Capturing the Grammy-winning sound of two popular acts, the new Royer R-10 mic is currently on the road with the Maroon 5 tour featuring Sam Smith.
Jim Ebdon, who serves as the front-of-house engineer (FOH) for the Sam Smith and Maroon 5 tour, has extensive experience that includes previous work with Aerosmith, Sting and Annie Lennox.
Ebdon has also worked at U.K.-based Surrey Studios where the first three Police records were recorded. In addition to the Royer R-10 mic, he employ Royer’s SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone and the R-121 Live Microphone.
“Modern sound systems have become so accurate that microphone type and placement have become more important than ever,” he explains.
“I come from a studio background and was taught mic technique amongst other things. So, for me, it’s very important to have the right placement and mic choice on each instrument.”
Royer R-10 Mic & SF-24 Deployment
Discussing his use of Royer products with guitar amplifiers, Ebdon says he positions a R-121 at a 25-degree angle about two inches from the guitar cabinet grill.
He says this position works well in a live music environment where high sound pressure levels (SPLs) are present, and he also employs R-10s one inch from guitar cabinet grills and parallel to the R-121.
Sam Smith’s guitar player uses two Fender Twin amps, making his tones loud and choppy, according to Royer. The R-10s are able to capture his tone.
To mic drums, he positions the Royer SF-24 directly above the bass-drum rim at the point where the beater hits the drum skin.
“This looks like it’s symmetrically in the middle of the kit. I have someone adjust the height manually up and down while the drummer plays,” notes Ebdon.
“There is a noticeable optimal point at which the sound of the close mics and the SF-24 gel and the drums become much fatter, which is the spot I’m looking for. The SF-24 is a truly fantastic microphone—a sonically superior stereo ribbon.”
Those interested in hearing the differences between Royer Labs’ microphones can check out an audio library that Royer created which allows users to hear sound samples of its products. Explore the audio library here.