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SE Electronics VR2 active ribbon
Old 23rd December 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
SE Electronics VR2 active ribbon

This ribbon mic has been around for about 7 years or more, but in this forum at least doesn't get much mention at all.

It has a few advantages over more traditional ribbon mics which might steer it towards effective use in location contexts. It's an active ribbon, so doesn't require a CloudLifter or similar device to provide elevated output. It also has an extended HF response (though without harshness) which should retain traditional ribbon warmth. I'm guessing it might have symmetrical front/back output, which would facilitate M-S miking ?

A few reviews here: SE Electronics Voodoo VR1 & VR2 |
SE Electronics Voodoo VR2 | RecordingHacks.com
SE Electronics: Voodoo VR2 active ribbon mic | Tape Op Magazine | Longform candid interviews with music producers and audio engineers covering mixing, mastering, recording and music production.
YouTube
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/se-e...oo-vr2-g17586/

The price has dropped since release also, either due to increased competition with similar products...or perhaps increased factory output and automation of assembly ? Another contender would be the new NoHype ribbon ?

Does anyone here have field use experience with the SE Voodoo VR2 ?

Last edited by studer58; 23rd December 2018 at 04:11 PM..
Old 24th December 2018
  #2
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VR-1 is excellent as a mid mic in MS and native b-format arrays. Well balanced frequency response for close and medium distance recordings. Clear, detailed, smooth. Haven´t tried the VR-2.
Old 24th December 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
VR-1 is excellent as a mid mic in MS and native b-format arrays. Well balanced frequency response for close and medium distance recordings. Clear, detailed, smooth. Haven´t tried the VR-2.
Thank you aracu, from those reviews I'd expect a strong family resemblance in sound between the active and passive versions. They seem to be good overall devices....versatile in many roles.

I don't know how good SE support is, if new ribbon motor foils were required, for example ? How robust are ribbon mics these days....is it still mandatory to slide a foam windsock on when moving them around, for example ?
Old 24th December 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
 

I bought a used vr2 that I like very much on mandolin. Very nice high end on it. Detail without any harshness. I don't have a great place to record right now but I'll try to record some solo mandolin if that interests anyone.
Old 24th December 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandodon View Post
I bought a used vr2 that I like very much on mandolin. Very nice high end on it. Detail without any harshness. I don't have a great place to record right now but I'll try to record some solo mandolin if that interests anyone.
That would be great to hear ! Maybe if you can put some kind of screening at the rear of the mic (if your room is reflective) that should damp most bounce and give a reasonably direct sound ?
Old 24th December 2018
  #6
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jnorman's Avatar
Most new ribbon mics these days are quite robust and are much more responsive in the higher frequencies than earlier ribbon mics. I own and use several current ribbon mics including Royer R121s, SF12 and AEA N8s, R84, but also use a 30 year old coles 4038 which is still one of the best mics for some applications. I would certainly expect the SE ribbons to be high quality and fun to work with (as I recall, Rupert neve had a hand in the design, yes?). I have had excellent results even from very low cost golden age ribbon mics. There are a number of classical instruments that benefit from the smooth response of ribbons when used in close micing and studio situations. I haven’t had as much luck using ribbons as mains for larger groups/more distant micing situations, though the sf12 can be very effective for small chamber work. I love ribbons.
Old 24th December 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Most new ribbon mics these days are quite robust and are much more responsive in the higher frequencies than earlier ribbon mics. I own and use several current ribbon mics including Royer R121s, SF12 and AEA N8s, R84, but also use a 30 year old coles 4038 which is still one of the best mics for some applications. I would certainly expect the SE ribbons to be high quality and fun to work with (as I recall, Rupert neve had a hand in the design, yes?). I have had excellent results even from very low cost golden age ribbon mics. There are a number of classical instruments that benefit from the smooth response of ribbons when used in close micing and studio situations. I haven’t had as much luck using ribbons as mains for larger groups/more distant micing situations, though the sf12 can be very effective for small chamber work. I love ribbons.
Good to hear about the robustness, I guess it's still down to sensible transport and storage, as that would present more risk than recording itself ! I believe Neve had a hand in the design, and seems to have a partnership with SE.

