What the Pro’s Say
“My favorite kind of tool in the studio is one that I donʼt have to think about, where you put it up and it instantly makes things sound better. Royer mics have been getting me there for almost 15 years. Once I tried them, I couldn’t be without them.”
Greg Wells – Producer/Engineer (Keith Urban, Katy Perry, Twenty One Pilots, One Republic, Mika)
“The R-121 in tandem with a Mojave 301 is the core of John Petrucci’s guitar sound for The Astonishing. It literally could not be and easier task to get great guitar sounds. Royers were prominent in capturing the drums as well.”
Richard Chycki, Producer/Engineer Dream Theater, Rush, Jeff Healey
“Recording with Royers has changed how I view the recording process. Iʼm better able to fine-tune the sound Iʼm looking for – without making any compromises.
”The Royer R-122V has become my ʻgo-toʼ microphone for electric guitar. I love the fact that I can position the ribbon mic right up close to the grille in order to achieve the sound I want. The R-122 is my main acoustic guitar mic. I typically use the SF-24 on the piano or to capture room ambiance.”
Noah Passovoy (Producer/Engineer Maroon 5, Augustana)
“I’ve used Royer mics on electric guitar for every session I’ve done over the last ten years. The way they capture the size and depth of a rock guitar is unique. These microphones actually present the guitar in a way that the guitarist is accustomed to hearing their instrument. I find the musicians actually play better when they can hear their guitar with this level of detail and warmth.”
Joe Chiccarelli, Producer/Engineer/Mixer (Jason Mraz, Spoon, Morrissey, Young The Giant, The Strokes, The Killers)
“For Maroon Five’s lead guitarist James Valentine, I used a Shure SM57 on a ‘Divided by 13’ cabinet and a Royer R-121 Live on the ‘Matchless’ cab. For Adam Levine, I used two Royer R-121 Live mics—one on his ‘clean’ cabinet and one on his ‘dirty’ cabinet. The Royers picked up the true guitar tone. The reliability of the Live Series mics was flawless, and this is no small thing considering the rigors of live concert touring.”
Jim Ebdon, FOH Engineer (Maroon Five, Matchbox 20, Aerosmith)
“These microphones really pick up the true sound of the guitars. The R-121 produces a very musical sound that accurately reflects what comes from our guitar rigs. They worked great during our entire last tour.”
James Valentine – Guitarist, Maroon Five
“The SF-12 as a drum overhead mic gives me something I’ve never been able to get before. God, I love this mic!”
Chuck Ainlay (Vince Gill, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Mark Knopfler)
“I’m using R-121’s all over my guitars and drums – it’s really an amazing mic.”
Noel Golden (Engineer – Matt Serletic, Matchbox 20, Willie Nelson, Edwin McCain)
“The R-121 blew me away in 1999 and now I’m blown away again. The increased gain and the clarity of the R-122 is ridiculous – this is an amazing development in ribbon microphones!”
Ross Hogarth (Grammy winner – Jewel, Roger Waters, Keb Mo, Coal Chamber, Black Crowes, REM, Shawn Colvin)
“God, I love these (expletive deleted) things!!!”
(Grammy Award winner, Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton)
On recording music for TV’s The Voice
“The R-122V’s sound is so full and rich. It brings so much depth and dimension to the electric guitar sound, and it’s absolutely fantastic on acoustic guitar.
“For drums, we’re using an SF-24 and an R-121, positioned head-to-head behind the kit. The ability to capture imaging as well as the SF-24 does is truly remarkable.
“On a scale of 1-10, Royer Labs rates an 11.”
Bill Appleberry (Engineer, The Voice)
“I used the R-122 on several critical ADR sessions. The mic’s high output abilities make it preferable on critical ADR sessions to the lower gain vintage mics. This is a superbly crafted mic, with a rich, full sound and accurate top end. The off axis response is incredible, which makes my job much easier.”
Dan Cubert (Dialog and Foley Recording, Mixer/Editor – Dreamworks, Universal, Tri-Star, Lucas)
These (Royer) mics somehow have the ability to convey each musician’s personality in a truly nuanced way. You can really hear the humanity that underlines the performances. And that may be the most important element of all.
“I can’t think of a recording session I’ve been at in the past 10 years that wasn’t using Royer mics. They have become the go-to microphone for professionals here in Los Angeles.”
