Whether it’s a major music recording or a blockbuster film, independent engineer and scoring mixer Tommy Vicari CAS is no stranger among those working on many of Hollywood’s biggest projects. With high profile film credits such as Walt Disney’s Bridge of Spies and Finding Nemo on his resume, coupled with the fact that he handles audio for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscars award show every year, Vicari is an icon among audio professionals. So when this two time Grammy® Award winner and six time Emmy® Award winner selected ribbon microphones from Royer Labs and condenser microphones from Mojave Audio for use on his latest project, Finding Dory, there must be a good reason.
Scheduled for its US release June 17, 2016, Finding Dory is a 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film focuses on the amnesiac character Dory, and explores the idea of her being reunited with her family. It is set off the coast of California. For Finding Dory, Vicari reports using Royer’s R-121 Mono Ribbon and SF-24 Stereo Active Ribbon microphones in conjunction with the Mojave Audio MA-300, MA-100, and MA-101fet condenser mics. He discussed his experiences on the project.
“The Royer R-121, SF-24, and the Mojave MA-300 were used extensively throughout the pre-recording process, which took place at composer Thomas Newman’s Deep Sleep studio,” Vicari reports. “The remaining recordings were captured at the Newman Scoring Stage in LA and the Streisand Scoring Stage in Culver City, CA with the tracks ultimately being mixed at the Village in Santa Monica. During the various sessions, I used a combination of the Royer SF-24 and the Mojave MA-100 on the piano and for the percussion, we captured those performances using the Royer SF-24 along with Mojave MA-101fets. The Royer R-121 was used to record the solo violin.”
According to Vicari, the orchestra recording was a complex affair. “The orchestra was recorded at Fox and Sony by Armin Steiner,” Vicari explained. “Because of the complex nature of this score, the orchestra was the last stage of this process. The merging of pre-record, environmental pads, rhythm loops, live percussion, electric wind instruments, accompanying string instruments such as dulcimers, Tahitian ukulele, banjo, plus bowed and electric bass was all captured first. After recording all of this information, we recorded the orchestra with Armin, and then we combined all these elements to create Thomas Newman’s totally unique score.”
Asked about his preference for Royer ribbons and Mojave condenser mics, Vicari offered the following thoughts, “The Royer R-121 is very capable when it comes to capturing the nuances of string and other instruments. The mic captures the instrument’s subtleties very well. Both Royer and Mojave microphones are a permanent part of my recording equipment. I use them on every session I do! Orchestras, big band, pop music—everywhere.”
Vicari appears equally impressed with the Royer Labs’ customer and technical support services. “Royer Labs technical support is, in my opinion, exceptional,” Vicari says. “My equipment is routinely checked and serviced on a regular basis. Everyone at the company is very supportive and a pleasure to work with.”
Before heading back to the studio, Vicari summed up his relationship with Royer Labs. “The entire Royer and Mojave team has been extremely supportive over the years,” said Vicari, “and on the few occasions where I found myself in a jam, they’ve been very responsive. These microphones consistently deliver a natural sound, they’re extremely reliable, and the company stands firmly behind the products they build. These microphones always provide the highest sound quality! I rely on them! I recommend them!”
To learn more about Tommy Vicari, go to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003797/ or http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tommy-vicari-mn0000614319.
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labs’ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities the world over. Additional information on the R-121, R-122, SF-12, SF-24, and all Royer microphones can be found online at www.royerlabs.com.
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. Additional information on the MA-1000 and all Mojave Audio products can be found at www.mojaveaudio.com.