Royer Labs

Royer Labs The Story ...

Royer Labs logo Royer Labs was formed in 1998 to bring David Royer's unique, modern ribbon microphone designs to the world. When we first opened our doors, ribbon mics had been largely forgotten, but the R-121 and SF-12 quickly captured the imagination of recording enthusiasts around the world. This new generation of ribbon microphones proved to be a perfect match to the rise in popularity of digital recording, as engineers rediscovered their warmth, analog feel and smooth sound. Today, Royers are found in studios and on live stages around the world.

David Royer is one of an elite group of microphone designers who know that music and sound are inseparable from electronic design. Everything David designs comes from his deep, lifelong love of music.

David's focus on sound started in his home, where he grew up absorbing the classical and folk music that his parents played constantly. From an early age, he was transfixed by the orchestral recordings he heard, leading to a love of classical music that continues today. At 21, David decided to create his own recordings and purchased an Ampex 960 tape recorder and a couple of off-the-shelf consumer microphones. Unhappy with his early results, he started experimenting with his microphones and soon began an in-depth, lifelong study of microphone design and electronic theory.

After a four year hitch in the Navy, where he honed his skills in electronics and acoustics as a sonar technician, David started designing his own microphones. He founded a small company called Mojave Audio in his garage in Fullerton CA, where he modified amplifiers and made his own condenser microphones, mic pre's and compressors. Building gear under the Mojave and DVA labels, he created a number of condenser mics that have become somewhat legendary among a small group of high-end audio engineers including Bob Clearmountain, Mutt Lang and Sean Beaven. During the "garage period", David came across his first ribbon mic, a Reslo that needed repair, and his fascination with ribbon microphones was born. David eventually came to believe that ribbons are the most musical of all microphone types and he set out to learn everything he could about them.

In 1997 David designed his first ribbon mic and showed it to his friend Rick Perrotta (now president of Royer Labs). That microphone, which David named the R-121, led to the opening of Royer Labs in 1998. In a short period of time it became the breakthrough ribbon microphone that reintroduced the smooth, musical characteristics of ribbons to engineers around the world.

David's visionary designs continue today with "firsts" such as phantom-powered and tube ribbon mics.