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  AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone

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Product Code: 1033

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AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone

The AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone, an outstanding general-purpose microphone, ideally suited for solo and accent work. The R84 is AEA's brilliant modern adaptation of the ribbon motor and transformer that come from Wes Dooley's acclaimed AEA R44 - a museum quality replica of the legendary RCA 44.

AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone Details

The AEA R84 is an affordable Large Ribbon Geometry (LRG) microphone suitable for use by the most demanding audio professional or hobbyist. If you are new to ribbons, you are in for a treat! Experienced users have discovered the AEA R84 is an outstanding general-purpose microphone, ideally suited for solo and accent work. It is hard to find an application where this mic does not shine. It is a fine example of the natural sound and figure-8 directional sensitivity a quality ribbon mic delivers.

  1. Pure natural sound, just as you hear it when you're placing your mic in the studio.
  2. Quick smooth transients that capture the feeling of being there without sounding like a recording.
  3. Extended bass and treble that captures the details without shoving anything in your face.
  4. A figure-eight pattern that focuses your recording on the sound you want.

We believe you will enjoy the confidence this mic inspires. It's a forgiving tool that makes your recording work easier, as it literally sounds good on everything. Try it first and you'll usually like it and find it sits well in the mix. When time is scarce and quality necessary, put the AEA R84 to the test. Our users' experience is that you'll use it more and more (in pairs too!). Then it will start to really grow on you.

The versatile AEA R84 large ribbon microphone is suitable for a wide range of instruments, including brass, strings, percussion, electric guitar and bass. Utilizing the same basic acoustic structure as the AEA R44CNE, the AEA R84 delivers that "big ribbon" sound. At just 0.00007 of an inch, the ultra-thin, low-tension ribbon element of the AEA R84 ensures a quick response, whatever the application. Capable of handling better than 165 dB SPL at higher frequencies, when used on vocals or instruments the AEA R84 offers a performance that is intimate, warm and detailed, yet never harsh.

AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone Features

  • R84 Microphone
  • Shock mount/mic stand adapter
  • Hard wired 10-foot starquad mic cable
  • AEA 845C verticle carrying case

AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone Downloads

AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone Reviews

AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone Options

  • AEA R84 DJV Ribbon Microphone: This variation is a factory modification of the R84 which makes the R84 much more protected from wind blasts and moisture that result from close-up vocal recording/performance. So, with the AEA R84 DJV, you get the same incredible tone and sound of the R84, but with an additional tuning of the proximity effect which optimizes it for broadcast, voice over and very close and intimate vocal recordings

What Professional Users Are Saying

"My favorite mic of the moment is the AEA R84...An emulation of an RCA ribbon mic is not going to sound like an RCA ribbon mic. Only Wes Dooley can come close today...Lately I've replaced the Neumann with the R84."
-Excerpt from EQ Magazine Review, August 2007

"The R84 is just surprising. I was expecting smooth; I wasn't expecting such incredible punch!"
-Pete Townshend, The Who, London

"I have used one of these mics on almost all of the tracks we've taken, and always on jazz acoustic guitar. Wow. Double wow. This thing has got high end like I don't remember... Awesome, and I don't use that word often. Fantastic!"
-George Massenburg, GML

"Just tried your latest, [the] R84... had it for a few days and one of our top engineers, Peter Cobbin, liked it so much he wants a pair. Congratulations again! ... a super price ... a real winner."
-Lester Smith, Abbey Road

"I used the AEA R84 on recent sessions for vocal, electric and acoustic guitar. It just kept on sounding better and better. It's very bright and open with an extended low end - almost condenser-like but with smoother highs."
-Joe Chiccarelli, multi-platinum producer/engineer

"Wes [Dooley] and company have done a wonderful thing with this mic ... You have given engineers and recordists a world-class option to return real instrumental and vocal character back into recording. I would recommend this microphone without reservation to anyone who is seeking a more natural, lifelike sound in their recordings."
-Kyle Harris, PlayR Recording in Phoenix

"The only problem is that I don't have more [R84s]! I've been using them as drum overheads, knocking the Neumann 184s out of that duty. I also use them for certain vocals, on guitar amps and my banjo! Somehow they make every sound more 'musical.' It's amazing, I used to avoid ribbon mics ... now I love them."
-Tim Pak, The Woodshed

"I am extremely pleased with your new R84 ribbon. It has many of the mid-range characteristics of a condenser mic which gives it a rather distinctive sound. I think that you are making a significant contribution to the industry."
-Walter Sear, Sear Sound

