Recording - October 2017 - 50

Royer R-10
1960s Kalamazoo Epiphone acoustic
that I double-tracked. I then compared
the two mics' behavior.
The lows and highs of each mic were
quite different. The R-10 actually captures
more low end from an across-the-board
fullness standpoint, but the R-121's low
end is tighter and has more punch to
it. On the upper mid and high side, the
R-121 is more forward as well and just
a hair smoother. The R-10 rolls off just
a touch more and can appear darker,
especially when comparing the rear lobe
of each mic.
Overall, both mics have the classic
rounded-midrange R-Series ribbon
sound, compared to the new trend of
bright modern ribbons, or even the
more neutral classical-music-focused
Royer SF Series mics. While the R-10
is a tad more rolled off than its sibling,
it takes EQ exceptionally well, both in
mixing and in tracking.
One advantage the R-10 has over the
R-121 is its triple-mesh screening. This
makes the R-10 more practically suited
to use as a wonderfully smooth vocal
mic. I had zero issues putting it in front
of a vocalist without a pop screen. I also
found it a better choice than the R-121
on kick drum for the same reason; its
bloomy low end is very nice for a thick
vibey kick sound.

John Jennings of
Royer Labs on the R-10
How did the new R-10 come about?

John Jennings: This is a really interesting microphone. We'd had the R-101 for
awhile, and the guys in our shop are pretty
inventive so they'll experiment when they
have time. They took the CNC machines
and literally chopped down an R-101!
Chopped the body down, chopped the
grille down, and started playing around
with the insides... they created a microphone that we all started calling Stumpy.
Stumpy hung around for awhile and they
experimented with different grilles, then
we took the body and had it plated so
it was more of a Royer color... and the
damn thing sounded good!
50

RECORDING October 2017

Other applications

Of course the R-121 earned its stripes
on electric guitar cabinets, and its baby
brother performs admirably here as well. I
put my pair of R-10s in two Celestion Vintage
30-equipped iso cabinets as the only guitar
mics, and the two guitarists I work with
regularly both commented on the naturally
full and smooth sound. Both grumbled a lot
when I had to take Stumpy away.
A surprise favorite use of the R-10 was
on saxophone. I had other mics up for
added flavor, but the R-10 on sax with
zero EQ and a touch of Bricasti reverb
was all that was needed to fit the bill. The
R-10 is stellar on winds and brass!
The only source where I wasn't wowed
by the R-10 was on drum overheads. To be
fair, I'm not nuts about the R-121 in a drum
overhead saturation, either. I prefer the neutral openness of Royer's active stereo SF-24.

Royer ribbon. I foresee a great future
for the R-10-not only giving budget,
beginner, and project studios that taste
of Royer, but this will be a great live
microphone as well. They'll grace a lot
of stages on electric guitar, and did I
mention how they excel on brass and
woodwinds? Yes, yes I did, and yes,
yes they do! Congratulations on a job
well done for an important new audience,
Royer, and here's to another 20 years!

Conclusions

Sure, there are a plethora of ribbon
mics on the market that come in under
$500, but typically when people talk
about them, they are usually referred to
as "extra flavors" to have. Often they are
quirky, heavily colored, and mostly relegated to vibey/effects mic status when
one wants "that" sound.
The R-10, by contrast, is a $500
ribbon mic that sounds like a classic

So is the R-10 essentially a modified
R-101?

In a nutshell, yes and no. Yes, it's a
modified R-101, but some changes were
made inside; most significantly, a new
transformer was created for it. Our main
goal was to make a Royer that was affordable for more people, because most of
our stuff is high-end, and fairly expensive.

What makes a Royer ribbon mic
so expensive?

Quality of parts, quality of machining
and build. In the case of the R-121, just
the body itself-without any internal
components-is more expensive than
many complete microphones on the
market! Then you add the custom

PRICE: $499
MORE FROM: Royer Labs,
www.royerlabs.com

transformer, the neodymium magnets,
the pricey nickel finish, and on and
on... and you end up with a lot of money put into the final product.

How did you get the cost of the R-10
down to almost a third of an R-121?

The body and the frame inside are
made in China. The company we use
there is the same company that makes
Mojave's mics, and has since the beginning. They are just outstanding. They
make the new body for us but it is
totally a Royer design-we sent them
the blueprints. They make and send us the
body with the main outer screen already
tacked in, as well as the frame inside,
along with the transducer frame. Then we
put everything else together at Royer.


http://www.royerlabs.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2017

Contents
Recording - October 2017 - Intro
Recording - October 2017 - Cover1
Recording - October 2017 - Cover2
Recording - October 2017 - 1
Recording - October 2017 - 2
Recording - October 2017 - 3
Recording - October 2017 - 4
Recording - October 2017 - 5
Recording - October 2017 - Contents
Recording - October 2017 - 7
Recording - October 2017 - 8
Recording - October 2017 - 9
Recording - October 2017 - 10
Recording - October 2017 - 11
Recording - October 2017 - 12
Recording - October 2017 - 13
Recording - October 2017 - 14
Recording - October 2017 - 15
Recording - October 2017 - 16
Recording - October 2017 - 17
Recording - October 2017 - 18
Recording - October 2017 - 19
Recording - October 2017 - 20
Recording - October 2017 - 21
Recording - October 2017 - 22
Recording - October 2017 - 23
Recording - October 2017 - 24
Recording - October 2017 - 25
Recording - October 2017 - 26
Recording - October 2017 - 27
Recording - October 2017 - 28
Recording - October 2017 - 29
Recording - October 2017 - 30
Recording - October 2017 - 31
Recording - October 2017 - 32
Recording - October 2017 - 33
Recording - October 2017 - 34
Recording - October 2017 - 35
Recording - October 2017 - 36
Recording - October 2017 - 37
Recording - October 2017 - 38
Recording - October 2017 - 39
Recording - October 2017 - 40
Recording - October 2017 - 41
Recording - October 2017 - 42
Recording - October 2017 - 43
Recording - October 2017 - 44
Recording - October 2017 - 45
Recording - October 2017 - 46
Recording - October 2017 - 47
Recording - October 2017 - 48
Recording - October 2017 - 49
Recording - October 2017 - 50
Recording - October 2017 - 51
Recording - October 2017 - 52
Recording - October 2017 - 53
Recording - October 2017 - 54
Recording - October 2017 - 55
Recording - October 2017 - 56
Recording - October 2017 - 57
Recording - October 2017 - 58
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Recording - October 2017 - 60
Recording - October 2017 - 61
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Recording - October 2017 - 63
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Recording - October 2017 - 65
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Recording - October 2017 - 70
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Recording - October 2017 - 76
Recording - October 2017 - 77
Recording - October 2017 - 78
Recording - October 2017 - 79
Recording - October 2017 - 80
Recording - October 2017 - Cover3
Recording - October 2017 - Cover4
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