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AEA R84 Review Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
AEA R84 Review

Ok, first of, I’m not a pro. But in all sincerity not many of you actually are either. So my thoughts and humble opinions in things concerning pro-audio should matter just as much as anyone’s.
This is the first in what I hope will be a series of reviews of products available to us striving audio engineers. This time my ears have found a microphone that created some buzz when it first hit the market. TheAEA R84, a cardoid ribbon microphone that according o the paper can handle up to 165db spl.
I’ve been messing around with recording fro a couple of years now. Most of the times I record my own voice. Once a friend of mine came by with his guitar, but frankly that session turned to ****.
However, I received the AEA R84 in its soft and quite strikingly gorgeous case. Custom made.
First I just put it up on a stand and took some polaroids of it. Looked great in my studio. After that I plugged it in and started my new-mic-routine. Singing in to it with my headphones (AKG) blasting.
I began with some classics, Elvis and such. Then moved on to some more contemporary material, I was kind of blue so mostly ballads today.
First impression, VERY little brightness. I was surprised, I mean this is a brand new microphone. This fact made me realise that the microphone is useless for ballads.
So I digged a bit deeper in my repertoir and started to sing more rock stuff. But no. Not for rock either. No way could this mic handle it. Sounded no way near the records I like and are the reason I got into the AE business.
The AEA R84 is not suitable for ballads and not for rock. So what the f**k do I use it for? Jazz fusion? I hate jazz fusion.
I record my own voice almost every day. Never has it sounded as bad as through the AEA R84. And it is actually is the most expensive microphone in my studio.
Conclusion: ribbon microphones is of no use in a modern recording environment. Unless maybe if you like music like Chic Corea.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
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gm5k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Ok, first of, I’m not a pro. But in all sincerity not many of you actually are either.
sh*t! we've been outed. well it was fun guys...

heh
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
Gear addict
 
Dale's Avatar
 

what pre amp are you using???
could this be a contributing factor to your dis...
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
no pre amp. straight to tape.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #5
This has to be a joke. Right?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #6
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HudHudson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
First impression, VERY little brightness. I was surprised, I mean this is a brand new microphone. This fact made me realise that the microphone is useless for ballads.
So I digged a bit deeper in my repertoir and started to sing more rock stuff. But no. Not for rock either. No way could this mic handle it. Sounded no way near the records I like and are the reason I got into the AE business.
The AEA R84 is not suitable for ballads and not for rock.
The R84 is the main vocal mic for my own voice, and I sing a lot of rock and a lot of ballads. You need a lot of gain AND you may want to add a little 10-12k. Picking a mic for vocals is tough, as not every mic flatters every voice. Sorry to hear the R84 doesn't match up to your pipes or your expectations.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #7
Gear nut
 

[/QUOTE]First impression, VERY little brightness. I was surprised, I mean this is a brand new microphone. [/QUOTE]


Could this be because he is not using a preamp?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #8
Gear addict
 
Recycled_Brains's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Conclusion: ribbon microphones is of no use in a modern recording environment. Unless maybe if you like music like Chic Corea.
this is the -est thing i've read in a while.

