Like new condition, purchased for professional studio but never used. Includes wood box and stereo cable.
The SF-12 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 SF-12 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).
The 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.
A beautiful example can be found in the Orchestra section of the Royer Demonstration CD. An engineer used one well-positioned SF-12 to create a stunning recording of the Ukrainian Radio Television Orchestra. (Initially, the conductor was not happy with the engineer’s desire to record with one microphone, but after hearing the results, the engineer has been invited back to record the orchestra a number of times, with the same one microphone, his SF-12.)
The 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 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.
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.
- 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.
- Drum Overheads
- Percussion Instruments
- Brass and Woodwinds
- Horn Sections
- Acoustic Piano
- Solo Strings
- String Sections
- Acoustic & Electric Guitars
- Background Vocals
- Stereo to Mono
- 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 Manual
Royer SF-12 Tech Sheet