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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 R-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.


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.

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.