The classic ribbon character of the R84 Series comprises detailed mid-range, extended lows and a figure-of-8 polar pattern, making it a terrific tool to record an electric guitar amp.
The R84A is an active version of the R84 that retains the same sonic character of the R84, with an additional 12dB of output and a stable impedance. This gives a consistent frequency response and greater flexibility with different preamps. These techniques and audio samples apply to both the R84 and R84A.
Miking On Its Own
Try positioning the R84 roughly 8 to 18 inches in front of the speaker’s center, keeping in mind the R84’s proximity effect accentuates the bass of a source within 18 inches of its reach. Within that range, moving the R84 closer to the amp will accentuate bass, while pulling it away will lessen that effect.
The R84 delivers balanced a treble/bass ratio at distances greater than some might expect; from as far as 15 feet away, the R84 will still retain its characteristic low-end. This is an effective application for the R84, as it allows the mic to breathe in the massive spread of sound that fills and interacts with a large space.
Listen to the R84 on blues electric guitar
Listen to the R84 on jazz electric guitar
Blending With a Dynamic
A popular close-mic application of the R84 involves blending its signal with a dynamic mic to gain a high-end bite in the mix. Place the R84 2 inches from the speaker’s center and align a dynamic microphone adjacent, remembering to correct phase between the two microphones before tracking.
Some engineers choose to treat the compound signals from the two mics as one by panning them together. Others opt for hard panning both mics to their own ends of the mix, a method that adds dimension and depth to an electric guitar tone.
Sample delaying one of the two microphones by roughly 20 to 50 milliseconds gives the impression of a larger room, achieving greater depth in a mix. Remember to ensure that the sample delay is short enough to avoid phase issues.
Listen to the R84 blended with an SM57
Some engineers choose to treat both mics as one by panning them together. Others opt for hard panning both mics to their own ends of the mix, a method that adds dimension and depth to an electric guitar tone.
Listen to the R84 blended with an SM57 hard-panned right and left
Two Mics Staggered
Yet another technique for blending the R84 and a dynamic microphone involves positioning the dynamic 2 inches from the speaker’s center and the R84 roughly a foot behind it. The dynamic microphone acts as a focus mic while the R84 serves to capture the room and natural reverb. With this mic setup, you can use the same techniques as above to create a whole palette of sonic styles. Try sample delaying the R84 in this position to create a nice and natural larger sound.
Listen to the R84 blended with an staggered SM57
Listen to more audio examples of the R84 on electric guitar