Kevin Madigan is the FOH engineer for Lana Del Rey and has been the behind the mixing console for acts such as Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, David Gilmour, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ray LaMontagne, and Lucinda Williams to name just a few.
When it comes to miking electric guitars, his preference is for the Royer Labs R-10 and R-121 ribbon microphones.
He discussed his use of these mics on the Lana Del Rey tour: “For the LA to the Moon tour, I’m using one R-10 and one R-121 specifically for miking the electric guitar cabs. The R-121 is a long-term favorite and the R-10 is new for me. Currently, the R-10 is on its first outing for this tour. I was excited to try it out after hearing about it from Royer and it’s working out perfectly. It has a slightly brighter tone, which has been just right for use on a Vox AC30 guitar amp.”
On this tour, Madigan is using a Royer R-121 and adjacent dynamic mic to close-mic a Marshall 4 X 12 cabinet powered by a Metropoulos head. On the Vox AC30, he’s using a single R-10 centered on one speaker’s dome.
When queried about the various characteristics of the Royer ribbon mics, he said: “I know from previous experience that the R-121’s natural sound and ability to handle high SPLs makes it a great choice for miking guitar. When I put Royers on my guitar cabinets, what I get in the FOH system sounds like I’m standing in front of the amps – the reproduction is amazing.
"For this tour, the guitar cabinets are positioned under the stage to keep the onstage level down. Having great guitar tones reproduced for FOH is important, but we’re also trying to capture an authentic sound for our guitarist, who is using in-ear monitors. In-ears can be hard sounding, but when I put Royers on the cabinets, the in-ears sound and feel much more organic, less pointy and hard, which musicians really appreciate. We’re also running these offstage amps quite loud, but with the R-10 and R-121, the high SPLs have proven to be no problem for either mic.
“Royer mics and the people behind them have always been first-class. The R-10’s lower price is going to let a lot more people experience that impressive Royer ‘thing’ that works so well for me and a lot of other FOH engineers I know.”