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

 

 


 

 

 

 

Robert Friedrich on Recording The San Diego Symphony

Pianos (dual) – R-122V, R-122
Woodwinds – SF-2
Strings – SF-2
Hall Ambience – SF-24

Recording Engineer: Robert Friedrich
Producer: Erica Brenner

In this video, Grammy-winning engineer Robert Friedrich talks about using ribbon microphones extensively while recording the San Diego Symphony playing “The Carnival Of The Animals.” Of particular interest is his microphone technique on the dual pianos, which were positioned side-by-side and recorded with a pair of R-122V’s and a pair of R-122’s.

Pianists: Jon Kimura Parker and Orli Shaham

Videographer and Photographer: R Chaney

“Carnival of the Animals” (Camille Saint-Saens)

fredrich-orchestra-tn

Dicky Simms

Piano – SF-12, R-121

Engineer: Dusty Wakeman.
Recorded at Mad Dog Studios, Burbank, CA.

Grand piano in an iso room, lid fully lifted.

Recording chain: SF-12 and R-121’s to Neve 8088 console preamps. Recorded to 20-bit ADAT.
(The level of this track was raised 4 dB over the original source material level.)

One SF-12 and two R-121’s combined; all mics mixed at equal level. SF-12 panned hard left and right, R-121’s panned soft left and right. No EQ, compression or effects.

“Shannon’s Shuffle” (Dicky Simms)

blink-182

Piano – R-121

Engineers: Sean O’Dwyer, Ryan Hewitt. Producer – Jerry Finn.
Recorded at Conway Recording Studios – Hollywood, CA.
From the MCA release “blink-182 – Enema Of The State”

In this selection two R-121’s are on the piano. R-121’s also on electric guitars.

“Adams Song” (Hoppus, DeLonge)

Paul Cantelon

Piano – SF-12

Engineer & Producer: Russell Dawkins.
Recorded at the University of Victoria – British Columbia.

One SF-12 stereo ribbon mic over a grand piano with the lid removed.

No EQ, compression or effects. The level of this track was raised 3 dB over the original source material level.

 

“Point No Point” (Paul Cantelon)

Norbert Putnam

Piano – SF-12

Engineer: Norbert Putnam
Recorded at Norbert Putnam’s Cadre Entertainment, Memphis, TN.

One SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone over the soundboard of a Yamaha C-7 piano.

“Impromptu Op.90, No 2” (Franz Schubert)

Joby Baker and Scott Sheerin

Saxophone – SF-12
Piano – SF-12

Recorded and mixed by Russell Dawkins.
Recorded at the Christ Church Cathedral – Victoria, BC, Canada

One SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone on live saxophone and piano. The SF-12 was positioned twelve feet in front of the musicians, piano slightly to left, saxophone slightly to right. This recording came from a warm-up jam. Recording is dead dry, exactly as it went to DAT.

“Cathedral Jam”

Arturo Sandoval – Ribbon Microphone Demonstrations

Trumpet – R-122, SF-24V
Piano – SF-24V

Recorded at Sweetwater Studios, Ft. Wayne IN

Arturo Sandoval demonstrates his trumpet and piano recording techniques in the best way possible, laying it down in the studio. Each of these videos feature Arturo soloing on the trumpet and then doing some extraordinary piano playing. For the trumpet demonstrations, engineer Don Murray removed Arturo’s solo tracks from two recordings featured on Auturo’s record “Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)” and Arturo recorded new solos.

Recording chain Trumpet: Royer R-122 and SF-24V into Millennia HV-3D preamplifier. Bricasti reverb. Recorded to Pro Tools.
Recording chain Piano: Royer SF-24 and two Mojave Audio MA-300’s into Millennia HV-3D preamplifier. Recorded to Pro Tools.

The instruments are miked the way Arturo records in the studio:
Trumpet – one R-122 close mic, with an SF-24V at a distance and blended for added dimension.
Piano – One SF-24V at the knee of the piano, with two Mojave Audio MA-300’s set in Cardioid and spread out.
(Arturo normally uses SF-24’s in the distant trumpet position and on piano, but we had SF-24V’s on hand.)
Trumpet: “Things to Come” (Walter Gilbert Fuller, Dizzy Gillespie)
Piano: “Surena” (Arturo Sandoval)

arturo_tn

 

Trumpet: “And Then She Stopped” (Dizzy Gillespie)
Piano: “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach)

 

 

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

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Paul Cantelon

Piano – SF-12 Stereo Ribbon

Engineer/Producer: Russell Dawkins

1) “Preludes”

Piano: SF-12 on Steinway 9′ grand piano. The microphone is aimed at the center of the piano’s soundboard, 9 ft from the soundboard and 6.5 ft above stage.

Recording chain: One SF-12 into a True Systems Precision 8 preamplifier, recorded to a DA-38.

Recorded at Phillip T. Young Recital Hall in the School of Music, University of Victoria.

“Preludes” Theme fromThe Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Paul Cantelon)

 
 

2) “Point No Point”

One SF-12 over a grand piano, lid removed. No EQ, compression or effects.

Recorded at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

“Point No Point” (Paul Cantelon)