R-122 MKII Tests – Electric Guitar & Dobro

Royer R-122 MKll Test Tracks

The R-122 MKll is an extremely versatile phantom powered ribbon mic with a switchable -15 dB pad and a switchable bass roll-off set at 100 Hz, 6 dB per octave.

Electric Guitar:

Recorded by Michael Wagener at WireWorld Studio, Nashville TN.

Recording chain: R-122 MKll to Chandler TG2 preamplifier. Recorded to Nuendo.

Close miking electric guitars with an active ribbon mic can result in microphone or preamplifier distortion if:
1) the mic’s output is too hot for the following mic pre to handle.
2) the mic is plugged into a preamplifier with low input impedance, or
3) the phantom power is weak,

The R-122 MKll’s -15 dB pad reduces the mic’s sensitivity to 2 dB LESS than our non-powered R-121, giving the mic plenty of headroom even in torturous conditions.

In this video we used a 100-watt Metropoulos 12,000 amplifier turned up LOUD but fairly clean. See recording notes below.

 

R-122 MKll Test Tracks Continued

Dobro:

Randy Kohrs playing Dobro. Recorded by Randy Kohrs at Slack Key Studio, Nashville TN.

Recording chain: R-122 to RTZ preamplifier. Recorded in Pro Tools

1) R-122 MKll on Dobro, flat with no switches engaged.
2) R-122 MKll on Dobro with low cut switch engaged.
3) R-122 MKll on Dobro with low cut switch and -15 dB pad engaged.
4) R-122 MKll on Dobro with low cut switch and -15 dB pad engaged. The RTZ preamp is turned up 15 dB to make up for the -15 dB pad, bringing in more of the personality of the pre.

Johnny Hawthorn

Johnny Hawthorn – Pawn Shop Tattered Heart

Electric Guitar – R-121 & SM57

Produced & engineered by Charley Pollard
Recorded at Dragonfly Creek Recording

Recording chain: R-121 and SM57 one inch from the cabinet into Shadow Hills Equinox mic pre’s (Steel setting). Both mics were bussed to one track – the mix was committed to while recording.
Recorded to ProTools.

Amps: Blankenship Carry-On 1×12 combo and Marshall JCM 800 into 4×12. Marshall used for solos.

Pawn Shop Tattered Heart received the Guitar Player Magazine’s “Editors’ Faves” for July 2014. Available through CD Baby & iTunes

 
“Real Thing” (Johnny Hawthorne)

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“Dusty Woman” (Johnny Hawthorne)

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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.

R-101

 
 

R-121

 
 

SM57

 

 

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.

R-101

 
 

R-121

 
 

SM57

 

 

 

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

R-101

 
 

R-121

 

 

Keys Jangling

R-101

 
 

R-121

 

 

Trumpet

R-101

 
 

R-121

 

 

Piano

R-101

 
 

R-121

 

 

Tambourine

R-101

 
 

R-121

 
 
 

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

 

 


 

 

 

 

Monster Magnet

Drums (Room) – 2 R-121’s
Electric Guitars – R-121

Engineer – Randy Staub. Producer – Matt Hyde
Recorded at Warehouse Studios – Vancouver, B.C.

R-121’s on electric guitars and two R-121’s as drum room mics.

“Heads Explode” (© Dave Wyndorf)

Jonathan Merkel

Heavy Electric Guitar – R-122V

Producer/Engineer: Johathan Merkel

Guitarist/Producer/Engineer Jonathan Merkel shows how he records heavy electric guitar using an R-122V to capture his Mesa Boogie Uberschall amplifier. This song was recorded in Jonathan’s home studio, so the 1×12 Mesa cabinet was placed in a closet for isolation.

Jonathan shows complete signal paths for all phases of electric guitar recording and walks us through blending R-122V, SM-57 and DI tracks for his final guitar sound.

“Fuel the Fire” (Jonathan Merkel)

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Johathan’s company Beat Chamber is a Contemporary Song Catalog and Production company which produces and licenses music for film, TV and multimedia projects. http://www.beatchamber.com

Lukas Rossi and Kenny Aronoff

Drum Overhead – SF-24
Drum Rooms – SF-24, R-122V, R-122
Electric Guitar – R-121

Recorded by Ross Hogarth
Recorded at Sweetwater Studios, Ft. Wayne IN

Grammy winning Producer/Engineer Ross Hogarth gives a seminar on his techniques for recording drums and electric guitars with ribbon mics, showing mic placements and letting us hear mixed and isolated ribbon-recorded tracks.

