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AEA R84 vs. R92 blind shootout inside!
Old 10th February 2009
  #1
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
AEA R84 vs. R92 blind shootout inside!

So I came across Front End Audio | Your Ultimate Pro Audio Dealer | 888-228-4530 for the first time. Great site, they actually have sound clips for just about every microphone. Anyway, I decided to download all their sound files for the R84 and R92, mix them up, and do a blind test to see what I liked better.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how they placed each mic or whatever, so there are some issues with that. Regardless, for each sound sample it's the same sound source doing the same thing. This is by no means the best test, but it's a start none the less and will give you an idea of the character of each mic. That's all I'll say in this post, I'll write my opinion in another one to kick the discussion off.

So download the zip file below. Front end had 6 sound clips for each mic of acoustic guitar, clean electric, distorted electric, female vocals, male vocals, and hip hop male vocals. The zip file has all 12 (6 for each mic) sound files and then a text file that tells you which mic is which.

So what do you guys think?

Send big files the easy way. Files too large for email attachments? No problem!
Old 10th February 2009
  #2
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
After hearing a lot of different sound samples found on this forum and other places, I had decided I liked the R84 better then the R92. So quite surprisingly, when I finished the blind test I found that I picked the R92 for sounding better to me on everything except Female vocals and Rap vocals. I was kind of dumbfounded at my choice for a minute until I started to recall a lot of discussions I had seen on the forum and a conversation with the guys over at Mercenary Audio.

The general consensus on these two mics is that the R84 has a much larger proximity effect and generally sounds larger due to it's more accurate figure 8 pattern (When compared to the R92). In all of the clips in the test, the R92 just seemed to sound less muddy and more balanced sonically. Well, given what I have read it makes sense that when you close mic stuff, the R92 is going to sound more balanced most of the time compared to the R84.

Another interesting thing I heard was that even though the R84 sounds muddy in comparison on most of the clips, the low end is much more rounded and not as harsh as the R92. Again, all the clips were of the mic placed close to the sound source.

So in conclusion, although this was a great test for me to hear the differences between the microphones (And pretty much confirmed that both are great mics and you can't really go wrong with either), I think the consistent close placement killed the R84 next to the R92. If you spent some time on the placement of the R84, I think it is capable of getting a better and more well rounded sound then the R92, especially in the low end. The R84 is just a great example of a classic ribbon mic sound, engineers beware of boominess. The R92 on the other hand is kind of like the back side of a Royer 122 and has a more modern and balanced sound and is not as prone to proximity effect as most ribbons.

There is a place and purpose for each of these microphones. If you want to throw one right up against a speaker, the R92 is going to get the job done. If you want a distant sounding room mic for something like drums however, the R84 is probably a better choice and the R92 would start to sound thin the further it is place from the source.

My decision? Well, it looks like I'm going to get a great deal on a R84 from someone so I'm going with it because I think it has more potential then the R92 as long as you are critical on the placement. However, I would not complain if I got the R92, it's still a great mic and the subtleties between the two are pretty minor. If I could afford it I would buy one of each.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I can't believe no one is commenting on this, I thought AEA's were hot here.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➑️
Another interesting thing I heard was that even though the R84 sounds muddy in comparison on most of the clips, the low end is much more rounded and not as harsh as the R92. Again, all the clips were of the mic placed close to the sound source.
I just recorded a proximity effect test tonight with my R84. I think it sounds basically flat, at least to my ear, when you get about 15-18" away. Any closer than that and I can hear the proximity effect.

Though I've not done the test with a 44BX, I've heard that the proximity effect on it reaches as far as 4 feet from the mic.
Old 11th February 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:

What the heck?

I click on your link above and get sent to Fling.com? If I wanted to see half-naked ladies I wouldn't be cruising around GearSlutz.

[ADDENDUM: Seems it is a "first time only" thing, since it won't do it again on subsequent tries. -LF]
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I was able to download the files without incident, including not getting sent to Fling.com. (I'll certainly have to check it out sometime, though, now that you've brought it to our attention...).

Btw I preferred the R84 on almost everything except acoustic guitar, where the quality of the recording was so suspect to make any conclusions highly dubious anyway.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston ➑️
What the heck?

I click on your link above and get sent to Fling.com? If I wanted to see half-naked ladies I wouldn't be cruising around GearSlutz.
Wow, sorry about that. I use sendspace all the time to post audio clips and that never happens to me. I just clicked on it and it send me to sendspace, not fling or anything. It must be spam or something on your end, sorry.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Grumpy, grumpy.
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston ➑️
I just recorded a proximity effect test tonight with my R84. I think it sounds basically flat, at least to my ear, when you get about 15-18" away. Any closer than that and I can hear the proximity effect.
Yup, I've always kept the R84 roughly 14" away from anything at least, when I did not want the big-ness it so naturally imparts...!

andersmv, you pointed out a great issue with mic clips (which does NOT necessarily devalue comparison tests in my opinion as long as you understand the limitations). Putting all the mics in the same spot definitely tells you the differences at that spot. However, moving it for the "best" sound isn't as real of an equation as one would hope, since "best" is in context with the mix / goals of a project compared to other sources in the song, and one person's "best" might be another person's "worst"...!

It makes sense all day long every day in a record making situation.

The same rules won't necessarily make sense in a mic shootout.

War
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