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With greater than 30 years working as a studio musician on motion pictures, TV shows, jingles, record dates, and live TV shows—including the Academy Awards and the Grammys—trumpeter Wayne Bergeron has amassed an enviable list of impressive accomplishments. He served as lead trumpeter and featured soloist with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, played on Disney’s The Incredibles soundtrack, performed on the last six Michael Bublé CDs, and has been a featured soloist on the motion pictures The Perfect Game and Rocky Balboa.

With a track record like this, you can use any microphones you want when you enter the studio. For Bergeron and his studio producer and fellow trumpeter, Gary Grant, the preference is for ribbon microphones from Royer Labs.

Bergeron has three solo CD projects under his name and all are produced by Gary Grant. You Call This a Living? was nominated for a Grammy in 2004, while Plays Well With Others was released on the Concord Records label in 2008. His latest project, Full Circle, was just recently released on the Wayn-ology Records label and includes performances by Arturo Sandoval, Peter Erskine, Dave Weckl, Eric Marienthal, and Alan Pasqua to name but a few.

Big band and string performances on Full Circle were recorded at LA’s EastWest Studios, while several additional studios were also involved in the project. Bergeron and Grant used numerous Royer ribbons on the project, including the R-101, R-121, R-122, SF-2, and SF-24 models, as well as five MA-300 microphones from Royer’s sibling company Mojave Audio.

Grant summarized the nature of the project, “I think the goal of Full Circle was to create the best big band record as a palette for Wayne to reach as many jazz lovers as possible. Wayne is quite unique as a trumpet soloist and is exciting for the jazz enthusiast. To me, Full Circle means retaining Wayne’s musical integrity, swing, outstanding musicians, and team of composers. I feel this CD accomplished that and much, much more.”

According to Bergeron, “All solo trumpet tracks were captured with either the R-121 or R-122. For the trumpet section, we used four R-121s. For the trombone tracks, we used two R121s along with two R-122s. For strings, we used a pair of SF-2s along with an SF-24 stereo active ribbon mic. As the room at EastWest was quite live, we didn’t use a room mic on the big band. For the saxophone and woodwind tracks, we used five Mohave MA-300s.”

Grant adds, “The bell of the horn was about two feet from the mic on most tracks. I find playing just below the ribbon (right at the logo) yields the clearest sound on powerful passages. On softer passages, Wayne would get a little closer, but still play slightly off axis, as it captures the best part of the trumpet sound. If the mic is too close to the bell, you’ll hear the noisy part of the sound. The quality sound development takes place further out from the bell. This is actually where the clarity of sound is on all brass instruments.”

On any recording project, questions about mic selection and positioning frequently arise. The ability to get timely answers to these questions and more inevitably arise. In this regard, both Bergeron and Grant give Royer Labs a robust thumbs up. “The entire team at Royer Labs is fantastic,” says Bergeron. “They’re professional, friendly, and extremely accommodating to anything I’ve ever needed. Thank you John Jennings for taking such great care of me. Over the years, I’ve recorded on many different microphones. The R-121 and R-122 are my absolute favorites.”

Grant echoed Bergeron’s enthusiasm, “My experience with the Royer Labs staff, the quality of their microphones, and the level of professional ‘care’ they exhibit toward their customers is exemplary in every sense of the word. Eighteen years of dealing with Royer has been nothing but an absolute pleasure.”

With the Full Circle CD now shipping, Bergeron and Grant summarized their experiences with Royer microphones and their impact on this project. “With its frequent high sound pressure levels, the trumpet can be a very challenging instrument to capture faithfully,” Bergeron said. “The Royer mics handle high SPLs really well and the clear, natural tone they deliver is extremely musical. I’m proud to be associated with Royer Labs. Bravo.”

“We recorded Full Circle at a frame rate of 96, and the high resolution only amplified the rich frequencies of the Royer mics and enhanced the cohesiveness of the 17-piece big band. Thanks to Royer’s microphones, we captured the magic in the music.”

Royer Labs.
Mojave Audio
Wayne Bergeron

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