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

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Quincy Jones – Sammy Nestico Orchestra

Trumpet and trombones – R-121

Engineered and mixed by Tommy Vicari. Produced by Quincy Jones with Sammy Nestico and Jerry Hey.
Recorded at Capital Studios, Hollywood, CA
From the Qwest Records release “Basie & Beyond”.

Seven R-121’s capturing the trumpets and trombones.
Recorded digitally on Sony 3348-HR’s.

“Out Of The Night” (Sammy Nestico)

 

“Joy Of Cooking” (Sammy Nestico)

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)

 

 

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


Malcolm McNab

Brass – R-122, SF-24
Trumpet – R-122, SF-24
Trombone – R-122, SF-24
French Horn – R-122, SF-24
Bass Trombone – R-122, SF-24

Produced, recorded and mixed by Gary Grant
Recorded at Midlothian Recording Studio, Pasadena, CA.

RCA 10001 spot mic and SF-24 room mic on Malcom McNab’s Solo trumpet (RCA 60%, SF-24 40% in the mix).
Brass, French Horn and Bass Trombone recorded on R-122’s with an SF-24 as room mic.

Recording chain: RCA 10001 into a UA 2-610 tube preamp, SF-24 and R-122’s into a Millennia HV-3D preamp. Recorded to Digital Performer HD 192 (at 88.2/192), using the HD 192 converters. TC Electronics M-6000 and Lexicon 960 and 480 reverbs used in the mix. No compression, limiting or EQ used.

“Saloon Music for Bb Cornet and Pit Orchestra” (Bruce Broughton)

 

 

Arturo Sandoval’s “Trumpet Evolution”

Brass – R-121, R-122, SF-12
Trumpet – R-121, R-122
Trombone – R-121
Drum Overhead – SF-12
Room Mic – SF-12

Engineer: Al Schmitt, Producer: Gary Grant
Recorded at Capitol Studios (Studio A), Hollywood, CA.

Recording chain: All mics routed through an assortment of Mastering Lab, Neve and Studer tube mic preamps. Recorded to Pro Tools

One R-122 on Arturo Sandoval’s solo trumpet
Four R-121’s on the trumpets
Four R-121’s on the trombones
SF-12 overall big band room mic
SF-12 drum overhead

1) “Manteca” (Dizzy Gillespie, Fuller, O’Farrill, Pozo)

 

2) “Concerto for Cootie” (Duke Ellington)

 

3) “My Funny Valentine” (Hart, Rodgers)

 

Dirty Dozen Brass Band 2

Trumpet – R-121
Trombone – R-122
Electric Guitar – R-121
Drums – SF-12
Sousaphone – R-122

Recorded and mixed by Clint Bennett. Produced by Anthony Marinelli & Shawn Amos.
Recorded at Westlake Studio D, Los Angeles CA. Additional recording and all mixing at Music Forever.

 

Recording chain: All mics into Neve VR console preamps. Recorded to Pro Tools HD at 96k. Digi 192 converters at Westlake Studios and Apogee converters at Music Forever.

“What’s Going On” (Benson, Cleveland, Gaye)

a) Full Mix

 

b) Isolated Trumpet & Trombone: R-121 on trumpet and R-122 on trombone.

 

c) Isolated Electric Guitars: R-121 on electric guitars.

 

 

Gordon Goodwin – Full Mix and Isolated Tracks

Brass – R-121, SF-24
Trumpet – R-121
Trombone – R-121

Recorded and mixed by Tommy Vicari
Recorded at Bill Schnee Studios, North Hollywood, CA.

Recording chain: All Royer mics through Millennia HV-3D preamps. SF-24 room mic through HV-3D preamp to GML EQ with 3 dB boost at 10K. Recorded to Pro Tools HD.

“Backrow Politics” (Gordon Goodwin) – Full mix from two sections of the same song, with isolated tracks 

a) Full Mix

 
 

b) Isolated Trumpet solo: R-121 on soloist.

 
 

c) Full Mix 2.


 
 

d) Isolated Brass & Sax Section: Eight R-121’s on trumpets & trombones, with SF-24 room mic.

 
 

e) Isolated Brass & Sax Section: SF-24 room mic alone.