"I just bought your R84 and it has vibe for DAYS! [The R84] kicks A**!!!"
-Alan Mirikitani, Dawghouse Studios

"I just got a pair of the new R84 large ribbon [mics] and they are the bomb! I used the R84 on trombone through Brent Averil's API 312 [preamp] and it was truly beautiful ...such a natural open sound."
-Rob P., www.witchdoctorrecording.com

"I'm really enjoying the R84...it's wonderful for vocals. I'm seriously contemplating another one for stereo drum overheads."
-Marshall Simmons, The Music Factory, Toledo, Ohio

"The R84 has made a ribbon believer out of me. Never before have I heard a ribbon mic sound so good on so many things: strings, brass, acoustic guitar, choir, even solo voice. It has beat out so many of my previous favorite non-ribbon mics on so many instruments that I am truly shocked. The biggest problem is that just one pair is not enough."
-Lynn Fuston, 3D Audio Inc., Franklin, Tennessee

"When I purchased this microphone and started tracking with it, I knew that my voice found it's match. I have been searching for years for a mic that would give me the old Nat King Cole style sound, and didn't realize that it would be the answer for other things in my production like acoustic guitar and anything that I want to sound 'natural.' Bravo. Million dollar sound."
-Lou Ferguson, Songwriter, Calgary, Albert

What We Think - AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone Review

"The AEA R84 is perhaps the perfect antidote for the sterility of recording in the digital landscape. Why? Imagine depth, a smooth yet extended high frequency response, and a nicely balanced frequency response throughout. Great at distance mic placement, the R84 began as a more cost-conscious build of the high-dollar AEA R44 microphones. However, while it still sports the same ribbon material and the same transformer as the R44, the body resonance and the grille shape contribute to a unique and highly flexible sound all itâ,"s own.

Looking to record a singer/songwriter with a single microphone; old-school style? The R84 is the answer. Itâ,"s never too bright and when matched with the right microphone preamplifier, itâ,"s got a balance that just isnâ,"t achievable with most any FET or tube condenser. Ribbon microphones really are dynamic microphonesâ,¦ only, they are high-resolution dynamic microphones. There is a unique depth of field that they capture that is impossible otherwise. This really becomes a beautiful component of this microphone when recording anything, but especially when recording vocals with an expressive vocalist. The R84 really gets you out of a jam when you have a â,?nasalyâ," sounding singer, or one who is particularly sibilant. Iâ,"ve recorded several vocalists who just donâ,"t sound right on even the most expensive tube microphonesâ,¦ no matter how smooth the top-end. The R84 became the clearly evident solution.

Drums can be hard to record with condensers in the digital realm since cymbals can all too often sound hard or washy in such a way that cannot be corrected with eq. A pair of R84s in the room is many times all you need for an excellent recording. Try about 6 feet out in front of the kit. Work a little bit to place them just right - or take the easy way out and go with the AEA R88 mkII â,?? a Blumlein or Mid-Side Stereo version of the R84 - depending on how you set it up on the mixer or in your DAW. What an incredible sound. BIG and rich. Smooth and detailed. It really doesnâ,"t get any better than this. Itâ,"s a jazz drummerâ,"s dream microphone.

There is a special thing that happens with normally difficult to record instruments that run the risk of being too â,?toppyâ," or â,?clackyâ," and where the body can get lost. The mandolin is one such instrument. Iâ,"m giving away a big secret here, but use the R84 with a TRP or AESâ,"s new RPQ500 preamp, put it through a smooth opto-style compressor (a Universal Audio LA-2A provided excellent results for me) and compress just enough to get it to â,?sitâ," amongst the other instruments properly while still being dynamic, and youâ,"re golden. Youâ,"ll be the genius engineer hero of the day, guaranteed. Any stringed instrument benefits from this microphone if youâ,"re after a full and accurate tone. Itâ,"s not a good choice for ultra-shimmery and fake sounding acoustics. Who wants that, anyway? And itâ,"s stunning on piano.