I'd be hopeful of them working on specific instruments like classical guitar...and perhaps piano also ? In fact I'd have thought piano might be an area of strength for ribbons, but condensers seem to rule there ?
Old 24th December 2018
  #8
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jnorman's Avatar
My mastering engineer (Kevin nettleingham, Vancouver,WA) told me the finest piano recording he had heard was from a Royer sf12. Again, I would say it might be based on the distance from which you want need to record - my main piano mics are km183s a couple of meters out - if I needed to place mics at the lip or closer, I would definitely consider ribbons. I have not used ribbons on classical guitar as I prefer the faster transients of condensers on nylon strings, but I know others do use ribbons for that application.
Old 24th December 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
My mastering engineer (Kevin nettleingham, Vancouver,WA) told me the finest piano recording he had heard was from a Royer sf12. Again, I would say it might be based on the distance from which you want need to record - my main piano mics are km183s a couple of meters out - if I needed to place mics at the lip or closer, I would definitely consider ribbons. I have not used ribbons on classical guitar as I prefer the faster transients of condensers on nylon strings, but I know others do use ribbons for that application.
That's intriguing...I definitely like the sense of space and air that mics like KM183's get when used at a distance, but perhaps the rear lobe of a ribbon might capture some of that ambience also, without needing to bring the mics in closer ?

For classical guitar I'd be looking for ribbons (esp something like the Voodoos, with their extended HF range, which might give an impression of similar speed to a condenser ?) to discriminate against noisy breaths by the guitarist ! I'd be hoping that by angling the mics appropriately it could exploit the null to minimise the breaths.....possible ?
Old 24th December 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I have the VR1 and use it ocasionally for fiddle, backup vocals, mandolin and ac guitar. Normally on instruments I use the SF12, the best ribbon Ive ever used. But I was surprised at how good the VR1 sounded for the price.
Old 24th December 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Good to hear about the robustness, I guess it's still down to sensible transport and storage, as that would present more risk than recording itself ! I believe Neve had a hand in the design, and seems to have a partnership with SE.

I'd be hopeful of them working on specific instruments like classical guitar...and perhaps piano also ? In fact I'd have thought piano might be an area of strength for ribbons, but condensers seem to rule there ?
i believe the se electronics\neve partnership is the RNR1 that comes at 4x price of the vr2.


i have the rn17 small condensers and am loving their low frequency response and non- hyped higher frequency response. beautiful mics.
Old 25th December 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
How robust are ribbon mics these days....is it still mandatory to slide a foam windsock on when moving them around, for example ?
I guess if you treat it very carefully the ribbon will stretch less over time.
The VR-1 gives the impression of being well built and not overly delicate.
The main thing I learned is not to drop a ribbon mic (ouch).
Old 3rd January 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
That would be great to hear ! Maybe if you can put some kind of screening at the rear of the mic (if your room is reflective) that should damp most bounce and give a reasonably direct sound ?
I'm sitting on a futon couch with an adobe wall behind me, playing into the room with sheetrock walls. High ceiling--lots of furniture and stuff in the room. SE ribbon is 14-18" from the mandolin. Signal chain is SE VR2>Mogami cable>Apogee One>iPad running Auria recorded 24/44.1. The gain on the mic was 38db according to Maestro control software for the Apogee. Mandolin is a Red Diamond A5 Vintage model with roasted woods, an exceptional mandolin. This mic just makes the mandolin sound like it does in the room.

The tune is "Cold Frosty Morning" since it was about -10F here this morning and I froze my hands feeding the horses this morning. They still don't work right so excuse the slow and a bit sloppy playing. I didn't stop the refrigerator or other noise makers in the other room. Mic is pretty quiet.

