ribbon. It’s a subtle thing, and certainly a boutique
feature, but that’s what sometimes makes a good recording great. All in all, the Royer R-122 MKII was as
I would expect: a great-sounding ribbon built to the
Nines in true Royer fashion, this time with a couple
of great extras.
PROS: Extended top end. Great
sounding over a range of applications.
CONS: You’ll want two.
hammers, and about three feet apart.
After a while, I found myself trusting this mic
across a range of applications. It sounded superb
placed on a bass cabinet and as a pair of room mics
for a drum kit. This kind of performance makes
the N22 a no-brainer buy for a beginner or journeyman engineer who’s looking for a versatile mic
that can stand alone, or work with others in the
locker on a range of applications like acoustic guitar, guitar amps, upright bass and more. The only downside is that you’ll
want two once you hear them in stereo.
AEA has not been known for mics costing below
$1,000; in fact, the company’s rock star A440 is priced above $5k. But with
its new active N22 NUVO, AEA quality design and performance has trickled
down below $900. The N22 features 141 dB of signal handling across its 2.35inch Big Ribbon. It features a robust integral windscreen that protects the ele- Kevin Becka is Mix’s technical editor.
ment and gives you peace of mind in near-blustery applications. There are no bells and whistles here, just a solid,
active ribbon mic with plenty of output gain in a slim design that’s easy to place. It comes in a plastic, foam-lined
case with the simple stand mount and mic inside.
As mentioned above, ribbon mics sound great on
cymbals and percussion and the N22 did as well. In this
case, the mics were placed equidistant from the snare
April 5 – 8, 2016, Frankfurt, Germany
drum, measured with a mic cable. This technique phase
aligns and pockets the snare in the stereo picture. Because of the extended top, little EQ was needed. In our
bench test, the mic proved fairly flat from 50 Hz to 10
kHz, which is not what you’re used to hearing in a ribbon. I put it next to a Royer R-121 on a Fender Deluxe
combo amp to hear the diﬀerences, and the pair was
impressively complementary. The R-121 had a morethroaty midrange, as I’d expect from a Royer, while the
N22 handled the high SPL without breaking a sweat and
brought out the beautiful high-midrange that make a
guitar amp sing in the mix.
On hand percussion, tambourine, shakers and wind chimes,
the N22 sounded natural, particularly in the top end where
those instruments can build up
and seem brash. The AEA sounded very good on acoustic guitar,
with the bottom end pointing toward the sound hole and
paired with a KM84 at the 12th
fret. Normally I’ll use a U 67, 251
or something with some more
low end to go against a brighter
mic at the top, but the N22 performed admirably here and for
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a lot less $$$. On acoustic piaof tomorrow at Prolight + Sound 2016!
no, the pair sounded good when
paired with an AKG D19 at the
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AEA N22 NUVO foot from the strings above the
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