session had curves like this, I'd be surprised if they didn't use at least some EQ. Impedance matching can be important too for ribbon mics, but I've had success with high and low-Z on this mic, just depends on what preamp it's going into.

As far as acoustic guitar -- again it will need EQ. I've had better luck with the R84 at a little distance, and mate with a brighter condenser or omni for a stereo pair.

For less bass, try rotating the mic a little, the proximity is less off-center. And is less up-down the axis away from the center, so try raising it above the guitar, angled slightly down

The R84 is a wonderful mic, just about the nicest realism you can get IMO. But has to be treated a little differently than condensers or dynamics.

Steve
Old 11th July 2005
  #4
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I' d take the unit over to the studio to compare it to the original R84 mic you used. At least you will have a decent benchmark to weigh against and will learn if the engineer was adding serious EQ or if the mic you preferred sounded very different. I'd determine this first, then consider returning the mic if it is not what you really wanted- most dealers will allow you some leeway, and since this is not a cheap mic and ribbon mics are quite subjectively viewed, you have a good case for a return, or if your unit actually IS faulty, a repair.

Personally I have used mine for subtle recordings that had LOADS of top end. But I don't know what you were recording, and this mic does have a ton of bass....if you have a question, I'd compare it first quickly before moving on.
Old 11th July 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen
I' d take the unit over to the studio to compare it to the original R84 mic you used. At least you will have a decent benchmark to weigh against and will learn if the engineer was adding serious EQ or if the mic you preferred sounded very different.
If that doesn't work, consider the R92. Cheaper, brighter, less proximity effect.
Old 11th July 2005
  #6
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
If that doesn't work, consider the R92. Cheaper, brighter, less proximity effect.
love it
Old 11th July 2005
  #7
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

I just tried my brand new R92 on a guitar cabinet tonight, and was not happy with anything I was getting out of it. Thin and distorted sounding to my ears. I tried moving it to about a million mic placements, and still no dice.

It was a Marshall JSC2000 TSL, and I used a Great River and Telefunken pres (My APIs are on their way back to the shop). I still have some focusrite ISA pres to try I guess, and since they give me some impedience choices, I might give them a try tomorrow.

Any good suggestions on how to use this bad boy?

(sorry for the hijack, but the topic seemed similar...new ribbon, disappointing sound, maybe there are some ribbon mic techniques that I (we?) are not familiar with?)
Old 11th July 2005
  #8
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
I use my R84 all the time for electric guitar stuff. Most of the time I eq a bit of the low, lows out and do a little 4k, 8k push on an API 560B. Yes the mic is darker than say an sm57 or 421 ect.., but I love mine so much that after I bought one I had to have another one for stereo drum overheads,ect.

Give it a little while to grow on you. It doesn't have the sizzle of a KM184 or akg451 but then again thats not why most people buy one.

ERic
Old 11th July 2005
  #9
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doublehelix

Any good suggestions on how to use this bad boy?
You put it close to the speaker and go! If it sounds bad it's not the mic, it's the most honest guitar cab mic out there. More real than a R121 or a Coles or a _____ or a ____.

Is the AEA logo aimed at the cone?
Old 11th July 2005
  #10
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Sui_City's Avatar
 

And if i may suggest, using the rear of the R92 has produced without question the thickest and warmest guitar sound i have ever heard. I've got a '69 JMP SuperBass 50 watt.

I'll probably never use anything else again. thumbsup

And BTW, Eric, the lack of artificial sizzle is exactly why i have become, to use Lynn's words, a "Ribbon Zealot".
Old 11th July 2005
  #11
Lek
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As to the original post, I have the exact same experience with my r84. Glad to hear you're having the same experience, otherwise I might have questioned if mine had a problem. BUT, either cutting lows or boosting highs it sounds nice and sweet. Can't get anywhere near my acoustic guitar or voice without eq'ing severely (unless the mic is far away from the source).
Old 12th July 2005
  #12
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I made some clips to demonstrate the differences between the two mics:

http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/...2079&alid=1286

MP3 yes, but does demonstrate the differences and what you might expect if you go the R92 route instead.

Good luck!

War
Old 12th July 2005
  #13
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dim light's Avatar
 

Thanks a lot warhead! I'm looking to buy the R92.
Old 12th July 2005
  #14
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
Thanks a lot warhead! I'm looking to buy the R92.


War
Old 12th July 2005
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
stedel's Avatar
 

Erm...don't mean to be a smartass, but you know there are two sides to this mic that give you a different character to the sound. Have you tried both sides?
Also, are you using the same mic pre as the studio you first heard the mic in?
Took me a while to match this mic to a mic pre - but now I'm loving it. I kid you not.
However it is quite a sensitive mic, so all the usual issues - the nature of the room you're recording in in terms of the accoustics of it all can become a lot more critical.
Like floor covering for instance. Really basic stuff like don't record accoustic guitar on carpet.
Failing all this, maybe you've got a faulty one.....
I really haven't had a problem such as the top heavy bass you're talking about. And as far as buying a cheaper mic? Jeez....this mic is pretty well priced for the quality it will give.
Kind regards
Old 12th July 2005
  #16
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I had one guy complaining about the R84 being too boomy on his acoustic guitar. After asking him questions for a while he tells me the mic is about 6" out from the sound hole. I asked him if he please could experiment with positioning, maybe 18" give or take and not quite so focused on the body / hole. The guy calls back, problem solved and he's loving the sound.

