Andrew Synowiec – Vibey Acoustic Instruments

Session musician Andrew Synowiec recording acoustic instruments in his House of Syn Studio. 

All instruments recorded on a pair of R-122 MKll ribbon mics

1) Acoustic Guitar, Nylon String
2) Bouzouki
3) Dobro
4) Taylor Acoustic Guitar
5) Charango 

6) Ukulele
7) Martin Acoustic Guitar
8) Baritone Acoustic Guitar
9) 12-String Acoustic Guitar

Audio Chain:
Two R-122 MKIIs mounted on a stereo bar, using the rear side of both mics with bass cut switches engaged. Both mics fed into a Manley Force mic preamp (high pass filter at 120hz), into a TK Audio stereo equalizer with 2db of boost at 12k, into a TK Audio stereo compressor set to a 2:1 ratio with very slow attack and release times and less than 2db of gain reduction. Pro Tools AIR Reverb. 


In this video, Los Angeles session guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Synowiec demonstrates how he uses two R-122 MKll’s, permanently mounted on a movable stereo bar, to record all of his acoustic instruments in his Los Angeles based George Augspurger-designed House of Syn Studio.

Visit to learn more or to contact Andrew.

Here are 16-bit WAV files of each of the instruments in this video. 

Acoustic Guitar, Nylon String



Taylor Acoustic Guitar




Martin Acoustic Guitar

Baritone Acoustic Guitar

12-String Acoustic Guitar


Recorded live at the Folk Alliance Convention, in the Sweetwater/Royer/Mojave Pop-Up Studio

Stereo Room Mic – SF-24
Cello – SF-2
Violin & Violinist Vocal – SF-2
Acoustic Guitar (left, into small guitar amplifier) – R-122V
Foot Taps – Mojave Audio MA-100’s
Acoustic guitar (right) – Mojave MA-300
Vocals – Mojave Audio MA-1000, MA-300, MA-301

Darlingside came into our Pop-Up studio with a few friends and a ton of energy, worked out the final details of the song on the spot, then killed it in this beautiful take.

Engineers: Dan Ankney, Nathan Heironimus
Mixed by Dan Ankney

Recording Chain: Royer Labs and Mojave Audio microphones fed into Universal Audio 8p’s. Recorded to Pro Tools.
Sweetwater Studios, Royer Labs and Mojave Audio set up a portable Pop-Up studio in a hotel conference room at the 2016 Folk Alliance Convention in Kansas City and recorded a number of artists and groups attending.

Darlingside “Birds Say” (© Darlingside)

R-101/R-121 Comparisons

R-101/R-121 Comparisons

The R-101 is a more affordable Royer ribbon mic, hand-built in our Burbank, CA factory and with deep roots in the R-121. The R-101 and R-121 share the same ribbon element and custom-designed transformer, and the R-101’s larger size allowed us to include a shock mounted ribbon transducer and a 3-layer wind screen system for maximum ribbon element protection.

The R-101 is an excellent ribbon mic that can be used anywhere the R-121 is used. The performance of the two mics is similar, with the R-101 exhibiting less proximity effect (low end buildup) than the R-121 due to its wind screen system. Some engineers prefer the sound of one mic over the other – these sound samples let you hear both mics clearly.

Electric Guitar

Isolated rock guitar through an R-101, an R-121, and a Shure SM-57

Re-amped rock guitar through a 1X12 speaker cabinet. All mics recorded in the exact same position.








Isolated heavy-rock guitar through an R-101, an R-121, and a Shure SM-57

Re-amped guitar through a 1X12 speaker cabinet. All mics recorded in the exact same position.









Various instruments recorded at Capitol Studios.

These recordings were made one week before the R-101 was released. We compared R-101’s to R-121’s on a variety of instruments, with a number of LA engineers and musicians on hand to listen and give us their opinions. We were pretty happy with the R-101 when we walked out of there!


Acoustic Guitar






Keys Jangling























Electric Guitar Comparisons, recorded by Joe Barresi


R-101 Close miked Rhythm guitar



R-121 Close miked Rhythm guitar



R-101 6-inches from the speaker cabinet



R-121 6 inches from the speaker cabinet



R-101 6 inches from the speaker cabinet



R-121 6 inches from the speaker cabinet







Fab Dupont / Will Knox

Acoustic Guitar – SF-1
Violin – R-121
Banjo – SF-2
Standup Bass – R-122
Drum Overhead – SF-24
Drums, Tom-Toms – R-122
Drums, Kick – R-122V
Drums, Hi-Hat – R-121

Producer: Fab Dupont.  Engineer: Meredith McCandless

When our friend Fab Dupont set out to record singer/songwriter Will Knox’s album “The Matador And The Acrobat” with engineer Meredith McCandless, they decided to track the album entirely with Royer ribbons (except for a condenser on Will’s vocal and a dynamic on the snare). Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process that Fab and company so kindly put together for us.



Vocals & Guitar: Will Knox
Violin: Clayton Mathews
Banjo: Kyle James Houser
Standup Bass: Chris Anderson
Drums: Timur Yusef

Visit Fab’s website at Visit Flux Studios at is an educational website featuring a wide assortment of videos on recording, mixing, mastering and much more. was created by Fab Dupont; his partners in Puremix now include Ben Lindell and Ryan West.


Michael DeTemple

Vocals – R-121
Banjo – R-121
Acoustic Guitar – R-121

Performed and recorded by Michael DeTemple.

Recording chain: R-121 directly into a Roland 1680 recorder in Michael’s home studio.

Banjo, guitar and vocal recorded separately using one R-121, then mixed in the Roland 1680.

