Style , Substance, and Snake Oil in the Electronic World A Conversation with Mat...
Engineer / producer Marc Carolan finds Royer R-122 Live ideal for guitar
Dublin, Ireland . When you've spent the better part of a decade as FOH
engineer for British rockers Muse-not to mention working with The Cure and
Snow Patrol-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 "MC" Carolan's world.
In the case of lead vocalist, guitarist, and keyboards virtuoso Matthew
Bellamy'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 Bellamy's guitar cabinet, Carolan
reports, "Between 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
SPL'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
there's no artificial high end boost as is found with other manufacturer's
microphones. The R-122 Live remains true to delivering the tonality Matt is
trying to achieve." Presently, Carolan has two R-122 Live ribbon
microphones, with one mic dedicated to Bellamy's guitar sound and the other
as a backup.
When he'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," Carolan says,
"I find myself experimenting with a variety of microphone positions. The
figure 8 polar pattern and the nulls that are an integral part of the mic's
sonic signature provide tremendous flexibility. The amount of isolation from
other sound sources that these mics can achieve with careful positioning is
"Obviously, its sound is the most important aspect of the microphone,"
Carolan continues. "The R-122 LIve doesn't try to impose a character of its
own on the source. Rather, the mic reproduces the source in a very
satisfying manner-especially when things get loud. Its response means the
ear is not assaulted with any hi-end nastiness."
In addition to his use of the Royer R-122 Live, Carolan recently began
working with a pair of Royer Labs' R-101 passive ribbon microphones. I'm
still experimenting with them," he says, "but so far, they have proven to be
very versatile microphones. I see a lot of possibilities for the R-101."
Whether on tour or in the studio, much of Carolan'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. "Royer Lab's
support services are excellent," he reports. "Not only do they provide
answers, but they're great about providing background information, which
helps me use their products more effectively."
Carolan has become a true fan of the Royer Labs R-122 Live-especially for
use on guitars. He left us with this parting thought, "In all honesty, the
Royer R-122 Live is the only guitar mic I need with Muse. All the complexity
of Matt's sound ends up being reproduced by that one mic-and it sounds
For more information about Marc Carolan, visit him online at
http://www.facebook.com/marc.carolan and check out his studio at
About the R-122 Live Active Ribbon Microphone
The Royer R-122 Live is the world'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 SPL-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 Labs' 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.