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Royer 121 on guitars

The API 512c gave me a knew appreciation for the sm57. I've been pretty well been using this combination for the last couple years exclusively. As I recording some guitar solo's with an es 335->mesa single rec I was finding the tone just to fizzy. Eq would basically get me where I need to go but I wanted to get the tone from the get go. The winner was a KM84 -> shadowhills. When I played rhythm the 57 was superior but solo parts the km 84 was awesome. I am thinking it is time to open this can of worms again.

Of course a lot of people love the royer 121. Before I bought high end pre's I tried the royer and wasn't super impressed. I know my cheap ribbons that barely get used sound much better through high end pre's so perhaps its time to try it again. On the other hand I get files to mix from time to time from a guy that uses the royer with a great chain and I am never digging the figure 8 pattern with the room reflections in the guitar sound. It is easy enough to fit in a mix but I prefer a far more direct sound.

I will be trying the royer in my own studio. Any suggestions on how to get it more direct sounding. I've seen some guys use reflexion foam etc behind the mic.

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Profile picture for user TheJackAttack
Member for
13 years 3 months

TheJackAttack Sun, 04/03/2011 - 12:39

Ribbons are super sensitive to position. You will need to be willing to play with it quite a bit. Also, depending on the situation, I have found adding a Cloudlifter to the ribbon makes a noticeable difference in quality. It probably has more to do with impedance matching than anything though all of my preamps have enough to match the ribbons well. Caveat: I use passive ribbons (R101 stereo pair, SF12). The active ribbons might be more like a condenser for positioning but because it is still a ribbon motor I doubt it.

Member for
17 years 9 months

Jeemy Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:49

We have one of those metal mesh screens like a parabola with foam inside. The guys are using that now. Our isolation room is just a small fibreglass covered box maybe 4m x 2m x 2m - and I've always had extremely good results using a Royer R121 in there with the parabola screen thing.

I usually dump an SM57, R121 and MD421 in a cluster. The Royer to me is very plummy and woody, and the SM57 adds bite. The MD421 just as a backup or alternative.

I'll tend to put the Royer through the ViPre which has something like 70-90dB makeup gain and the impedance matching as well. Getting harder to get, but there is also a stereo thing called a SuPre which has some of the same features delivered with slightly cheaper internals I believe.

Profile picture for user Davedog
Member for
19 years 6 months

Davedog Sun, 04/03/2011 - 17:06

The SuPre aint no ViPre even though they come from the same bench. Its not bad though.

Try the ribbons in M/S with the 57 being the center source. Turn the ribbon 90degrees and let both sides work for you. You'll find some really interesting things in this approach.

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