Here's a different mandolin--same setup. Cold Frosty Heiden SE VR2 Ribbon Mic by HillbillyChamberMusic | Hillbilly Chamber Music | Free Listening on SoundCloud

The only thing I don't like about the mic is the shock mount they include. I've never figured out how to put the mic in it. I just use the clip.
Attached Files

SE VR2 Ribbon Mic Test.mp3 (3.31 MB, 2555 views)


Last edited by mandodon; 4th January 2019 at 04:19 AM..
Old 19th January 2019
  #14
That sounds nice. I'd like to get a ribbon as an acoustic guitar microphone. The aim is to try to go for that (what to me sounds like) kind of mildly compressed high frequency/ old school tone...to avoid brittleness.

I've heard about the Se Electronics vr2. Are there any other ribbon mics I should consider? I was looking at this one too:

AEA N22 Ribbon Microphone | Sweetwater

...whcih is about twice the price of the vr2. I wonder if there's something priced between these too that has a good reputation?

There's also the Royer R10: Royer R-10 Ribbon Microphone | Sweetwater

...which seem popular on amps...anyone know how they go for acoustic guitar recording?
Old 22nd January 2019
  #15
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Omicron_9's Avatar
 

Mesanovic. Stunning.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I really want to try a Mesonivic. Love to compare it to the SF12.

Here is a recording I did with the SF12 thru the AEA TRP on my 1924 Gibson A2 mandolin.

YouTube
Old 23rd January 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omicron_9 View Post
Mesanovic. Stunning.
YouTube
Old 23rd January 2019
  #18
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petimar View Post
I really want to try a Mesonivic. Love to compare it to the SF12.

Here is a recording I did with the SF12 thru the AEA TRP on my 1924 Gibson A2 mandolin.

YouTube
Nice recording! Did you use the SF12 in MS or Blumlein? How was the rest of the ensemble recorded?
Old 23rd January 2019
  #19
One of the best ribbon microphone I have ever heard/used is the Woodpecker from Blue Microphones. See review here Blue Woodpecker Ribbon Microphone Review — Pro Audio Files Amazing microphone for Banjo and Guitar. I had to give back the one I was trying out but would buy one in a heartbeat if I was still doing a lot of in studio recordings of acoustic instruments. The top end detail is amazing and no harshness. WOW!
Old 29th January 2019
  #20
I just recorded some tests with my new AEA N22 ribbon mic. My first ribbon recording experience and I'm pretty impressed I have to say. It really is a warm rich tone and overall, the best thing I can say is that everything sounded very natural...acoustic guitar is balanced...nothing too bright, vocals were warm and full. I tested shakers as well. Very nice. I've been wanting a ribbon mic for a while...looking for those kinds of warm, natural tones you hear about...and I was impressed. I'd sure consider looking further into the world of ribbon mics.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Gear Head
 

Anyone used this mic with cabs? There is a good deal in the store. I'm thinking about pairing it with sm57 on guitar amp. And pairing with a sdc/ldc for acoustic guitar. What do you guys think?
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Addict
 

I have two consecutively numbered pairs of VR1s which I came across at a greatly reduced price, also sE RNR1s which all became available from a UK firm which had overstocked.

It was this entry on youtube and the Faziola jazz piano video on the sE site which peaked my interest, and helped make the decision to investigate further.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyxzcuE9Avk

https://www.seelectronics.com/vr1-vr2-ribbons Nice piano too.

The extended frequency response makes them usable as main stereo pairs when needed, and it is smooth and sweet. They have a fully extended low frequency range too. On paper the VR1s and VR2 have a frequency response that appears to compare with that of the sE RNR to a certain extent, in the range 20-20, although the sE RNR1 is reported as extending beyong 20kHz, out to 25kHz.

I've been using the sE RNR1s as a pair of Blumlein crossed fig8 and here again they are full range with an open sounding high frequency.

I was going to purchase a Coles 4050, but at the time it was not possible to obtain an accurate idea of the frequency charts from Coles, even though I tried over quite a long period of time. Coles are British and I *really* wanted to buy the 4050 stereo mic, but I didn't on that occasion, coming across the sEs at a greatly reduced price too helped swing the decision. Long may retailing companies overstock!! The Coles 4038 are a next purchase if the financial tide comes in again.

