Mix - August 2013 - (Page 60)
By Joe Hannigan
Tech // reviews
ROYER SF-2 ACTIVE RIBBON
Phantom-Powered Model Designed for Classical,
he SF-2 is one of the newer offerings in
Royer Labs’ superb line of ribbon mics.
With an active power supply and internal preamp, all of the old issues regarding the
dangers of phantom power—as well as gain/
preamp—are effectively resolved.
The SF-2 is an electrodynamic pressuregradient ribbon microphone with active
electronics, and as such requires true 48-volt
phantom power at 4mA. Its 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon pickup pattern is a symmetrical
figure-8, with a Rare Earth Neodymium magnet motor. Frequency response is specified at
30 to15k Hz, ±3db. It’s a hefty package, weighing in at 15.8 ounces (448 grams), and comes
with a serious shock-mount. Its finish is an
attractive matte black-chrome.
The SF-2 weighs just over a
pound and should be used
on a substantial stand.
60 M I X
During a few chamber music run-outs at
the festival, I got a chance to hear it on cello in
a more intimate setting, and as I’d hoped, the
results were warm, detailed and non-hyped.
Next, I used the SF-2s as spot mics for live recordings on a variety of instruments, including
concert double bass soloist Joseph Conyers, as well
as trumpet and reed duets with Rodney Mack and
Jeffrey Deemer, all live recorded performances
with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
For a three-day recording session with the
Atlantic Guitar Quartet at Loyola College in
Baltimore, the SF-2s in an M/S configuration
sounded smooth, full and nuanced. Coupled
with spot mics on each guitar, the SF-2s provided a beautiful, main stereo image, as if one
was sitting right in the middle of the group.
Over several months, I had numerous opportunities to try a pair of these mics on a wide range
of instruments, with superb results. Beginning
with recording the Artosphere Festival Orchestra
in Fayetteville, Ark., in the summer of 2012 (and
again in 2013), I got right down to business with
the SF-2s. My first use was on orchestral harp; actually, two harps. I was able to make creative use
of the mic’s figure-8/side-rejection pattern and
place the mic between the two instruments, and
capture them as a blended whole on a single track.
For the festival’s final concert featuring Brahms’
“Symphony No. 1 in C Minor,” I was thrilled with
the results I got when using the two SF-2s on a
killer brass section: solid, robust, detailed, rich
tones from trumpets to trombones and tuba. The
SF-2s took everything that was thrown at them,
in close quarters, staring down a battery of brass,
with surprisingly little bleed from the rest of the
wind and percussion sections.
INTO THE STUDIO
In my home studio, I normally record my Yamaha C3 with a pair of DPA 4006TL Omnis or
DPA 4023s for demos and personal projects.
Going against the grain with a pair of the SF2s was a trip down memory lane for me; fullbodied, round, warm
tones were the result,
and the stereo imagTRY THIS
ing was superb with
Arrange your favorite vocal or instrumental group in a circle around
the SF-2s set up ala pair of SF-2s set up in a Blumlein
most side by side, facpattern, tip to tip, one on top of the
ing out in an X-Y patother, on sturdy mic stands. After
tracking each mic’s output sepatern. It was not what
rately, create a second copy of each
I’d been used to heartrack in your DAW and flip the
ing, and a wonderful
phase for each, so you’ll have +Left,
-Left, and +Right, -Right. For sursurprise for future
round, you can pan each track to
reference when lookits own region (FL, FR, RL, RR), or
ing for a different set
for stereo, blend to taste for as wide/
narrow sound field as you like.
of colors in the sound
with my small grand.
| A U G U S T 2 0 1 3 | mi x o n l i n e.co m
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mix - August 2013
Mix - August 2013
from the editor
on the cover
News and Notes
Classic Tracks: k.d. lang, “Constant Craving”
Tour Profile: She & Him
All Access They Might Be Giants
NASA Audio on the Web
Mix Guides: Audio Interfaces
Studio Severn: Roots-Blues Recording
A Conversation With BT
News and Notes
Session & Studio News
Martin Pilchner on Design
The Robair Report: A Call for Stricter Standards
First Listen: JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor
Review: Royer SF-2 Active Ribbon Microphone
Review: The Pro Audio DSP Dynamic Spectrum Mapper V2
Review: Korby Audio Technology FET Microphone
Review: Cakewalk SONAR X2 Producer
TechTalk: Summer NAMM Returns
Mix - August 2013
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.