How To Record Vocals With the R84

Audio Samples and Techniques Using the AEA R84

R84 Series ribbon mics are ideally equipped to capture the detail and tonality in any range of vocals, while supplementing a voice with unparalleled warmth and presence. High-frequency roll-off and big ribbon character combine to deliver an ultimately smooth and warm vocal sound.

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.

Ribbon Mics
Further Than Expected
Vocals or instruments within 18 inches of the R84’s reach will benefit from its pronounced proximity-effect. This accentuated low-end adds warmth and depth to the tonality already present in a vocal. The vocalist can step closer to the R84 for greater accentuation of bass, or farther back if the effect is overwhelming.
Listen to the R84 on female vocals
Listen to the R84 on male vocals
Two Singers, Two Sides
The figure-of-8 polar pattern of the R84 allows it to capture quality sound from both sides, so capturing the live harmony of two vocalists on opposing sides of the mic is a simple solution for producing organic performances. In fact, the R84’s axis is so wide that it can accommodate multiple vocalists surrounding the mic for great multi-part harmonies.

Group Singers

The R84’s pattern has a very wide pickup allowing you to position multiple singers around the mic and to have a consistent sound even when off-axis. This is common both in the studio and in many live performances.

Ribbon Mics
Live Group Vocals

In the following video, The California Honeydrops cover Ray Charles’ “Night Time Is The Right Time”, featuring the R84 on vocals. (And an N22 for backing vocals!)

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AEA Sessions: Sara Gazarek – Retrograde