Royer SF-12 Stereo Ribbon Microphone
The Royer SF-12 Stereo Ribbon Microphone is a stereo coincident ribbon microphone combines high quality audio performance with outstanding stereo separation and imaging.
It is a modern ribbon design with no audible diffraction effects or cavity resonance. An SF-12 is actually two matched ribbon microphones placed one above the other; each aimed 45 degrees from center in the classic Blumlein configuration. The frequency response is excellent regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbons and off-axis coloration is negligible.
The Royer SF-12 Stereo Ribbon Microphone utilizes two 1.8-micron ribbons, each weighing approximately 1/3 milligram and producing superb transient response. The two ribbon transducers are magnet/pole piece structures that produce a wide, uniform frequency response with no substantial peaks or dips. The case is ingot iron and forms part of the magnetic return circuit, an effective system with low leakage flux which accounts for the relatively high sensitivity in a trim package. The SF-12's extension cable comes with a Y adapter that splits into separate 3-pin male XLR connectors labeled "Upper" and "Lower," for the upper and lower capsules of the microphone (when held vertically).
Royer SF-12 Ribbon Microphone Features
- True stereophonic (Blumlein and M-S) recording from one microphone.
- High SPL capabilities.
- No internal active electronics to overload or produce distortion up to maximum SPL rating.
- Extremely low residual noise.
- Ribbon element not affected by heat or humidity.
- Absence of high frequency phase distortion.
- Equal sensitivity from front or back of elements.
- Consistent frequency response regardless of distance.
- High efficiency, matching toroidal transformers.
- Very low magnetic leakage.
Royer SF-12 Ribbon Microphone Applications
- Drum Overheads
- Percussion Instruments
- Brass and Woodwinds
- Horn Sections
- Acoustic Piano
- Solo Strings
- String Sections
- Acoustic & Electric Guitars
- Background Vocals
- Stereo to Mono
Royer SF-12 Ribbon Microphone In Use
The Royer SF-12 is uncanny for creating "you-are-there" stereo recordings that capture not only the instrument being recorded, but, depending on positioning, the acoustic environment as well. If you pay careful attention to the sound of an instrument or ensemble in the recording environment, you will likely find a place where it sounds best to you. Position the SF-12 in that place and you will capture that sound.
The Royer SF-12 is an excellent choice for drum overheads, where its stereo imaging and realism help to create powerful, dynamic drum tracks. In a jazz setting, recording the kit flat provides extremely natural sounding cymbals, tom-toms and snares. In rock and pop recordings where you'd like to capture the meat of the kit but with more air on the cymbals to help them cut more aggressively, simply open the top end up with EQ. Ribbons take EQ extremely well because they generate virtually no self distortion. When you boost a frequency, even by many dB, you'll bring up only the musical response you're looking for without unpleasant distortion artifacts joining the party.
Recording in Mono
Phase compatibility between the two sides of the Royer SF-12 is excellent, allowing you to combine the two channels for mono recording without creating phase artifacts. This is particularly useful when capturing a wide sound field in mono; for instance, a singer who tends to move off the "sweet spot" of a mono microphone. Either side of the SF-12 can also be used individually as a mono microphone.
Royer SF-12 Ribbon Microphone Specifications
- Acoustic Operating Principle: Electrodynamic pressure gradient
- Polar Pattern: Symmetrical figure-8
- Generating Element: 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon
- Frequency Response: 30-15,000 Hz +/- 3dB
- Sensitivity: > -52 dBv Re. 1v/pa
- Output Impedance: 300 Ohms @ 1K (nominal)
- Rated Load Impedance: >1500 Ohms @ 300 nominal impedance
- Maximum SPL: >130dB
- Output Connector: Male XLR 5 pin (stereo*)
- Dimensions: 206 mm L X 25 mm W (8" L X 1" W)
- Weight: 369 Grams (13 Oz)
- Finish: Matte Black Chrome, Dull Satin Nickel (optional)
Royer SF-12 Ribbon Microphone Downloads
Royer SF-12 Ribbon Microphone Reviews
- Pro Audio Review, July 2000
- Audio Media April 2001
- Recording 06/2000
- Audio Technology issue 13, 2003
What We Think - Royer SF-12 Review
"The Royer SF-12 is a special microphone in that it is an easy stereo ribbon mic to deal with. I mean, there aren't many of them, but this is by far the smallest all-in-one solution. It's mid-strong voicing makes it the perfect choice for rock drums, but it's certainly not limited to instrument or genre. I would not hesitate to use the SF-12 in any situation where I would want a perfectly mono-collapsible and perfect stereo-image of whatever I am trying to capture. The perpendicular dual-figure-8 arrangement (over and under) makes for excellent Blumlein-Stereo, but can easily be repositioned and utilized with a matrix for Mid-Side recording; a method I like a lot since it allows me to adjust the 'width' of the stereo image. Still, though this microphone is at home on most any source, it's size and sound put it squarely at home over a drum kit. In fact, it's rapidly becoming a new classic for this purpose. So, if you're in need of better stereo, then you really shouldn't look much further than the Royer SF-12."
- Front End Audio
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Sometimes you stumble upon a piece of equipment that just sings to the sound in your head. The Royer SF-12 is that for me. The 90 degree figure 8 capsules forward you the option of a couple of stereo microphone techniques, and the tone! Oh the tone! It is warm and clear and sounds amazing on just about everything I have thrown it in front of. Check out some of the samples on the Royer website. Amazing stuff!
Have used in Blumlein mode first. Just like the website says, find a place where the mic sounds good, and you get a great recording. Recorded a brass quintet