A hi-fidelity ribbon mic with excellent stereo imaging.
The SF-12 stereo coincident ribbon microphone from Royer 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 Royer 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 ribbon mic'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).
Recording with the SF-12
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 mic in that place and you will capture that sound.
The Royer 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 ribbon mic 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 Royer SF-12 can also be used individually as a mono microphone.
What the pros are saying about the SF-12:
"The SF-12 as a drum overhead mic gives me something I've never been able to get before. God, I love this mic!" Chuck Ainlay (Vince Gill, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Mark Knopfler)
Literally since the day I got my SF-12 I've used it on every session I've recorded. This mic is really a fantastic package."
Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Breeders)