Gordon Goodwin – Grammy winning Composer/Arranger/Conductor
On recording full Orchestra and Choir
“I’m fortunate to have a good set of tools available to me in my work and the Royer mics are there every time. Royer ribbon mics play an absolutely essential role in all of my sessions.
“I’ve used the SF-24 stereo ribbon mic as the main surround orchestra pickup on most of my orchestral recording sessions, including the two recordings that had consecutively won the “Best Surround Album” GRAMMY. Accurate imaging, the ability to beautifully capture the ‘space’ around the orchestra, an un-colored sound, and perfect integration into the overall mix are among the attributes I can point to as to why I always rely on the SF-24 on my sessions.
“The SF2s have been the perfect chorus pickup microphone for me, especially when working with the challenging stage acoustics of the Atlanta Symphony Hall, where the physical layout of the orchestra and chorus can be quite difficult from a miking perspective,” he reports. “With careful placement of the SF-2 ribbon mics, I can effectively use the natural -90dB null points of the mics to minimize the leakage of the percussion and brass instruments into the chorus microphones, yet maintain a proper distance with the chorus pickup. The SF-2s also interact far better than condenser mics would with the challenge presented by a strong soprano and alto section. A strong soprano section is capable of producing intermodulation distortion in the air around them. This is a natural phenomenon that can present some difficulty to condenser microphones, but a good ribbon microphone easily handles such a signal without adding any edginess to the sound.
“The customer / technical support team at Royer Labs has been a lifeline for me in my work. I’ve been able to depend upon their assistance at a moment’s notice and they’ve always come through. I’ve found the Royer team to be among the best in the biz!”
Michael Bishop, Grammy winning Engineer
Miking Johnny Marr Live
“The reaction we get from crowds since we switched to the Royers has cemented the ‘right tool for the job’ mentality for me. I’ve never had so many compliments. I would never ask someone like Johnny Marr to change his sound to suit my microphone. That would be insulting. So it’s most important to listen to your source and choose a mic that’s going to compliment it. If you have to resort to tons of EQ and compression, then it’s not the right mic for the job. With the Royer R-121, that’s never an issue.
“The SPL handling capabilities of the R-121 are incredible! Johnny Marr is a loud guitar player, and that’s fine, because the R-121 doesn’t even break a sweat. The frequency response of the mic compliments his sound so well—it’s really smooth and void of any nasty peaks in the presence range that other mic’s usually exhibit. The R-121 captures sound the way the human ear does. You can have tons of it in the mix without that ‘ice pick’ effect and without having to use EQ. We run a very tight setup. Everything is butted up to each other physically, so the nulls at the top, bottom, and sides of the R-121 are a Godsend. Johnny’s guitar is angled towards his position in the middle, so the null is ‘looking’ at the hi-hats on the riser. If I didn’t have the R-121’s null, it would be a bloody nightmare!”
Russ Miller, FOH Engineer (Johnny Marr)
“I’ve been using my 121’s on electric guitar, electric bass, acoustic guitar, drum overheads – they’ve been brilliant on everything. It’s definitely the best mic I’ve ever used for recording electric guitar.”
Sean Beavan (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Megadeth, Pantera)
“I use Royer ribbons every day I record. They’re like the AC-30 of the microphone world. They just have this desirable thing that works so well and gives a truly analog vibe to digital recordings.”
Steve Kempster (Scoring Engineer – Trevor Rabin, Mark Mancina)
“I love my Royers!! The R121 may well be the ultimate electric guitar mic! I’ve been using the Royers extensively on recent projects (David Mead, Verve Pipe, Brian Setzer), also the Stereo model for overheads on Bernie Dresel (drummer with Setzer). Thanks for a great recording tool”!
John Holbrook (The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Verve Pipe, LeAnn Rimes)
“These are the first mics I’ve ever used on guitars that give me exactly what I want. Huge low end with no eq.”
Jerry Finn (Green Day, Rancid, Blink-182, Pennywise)
“I first used my pair of R-121 ‘s on every song on Jewels ‘Joy’ album. Since than I’ve used them on everything from main orchestra mic’s to the outside mic of kick drum’s (great bottom end for free). Basically, I’m using them on everything I can.”
Michael O’Reilly (Mixer/ Engineer – Jewel, Whitney Houston, Smashing Pumpkins, Bette Midler)
I’ve never heard anything better in a ribbon microphone than Royer’s new R-122, ever! Something happened when they put that amp and larger transformer in there and this is my new favorite ribbon microphone. I always use ribbon mics for their warmth and sweet high frequency response characteristics, but there is something truly unique about the powered R-122’s sound quality. My pal Omar Hakim was bouncing off the walls when he heard the first playback with R-122’s on overheads on his drum set – they just sound absolutely fantastic! Royer really nailed it with the R-122.”
