Los Angeles, CA… As the music capital of the world, LA is home to countless musicians and bands of every conceivable style, though few acts are currently hotter than Maroon 5. With an impressive list of hits to their credit, the release of their latest recording endeavor—Overexposed, on the A&M/Octone label—continues that successful trend. Recorded in the world-class facilities of Conway Recording Studios, the new album is a showcase for the band’s signature sound; and a significant part of that sound was captured using ribbon microphone technology from Burbank, CA-based Royer Labs.
LA-based Noah “Mailbox” Passovoy served as producer on five tracks and engineer on all tracks of the band’s latest recording. With a solid track record that includes engineering the band’s number one smash hit Moves Like Jagger, Passovoy certainly knows what to look for in a quality microphone. That’s why he relies on an assortment of Royer Labs microphones, including the R-121, R-122 active ribbon, R-122V vacuum tube model, as well as the SF-12 stereo ribbon and SF-24 stereo active ribbon models. He discussed his choice of microphones and how he uses them.
“Over the years, I’ve become a big fan of Royer ribbons,” Passovoy reports. “I consider them an invaluable complement to my recording process—giving warmth and a high degree of sonic accuracy that really brings out the best in a performance. I’ve become very fond of the R-121 and R-122V for miking the electric guitar cabinets. Depending on the sound I’m looking to capture, I’ll frequently pair one of these mics with a Shure SM57 and the sound that I’m able to achieve is nothing short of incredible. I love the fact that I can position the ribbon mic right up close to the grille in order to achieve the sound I want. When it comes to miking electric guitar, I’d have to say the Royer R-122V has become my ‘go-to’ microphone.”
“A big part of that sound,” Passovoy continued, “is directly related to the Royer mics’ ability to handle high SPL (sound pressure level). I love the sound of a ribbon mic, but with many of them, if you place it anywhere near a guitar cabinet, it’s going to fold. By contrast, Royer mics can be placed right on the grille and the mic will just take everything you throw at it. Further, the R-121 and R-122V have a really wonderful midrange that is exactly what you want when recording electric guitars. The guitar comes through just as it should. With either of these mics, the instrument sounds just like I want it to.”
Passovoy also reports having considerable success with Royer Labs stereo microphones: the SF-12 and SF-24. “I typically use the SF-24 on the piano or to capture room ambience,” he said. “And I love the way the SF-12 works as a drum overhead. The stereo imaging is phenomenal. The fact that I can literally have that one mic over a drum kit and you can hear each drum in various places throughout the stereo field is incredible. You really get an accurate stereo recording with either of these mics.”
In addition to using the Royer R-121 for electric guitar miking, Passovoy finds its ability to handle the sharp attack transients of percussion instruments to be another huge benefit, “With the R-121, you don’t have to put anything else on the instrument. Unlike a condenser mic—where you’d likely put a compressor into the signal path—an R-121 on a tambourine sounds great as it is.”
Completing the picture, Passovoy considers the Royer R-122 active ribbon mic an outstanding choice for capturing acoustic guitar. “The R-122 is my main acoustic guitar mic,” Passovoy notes. “This mic accurately represents the guitar exactly as I want it to sound without any special tweaking on my part.”
Before turning his attention to the business of the day, Passovoy offered these parting thoughts. “I’ve been really pleased with my Royer ribbons,” he says. “Recording with these mics has changed how I view the recording process. When I first started using Royer microphones, I learned I was better able to fine-tune the sound I was looking for – without making any compromises. They enable me to capture the sound just as it needs to be for the particular track. Plus, with their first-rate customer and technical support services, it’s really hard to beat Royer Labs.”
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labs’ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities. For additional information about all Royer microphones, please visit the company at www.royerlabs.com.