Royer R-10 Ribbon Microphone
At Sweetwater, when we want the sweet, silky sound of a ribbon mic, we'll likely reach for a Royer. We've come to rely on the company for high-fidelity ribbon mics that stand up to daily deployment in a variety of critical recording studio and live sound applications, and they've nailed it again with the R-10. The Royer R-10 delivers a beautifully balanced sound field with a flat frequency response and an impressive maximum SPL of 160dB at 1kHz, so you can close-mic loud sources without fear of overload. The R-10 is the choice for electric and acoustic guitars, brass, strings, drums, cymbals, piano, vocals, and more. Its figure-8 polar pattern also captures ambience beautifully, which makes it excellent for room miking. The Royer R-10 is a value-packed, state-of-the-art ribbon microphone that deserves a place in your mic locker.
Smooth, velvety, and high fidelity
The R-10 design employs several Royer innovations, including an internally shockmounted ribbon transducer and a multilayer windscreen. The R-10's shockmounting effectively isolates the ribbon element from vibration and increases ribbon durability. The layered windscreen provides excellent protection from plosives and air blasts while reducing proximity effect, so you can close-mic sources without excessive bass buildup. The microphone's smooth frequency response, phase linearity, and lack of self-distortion is a perfect antidote to the unforgiving nature of modern digital recording. And its velvety, high-fidelity rendition of instruments and vocals is a sheer delight to the ears.
State-of-the-art Royer ribbon technology
The R-10 utilizes Royer's patented offset-ribbon technology and low-mass aluminum ribbon element. The mic's custom-designed impedance-matching transformer minimizes saturation, and its open-grille design minimizes standing waves and their attendant comb-filtration effects. The transducer's flux-frame design and rare-earth neodymium magnets create a powerful magnetic field that increases sensitivity while reducing stray magnetic radiation. It all adds up to a superior modern ribbon microphone that no recording studio or live rig should be without. And given the R-10's delightfully gentle price tag, we might add that having a pair of them is extremely useful.
Go ahead: close-mic that loud source
A ludicrously loud high-gain guitar amp firing point-blank at your precious, delicate ribbon mic: an engineer's nightmare. You've probably heard stories about vintage ribbon mics tragically cut to shreds by high SPLs — or even sustaining damage from a stiff breeze. It's true — the ribbons of yore were notoriously fragile. But in the late 1990s, David Royer essentially re-invented the ribbon mic as a robust modern recording tool. The Royer R-10's maximum SPL rating (measured at 1kHz) is an impressive 160dB. In practical terms, that means you can place your R-10 directly in front of a dimed robo-stack without microphone distortion or damaging the ribbon. We don't recommend trying this with other ribbon mics, but the Royer R-10 can take it. With that said, we do advise caution with regard to forceful direct blasts of air — such as from a hole cut in a bass drumhead. You can achieve a punchy, modern kick sound by using a dynamic mic in the hole, combined with an R-10 a foot or two away and angled down.
The R-10: it's like having two mics in one
Placed near a source, the rear of the R-10 is brighter than the front side. The difference in the sound is somewhat like blending 10% of a condenser mic in with your ribbon mic signal. This can be extremely useful when you record acoustic guitars, vocals, and other sound sources that would benefit from a little more top end. Royer's offset-ribbon design situates the ribbon element closer to the front of the cage, which also permits higher SPL handling at the front (logo) side, as well as the option of a brighter response for quieter sources on the rear side (optimally 3 feet or closer, with the polarity reversed).