-ryan
Old 22nd August 2007
  #9
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Ok, first of, I’m not a pro. But in all sincerity not many of you actually are either. So my thoughts and humble opinions in things concerning pro-audio should matter just as much as anyone’s.
This is the first in what I hope will be a series of reviews of products available to us striving audio engineers. This time my ears have found a microphone that created some buzz when it first hit the market. TheAEA R84, a cardoid ribbon microphone that according o the paper can handle up to 165db spl.
I’ve been messing around with recording fro a couple of years now. Most of the times I record my own voice. Once a friend of mine came by with his guitar, but frankly that session turned to ****.
However, I received the AEA R84 in its soft and quite strikingly gorgeous case. Custom made.
First I just put it up on a stand and took some polaroids of it. Looked great in my studio. After that I plugged it in and started my new-mic-routine. Singing in to it with my headphones (AKG) blasting.
I began with some classics, Elvis and such. Then moved on to some more contemporary material, I was kind of blue so mostly ballads today.
First impression, VERY little brightness. I was surprised, I mean this is a brand new microphone. This fact made me realise that the microphone is useless for ballads.
So I digged a bit deeper in my repertoir and started to sing more rock stuff. But no. Not for rock either. No way could this mic handle it. Sounded no way near the records I like and are the reason I got into the AE business.
The AEA R84 is not suitable for ballads and not for rock. So what the f**k do I use it for? Jazz fusion? I hate jazz fusion.
I record my own voice almost every day. Never has it sounded as bad as through the AEA R84. And it is actually is the most expensive microphone in my studio.
Conclusion: ribbon microphones is of no use in a modern recording environment. Unless maybe if you like music like Chic Corea.
Well, I'm guessing it's a joke too. But if you're an Elvis fan, you should listen more carefully, because the AEA R84 is awfully close to the RCA 77 mic he used to make some of his most famous early recordings. And as for ballads, well its really just the thing. Beautiful warm, round sound. I agree I wouldn't use it for a contemporary rock vocal sound.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #10
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
First impression, VERY little brightness. I was surprised, I mean this is a brand new microphone. This fact made me realise that the microphone is useless for ballads.
Welcome to the world of ribbons. The R84 is not a bright mic. It's actually pretty flat. The great thing about it is that it picks up high end in a way that allows for MASSIVE amounts of boost without sounding harsh.

You need a good CLEAN preamp with a lot of gain, and you need a decent EQ. Add those to the equation and I think your conclusion will be much more positive.

I love the R84 on electric guitar, drum OH, ambient room, cello, acoustic guitar, mandolin, and sometimes yes, even vocals!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Sui_City's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Ok, first of, I’m not a pro. But in all sincerity not many of you actually are either. So my thoughts and humble opinions in things concerning pro-audio should matter just as much as anyone’s.
This is the first in what I hope will be a series of reviews of products available to us striving audio engineers. This time my ears have found a microphone that created some buzz when it first hit the market. TheAEA R84, a cardoid ribbon microphone that according o the paper can handle up to 165db spl.
I’ve been messing around with recording fro a couple of years now. Most of the times I record my own voice. Once a friend of mine came by with his guitar, but frankly that session turned to ****.
However, I received the AEA R84 in its soft and quite strikingly gorgeous case. Custom made.
First I just put it up on a stand and took some polaroids of it. Looked great in my studio. After that I plugged it in and started my new-mic-routine. Singing in to it with my headphones (AKG) blasting.
I began with some classics, Elvis and such. Then moved on to some more contemporary material, I was kind of blue so mostly ballads today.
First impression, VERY little brightness. I was surprised, I mean this is a brand new microphone. This fact made me realise that the microphone is useless for ballads.
So I digged a bit deeper in my repertoir and started to sing more rock stuff. But no. Not for rock either. No way could this mic handle it. Sounded no way near the records I like and are the reason I got into the AE business.
The AEA R84 is not suitable for ballads and not for rock. So what the f**k do I use it for? Jazz fusion? I hate jazz fusion.
I record my own voice almost every day. Never has it sounded as bad as through the AEA R84. And it is actually is the most expensive microphone in my studio.
Conclusion: ribbon microphones is of no use in a modern recording environment. Unless maybe if you like music like Chic Corea.
Ok, let's first start with the fact that the R84 is Figure-8, not cardioid.

2. Nothing like testing through a pair of headphones.

3. Corrective EQ, to take into account the nature of the microphone, will bring back all the high end. It's there. You're just a

4. Conclusion: ****ing idiot.

fuuck

5. Please get out of the AE business. You'd be doing all of us a favor.

I sincerely hope that this does not turn into a series of reviews, as they would be the most utterly useless pieces of crap i have ever read.

I have never added someone to my "ignore list" after only 3 posts.

To the rest of my brethren, my apologies for the tirade. I have little patience today for dumb.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #12
Gear addict
 

I thought I remeber this being a ribbon that sounds different on each lobe of the 8. If this is true maybe try flipping it around?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 

it.

is.

a.

JOKE!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #14
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Wow, I'm glad I read this so I can sell the mic as apparently it is of no use to me!