Bruce Swedien (Grammy Award winner, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington)
“The SF-24V is an amazing microphone, my new discovery. I recorded a 23-piece string section at AIR studios for the Eric Clapton record and ended up using just three mics—two Neumann M50’s as a spaced stereo pair and the SF-24V sitting behind the conductor positioned at a height of about eight feet. The SF-24V pulled the strings towards me like they were being sucked to the front of the speakers. The detail is amazing. Once I heard what the SF-24V was capable of, I used it on everything from Allen Toussaint’s piano, a B3 organ, as well as a New Orleans brass band. I also love the sound of the SF-24V when used just out in front of a drum kit. Find the sweet spot, and you can pull up two faders and have an incredible drum sound.
“One thing I love about Royer ribbons is that they always respond favorably to being EQ’d and they never sound shrill. They’re a great complement in this digital world. When you use one mic that you can capture the sound you’re after—without using ten of them—then you’re in a good place. That’s why I use Royer ribbons.”
Justin Stanley, Producer/Engineer (Eric Clapton, Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow, Nikka Costa)
On recording Brian Setzer’s live album Rockabilly Riot
“Throughout Brian Setzer’s tour I had one R-121 Live on Brian’s guitar cabinet and another R-121 Live on Kevin McKendree’s guitar cabinet. I love how the R-121L brings out all the tone of the guitar sound, and its ability to withstand high SPL’s is nothing short of astounding. On Brain’s guitar cabinet, the mic’s figure-8 polar pattern provides tremendous rejection from surrounding instruments, enabling me to put the guitar in the mix where I need it to be during live performances and then later, mix the guitar into the recording without introducing a lot of nearby stage sounds.”
Jimbo Neal, FOH Engineer (The Brian Setzer Orchestra)
On using Royers onstage with George Strait:
“With Royer mics, I can listen to an input on stage and know that I’m able to capture that input and put it through the sound system with the best possible accuracy. These mics deliver sound quality that is as close as is physically possible to the sound the performer is creating on stage. When you combine this level of performance with the first-rate customer and technical support Royer Labs gives its customers, you just can’t go wrong.”
“During George Strait’s shows I have two R-121s on the lead guitar and one on the second guitar player’s amp. The tone is warm and real, and I’m getting great isolation between instruments. A couple of the guitar cabinets are essentially side by side and, using the nulls of the mics, I really can keep them separate.
“A pair of R-101’s do a wonderful job of capturing the sound of the pedal steel. Unlike other mics where I find myself EQing the sound considerably, with the Royers, there might be just a touch of high pass and that’s it.
“For drum overheads I position the two R-122s about 5 feet apart at a height roughly two and a half feet above the drumkit. I use them to capture the overall sound of the kit. These mics add tremendous depth to the sound.
George Olson, FOH Engineer (George Strait, Lee Ann Womack)
Using Royers on large church services
“The R-121’s smooth, warm character captures the natural sound of guitar cabinets more accurately than any of the other mics we tried. It also enables the guitars to blend nicely into the FOH and Monitor mixes—without the need for extensive EQ and processing.”
“With the guitar amplifiers off-stage and our musicians using in-ear monitor systems, the guitarists want the sound they hear to be as close as possible what they hear when they stand in front of their amps. The R-121 does just that—it provides confidence in the accuracy of their sound.”
Luke Roetman, Audio Director for Buckhead Church
Using Royers to record classical vocals
“Obtaining the best possible classical vocal tracks starts with quality microphones and good positioning. During our recording of Beethovan’s 9th, the Royer SF-2 delivered natural mids and highs without any exaggeration of sibilance or attacks, and its warm presentation enabled the voices to better integrate into the musical texture, which really helped create a superior mix.”
“I find the most notable characteristics of the Royer SF-2 to be its warmth and its ability to blend into the greater whole of a musical performance. Equally important, the microphone’s lack of high frequency resonances allows for a very natural pickup—with a uniform, uncolored off- axis response. The end result is, musically, very pleasing. Given these qualities, I also consider the SF-2 a solid choice for use on orchestral piano, solo piano, concerto piano, section strings, solo bass, vocals, and harp.”