Drums – Kenny Aronoff
Full mix, conversation about drum mic placement, then isolated ribbon-recorded tracks.
“Dreamer” (Lukas Rossi)
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Electric Guitar – Lukas Rossi
Full mix, conversation about electric guitar mic placement, then isolated ribbon-recorded tracks.
“Dreamer” (Lukas Rossi)
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Roger Wojahn & Scott Wojahn – Commercial Scores

Percussion – R-121
Electric Guitar – R-121
Violin – R-121
Drum Overheads – SF-12

Recorded and mixed by Steve Kempster.

Song 1. R-121’s on all percussion instruments and brass. SF-12 stereo ribbon mic on drum overhead.
Recorded to Sony 4038 (16-bit) at Signet Sound, Hollywood, CA. 

1. Commercial (Roger Wojahn & Scott Wojahn)

 
 

Song 2. R-121’s on all percussion instruments, guitars and violin. SF-12 stereo ribbon mic on drum overhead. 
Recorded on a Sony 3348 (16-bit) at Village Recorders, Los Angeles, CA.

2. Commercial (Roger Wojahn & Scott Wojahn)

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)


 

Drums


Ray Charles and Norah Jones with Billy Preston

B-3 – R-122
Piano – SF-12
Electric Guitar – R-121

Engineers: Terry Howard, Al Schmitt (mix)

This extraordinary session was held in Ray Charles’ Los Angeles studio in November 2003. I was privileged to attend and was given permission to take photographs with a small pocket camera. The musicianship was incredible, with most parts of the song being done in one or two takes.
-John Jennings, Royer Labs

B-3: Billy Preston’s Leslie cabinet was miked with two R-122’s, one positioned on the top horn and one on the bottom.

Piano: An SF-12 was positioned inside Ray’s piano alongside a couple of condenser mics. The SF-12 was the main mic used in the final mix.

Electric Guitar: The electric guitar amp was miked with an SM-57 up close and an R-122 further back, blended in the mix.

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Play video

Recording Electric Guitar Video Series with Ross Hogarth and Tim Pierce

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Grammy winning Engineer/Producer Ross Hogarth and session guitarist extraordinare Tim Pierce joined us to create an 8-part video series featuring an in-depth look at Hogarth’s electric guitar miking techniques. These videos are an excellent opportunity for recording engineers at all levels to learn new methods or brush up on some great guitar miking techniques.

 

Recording Electric Guitar, with Ross Hogarth and Tim Pierce. Session 1 of 8.
Divided by 13 amplifier into a Marshall 4-12 cabinet.

Introduction to blending a Royer Labs R-121 ribbon microphone with a Shure SM57 dynamic mic on electric guitar.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth & Tim Pierce. Session 2.
Marshall JCM 800 amplifier into a Marshall 4-12 cabinet.

R-121 and SM57 blend vs R-101 & SM57 blend

Two microphone blends are compared; a Royer Labs R-101 ribbon microphone and Shure SM57 dynamic mic, and a Royer R-121 ribbon microphone and Shure SM57 dynamic mic.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth & Tim Pierce. Session 3.
65 Blackface Fender Deluxe

session 3

Blending a Royer Labs R-121 ribbon microphone with a Shure SM57 dynamic mic on a combo amp.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth. Session 4.

session 4

Microphone Placement Techniques

In this video, Ross demonstrates his dual microphone positioning techniques on a guitar cabinet, then uses an open speaker to clearly show where to put mics and why he likes these positions.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth & Tim Pierce. Session 5.
Supro combo with 15-inch speaker.

Session 5

Another example of blending a Royer Labs R-121 ribbon microphone and a Shure SM57 dynamic mic, this time on a beautiful Supro combo amp with a 15-inch speaker. Very nice, warm vibrato on this amp.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth & Tim Pierce. Session 6.
Diezel head into a Marshall 4-12 cabinet.

In this video with Tim playing drop-tuned guitar, we compare an R-121 & 57 blend and an R-101 & 57 blend on a cranked up Diezel head through a 4-12 Marshall cabinet.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth & Tim Pierce. Session 7.
Magnatone Stereo Combo Amp

Session 7

Ross uses the R-121 & 57 blend on a great old Magnatone stereo combo amp, with an SF-24 stereo ribbon microphone centered 1-ft back from the amp to capture excellent stereo guitar tones.

 

Recording Electric Guitar with Ross Hogarth & Tim Pierce. Session 8.
Supro combo with 6-inch speaker.

Session 8

This video of an R-121 ribbon microphone on a Supro combo amp shows the amazing tone and size you can get from properly miking a small amplifier.