Hip Tip From Blake Sennett

“I have yet to find a better microphone for recording guitar than the Royer R-122 ribbon,” says Blake Sennett, guitarist for country-rock fusionists—and indie faves—Rilo Kiley. “It captures a very natural sound. Some people don’t like the fact that ribbons tend to roll off some of the guitar’s harsh transients—which makes them a poor choice if you want to record real aggressive guitar tones—but I love their organic and mysterious sound. It reminds me of the Band and the Beatles, and all the ’70s records I dig, such as Neil Young’s Harvest and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I also like this weird $250 Copperphone mic (available from placidaudio.com).

It’s very lo-fi and telephonic sounding. I used it to record the opening acoustic-guitar chords of “It’s a Hit” [from Rilo Kiley’s More Adventurous]. I plugged the acoustic into an amp, and then miked the amp with the Copperphone, which produced this sound that wasn’t electric or acoustic—it was just ratty and weird. That mic is a one-trick pony, but that one trick is real sweet.”