Marc Carolan with his Royer R-122 Live microphones.
Dublin, Ireland â€¦ When youâ€™ve spent the better part of a decade as FOH engineer for British rockers Museâ€”not to mention working with The Cure and Snow Patrolâ€”you develop a second sense for knowing what it takes to properly capture and mix instruments and voices so that each artist conveys their signature sound. Welcome to engineer / producer Marc â€œMCâ€? Carolanâ€™s world. In the case of lead vocalist, guitarist, and keyboards virtuoso Matthew Bellamyâ€™s guitar cabinet, the microphone of choice for acquiring all the subtleties of his playing is none other than the R-122 Live Active Ribbon Microphone from Royer Labs.
Originally introduced to Royer Labs microphones during one of his various studio endeavors, Carolan reports the R-122 Live is a robust performer that can handle high SPL sources without the acoustic anomalies served up by some microphones. As for miking Matthew Bellamyâ€™s guitar cabinet, Carolan reports, â€œBetween myself, Adam Taylor (monitor engineer) and Jason Baskin (guitar tech), we came up with an optimum placement of about 4 inches from the cone and about 2 inches off center. While his cabinet produces extreme SPLâ€™s, it also delivers a wide range of tones and feels. The Royer R-122 Live is the only mic that can handle all of this. I like the fact that thereâ€™s no artificial high end boost as is found with other manufacturerâ€™s microphones. The R-122 Live remains true to delivering the tonality Matt is trying to achieve.â€? Presently, Carolan has two R-122 Live ribbon microphones, with one mic dedicated to Bellamyâ€™s guitar sound and the other as a backup.
When heâ€™s not on tour, Carolan usually finds himself entrenched in a variety of studio projects and, here too, he considers his Royer ribbons essential tools of the trade. When using the R-122 Live in the studio,â€? Carolan says, â€œI find myself experimenting with a variety of microphone positions. The figure 8 polar pattern and the nulls that are an integral part of the micâ€™s sonic signature provide tremendous flexibility. The amount of isolation from other sound sources that these mics can achieve with careful positioning is really impressive.â€?
â€œObviously, its sound is the most important aspect of the microphone,â€? Carolan continues. â€œThe R-122 LIve doesnâ€™t try to impose a character of its own on the source. Rather, the mic reproduces the source in a very satisfying mannerâ€”especially when things get loud. Its response means the ear is not assaulted with any hi-end nastiness.â€?
In addition to his use of the Royer R-122 Live, Carolan recently began working with a pair of Royer Labsâ€™ R-101 passive ribbon microphones. Iâ€™m still experimenting with them,â€? he says, â€œbut so far, they have proven to be very versatile microphones. I see a lot of possibilities for the R-101.â€?
Whether on tour or in the studio, much of Carolanâ€™s time is spent in mission critical environments and, as such, quality customer service is essential. On that note, Carolan is very complimentary of Royer Labs. â€œRoyer Labâ€™s support services are excellent,â€? he reports. â€œNot only do they provide answers, but theyâ€™re great about providing background information, which helps me use their products more effectively.â€?
Carolan has become a true fan of the Royer Labs R-122 Liveâ€”especially for use on guitars. He left us with this parting thought, â€œIn all honesty, the Royer R-122 Live is the only guitar mic I need with Muse. All the complexity of Mattâ€™s sound ends up being reproduced by that one micâ€”and it sounds massive.â€?
About the R-122 Live Active Ribbon Microphone
The Royer R-122 Live is the worldâ€™s first phantom powered, active ribbon microphone designed for live sound applications. 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 drum and guitar amp miking, as well as vocals and a variety of quieter instruments.
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labsâ€™ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities. Additional information on the new Live Series and all Royer microphones can be found at www.royerlabs.com.