royer 121 drawbacks

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
brian beattie
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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by brian beattie » Wed May 21, 2003 8:52 am

hello psychicoctopus
I'm in austin, and I have a reslo. You can borrow mine if you want to hear one.
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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by Russian Recording » Wed May 21, 2003 3:27 pm

The Coles 4038 is a phenomenal microphone. They can astonish you as overheads in a nice room. I have used a 4038 in front of a cab many times and it does pretty darn well. It may start farting out at extreme spl levels, but it really cuts through on a guitar amp.

You should check out some of the old Russian ribbon mics. I have a consecutive pair of Oktava ML-19s. These were out of production by '87, but you can find em on Ebay and they're very affordable. Ugly as hell. These sound really great in front of a cab or as overheads. Ive used them for vocals, sax, upright, and other stuff with satisfying results. I have not heard it yet, but I hear the new Oktava ML-52 sounds damn good.

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by Professor » Wed May 21, 2003 6:33 pm

I'm going to toss in another 'devil's advocate' post here and ask about what music you are recording and how you are recording it. I think it is an important consideration. Lots of folks have mentioned that they are using the Royer for one purpose or another, but I haven't read many posts that say I use it for everything. It does have some limitations in power and frequency response, though those aren't huge issues. They are inherently figure-8 - so how nice does your room sound because it will pick up just as much of what is behind it as what is in front. I am an advocate for a diverse microphone cabinet, and I am an advocate for always buying microphones in pairs or more, again especially as you are getting started. Sure a Royer 121 could sound nice over a drumset, but you might want two for a stereo image. For guitar amps, you can get away with one, but for piano you might need two. For horn section - well it depends on how you record. Here is where your recording habits become important. Are you charging a fee and recording lots of different groups or are you recording your own music and your band? Are you multi-tracking? over-dubbing? re-amping? any other fancy stuff? Do you have a vision for what your studio should be doing next month, in six months, or next year?
You might not, and there is no shame in that. But you might want to consider the effects of dropping a pile of cash on that one microphone that you're hoping will save the day, complete the vocal sound, perfect your guitar sound or end world hunger. When I sold pro audio I remember working with a guy who recorded on a first generation Roland VS-880 and could never get his recordings to sound better. He would bounce between our store and guitar center and he would get pulled in by the GC ploy every time. He owned a VS-880 with the CDR attachment and he owned about $10k worth of AKG, Neumann, Blue, and Audio Technica mics plus ART preamps, Focusrite preamps, DBX, you name it. He came to me wanting to drop money on a DBX Blue series preamp or maybe a nice tube compressor because that was going to save his recordings. I talked him into dropping $20 on a recording book. He probably went and bought some tube crap from GC he had gone pretty far past the edge. He believed it was all gear, but not the Roland, that was alright, he just needed the right mic, preamp, compressor combo and had no concept of mixing or why he might want a console and outboard gear and nice monitors.
Sorry for such a sad story - I just like to see people get gear they really need and use it when they get it.

-Jeremy

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R84 rocks!

Post by jazzchef » Thu May 22, 2003 3:43 am

:twisted:

Hello guys,

I don't think there's any 'drawback' buying a ribbon microphone. If you want to record anything to sound 'natural', use ribbon mics period. Coles, RCA, AEA, Royer makes great ribbon mics. Depending upon your preference of flavor of course. Neither sounds the same to my ears.
Somebody said that they've tried ribbon on something but not 'everything', don't let anything stop you to record 'everything' with ribbon.

Guitars: Acoustics and Electrics are great with ribbon mics. When recording electric guitars, it will smooth out the sound, think creamy milk shake :oops: giving you that pat in the shoulder while you heard a gentle whisper 'good job, great sound'!

For acoustic, George Massenberg uses the R84 on a jazz acoustic guitar and in fact he uses one of the mic on "almost all of the tracks we've taken, and always on jazz acoustic guitar." He said, "wow. double wow. this things got high end like i don't remember. awesome. and i don't use that word often. Fantastic!" I haven't seen Mr. GM praises a mic like he praises the R84.

