For those interested in the process of recording bluegrass music, mic choice and placement is an important key. Grammy Award winning producer and IBMA winning dobro player, Randy Kohrs recently recorded a short how-to video for Royer Labs on this very subject.
Royer Labs produces some of the best ribbon mics available today. Randy endorses them and uses them extensively in his studio when recording both his own band, and others. In the video Randy shares his ideas about mic placement and technique for dobro, banjo, fiddle, and drums.
When Randy mentions using the mic “badge backwards” he means that he’s using the back side of the mic to record with. The “Royer” logo or “badge” is located on the front of the mic. These Royer ribbon mics have a figure 8 pickup pattern. Royer developed an offset ribbon design to allow their ribbon mics to handle higher sound pressure levels than traditional ribbons were capable of. This offset design means that the ribbon is occupying a different physical space inside the capsule depending on which side of the mic you use. This difference creates some subtle tonal differences in the mic’s response. Basically, the back side of the mic tends to sound a bit brighter, while the front side sounds a little warmer.
Many of the things Randy says in this video are applicable regardless of which mic you’re using, but remember that his comments are made regarding the Royer ribbon mic.
Be sure to visit the Randy Kohrs page on RoyerLabs.com to see additional videos and download the demo audio tracks.