Burbank, CA… Deering Banjo Company’s passion for building banjos is, ultimately, for creating the magic of music. And there is no better way to capture these instruments than with ribbon microphones from Royer Labs—specifically using the models R-121, R-122MKII, and R-122V. Deering Banjo Company’s VP Sales & Marketing, Jamie Latty, coordinated with John Jennings, Royer Labs’ VP of Marketing and Garry West, co-founder of Compass Records, on the concept of producing new videos. Filmed at the legendary Compass Records Sound Studio in Nashville, the videos showcase the strengths of both Deering and Royer products throughout and offer viewers the opportunity to hear world-class performances.
The two artists featured in the new videos are Alison Brown and Stuart Duncan. Brown and Duncan both grew up in San Diego County, home to the Deering Banjo Company, and have been friends and musical collaborators since their teens. Brown is an acclaimed banjo player, guitarist, composer, and producer as well as co-founder of Compass Records. She is best known for her genre-bending banjo style which combines bluegrass and jazz influences and has earned her a Grammy and multiple industry awards and nominations over the course of her career.
Stuart Duncan is a multi-Grammy winning musician and one of the most in demand session musicians in the world. His discography reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of contemporary music with diverse credits including Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, and Barbra Streisand among many others. While he is most well-known for his fiddle playing, he is a veritable multi-instrumentalist with a gorgeous touch on the clawhammer banjo.
The engineer on these sessions is Matt Coles, a veteran Nashville recording engineer whose credits include projects with well-known artists, including Little Big Town, Don Henley, Mike Farris, Kelly Clarkson, Uncle Kracker, and more. Coles features prominently in two of the videos, showing his favorite miking positions and talking about how he relies on Royer ribbons for recording the banjo. Equally notable, the videos focus on a few different Deering banjo models while Stuart Duncan also shares his perspective on his favorite ribbon mic positions.
The new videos feature a wealth of music and valuable information. Alison Brown offered the following thoughts on the sessions, “Working on this video project with Royer Labs and Deering Banjos was a lot of fun. It gave me a chance to shoot out the Royer ribbon mics, which all did a remarkable job capturing the warmth and fullness that I love in my Deering Julia Belle low banjo. As always, our engineer, Matt Coles, did a stellar job capturing all the great sounds, and it was especially fun getting to hear Stuart’s wonderful clawhammer banjo playing on the Deering Vega Vintage Star. I hope these videos inspire other players with some new ideas for recording the banjo. We’re so lucky to have the talents of the folks at Royer and Deering behind our work—helping to broaden the appeal of acoustic-based music by raising the sonic bar for all of us.”
Stuart Duncan shared his perspective, “Rarely do studio musicians get a chance to shift their focus from the tune at hand to the mechanics of the recording process. This glimpse into that world pairs two great new Deering banjos with several world class Royer microphones. Ribbon mics have been my favorite for decades. They offer a textured, airy, and somewhat three-dimensional sound. After listening to playback in the control room of each mic, it was impossible for me to pick a favorite. Each Royer mic had superior response and required no addition sweetening. It was also super fun to work with Matt and Alison and all the Deering and Royer folks involved in this project.”
On the engineering side of the equation, Matt Coles offered the following comments, “I’ve always thought Royer ribbons were some of the most versatile mics available. I use them on everything from tambourines and shakers to electric guitars and strings. I love them on banjo because they really tame some of the harsh frequencies without losing the natural air and resonance of the instrument. Their warmth and presence have an uncanny ability to put the instrument right there in front of you.”
The new videos are available on Royer Labs’ and Deering Banjo Company’s websites at the following URLs:
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labs’ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities. Royer ribbons can be found on countless albums and they feature prominently on projects such as the Academy Awards and other high profile events. Additional information about the entire line of Royer Labs microphones can be found at www.royerlabs.com.
About Deering Banjo Company
Deering Banjo Company was founded in 1975 as the world’s specialist in banjos and has grown to become the largest manufacturer of American made banjos in the world. Located in Spring Valley, CA, Deering produces all of its quality 4-string, 5-string, and 6-string banjos. Always on the cutting edge of banjo innovation, Deering is proud to have artists such as Mumford & Sons, Steve Martin, Taylor Swift, Bela Fleck, Elle King, Keith Urban, the Avett Brothers, Jens Kruger, Dropkick Murphys, and many more play their banjos. Visit www.deeringbanjos.com to learn more about Deering Banjos or call their toll-free number 800-845-7791.
About Compass Records
Compass Records has staked out remarkable territory in its 26 years. Located on the edge of Nashville’s renowned Music Row, Compass has earned a reputation as an award-winning, full-service music company with an artist-centered focus and a global aesthetic for singer-songwriters, acoustic, folk, and roots-based music. The label boasts a broad-ranging roster of acclaimed artists beneath the Compass Records Group umbrella which includes Compass Records, Red House Records, Green Linnet, and Mulligan Records and currently counts nearly 1,000 titles in its combined catalog. The videos were shot at Compass Records Sound Studio in Nashville, the label’s legacy studio—legendary for having been the birthplace of the ‘outlaw movement’ in country music in the late 60s and early 70s. Visit www.compassrecords.com to learn more.