Drums: Ribbon mic pairs make great overhead mics. I've seen some engineer put an R121 inside a kick mic. One trick to do this would be to put the air pressure pushed inside the kick on the 'null figure' of the mic so that you're still capturing the sound but not facing the 'beater side of kick drum. (forgive me if this is confusing)

Horns/Woodwinds: Secret weapon on saxophone, trumpet, trombone, flutes. If you have U67s, they're great as well. I find that the U67s bring the brilliance of the instrument while not sounding harsh, while ribbons produce a more natural timbre/tone on these instruments. I know many jazz players insist on using ribbon mics on their instrument. (heard one trombone player in LA had 9 R44 at his home studio to record big bands-YUMMY)

Strings: great on them as well. I've used R84, R44, R122 with great results on acoustic bass. Khaliq Glover, grammy award engineer, uses a pair of R84 on a celloist and the comment from the celloist is that this is the first time he listened to his cello recorded sounded just like the instrument.

I could go on and on with other instruments recorded with ribbon mics, but there are comments I've also posted on other forum on comments from users regarding ribbon mics.
http://gearslutz.com/board/showthread.p ... eadid=4361

Sure, you need to have higher gain than condensers. However, imo, any microphone that gives you the 'sound' that you want, is never a drawback. Limitation on NOT being able to achieve your 'desired' sound IS the drawback.

If you need a guideline on how to use ribbon mic, Wes Dooley will bring a 20 page essay on 'All you need to know about ribbon mic'. If you're not gonna be at TapeOpCon, we have a five page R84 manual here:
[/url]http://www.wesdooley.com/pdf/r84_short_manual_ver1.pdf

Disclaimer: I work for Audio Engineering Associates, thus the associations with AEA/Wes Dooley and knowledge about the ribbon mics.

Harmoko Aguswan
AEA

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by psychicoctopus » Thu May 22, 2003 4:27 am

brian beattie wrote: I'm in austin, and I have a reslo. You can borrow mine if you want to hear one.
Fantastic. I'm guessing that the Reslo doesn't have a heart-stopping gorgeous sound, otherwise somebody would have mentioned them with their RCAs, Royers, Beyers, etc... but the 'Beatles' reference seems to have stuck. Intriguing. What, is the ribbon made out of Reynolds Wrap???

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by Deja V.U. » Tue Jul 15, 2003 3:38 am

The royer mic line by far make the best sense. They sound the best and don't break when a butterfly flaps it's wings in front of them. They have and even better sound that the classic RCA ribbons. The coles are darker, and more fragile. The aea sounds like the rca and has the low output like them too. The Royer/Coles/Aea all are lightyears beyond the Beyer/Reslo/Octa mics.

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by brian beattie » Tue Jul 15, 2003 5:41 am

deja
wild guess. you've never heard an old oktava ribbon, huh? (they made about 6 or 7 models from the 40's through the 80's)
brian

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by Deja V.U. » Tue Jul 15, 2003 6:28 am

Correct, I have not used the old Oktava mics. I have used the ML-52.

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by Catoogie » Tue Jul 15, 2003 6:47 am

Hey Soundguy,

Have you used the 121 as an drum overhead? I've been thinking of using it 'drummer's perspective' is it too dark for that?

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Re: royer 121 drawbacks

Post by soundguy » Tue Jul 15, 2003 11:01 am

Ive used the 121 as a drum overhead. I dont like chinese food at all, yet some people love it. If you are recording a drum kit in a tile and glass room, there will be no mic on earth that I would considr too dark for that application. Wether the mic is "too dark" is a question that only you will be able to answer for yourself depending on a)your taste and b)what your room is doing.

Personally I prefer the sf1 on overhead and the 121 on kick, but generally speaking, the live room in my current studio isnt the best souding room for ribbons on a drum kit.

the room tells all.

dave

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