“The Royer SF-2 is one of the most significant acquisitions that the San Francisco Symphony has recently made for its microphone inventory. Over the last two years, we’ve been extremely happy with both the microphone’s versatility and sound quality. The Royer SF-2 is an essential part of the San Francisco Symphony’s recorded sound.”
Jack Vad, Producer/Engineer for the San Francisco Symphony.
On the recording of LAGQ (Los Angeles Guitar Quartet) Brazil at Skywalker Sound.
“The Royer R-122V was my primary mic for this entire project. After a careful A-B comparison with another very well-known microphone, I decided the Royer was the clear choice for this particular application because it gave the guitars a lot of body while being considerably more natural sounding. I really like the fact that, with the R-122V’s, I could hear the wood on the guitar.
“I used four R-122V’s—one for each guitarist—and was tremendously pleased with their performance,” continued Friedrich. “Because of the microphone’s figure 8 polar pattern, I found I had far more flexibility in placing the mics to achieve the sound I was after. The R-122V’s are extremely responsive and they deliver a warm, rich sound that is considerably bigger than that of many condenser mics.”
Robert Friedrich, Grammy winning Engineer
“I love this (R-122) microphone.”
“Literally since the day I got my SF-12 I’ve used it on every session I’ve recorded. This mic is really a fantastic package.”
Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Breeders)
“My SF-1’s have worked in virtually every setting I’ve tried them.”
Shawn Murphy (Scoring Engineer – John Williams, James Horner, Danny Elfman)
“Whenever I need a ribbon microphone, I use Royers.”
Al Schmitt (20 time Grammy Award winner, Barbra Streisand, George Benson, Diana Krall, Amy Grant)
“I just had seven R-121’s up on the Academy Awards, then used them all on a Quincy Jones big band session – Royer mics are one of the very best things to happen to recording in years.”
Tommy Vicari (Grammy & Emmy Award winner, Quincy Jones, George Duke, Gino Vannelli)
“Royer microphones bring back to digital recording what was lost in the process of going from analog tape to digital formats.”
Bryan Carlstrom (Producer/Engineer – The Offspring, Alice In Chains, White/Rob Zombie, Social Distortion, Anthrax, PIL, Project 86)
“Royer has come up with a unique design that allows me to record guitar amps at full volume without compromising the sound. I love the way it allows me to put all the low end warmth onto tape.”
Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Mott the Hoople, Traffic, Anthrax, Derek & the Dominos, Peter Frampton, John McLaughlin, John Mayall, Carly Simon, Johnny Winter)
“I’m using Royer’s on organs, guitars, everything. I love using a mic that I don’t need to make EQ adjustments to – with Royers I just record flat and get amazing tracks.”
Matt Hyde (No Doubt, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Soul Asylum, Porno For Pyros)
“Royer ribbons are amazing! Big, big drums, and great bottom on guitars.”
Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion, Melvins, L7, Weezer)
*First engineer to test (and test and test…) the R-121 in its prototype days – invaluable help!
“At last – a ribbon microphone that reproduces the low end of a guitar amp without blowing the ribbon, even in close proximity. The R-121 gives a perfect natural reproduction of string instruments.”
Eddie DeLena (Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mellencamp)
“I have to say these are the clearest most punchy sounding mic’s I’ve ever used period.”
Gary Tole (David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Jimmie Vaughn, Melissa Etheridge)
“A stellar microphone! During the Thin Red Line recordings and a number of Herb Alpert sessions, Royer ribbons were indispensable.”
Alan Meyerson (Hans Zimmer, Bryan Ferry, Herb Alpert, Eurythemics)
“Royer mics give you the closest thing to the natural sound source on tape as any mics I have ever used before.”
John Jorgenson (Hellecastors, Elton John)
“Great sounding natural room ambient mics. And they won’t blow up – we tried!”
Andrew Scheps (Rolling Stones, Robbie Robertson)
“Extremely smooth upper midrange, perfect for solo electric guitar.”
John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani, George Lynch, Dead Kennedys, Neville Brothers)
“I’ve been looking for this sound for a long time.”
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan)
“The Royer R-121 is a clever, rugged, high quality design with precision tolerances and SPL handling capabilities that RCA could have only dreamed about.”
Jim Webb (Rare mic collector)
“I loved them on guitar amps. For both dirty and fat clean jazz-type lead sounds the Royers were great…the Coles 4038’s never won in a side-by-side comparison.”