Burbank, CAâ€¦ In the world of rock â€˜n roll, Bryan Carlstrom and Dave Jerden have engineered and produced some of the most notable albums in the genreâ€™s history. With credits such as The Offspringâ€™s Americana, The Rolling Stones’ Dirty Work, Social Distortionâ€™s Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, Alice in Chainsâ€™ Dirt, and Anthraxâ€™s Sound of White Noise to name but a few, their vision and engineering skills have resulted in some truly memorable music recordings. After a hiatus of several years, Carlstrom and Jerden are back in the studio doing what they do bestâ€”crafting the sound of the next hard rock starâ€”and helping them bring their vision to life are a collection of ribbon microphones from Royer Labs.
These two producer/mixer/engineer visionaries are currently hunkered down in their Burbank-based studio, Tranzformer, and are working with Jimmy Young and his band People. Hailing
from Venice California, People is a 3-piece ensemble that is breathing new life into today’s rock music scene. â€œDave and I enjoy working together and we complement one another well,â€? says Carlstrom. â€œSince 1990, weâ€™ve worked on numerous hard rock albums and when the opportunity to produce Jimmy Young came along, we just couldnâ€™t pass it up. Peopleâ€™s new album, The Cliche, represents a broadening of our working relationship as this will be the first offering under our new boutique record label, so this is really an exciting time for us.â€?
Among their arsenal of equipment, Carlstrom is particularly fond of his ribbon microphones from Royer Labs, which includes a pair of R-122V Vacuum Tube Ribbon microphones plus an SF-24 Stereo Active Ribbonâ„¢ microphone. â€œI love these mics,â€? says Carlstrom, â€œand I wish I had more of them. I use the R-122Vâ€™s extensively on drums and percussion. In addition to using them as drum overheads, Iâ€™ve also been experimenting placing them between the cymbals and the toms, with the front of the mic facing down at the toms and the rear of the mic picking up the cymbals from underneath. Used this way, they do a phenomenal job capturing the depth of these instruments like nothing Iâ€™ve ever encountered before. Eventually, Iâ€™d like to mic the entire kit this way.â€?
Carlstrom was equally complimentary about the R-122Vâ€™s for use as drum overheads. â€œWhen I use the R-122Vâ€™s on overheads,â€? notes Carlstrom, â€œthe way the mics treat the cymbals is really unique. They have a certain smoothness that you just donâ€™t get with condenser mics. Instruments sound big with these mics. The R-122V makes cymbals sound really beautiful to my ear. If you want, you can still add a bit of high end to the sound without it sounding harsh or brittle. They have a character that other mics just donâ€™t deliver.â€?
In addition to using his R-122Vâ€™s on percussion, Carlstrom also finds them to be a great choice for miking guitar cabinets, wind instruments, and strings. â€œThese mics can withstand some pretty serious SPLâ€™s,â€? explained Carlstrom, â€œso they work very well with instruments like trumpet and sax, which can get very loud. Iâ€™ve also gotten very positive results recording strings with them. With strings, they bring out a lush, warm sound thatâ€™s really appealing.â€?
Carlstrom also finds plenty of uses for his SF-24, including using them as overheads for the drums when the R-122Vâ€™s are focused on the individual instruments as well as capturing room sound. â€œWhen I position the SF-24 over the drum kit,â€? said Carlstrom, â€œthe imaging of the individual toms and cymbals and the overall kitâ€™s sound adds a dimension to the drums that you just donâ€™t get by placing individual instruments with the pan control. Likewise, the SF-24 brings an ambient sound to the track that just makes it sound bigger and fuller. Together, these mics really work well together.â€?
Before re-focusing his attention back to the business of the day, Carlstrom offered this closing thought on this experience with Royer ribbon microphones. â€œThe ribbon microphone does a great job capturing the initial attack transients of percussion instruments that you used to get by saturating tape,â€? said Carlstrom. â€œI find that with many condenser mics, that first transient goes through the roof and can easily end up sounding harsh and unmusical. By contrast, Royer ribbons handle this sort of thing far better and the way the sound sits on the track is just way more musical. I find this aspect of ribbon microphones very appealing for a variety of recording applications. Royer ribbons are a great compliment to the digital recording process because they add a warmth that is all too often absent these days.â€?
For additional information about Bryan Carlstrom and Dave Jerden, email them at [email protected].
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labsâ€™ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities. Additional information on the entire line of Royer Labs microphones and other aspects of the company can be found at www.royerlabs.com.
Photo info: Image of Bryan Carlstrom and Dave Jerden (left â€“ right).