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.

ray-norah

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.

 

John March

Acoustic Guitar – R-121
Electric Guitar – Jazz, Blues – R-121

Recorded and performed by John March.
Recorded in Pro Tools at John’s home studio.

1) “Maya’s Other Dance” (©2000 John March)
Martin D-35 with a backward R-121 placed approximately 2 feet from the sound hole, slightly closer to the neck, 20 degrees off-axis.

 

 

2) Improv.
Strat through a Line-6 amplifier in a hallway (you hear some natural single-coil hum).
R-121 centered 18-inches from the speaker, 10-degrees off axis.

John Jennings

Comparison tracks
Acoustic Guitar – R-121, Backward R-121

Recorded by Jeff Gross
Recorded in Cubase at Studio 144, Tarzana, CA.

“Give Me A Reason” (John Jennings)
R-121 front side on Taylor 512, 8-inches off the 12th fret


 

“Give Me A Reason” (John Jennings)
Backward R-121 on Taylor 512, 8-inches off the 12th fret

Slash

Electric Guitar – R-121 & SM57

Recorded by Jim Mitchell
Recorded at Slashes home studio, Snakepit Studios.

R-121 & SM57 combined on a Marshall 4-12 cabinet with no EQ, effects, or compression.

A few years after Royer opened we visited Slash and recording engineer Jim Mitchell during a session. Slash’s Marshall was miked with an R-121 & SM57 and Slash was tearing it up – it sounded fantastic. I asked if they would give us a solo guitar recording of Slash for our first demo CD and Slash very kindly laid this one down for us.

slash-home

Slash Soloed


Ross Hogarth – Various Isolated Tracks

B-3 – SF-24
Drums – R-121, SF-12
Drum Room – SF-12, R-121
Bongos – SF-24
Shakers – SF-24
Electric Guitar, Heavy Rock – R-121

Engineer/Producer Ross Hogarth was one of the first engineers to ever use a Royer ribbon microphone. He has a large collection of Royers, including early serial numbers of all of our models due to his beta testing everything we’ve ever made. Over the years his contributions have been numerous and invaluable and we count him among our closest of friends.

Ross gave us the following isolated tracks to help teach engineers what Royer ribbons are capable of doing in the studio.
1) Isolated B-3 from the Damon Castillo Band, recorded on an SF-24 stereo ribbon microphone.
B-3: SF-24 on top of the Leslie with a Heil PR-30 on the bottom.
Recording chain: SF-24 into a Great River MP-2NV preamp, PR-30 into a Chandler preamp.
Recorded by Ross Hogarth at Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, CA in 2007.



 

2) Kenny Aronoff playing drums. One compressed R-121, 3 feet high and 6 feet back from kit.
Recorded by Ross Hogarth at Rumbo Recorders – Canoga Park, CA, B-room.



 

3) John Molo – Various Drum Tracks
This is a drum session broken down into isolated tracks cut on various Royers, with a final mix of all the Royer mics that were used on the session. This mix does not include the other mics that were used on the kit for the final drum mix.
Recorded by Ross Hogarth

3 a) SF-12 in front of the kit



 

3 b) R-121 left and right, front of the kit



 

3 c) One R-121 in front of the kit



 

3 d) All Royer mics from 3a, 3b & 3c blended



 

4) Bongos and Shakers from the Ryanhood song “All Right” recorded on an SF-24 stereo ribbon microphone. SF-24 12-inches above bongos and 8 inches from shakers.
Recording chain: SF-24 thru Great River MP-2NV pre, to Crane Song HEDD converter.
Recorded by Ross Hogarth at Track Records, North Hollywood, CA in 2008.
Play Audio



 

5) Stereo rhythm distortion guitar bed. R-121’s on two Marshall 4-12 cabinets.
Recorded by Ross Hogarth in Pro Tools at Rumbo Recorders – Canoga Park, CA.


Andy Georges – Comparison Tracks

Electric Guitar – R-121
Comparison Tracks

Engineer: Dusty Wakeman
Recorded directly to 20-bit ADAT at Mad Dog Studios, Burbank, CA

a) One R-121 six inches from a guitar cabinet. Fender Stratocaster with single-coil pickups, into a Matchless amplifier with a Marshall 4-12 cabinet. At this distance you hear little or no room ambience.

 

b) Same Stratocaster/Matchless combination, with the R-121 three feet from the cabinet. The mic is three feet high and pointed directly at the cabinet. At this distance, the cabinet’s tone becomes more apparent and room ambience plays a more important role in the overall sound.

 

Loudmouth

Electric Guitar – Heavy Rock – R-121
Drum Room Mics – R-121

Engineered by Joe Barresi, Allen Sides and Johnny K. Produced by Joe Barresi and John Sullivan.
Recorded at Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA / Bay 7, Valley Village, CA /
Groovemaster Studios – Chicago, IL.
From the Hollywood Records release “Loudmouth”.

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

1) “Rats In The Maze” (John Sullivan)

 

2) “Maybe” (Tony McQuaid)

 

3) “End Of The Century” (John Sullivan)

 

4) “No Heroes” (John Sullivan)

Marvelous 3

Electric Guitar – R-121

Engineered by Jerry Finn, Butch Walker and Joe McGrath. Produced by Jerry Finn.
From the Elektra Entertainment release “ReadySexGo”.

R-121’s on electric guitars.

a) “Beautiful” (Butch Walker )

 
 

b) “I Could Change” (Butch Walker)