AEA R88

Large Ribbon Stereo Microphone with Cable and Carrying Case
AEA R88 image 1
AEA R88 image 1
$1,795.00
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AEA R88
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A stereo pair of passive N8s in one capsule!

The AEA R88 stereo ribbon mic stuns engineers with its clarity and natural stereo image. The R88 boasts two Big Ribbon elements angled at 90 degrees, getting true stereo sound from a single microphone. A great way to get a spacious sound without the hassle of a multi-mic setup. The AEA R88 uses Large Ribbon Geometry (LRG) architecture, that delivers effortless bass down to 20Hz - a feat rarely achieved by mics with a smaller ribbon. With a list of Grammy winning recordings to its name, the AEA R88 proves itself over and over again.

AEA R88 Stereo Ribbon Microphone at a Glance:
  • Great stereo recordings with a single mic
  • Larger ribbon element for wider frequencies and higher SPLs
  • A list of Grammy awards that keeps growing
Great stereo recordings with a single mic

Utilizing two of AEA's signature Big Ribbon elements, the R88 stereo ribbon microphone is able to get a huge stereo spread with a single mic. Angled at 90 degrees and mounted in close proximity to each other along the vertical axis of the microphone, the ribbon elements are optimized to capture large ensembles as a great main mic. It is an excellent orchestral and choral recording microphone, and shines on applications such as horn sections and drum overheads. Whether in a high-end studio or in your home desktop application, the R88 mk2 puts the listener right in the recording room.

Larger ribbon element for wider frequencies and higher SPLs

The soul of the AEA R88 is two large pure aluminum low-tension ribbon elements. At 2.35" by 0.185" by 2 micron, they're exactly like the one used in the classic R44. The resonant frequency of a good ribbon microphone design should be as low as possible and longer ribbons result in higher sound pressure level (SPL) handling. The R88's Big Ribbon technology ensures you'll achieve a sound that is smooth and natural. This adds up to a sound that is amazingly close to what your ears will hear when actually standing in the studio with the sound source.

A list of Grammy awards that keeps growing

The true value of a piece of gear can be measured by a list of its users and where they use it. The AEA R88 stereo ribbon mic is a shining example of this. The list of Grammy and Academy Award winning projects recorded with the R88 microphone is long and keeps growing: Turtle Island String Quartet, Los Tigres Del Norte, Juanes MTV Unplugged, Life Of Pi soundtrack are just a few. And top-level audio engineers like Joe Chiccarelli, Chuck Ainlay, and Vance Powell trust the AEA R88 so much that Nashville's Blackbird Studios has an R88 in every single room.

AEA R88 Stereo Ribbon Microphone Features:
  • Stereo ribbon microphone that offers a natural sound
  • Captures amazingly wide stereo sources with a single mic
  • Larger-than-normal ribbon elements handle high SPLs with ease
  • Figure-8, Blumlein Configuration (90 degrees) polar pattern
  • 165dB Max SPL
The AEA Stereo Ribbon Microphone gives you a huge sound in a single mic.

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Ribbon
Ribbon Type 1.8-micron Aluminum (4.7mm x 59.7mm)
Mono/Stereo Crossed Figure-8
Polar Pattern Figure-8, Blumlein Configuration (90°)
Frequency Response 20Hz-15kHz
Max SPL 165dB
Output Impedance 270 ohms
Connector 5-Pin XLR
Weight 3 lbs.
Included Accessories XLR Breakout Cable (13.1 ft.), Case
Manufacturer Part Number R88

Customer Reviews

5/5
Based on 10 reviews
Write your review
5/5

AEA R88

Why didn't I get this sooner?! I love this mic!
5/5

Just buy this mic right now

I thought I knew how this microphone was going to complement my mic locker. Figured it would be brought out on special occasions, because how often do I really want to mic up most sources in stereo? Boy, was I wrong. Safe to say this mic is the closest thing I've heard to recording any source perfectly. To illustrate, I just finished two days recording a film score project. The only mics I used for piano, organ, rhodes, percussion, bodhran, tubular bells, gong, thunder sheet were my R88 and my AEA A440. This went so well that I will be repeating this combo forever. As good recordings as I've ever done in my professional career of 30 years.
Music background: Producer/Engineer/Mixer
5/5

It rarely gets better than this.

I have been convinced for some time that the human ear can hear differences in sound that hardware cannot effectively measure. We then see words like butter, smooth, graceful and so on as people describe what they hear. Can we judge how "smooth" a mic is by looking at specs? I don't think so. In the end, we must rely foremost on our ears to judge what makes a great microphone. Like most engineers, I have a number of different mics in my bag, for different applications. I find that recording pipe organs or acapella choirs in reverberant spaces can be extremely challenging. The sound field can be profoundly complex. I recently took delivery on an R88, and immediately used it on my next field recording assignment. I set it up along with a pair of DPA4006, as a backup or potentially as another source to mix together with the R88. When I put the recording through post, I chose to use nothing but the R88 for the final product. I am very eager to use this mic again. I'm thrilled! It looks impressive, too. It is not what I would call "heavy" but it's not a small mic and not weightless. I like the fact that the mounting is directly under the center of gravity, so I feel safe using in on very tall mic stands. It can be used in M-S, too, which I use for certain applications. Treat it with respect, and I am sure it will impress you. Thanks to Bart Good for suggesting this mic!
Music background: Field Recording; both live music and nature/found sound recording.
5/5

Can 1 Mic Do A Drumset Justice?

Yes. Maybe add a kick mic for perfection, but the R88 is truly amazing at capturing an entire kit. You can solo the R88 in a mix and have a drum sound that can often make it right to the final mix. AEA's magic enhances cymbals, toms, etc. What the R44 can do for vocals, the R88 can do for drums & other room/overhead applications.
Music background: Producer/Musician
5/5

I need to own one! ...and I will

Wes and his crew have always done a wonderful job. This mic is what I've wanted from them for years. I recently had a few days using one and it exceeded my high expectations. The Blumlein method for recording acoustic instruments is my preferred place to start especially for guitar, piano and background/choir vocals (given a good sounding room). The minimal phase problems and the honest room tone that this mic provides give a wonderful dimension to the recordings when using this mic. Try using in MS mode if you wish to alter the stereo image after the fact. I have yet to do this but my experience with the R88 leaves me with no doubt that it will excel in a MS application due to the superior off axis response. Enjoy! I know I will as soon as my wallet allow me to purchase one.

Sweetwater Advice

Simon Picazo

When I just want to record my voice and guitar into one stereo microphone I get an R88 and a Ribbon Pre, set the gain, close my eyes, and track all day. I have found my instrumentation and vocal technique have improved because Wes Dooley's masterpieces captured my performance with such detail and precision. If you can handle the truth, the R88 is for you.
See also: Ribbon Mics, AEA, AEA Ribbon Microphones