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ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons employs R-10s

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons employs R-10s

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons employs R-10s


Currently playing packed audiences on their 50th Anniversary Tour, classic three-piece US rock outfit ZZ Top continues to make refinements to their live sound setup. As such, an R-10 ribbon microphone from Royer Labs is being used to mic Billy Gibbons’ signature guitar onstage.

FOH engineer Jamie ‘J-Mo’ Rephann has plied his trade for numerous other artists including Mars Volta, Jane’s Addiction and Rickie Lee Jones and he insisted on adopting the Royer ‘entry-level’ R-10 for Gibbons’ guitar. ‘On this tour, I’m using two Royer R-10 ribbons,’ Rephann explained. ‘I have one mic on Billy’s Marshall cab and the other is used to mic his Magnatone setup. I have them both in isolation boxes off stage left in guitar world. Both mics are positioned slightly off centre, left of the cone.’

Now three months into a tour that ends in 2020, Rephann was full of praise for the R-10s. ‘It translates exactly what’s coming off the cabinet, to the point of it being stunning. It’s like Royer just pushed the “ease your life button”. Billy’s and ZZ’s sound is based off the guitar totally, so the ability to accurately capture this musical energy is crucial. The midrange cuts so well, without the added top end of some other mics and it’s just a matter of pushing faders to get exactly what I am looking for. The Royer R-10 is just so rich and creamy, without the top end being rolled off at all. I picked the R-10 over much more expensive mics because of the sound – it is unmatched for high SPL close miking of cabinets.’

When your job is to ensure the accuracy of sound for a leading musical artist, the ability to get one’s questions answered in a timely fashion is crucial. Rephann paid complements to Royer Labs’ customer and technical support services. ‘Royer’s VP of marketing John Jennings has been outstanding by getting microphones to us so I could take them to Europe for our tour. I value John’s insight and knowledge. Aside from the sound of the mics, the service and support we have received from the company has been stellar and I couldn’t be happier.’

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