The sE Electronics guitaRF helps get your amp sounding just the way you want.
The sE Electronics guitaRF acts as an RF (Reflexion Filter), an isolator, a double mic stand, and fine-positioning hardware for both your favourite large-diaphragm condenser or ribbon mic AND a dynamic or small-capsule mic. All in one piece of gear, with the ability to perfectly phase-align the two capsules for maximum impact.
For years now, some of the biggest FOH engineers (Engineers running sound for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, Paramore, My Morning Jacket, and more) have known that putting a Reflexion Filter in front of their amp cabinets can help reduce stage bleed into their guitar mics. This is especially true with some of their favourite guitar mics like the VR1 and RNR1 ribbons, since they naturally have a figure-8 pattern that leaves them open to whatever else is happening on stage.
This doesn't just help the FOH mix either. Using an RF on a guitar cab or drums can make the multitrack of a live show significantly easier to mix.
Until now, FOH engineers have had to devise their own custom-assembled solutions to help deal with this problem. Now, enter the sE Electronics guitaRF.
With the guitaRF, these custom rigs are now available as an off-the-shelf solution so anyone can get the guitar sounds they're looking for, with minimal stage bleed and coloration.
Not just for live sound.
The sE Electronics guitaRF is equally useful in the studio as well - in fact, when the original sE Electronics Reflexion Filter PRO debuted in 2006, Sound on Sound magazine had this to say:
"I used the Reflexion Filter as a mini-gobo, which made the guitar sound as if it was about half an inch from your face. In my view this product really makes it that bit easier to get a 'pro-studio' sound at home."
Steve Levine, Sound On Sound (June '06)
The LDC/ribbon mounting hardware is adjustable across three axes - vertical, depth, and lateral - so you can find the perfect spot for any mic, whether in a shockmount or just on a clip.
This allows you to position both capsules perfectly in phase - or to spread them apart to capture the sounds of both the edge of the cone and the dust cap.
The entire filter + mic assembly can also be moved up and down to position it precisely over the perfect spot on the speaker cone - or, if needed, the filter can be removed from its base and mounted on any mic stand for complete flexibility.
Acoustically, the guitaRF is very similar to the best-selling RF-X, with a four-layer acoustic filter design comprised of the outer composite panel, a layer of acoustic-grade wool, an air gap to help with low-frequency isolation, and an inner acoustic foam layer.
The guitaRF also has an integrated pass-through hole with a rubber-finned grip that securely holds just about any dynamic or small-capsule mic on the market.
A double-cable clip is also provided that screws in to the back of the filter, so you don't need to worry about dangling mic cables that could accidentally tug your mics out of position.
...and not just for guitars either.
The new sE Electronics guitaRF is named so that you immediately know its original target user: live sound engineers putting Reflexion Filters ("RFs") on guitar amplifiers to help isolate the mics from stage bleed.
And sure, it's really useful for guitar and bass cabinets. With the integrated base stand that slides right under the front of your amp, it provides a stable, super-efficient double-mic mounting and positioning device.
But just because the word "guitar" is in the name doesn't mean that's ALL it's good for.
The sE Electronics guitaRF lets you mount both a dynamic (or pencil condenser) and a hanging large-diaphragm condenser or ribbon directly in front of an amp. On stage, this can help reduce bleed into the back of a ribbon mic, for example, helping isolate the guitar tracks from whatever else is happening on stage. This can make a difference not just for the FOH sound, but also for the artist's in-ear and monitor mixes, as well as if the show is mixed later for a live album.
Since the guitaRF doesn't require additional mic stands for most amps, it also reduces the amount of equipment needed for two-mic recording techniques - and you can easily adjust the relationship between the two mics. For example, aiming one mic directly at the center of the speaker's dustcap, and angling the other towards the edge of the cone.
Try experimenting with different angles to get different tonal blends - just a fraction of an inch will provide some dramatically different guitar sounds.
TIP: Use a ribbon mic for chunky rhythm sections, and mix the dynamic mic louder during solos for more edge.
When you're tracking a singer-songwriter, oftentimes you get the best performance if they sing and play at the same time. But if you want to edit, overdub, or process the vocals and guitars separately - e.g. with delay on one but not the other - it can be challenging if there's too much vocal bleed into the guitar tracks, or vice versa.
With the sE Electronics guitaRF, you can double-mic the acoustic with your favourite small-diaphragm condenser for a crisp high-end, and a ribbon mic for a thick, rich midrange. Then you can angle the guitaRF underneath your vocal mic, and keep the singer's voice from being picked up by either of your guitar mics.
TIP: Try panning your two guitar mics for a wider acoustic guitar spread in a sparse mix.
KICK DRUM (OUTSIDE + INSIDE)
The guitaRF's included base stand is a perfect height for kick drum. To help keep room or stage bleed out of your outside kick mic, try setting it up anywhere from right in front of the drum head to several feet back.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can remove the rubber-finned pass-through grip (just push it through from the hard back side of the filter towards the foam-lined inside), stick a mic stand boom arm through the hole, and get an inside kick mic AND an outside kick mic in place (see photos below).
TIP: Mounting the guitaRF on a mic stand also allows you to angle it, which may help decrease bleed from the snare and high-hat.
Too much high-hat getting into your snare drum mic? Mount the guitaRF on a mic stand's boom arm, and position it at an angle between the snare and high-hat to reduce the hat bleed into your snare tracks. Then use your favorite dynamic or small-diaphragm condenser (inserted through the guitaRF's pass-through hole) on your snare as usual.
The best way to record a bluegrass band or small jazz ensemble is almost always in a single room, playing together. Some bleed between sources can be fine - and can even help gel the tracks together - but sometimes you want a little more isolation.
This can be especially challenging with upright bass. The guitaRF is perfect for double-miking an acoustic bass and keeping the drums, guitar, and singer out of these mics. You can even try angling one mic towards an F-hole and another towards the bridge for blending purposes.
TIP: Try a condenser and a ribbon for a great blend of crisp highs and full, natural lows.
Remember - there's no "wrong" way to use the guitaRF. If you just need to keep the sound of a room out of your recording, it will help with that. If you just need to quickly double-mic something, it will help with that. Feel free to experiment, and try it on any source you like!