The sE RNR1 is a pain to set up as a Blumlein pair because of the weight aspect, but I've resorted to using a Manfrotto winch stand and Manfrotto microphone bar which are heavy duty enough to cope with them.

I chose the VR1s over the VR2 because I thought it was better to be able to use Cloudlifers if I ever needed to, or just the chosen mic preamp without them, if they were not needed. The VR1 & VR2 are the best buy, how much difference there is between them and the sE RNR1 is debateable. They certainly rig easier for Blumlein x8s.

My next purchases for ribbon mics (when I do) would be either be Coles 4048s, or AEA R84s, but I would use the sEs when it came to main pair, because they work well.

I have to say that I really like the mics.

These were recorded on a Blumlein x8 pair of sE RNR1s with a pair of Schoeps CMC5 Mk5 omnis on piano. The CD used by the soloist to put this video onto youtube was not dithered (!), it was sent to her as a sample, she put them out a little prematurely!! The master was dithered.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZQLJtxUuyw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJD35GLvQOU

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 1 week ago at 02:01 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #23
I'm afraid I much preferred the Royer ribbons - more even, less bass emphasis and clearer upper registers. (On the guitar video).

I know this is personal taste, but on the violin/piano pieces, I found there was too much reverb. Also her violin sound was a bit un-special.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Head
 

To provide more information about the mic, all acoustic and electric guitars in this album were recorded with a pair of Vr2's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkxm...gDEtOX&index=6
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurcher_lover View Post
I'm afraid I much preferred the Royer ribbons - more even, less bass emphasis and clearer upper registers. (On the guitar video).

I know this is personal taste, but on the violin/piano pieces, I found there was too much reverb. Also her violin sound was a bit un-special.

From what I've observed I think the VR1s need to be positioned further away from source than the Royer. Royers do have that mid range honk which doesn't thrill me overly much. I think the VR1s can be more open sounding, and they can be made to sing, with correct positioning.

On the youtube video the VR1 is placed opposite the sound hole too, whereas the Royer is not, which leads the VR1 to having more bottom end. I took those things into consideration when I was listening to the video, but I could also tell that the high frequencies sounded sweet and open on the VR1, which is something to be valued, and which has been confirmed since I bought them.

I think both the Royer 121 and the sE VR1 should have been placed in an upright position, at least that is the way I rig ribbons, not with the ribbon lying on its side, horizontally.

The room the violin recording was made in was decidedly short of reverb, and no reverb was added, but the Blumlein x8s do have a good amount of spaciousness, which is possibly what you're hearing. At the ends of pieces there is little reverb to speak of though.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 6 days ago at 05:23 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madseason View Post
To provide more information about the mic, all acoustic and electric guitars in this album were recorded with a pair of Vr2's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkxm...gDEtOX&index=6
This is a nice vocal mic too!
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
If you have a mic pre-amp capable of providing high gain quietly - then you may as well save a few quid and get the VR1 - same sound but no built-in phantom powered amp.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Lives for gear
I'm not convinced there's a need for anything special for preamps for a VR1. I've been using one as the -side microphone (M/S with an MC930) for classical recordings, and the noise floor of the venue has been a much bigger problem than the noise floor of the QSC TM30Pro I'm using to record.

FWIW, I really like my VR1s. Smooth, extended top end, and the figure-of-8 pattern is very symmetrical.

Chris
Old 3 days ago
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
I'm not convinced there's a need for anything special for preamps for a VR1. I've been using one as the -side microphone (M/S with an MC930) for classical recordings, and the noise floor of the venue has been a much bigger problem than the noise floor of the QSC TM30Pro I'm using to record.

FWIW, I really like my VR1s. Smooth, extended top end, and the figure-of-8 pattern is very symmetrical.

Chris
I'll bet that is a nice sounding combination, because the Beyer MC930 is lovely sounding mic with a sweet sounding high frequency range and the VR1s are not short in the high frequency department either, and it is a sweet, singing high register on those. I might try that combination, although I'm not a great user fo MS, just occasionally.
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