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AEA Ribbon Mics R84 w/ RPQ500 | Big Ribbon Multipurpose Microphone with 500-Series Ribbon Mic Preamp
AEA Ribbon Mics R84 w/ RPQ500 | Big Ribbon Multipurpose Microphone with 500-Series Ribbon Mic Preamp


 
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AEA Ribbon Mics R84 w/ RPQ500 - Big Ribbon Multipurpose Microphone with 500-Series Ribbon Mic Preamp

  • R84 Big Ribbon Multipurpose Microphone:
  • Same Big Ribbon, tuning, and transformer as the R44 series
  • Classic look, but with milder proximity effect than the R44
  • Easy to use and affordable
  • Versatile for close-up and ambient mic applications
  • RPQ500 - 500 Series Ribbon Mic Preamp with EQ:
  • Single channel with 81 dB of sweet and quiet JFET gain for all mics
  • High frequency CurveShaper EQ and low frequency proximity control
  • Mic and line inputs for mixdown EQ versatility
  • Switchable phantom power, polarity, line/mic, and EQ inserts

R84 - Big Ribbon Multipurpose Microphone

The Workhorse
The R84 is a passive ribbon microphone that shares many of the unique sound characteristics with its historic predecessor, the R44. Using everything Wes Dooley and the team here at AEA had learned by re-creating the RCA 44, we went back to the drawing board to create something completely new. Call it a Swiss army knife, your “desert island mic”, or simply “The Workhorse” - the R84 was designed to be flexible and practical in a myriad of recording settings. With the improvements in technology and manufacturing since the thirties and forties, we decided to re-engineer the entire package to be more efficient, lighter and less expensive, inspiring Wes to affectionately call the R84 the “R44 for us married guys”. The result is a new microphone with a classic sound. The R84 produces rich and full low-mids, a smooth top end, and has a well-behaved bidirectional pickup pattern. These aspects, combined with the reduced proximity effect, make the R84 incredibly well-suited for both close-up and ambient mic applications in medium sized rooms. It’s just as versatile as an R44, flattering voice, strings, brass and drums alike.

An Award-Winning Microphone
Since its launch in 2001, the R84 has not only been nominated for several awards, but has also helped engineers and producers around the world make influential records. The R84 is so multi-faceted, that it has become a studio standard, having been used on the following award-winning projects: Turtle Island String Quartet, A Love Supreme (Best Classical Crossover Grammy, 2008); Los Tigres Del Norte, MTV Unplugged (Best Regional Mexican Grammy and Best Norteno Latin Grammy, 2011); Juanes, MTV Unplugged (Best Latin Pop Album Grammy, 2012); The Zac Brown Band, Uncaged (Best Country Album Grammy, 2012). It has become a go-to microphone at world-class studios such as Blackbird Studios in Nashville and Sear Sound in New York City.

A Big Ribbon for a Big Sound
The AEA R84 uses a big, 2.35" by 0.185" by 2 micron pure aluminum low-tension ribbon element just like the classic R44. Many ribbon mic manufacturers choose shorter ribbons that are easier to install, but AEA’s Large Ribbon Geometry design offers important advantages. Ribbon microphones operate linearly above their resonant frequency, unlike condenser or moving-coil transducers, so the resonant frequency of a good microphone design should be as low as possible. The longer the ribbon, the lower the resonant frequency will be. The ribbon has to move twice as far for every drop in octave as it vibrates within the magnetic gap, thus a longer ribbon will allow for further movement back and forth. This results in the ribbon handling louder sound sources and more sound pressure level (SPL). Most AEA ribbons are tuned to 16.5 Hz, and because the R84 shares the same Big Ribbon as the rest of AEA's product line, you will achieve a sound that is smooth, natural and free from any of the uncomfortable resonances that shorter ribbons and condensers can exhibit. The result is a sound that many engineers say is astonishingly close to what their ears hear when you're actually standing in the studio.

RPQ500 - 500 Series Ribbon Mic Preamp with EQ

The Versatile Mic Pre in the 500 series format
The RPQ500 module, designed after the successful RPQ preamp, provides the same ultra-clean, high-gain signal path that has earned AEA preamps their great reputation, but in a 500 series package. JFET circuit topology provides all the dynamics, subwoofer bass, and fast transients that your microphones can record. The NoLoad input impedance above 10 k? means the RPQ won’t load down a mic and change its sound. Low Energy Storage circuit design instantly recovers from overloads for superior dynamic performance. The original RPQ with CurveShaper was designed to fully capture every nuance of ribbon microphones: vintage or modern, passive or phantom powered. Engineers have discovered that the RPQ also complements their moving coil, tube and solid-state mics. By virtue of its sonic qualities and versatility, the VPR Alliance approved AEA RPQ500 is the tool of choice for all microphones whenever a true and pristine signal path is desired.

Your Sound At Your Fingertips
With mixing consoles disappearing from control rooms, dedicated preamps can take on the role of providing a high-quality front end giving you intuitive control to make critical decisions during tracking rather than “fixing it in the mix”.

The RPQ's CurveShaper EQ gives you the tools to control your ribbons right at the start of the signal path. Switchable and tunable low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) controls allow you to tame proximity problems and provide HF extension and slope control. The high-frequency CurveShaper excels at adding a touch of air or presence, and the low-frequency control removes boxiness and boominess in a fast and unobtrusive way. Ribbon mics are capable of delivering strong subwoofer lows, and can have a significant bass proximity effect. Such strong low-frequency content can mask high-frequency intelligibility, so the tunable LF filter was engineered to tame low-frequency energy to appropriate levels. Its -20 dB shelving curve is ideally suited to reduce excessive proximity effect opening up new possibilities to use ribbon mics in close-up applications.

The HF filter enables you to extend the high end by adding a little extra presence or "air" to a recording. Its unique bell curve compensates for the high-frequency roll-off that is inherent to most ribbon microphones. But beyond ribbon mics, the smooth HF filter is remarkably well suited for brightening up condenser mics used at a distance or even as a clean and transparent high-frequency boost on the 2-bus to freshen up a mix.

The Swiss Army Knife 500 Series Module
The RPQ500 has been enhanced with additional features, turning it into a workhorse tool for your API 500 compatible rack. The Line/Mic switch bypasses the microphone gain stage and allows the EQ to be used for tracking with other preamps or during mixdown. Add the output level control, and the RPQ500 becomes a high-quality processing tool that can be used for mixing and mastering when combined with summing racks and mixers such as the Purple Audio Moiyn or the Roll Music Folcrom.


For more information on this or any other AEA Ribbon Mics product, visit www.aearibbonmics.com.
EA RPQ500: High-Gain, High-Impedance Preamp with CurveShaper™ EQ in a 500 series package
AEA R84 - Male Voice - Listening Library
AEA R84 - Female Voice - Listening Library

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