“Fishin” (traditional)

Amalia Stephenson

Vocals – R-121
Acoustic Guitar – R-121

Engineer: Richard Dobson
Recorded to DAT in Richard’s home studio.

One forward-facing R-121 on vocals.
One R-121 on acoustic guitar, with a condenser mic lightly blended in.

“Silent Night” (Joseph Mohr)


Vocals – R-121
Acoustic Guitar – R-121
Drum overheads – R-121

Producer: Shawn Sullivan. Engineer: Kyle Homme.
Recorded to Pro Tools at World Class Audio, Anaheim, CA.

One backward R-121 on vocals and acoustic guitars. Two R-121’s on drum overheads.

Sean Sullivan was the original discoverer of the backward R-121 recording technique. Due to our patented offset ribbon element, the back side of the microphone is slightly brighter than the front side when placed within 3 ft of any sound source.

“Again” (Dan Sistos & Jevon McGlory)

Steve Albini

Microphone Comparisons

Saxophone – R-121, Coles 4038
Trumpet – R-121, Neumann U-67, RCA 77DX
Acoustic Guitars (Steel String, Nylon String, 12-String) – R-121, Schoeps 221B
Electric Guitar – R-121, SM-57, Coles 4038 (being overstressed)
Drums – R-121

Recorded by Steve Albini
Recorded at Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL.

In Royer’s early days, when many people didn’t understand ribbon microphones, Steve Albini was kind enough to make a number of educational recordings for us which we included on our first demonstration CD. Steve is a well-known, well-respected engineer who has plenty of experience with ribbon mics and thousands of engineers and producers have learned from these comparison recordings over the years.

Tape Op Magazine reviewed our Demo CD #1 and said this about Steve’s recordings:
“The ‘something special’ though is the Microphone Comparisons with Steve Albini at the end of the CD. Steve goes through and compares the R-121 to other mics (Coles 4038, SM57, etc.) and provides us with his wonderful dry commentary. We love ya Steve! Truly one of our favorite CDs at the studio these days.” -LC

All of Steve’s comparison tracks are here, along with his original commentary.

Saxophone (Coles 4038, R-121, close R-121, distant R-121)


Trumpet (Neuman U-67, R-121, RCA 77DX)


Acoustic Guitar (Steel string – Schoeps 221B, R-121 / Nylon string – Schoeps
221B, R-121 / 12-string – tube condenser, R-121, condenser and R-121 blended)


Electric Guitar (SM-57, R-121 / Coles 4038 being overstressed)



Adam Del Monte

Classical Guitar – R-122V

Produced and Engineered by Adam Del Monte

From the Adam del Monte Performance Series.
Guitar built by Francisco Manuel Diaz, Granada.

Recording Chain: Audio on all videos recorded with one R-122V into a Millennia Media TD1 Half Rack Recording Channel, light EQ applied, into a Lexicon reverb.

Capricho Arabe by Francisco Tarrega



Cordoba by Isaac Albeniz



Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega



Granada by Isaac Albeni



Foghorn Stringband

Bluegrass Band – SF-24
Acoustic Guitar – SF-24
Fiddle – SF-24
Mandolin – SF-24
Standup Bass – SF-24

Recording Engineer: Stephen Schauer

Recording Chain: See Recording Notes below

Foghorn Stringband playing live at Old Style Guitar Shop, presented by The Bluegrass Situation. Great performance of the old Stanley Brothers tune We’re Going to Paint the Town and Kennesaw Mountain Rag. Caleb Klauder on mandolin, Sammy Lind on fiddle, Nadine Landry on bass, and Reeb Willms on guitar.



Recording Notes from engineer Stephen Schauer:

I had a wonderful opportunity to shoot and record a little video of Foghorn Stringband for Ed Helm’s traditional music website, The Bluegrass Situation ( This kind of music is close to my heart, so it was a blast to get this time with such an amazing and talented group of folks.

We had an hour with the band and a crew of just 3, so I had to operate a camera AND run sound. The audio setup had to be fast and simple with great fidelity AND not clutter the frame. Using a Royer SF-24 in the center of the band allowed them to play in a traditional way – gathered around a single mic as was done for the last hundred years. It allowed them to huddle up close, and a great performance that you can only get when the band can really hear themselves and play off each other’s energy. The sonic character of the mic was a great complement to voices and the strings.

Regarding the technical side, we kept it simple so I didn’t need to do much fancy footwork in the edit and mix. I had the SF-24 front and center and tried to contain the performers within the front lobes of the figure 8. The room was tiny, but thankfully it was trapezoidal so there were fewer standing resonant tones in the room. The SF-24 is 9-% of what you hear in the recordings.

I panned out the Royer 60% left and right until the soundstage felt like it matched the visual, I put a little notch in the EQ around the lead singer’s voice to help bring it forward, and rolled off the bass of the SF-24 with a mellow high pass curve set at around 70hz (to clean up the room tone and leave space for a close mic I had on the bass, which was panned to match her position).

I had an AKG 451EB on the floor close to the bass, with a low pass filter set for 700 Hz, and a Beyerdynamic MC834 in the adjacent guitar showroom for nice real room ambience that I could mix in later if needed, rather than relying on reverb plug-ins. The MC834 had a high pass filter set at 500 Hz, and the mic was mixed back about 5 dB.

On the master, I pushed up the 300-1200hz about 1 dB, used a little preset compression that sounded good, added a tiny bit of reverb, and used a limiter with about 2db threshold to get the overall levels up for the video.

I recorded directly into a Tascam HS-p82 with no outboard preamps and mixed it all in Reaper with the stock plug-ins, on my laptop.

-Stephen Schauer


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