MAY 17th, 2019
AEA RIBBON MIC REVIEW
We had an isolated room set up with three different amps, a Fender Deluxe, Vox, and Orange. We compared how the N8 sounded with different amps and guitar combinations. On most of the guitars we used a close-miking technique but because we had a stereo pair of N8’s, we were able to capture two different amps simultaneously for some very cool stereo guitars. The smooth high end of the microphone combined with its full bodied warm and round sound made it an ideal candidate to capture beautiful but sometimes aggressive guitars without sounding harsh.
The N22 also sounded great on guitar but it really stole the show while recording vocals. This active ribbon microphone (yes, it uses phantom power!) was designed to minimize proximity effect and has a brighter sound than a traditional ribbon while retaining that smooth top end character. After testing out different mics on Shane Tanksley (Lead Singer of The Strayngers) vocals, we made this our go-to vocal mic for all the songs on the album. The N22 captures an amazing sound that cuts through the mix while retaining a natural balanced tone.
A beautiful microphone with a big classic sound. The R85A was put up against the N22 at the time of recording vocals. It was difficult to make a decision on which microphone was more appropriate for the sound of the record but at the end we went with the N22. The R85A has a more traditional ribbon sound and lacked the brightness we were looking for. In the future we would love to test this mic out on brass, strings, and female vocals.
Our Favorite! This bizarre looking mic that adopted many nicknames during our session definitely sparked everyone’s imagination. The R88 is a stereo microphone with 2 ribbons inside that are set up in a Blumlein configuration. An interesting sideline note is that it has a cable in the back end of the microphone that splits in two. Such a gem!
We started by using the R88 as a stereo room mic in combination with the N8 as a close mic for our guitar amps in order to simultaneously capture the ambience and bleed. This set up gave our guitar tones plenty of dimension and stereo width. At some point this mic ended up as a vocal mic for harmonies and layers (Shane’s idea). Using a stereo microphone on vocals is not something you ordinarily see in the studio but the R88 sounded so interesting on any source we placed it in front of. Taking the stereo signal and panning it center gave you this focus and punch that usually would have to be achieved by using compression and EQ. One of our favorite applications for this mic was positioning it a couple of inches away from the amp and using it as a close mic for electric guitars. Our new favorite guitar mic and a must have for any studio or recording enthusiast. We’re looking forward to adding some of these microphones into our arsenal!
THANK YOU TO OUR FRIENDS AT AEA!