Royer Labs was formed in 1998 to bring David Royer’s unique, modern ribbon microphone designs to the world. When we first opened our doors, ribbon mics had been largely forgotten, but the R-121 and SF-12 quickly captured the imagination of recording enthusiasts around the world. This new generation of ribbon microphones proved to be a perfect match to the rise in popularity of digital recording, as engineers rediscovered the warmth, analog feel and smooth sound of ribbons. Today, Royers are found in studios and on live stages around the world.

Royer Labs Mission Statement

Royer Labs’ mission is to bring the uniquely natural sound qualities of ribbon microphones to the world.

  • We believe in better microphones for better music.
  • Our path is constant reinvention and innovation in ribbon microphone technology.
  • Our goal is to impart warmth, realism and musicality into the digital recording process.
  • Our place is in every quality recording environment, from home workstations and world class studios to the concert stage.
  • We hold ourselves to the highest possible standards of workmanship, to provide engineers with the world’s finest and most durable ribbon microphones.

Every person at Royer Labs is here to provide outstanding customer service, at all times and at all levels.

Royer Labs Announces John Jennings as President

Former President and co-founder Rick Perrotta retires

Royer Labs announces the retirement of President and co-founder Rick Perrotta effective June 1, 2024. John Jennings, Royer’s co-founder and 26-year VP of Sales & Marketing, has become the company’s President, assuring Royer customers and end users a smooth transition in company management.

Jennings’ long history with the company makes taking the position of President a natural step. Jennings established and maintained the company’s dealer/distributor network and has directed Royer’s overall marketing and branding strategies from the beginning. In Royer’s early days he attended countless recording sessions, introducing producers, engineers and artists to Royer ribbon microphones and photographing them in action. The company’s groundbreaking designs resulted in Royer Labs receiving a Technical Grammy in 2013.

Rick Perrotta co-designed many of Royer’s products with Chief Engineer David Royer. His technical chops were, and remain, invaluable. Rick created Royer’s overall hand-built-in-the-USA production methodologies, he formulated the company’s original business structure, and for 26 years he oversaw its day-to-day business operations. In “retirement” Perrotta will continue to lend his expertise in a technical and design capacity, which is the work he always enjoyed the most.

Jennings has lived in Nashville since 2013 and will continue to work from the office he calls Royer East. Having in-person representation in two major music markets—Nashville and Los Angeles—enables the company to better serve a higher number of important clients in addition to getting client feedback on new gear under development. Jennings plans on putting more new microphone products into the pipeline with a focus on the high-quality, hand-built approach that has defined Royer products for decades.

Reflecting on his time with Royer Labs, Perrotta offered the following thoughts, “These 26 years have been one of the most rewarding periods of my life. From our start in my backyard guesthouse to our presence as an industry leader in high-end microphones and accessories, it’s been an incredible experience that I am very proud of. While I may not be in the office on a regular basis going forward, I will still be involved with the company and the wonderful people that constitute Royer Labs. And as I pass the baton—or should I say microphone—to John Jennings, I have every confidence the company will continue to thrive.”

John Jennings shares Perrotta’s enthusiasm, “I’ve always been proud of what Royer Labs brings to the pro audio community. Becoming Royer’s President now is an honor. Every day, I work with high quality people who bring their A game – that’s the Royer way. I’ll miss having Rick here but we’ve been partners for so long, and our management team is so good, that stepping into this position is an uncomplicated, natural progression. We have some unique new designs underway and the next few years at Royer are going to be an exciting time to hold down this seat.”

As Royer Labs moves forward, Jennings’ VP of Sales & Marketing position will be taken over by industry veteran Dave Bryce, another seasoned sales and marketing professional. It is also important to note that the remaining company management team has considerable depth, with over 90 years of collective experience with Royer. They will continue Royer’s legacy, providing consistency in how the business is run and the same deep commitment to quality that has always defined Royer Labs.

David Royer

David Royer is one of an elite group of microphone designers who know that music and sound are inseparable from electronic design. Everything David designs comes from his deep, lifelong love of music.

David’s focus on sound started in his home, where he grew up absorbing the classical and folk music that his parents played constantly. From an early age, he was transfixed by the orchestral recordings he heard, leading to a love of classical music that continues today. At 21, David decided to create his own recordings and purchased an Ampex 960 tape recorder and a couple of off-the-shelf consumer microphones. Unhappy with his early results, he started experimenting with his microphones and soon began an in-depth, lifelong study of microphone design and electronic theory.

After a four year hitch in the Navy, where he honed his skills in electronics and acoustics as a sonar technician, David started designing his own microphones. He founded a small company called Mojave Audio in his garage in Fullerton CA, where he modified amplifiers and made his own condenser microphones, mic pre’s and compressors. Building gear under the Mojave and DVA labels, he created a number of condenser mics that have become somewhat legendary among a small group of high-end audio engineers including Bob Clearmountain, Mutt Lang and Sean Beaven. During the “garage period”, David came across his first ribbon mic, a Reslo that needed repair, and his fascination with ribbon microphones was born. David eventually came to believe that ribbons are the most musical of all microphone types and he set out to learn everything he could about them.

In 1997 David designed his first ribbon mic and showed it to his friend Rick Perrotta (now president of Royer Labs). That microphone, which David named the R-121, led to the opening of Royer Labs in 1998. In a short period of time it became the breakthrough ribbon microphone that reintroduced the smooth, musical characteristics of ribbons to engineers around the world.

David’s visionary designs continue today with “firsts” such as phantom-powered and tube ribbon mics.

Rafael Villafane

Rafael is a renaissance man, musician, producer, studio owner and night club owner – a true global citizen. A part of the extended Rosemary Clooney (aunt) Jose Ferrer (uncle) clan, Rafael has roots in both his native Mexico and Hollywood. He has both US and Latin based top-ten hits to his credit, including #1 hit “Cuando Mueres por Alguien” in Mexico which he co-wrote and produced for Erik Rubin, and multiple charting album You’ve Got It Baby’O as producer/artist (which received the prestigious Billboard Award) in the US.

A graduate of Amherst College, he first met Rick Perrotta at Golden Sound Studios, Hollywood in 1979. While producing two top-ten singles on the Billboard dance chart in 1981 “In the Forest” and “Dance All Night,” Rafael and Rick developed a relationship that led to their partnering in Baby’O Recorders, a major L.A. studio throughout the 80s. The facility shared its name with successful night spot Baby’O Acapulco (co-founded by Rafael), which just celebrated its 30th Anniversary.

Rafael also founded live venues Bulldog Café/Mexico City and Bulldog Café/Cancun where he performs or jams regularly, as have the likes of Guns & Roses members Slash, Matt Sorum, Gilbey Clarke, Duff McKagan, Radiohead, Sebastian Bach, Vince Neal, Blues Saraceno and the list goes on.

As one of the founding partners of Royer Labs, Rafael (stage name Raal AKA Raalzheimer) brings a real world point of view to the Royer family. Catch him at one of the clubs, say “Royer Ribbons Rock” and the first round is on the house.