The Royer SF-12
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).
- True stereophonic (Blumlein and M-S) recording from one
- 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.
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.
- Drum Overheads
- Percussion Instruments
- Brass and Woodwinds
- Horn Sections
- Acoustic Piano
- Solo Strings
- String Sections
- Acoustic & Electric Guitars
- Background Vocals
- Stereo to Mono