Speaking of microphone preamps, ribbon microphones require a little â,?special care and feedingâ," when it comes to what youâ,"re plugging the mic into. The R84 is no exception. Your typical on-board interfaceâ,"s mic preamp is not going to go this microphone justice. So, you need to understand that if you think it doesnâ,"t sound like Iâ,"ve described it in the preceding paragraphs, that itâ,"s the impedance relationship between the mic and the preamp â,?? and no ribbon microphone is immuneâ,¦ and Iâ,"ve found this to be true of even the best active ribbon mics. Do yourself a favor â,?? view ribbon mic as recording with a system. The results will be quite evident. Obviously, the ribbon-tailored preamps from AEA, such as the Fred Forssell designed TRP, RPQ, and RPQ500 offerings are going to work extremely well. They pack a lot of good, clean, and quiet gain into affordable packages that work incredibly well for dynamic, tube, and even condenser microphones (in the case of the RPQ models that sport phantom power).

Iâ,"ve become a very big fan of using the R84 with the A Designs JM-3001. This preamp / equalizer combo provides some of the most detailed and frequency balanced sound Iâ,"ve ever heard with the R84. Itâ,"s a killer on vocalsâ,¦ and on pretty much anything else, I might add. And if you need to do a little tonal shaping, the inductor-based equalizer (think Quad Eight) is rich with character. Since the R84 takes EQ so well, this could very well be the perfect pairing.

If youâ,"ve got any questions about what an AEA microphone such as the R84 or itâ,"s variants, such as the R84DJV or the active AEA A840, can help your recorded (or even live) sound elevate to the realm of the inspiring, give us a call. Weâ,"re all experienced ribbon microphone users and understand the intricacies, challenges, and many, many rewards of recording with ribbons. AEA and Front End Audio will get you on the path to sounding fantastic."

Alan Moon - Front End Audio

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Average Customer Review 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 9 | Write a review!

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Superb! January 11, 2012
Reviewer: Broadcast Veteran  
I do radio news for a local Public Radio Station from a home studio...and for years have been using an EV RE20.  Very decent mic.  Graduated to a Rode K2.  Better.  Finally bought the R84...it is perfection!  Yes, soft, buttery, big-sound, but still detailed, and takes EQ extremely well...so much so, you can literally tailor the mic to sound almost anyway you like, without artifacts and without changing the
natural sound of your voice...it's like, organic.  Excellent for singing with my guitar as well.  It is also beautifully made and great to look at.  Special thanks to Dave at FrontEnd who took time to answer all my questions, even called Wes Dooley at AEA to check on the DJ option(no longer available, but not really needed) and got back to me with a detailed answer.  Completely satisfied with both the mic and the company!

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Sounds as inspiring as it looks! September 9, 2011
Reviewer: Aaron Gum from Omaha, NE United States  
I only take my R84 out of it's sleeve on special occasions and typically stay within inches of the mic for that lovely classic ribbon proximity effect... velvety smooth.

The R84 also sounds very detailed and natural when you back up from the mic a bit.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Classic, but quiet April 30, 2011
Reviewer: Sandor from Bonny Doon, CA United States  
At first, I wasn't that crazy about the sound of this classic ribbon "emulation" (I've sung through vintage RCA 84s, and they are fairly different, overall, in sound). But then, I tried it with a couple of different preamps and found one that seemed more sympatico with the AEA. It does render a very realistic (if understated) sound when recording higher-pitched strings with fast transients, like ukuleles and tiples. Just be prepared to boost the signal to the max. It takes about 65 db of gain to be useful with even slightly quiet instruments. It gives a classic sound to horns, and can be an effective tool for more "vintage" sounding vocals, say for jazz. Overall, a very good addition to any studio's mic collection.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Lovely! November 18, 2010
Reviewer: Edward from Minneapolis, MN United States  
This is my favorite mic that I own.  It is the best microphone I have found for my dynamic voice.  It smooths over the gravels and volume fluctuations very nicely.  I have also used it as the S in an M/S setup on grand piano with a Rode Classic in omni as the M; this mic has a more even spread in its figure-8 pattern for an application like this, moreso than the R92 for example.  It also sounds great as a drum room mic and on all kinds of acoustic stringed instruments!

As a ribbon it can sound a little dull on its own, but one of my favorite things about this mic is that I can compress it and boost the highs on it to some extremes without sounding harsh at all - it just opens it up.  There are many good ribbon mics out there, but I believe this one is an exceptionally good value for someone who doesn't have an extraordinary budget!

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Worth its weight in gold June 10, 2010
Reviewer: KL from Singapore, Singapore Singapore  
Since I got this microphone some months ago, my condensers have been hard pressed to leave their cupboard. I've used R84 on every occasion and the results are stunning. Buttery highs on glockenspiel, very present, very balanced acoustic guitar, wonderful nuances on hand drums and percussion. What can't this mic do? This must be one of my best studio investments ever!

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