Greg Wells on Recording With Royer Ribbon Microphones

Producer, mixer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist – Greg Wells has an amazing body of work, with songs on over 85 million units sold to date. In this video Greg explains how he uses ribbon mics in the studio every day and how important they are to his work.

A partial list of artists Greg has produced and written for include Katy Perry, Adele, OneRepublic, Keith Urban, Twenty One Pilots, Mika, Timbaland, Deftones, Celine Dion, Rufus Wainwright, Idina Menzel, Holychild.

Special note:
The music in this video was something Greg wrote, played all instruments on, and recorded one morning (!) to test mics and sounds in his studio. Royer’s John Jennings heard it that day and liked it so much he asked if he could have a copy, so Greg called it “Rawk Out For John” and sent it over. Killer groove and sound – just Greg getting down. Turn it up!

Darlingside

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)

Camellia City Flute Choir

Flute Ensemble – one SF-24V and four SF-2’s

Produced, engineered and mixed by Frank Bevans. Video by Frank Bevans
Recorded at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, CA for the Music at Noon Series.

Recording Chain: One SF-24V (over the conductor’s shoulder) and four SF-2’s (one at each corner of the stage). SF-24V into a Millennia HV-3C preamplifier. SF-2’s into Apogee Ensemble preamplifiers. All mics through Apogee Ensemble D/A converters, recorded to Apple Logic Pro.

Camellia City Flute Choir  –  http://camelliaflutes.com
Frank Bevans  –  http://www.fbphoto.com, Facebook

“Anyone in my position who needs to capture the delicate and beautiful sounds of the silver flutes has no choice but to record them with Royer microphones. Plain and simple. Nothing else comes close.”
-Frank Bevans
(For more of Frank’s comments on the recording process, scroll down to below the videos.)

Prelude from Suite Antique (John Rutter, arrangement by Robert Rainford)

Aria from Suite Antique (John Rutter, arrangement by Robert Rainford)

Waltz from Suite Antique (John Rutter, arrangement by Robert Rainford)

Notes from Frank on the preparation for these recordings:
“I remember that set-up being very gear intensive.
I brought: 3 video cameras. Monitors, lights, tripods, cords, cables, plugs.
Audio gear, laptop, preamp, A/D converter, microphones, stands, audio cords, sand bags.
A rolling table and chairs. Not to mention a camera and lights for a group photo and my black suit.

“The acoustics of this old church were remarkable.
No reverb or enhancing effects were added to this recording.
The beautiful sounds you hear are thanks to the wonderful talents of the musicians and the ability of these Royer microphones to capture the natural voices of the flutes.
It was an honor to record the audio and video of this live performance of the Camellia City Flute Choir.”

-Frank Bevans

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)

button samples4-01

 
“Dusty Woman” (Johnny Hawthorne)

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Rachel Barton Pine

Solo Violin – two SF-2’s

Producer: Steven Epstein, Engineer: Bill Maylone
Recorded at St. Paul’s United Church Of Christ, Chicago IL
Scroll down for video with comments from the producer, engineer and artist.

In this exceptional solo violin performance, Rachel Barton Pine plays a Guarneri del Gesù in St. Paul’s church, Chicago, IL.

Recording chain:  Two SF-2 ribbon mics to John Hardy M-1 preamplifiers to RME Fireface 800. Recorded to Pro Tools 10.
No compression or outboard gear. Due to being on location in a large church in an urban area, the only EQ is a 50 Hz, first order hi-pass to keep out the rumble from buses outside. Original recording is 24 / 96, converted to 16 / 48 for the video.

Rachel Barton Pine performs Preludio to Bach’s E Major Partita for unaccompanied violin, BWV 1006

For more information on Rachel Barton Pine, visit http://rachelbartonpine.com

In this accompanying video, Steven Epstein, Bill Maylone and Rachel Barton Pine offer their thoughts on the recording process.

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)