War
Old 22nd August 2007
  #15
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

WOW!.................
Old 22nd August 2007
  #16
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edyer's Avatar
 

Yeah you're right they suck!!! I'll give you 50 bucks for it though just to help you out.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #17
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edyer View Post
Yeah you're right they suck!!! I'll give you 50 bucks for it though just to help you out.
Oh wait...I meant to say what he said!!!

War
Old 22nd August 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edyer View Post
Yeah you're right they suck!!! I'll give you 50 bucks for it though just to help you out.
i do need a stereo pair.....now that i think about it..

i'll up the offer to $100!!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #19
Gear maniac
 

Joe Porto hit the nail on the head. Eq it and report back. That's the beauty of ribbons is that they don't have a spike in the high end response. It is odd the first time you hear a ribbon, but if you listen and add a little eq to the high end you will say, that's what it really sounds like when your in the room. It's much more of a natural sound.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 
wilkinswp's Avatar
 

Hmm. . . . . this wasn't my experience with the R84. . .
Old 23rd August 2007
  #21
Gear nut
 
kid deluxe's Avatar
 

you need a very expensive pre to make the 84 sound good.
go and buy a cranesong spider.
then you can sing ballards too......
Old 23rd August 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 

"This just in.....The problem is not with the mic."
Old 23rd August 2007
  #23
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I understand there were some problems with the early production runs. Apparently in some cases they used rubber bands instead of ribbons. You might want to check with your dealer to see if you're due for a recall.

-R
Old 23rd August 2007
  #24
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
no pre amp. straight to tape.
Yes!! Another one who understands the importance of a SHORT signal flow!




P.S. Man, don't buy expensive toys that you don't understand and.... this board is packed with f...ing PROs. All of your conclusions are...eemmm...really wierd.....Chick Corea? WTF????
Old 23rd August 2007
  #25
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
First off - thanks for all replies guys!

I'm sorry if this review - I will try to improve my next post - didn't wanna come here to piss people off - my bad, sorry!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #26
Gear addict
 
edyer's Avatar
 

O.K. Sorry for poking fun at you man....

Your post looked like someone who either didn't know much about microphones or someone playing a prank.

But seriously folks Like some of the posts said you need to have a pre amplifier to make that mic work. Something that can put out some pretty good gain.

units I had good luck with were, Earthworks, Focurite 428, RNP , Trident S20 and occasionally a soundcraft ghost. The focusruite is cool because you can tweek the sound by changing the impedence.

Units I never liked with it were, Toft ATC2, Mackie vlz, TC Voiceworks and occasionally the soundcraft ghost.

I'm sure there are people here who can steer you into some other good choices also.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 
greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks!

I wonder if I dare post my API (Lunchbox) experience?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #28
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sui_City View Post
Ok, let's first start with the fact that the R84 is Figure-8, not cardioid.

2. Nothing like testing through a pair of headphones.

3. Corrective EQ, to take into account the nature of the microphone, will bring back all the high end. It's there. You're just a

4. Conclusion: ****ing idiot.

fuuck

5. Please get out of the AE business. You'd be doing all of us a favor.

I sincerely hope that this does not turn into a series of reviews, as they would be the most utterly useless pieces of crap i have ever read.

I have never added someone to my "ignore list" after only 3 posts.

To the rest of my brethren, my apologies for the tirade. I have little patience today for dumb.
LOL very succinct
Old 23rd August 2007
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Thanks!

I wonder if I dare post my API (Lunchbox) experience?
if it is comperable to your AEA mic experience....i wouldn't botherheh

r-84 and api pres......if you can't get some good sounds with that.....you may just have to throw in the towel.

seriously tho....one of the key things with the aea is that you should back off it a bit to avoid too much proximity effect....and don't be afraid of the eq....that is what the aea is made for.

even without eq i have had no trouble getting great cut and presence with the aea on electric guitar.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #30
Gear maniac
 
imdrecordings's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Thanks!

I wonder if I dare post my API (Lunchbox) experience?
You do have pre's in the lunchbox, don't you? heh

...just kidding
sorry

I like the AEA mic..
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