Burbank, CAâ€¦ While Royer Labs ribbon microphones are widely recognized for their strengths in the recording studio, more and more high profile performers are finding the companyâ€™s TEC Award winning Live Series ribbon mics make an excellent choice for use on tour. Such is the case with the rock band Maroon 5 and their FOH (front of house) Sound Engineer Jim Ebdon. For their recently completed tour, which included dates throughout North and South America, South Africa, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the band used Royerâ€™s R-121 Live ribbon microphones extensively.
Jim Ebdon, whose resume includes work at the UKâ€™s Surrey Studios (where the first three Police albums were recorded) as well as touring stints with Aerosmith, Annie Lennox, Sting, Matchbox Twenty, and the American Idol tours, discussed how he came to use Royerâ€™s R-121 Live microphones on Maroon 5â€™s two guitarists, Adam Levine and James Valentine. â€œI first got the call about mixing Maroon 5 back in 2007,â€? says Ebdon, â€œbut due to other commitments, I didnâ€™t actually get behind a mixing console for them until the summer of 2008. I started with a clean sheet during rehearsals at S.I.R. (Studio Instrument Rentals) Hollywood. I was in the fortunate position of being in a separate room so I could fine tune sounds on a pair of Genelec nearfield monitors. After a few hours, it became apparent that these guys were really into their sounds and getting it right.â€?
â€œAfter having such great results with the Royers I previously used with Matchbox Twenty,â€? continued Ebdon, â€œI knew the R-121â€™s would also make a really good choice for Maroon 5. I mentioned this to the band and they totally embraced the idea. So during rehearsal, we did a listening test and were very quickly convinced that these mics were absolutely the right way to go.â€?
Ebdon reports that Mike Buffa and Matt Tealâ€”the bandâ€™s two guitar techsâ€” did an excellent job of building fantastic sounding guitar rigs for both players, which certainly contributed to the success he had when mixing the bandâ€™s various guitar sounds. â€œFor lead guitarist James Valentine,â€? notes Ebdon, â€œI used a Shure SM57 on a â€˜Divided by 13â€™ cabinet and a Royer R-121 Live on the â€˜Matchlessâ€™ cab. With the Matchless being the predominant sound, I mixed in the â€œDivided byâ€™ enclosure about 45%. The result was a gorgeous, consistent sound. For rhythm guitarist Adam Levine, I used two Royer R-121 Live micsâ€”one on his â€˜cleanâ€™ cabinet and one on his â€˜dirtyâ€™ cabinet. Again, the Royers picked up the true guitar tone.â€?
Ebdon reports that, for both setups, he placed the microphones approximately 3.5 inches away from the cabinetâ€™s grill. â€œThis seemed to allow the air to breath a bit before hitting the ribbon,â€? explained Ebdon, â€œand I found the sound more natural that way.â€?
According to Ebdon, the Royer R-121 Live microphones performed trouble-free throughout the entire tour. â€œI didnâ€™t hear anything from the band members about their guitar sounds during the entire tour,â€? notes Ebdon, â€œwhich, to me, is a good thing! The reliability of the Live Series was flawless, and this is no small thing considering the rigors of live concert touring.â€?
James Valentine, who in addition to playing lead guitar for the band, also contributes backing vocals, offered a few parting thoughts about the Royer microphones. â€œWhen Jim first put up the R-121â€™s during that rehearsal, it became very obvious these microphones really picked up the true sound of the guitars,â€? said Valentine. â€œThe R-121 produces a very musical sound that accurately reflects what comes from our guitar rigs. They worked great during the entire tour.â€?
About the Royer Labs R-121 Live Ribbon Microphone
The R-121 Live ribbon microphone is designed for today's live performance spaces. It exhibits a flat frequency response and a well-balanced, panoramic soundfield with the ability to withstand 135 dB SPLâ€”making it an ideal tool for live drums, brass, and guitar amp miking.
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labsâ€™ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities. Additional information on the Live Series and all Royer microphones can be found at www.royerlabs.com.
Photo info: Image of Jim Ebdon and James Valentine (seated left to right).