You do have to watch close placement with these mics, although 6" from the sound hole in my opinion would produce a **** sound on about any mic.

Mindblend is kind of going off of memory here, and between two rooms and probably different preamps, wiring, player, amp etc...? There certainly could be a lot of factors at play.

War
Old 12th July 2005
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
mindbend's Avatar
 

Hello,

Thanks for all of your responses. I am glad to see other people besides myself have had issues with the bass response and having to add top end. As to the posters above I did mention in my original post that I know that rooms, preamps, converters, etc play a big part of the sound. I have tried both sides of the mic with the same result. I haven't had a chance to use the mic since my last post, but I will in the next few days. I was comparing the sound of the mic that I heard at the other studio on my voice, to the sound of my voice on the same song at my studio. After reading some of the posts above I can only assume that it must have been eq'd before it hit the tape. I am going to a-b some vocal tracks from the other studio with ones I will do later on this week and see what sort of results I come up with. As far as the acoutic guitar sound, I stated in my original post that I was micing the guitar from serveral feet away and was still suprised by how boomy it was. Those impressions were after using the mic for an hour or so. I will update again after I get a chance to use the mic again. Thanks again for all of the help and the eq tips
Old 12th July 2005
  #18
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
ribbons really respond to eq!
Old 14th July 2005
  #19
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dim light's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
I made some clips to demonstrate the differences between the two mics:

http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/...2079&alid=1286

MP3 yes, but does demonstrate the differences and what you might expect if you go the R92 route instead.

Good luck!

War
I have listen to your tracks and I think the R84 sounds fuller with a nice lo bottom, the kick sound is awesome for overhead. Which mic would you choose for drum overhead? The R92 sounds more like my SM7A, I miss the lo bottom.

Enjoyed your mp3's - thanks again!
Old 14th July 2005
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
Which mic would you choose for drum overhead?

I love the R-122s for that role.
Old 14th July 2005
  #21
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dim light's Avatar
 

Cool thanks for the feedback Lynn! The Royer looks so small - can it give me a big sound - the R84 look fatter = more low bottom love?
Old 14th July 2005
  #22
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bradb's Avatar
 

When I received my R84, i also was thrown off by the huge proximity effect. For some electric guitar work, I couldn't use it. I got an R92 and found that it is great for up close electric guitar work and some other things and the R84 is great for strings and organ thru an electric guitar amp.

both mics are definitly some of my favorite tools.
Old 14th July 2005
  #23
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Overheads? R88
Old 14th July 2005
  #24
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindbend
Hello All,

I am a rather new gear slut and I have a few questions about the AEA R84. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

Just use it for rap vocals and call it a day. Nathan will tell you its the best ..... heh
Old 14th July 2005
  #25
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dim light's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
Overheads? R88
Yes, I need 2 and the R88 are too expensive for my home studio budget. I guess the R92 sounds more like a dynamic - I miss the low end that the R84 have. Both mics sounds awesome but for drums I want the low end - I really liked the R83 mp3's warhead posted.


How about the Royer SF-12?
Old 14th July 2005
  #26
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
Yes, I need 2 and the R88 are too expensive for my home studio budget.
you need two stereo mics?

the R88 is one point stereo pair, and it's tone is a split between the R84 and the R92 ... leaning slightly more toward the R84. it's huge and fat with more top than an 84 and EASY to work with.
Old 14th July 2005
  #27
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dim light's Avatar
 

I didn't know that, everyday is a learning day!

I have no chance to demo these mics. I trust your judgement, I will look in to the R88.

Have you tried the Royer SF12?
Old 14th July 2005
  #28
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
I didn't know that, everyday is a learning day!

I have no chance to demo these mics. I trust your judgement, I will look in to the R88.

Have you tried the Royer SF12?
the Royer is more exacting ... less size and color ... very nice and honest

better for a REAL sound in a good room IMO

Generally I prefer the R92 an R88 sounds to the equivalent Royers , YMMV. I find the R88 a nice reference to the balance of the aged/colorful 4038 and R84 qualitites with more top than either, and cleaner than a 4038 (which is a killer room mic as well).

R88 and Sf12 are about equally ribbon-fragile, no winner for the Gorillas in our midst.



have fun
Old 14th July 2005
  #29
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dim light's Avatar
 

Thanks a lot lucey! Great feedback/info.
Old 15th July 2005
  #30
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
I have listen to your tracks and I think the R84 sounds fuller with a nice lo bottom, the kick sound is awesome for overhead. Which mic would you choose for drum overhead? The R92 sounds more like my SM7A, I miss the lo bottom.

Enjoyed your mp3's - thanks again!
Glad you enjoyed the clips. The R84 is more of a whole kit sound, with deep toms etc so if I had to pick...R92 for when I wanted more top end and less weight from the kit...and R84 for the whole kit.

Both mics have their uses and compliment different ends of the spectrum differently!

War
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