Royer Labs R-121 Live Ribbon Microphone
The R-121 Live is a ruggedized version of the popular R-121 ribbon microphone. The studio R-121 is tough and has been used on the road for years, but the increased durability of the R-121 Live gives FOH engineers greater confidence in the ribbon standing up to the rigors of the road.
The R-121 Live’s output level is comparable to a dynamic mic, and it delivers the warm, realistic tone that only a ribbon mic can. Along with its smooth, natural response, the R-121 Live virtually eliminates the shrill high-end often associated with live guitars and brass. Push up the faders and there’s the instrument in all its fullness and natural glory, minus the peaky highs that FOH and Monitor engineers spend so much of their careers fighting.
The R-121 Live is visually differentiated by its red logo. The ribbon element thickness is increased from 2.5 microns to 4-microns, giving the microphone greater durability and a slightly reduced high end response. Highs are often rolled off in live performances, but due to the R-121 Live’s exceptionally smooth high frequency response, it needs far less eq’ing than is usually required with condenser and dynamic microphones.
The R-121 Live is backed with Royer’s lifetime warranty to the original owner, and the first re-ribbon is free. Royer Labs expect it to work as hard as you do, so they stand behind it the whole way. As with any high end microphone, proper storage during transit and careful handling during setup and breakdown is key to keeping the microphone in good working order.
Figure-8’s On Stage
The R-121 Live’s pickup pattern is figure-8, which can be used to control stage bleed with great effect. Side rejection in the null points is strong – position the mics “ears” to face the offending instrument(s) and bleed will be virtually eliminated. The top and bottom of the microphone are also null points. If monitors are in close proximity to the rear side of the microphone, a positioning adjustment can place the monitors output in the mic’s null, isolating the monitor from the mic’s pickup areas.
Patented Offset Ribbon Technology
The R-121 Live’s proprietary offset ribbon transducer (Patent # 6,434,252) is the first of its kind, positioning the ribbon element closer to the front (logo) side of the microphone. This arrangement gives the ribbon more room to move within the prime magnetic field while maintaining full frequency response on high SPL applications. It’s an integral piece of the magic of all Royer R-series microphones.
Royer Labs always said Royers “hear like your ears.” Put one up and you’ll know what we mean.
The R-121 Live accurately reproduces what you hear at the sound source. Most microphones add their own characteristics – they all serve a purpose and have their place on stage. But if your goal is to capture something the way it really sounds – that ripping electric guitar, that wailing trumpet, that full kit – and you’ve found that reproducing that sound was next to impossible, put up some Royer Live Series mics and get ready. The R-121 Live’s response is flat and well balanced, with a deep, non-boomy low end, well defined and realistic mids, and a smooth and natural sounding high end response that’s never edgy or sibilant.
When it’s time to mix the band, push up the faders and you’ll see why FOH engineers love their R-121’s on electric guitars and brass. When the instruments sound real, fitting them into the live mix is a breeze.
Your guitarist likes insane levels? No problem! The R-121 Live’s maximum SPL rating is 135dB at 20 Hz and it can handle that all day, every day. In practical terms, that means you can put your R-121 in front of a souped up 100-watt Marshall and open it up without microphone distortion or damage to the ribbon. We don’t recommend trying this with other ribbon mics, but the R-121 Live was built to take it.
- High SPL Capabilities
- No internal active electronics to overload or produce distortion up to maximum SPL rating
- Extremely low residual noise
- Ribbon element is not affected by heat or humidity
- Absence of high frequency phase distortion
- Equal sensitivity from front or back of element
- Consistent frequency response regardless of distance
- Acoustic Operating Principle: Electrodynamic pressure gradient
- Polar Pattern: Figure-8
- Generating Element: 4-micron aluminum ribbon
- Magnets: Rare Earth Neodymium
- Frequency Response: 30 - 15,000 Hz +/- 3dB
- Sensitivity: -50 dBv Re. 1v/pa
- Output Impedance: 300 Ohms @ 1K (nominal)
- Rated Load Impedance: >1500 Ohms @ 300 Ohms
- Maximum SPL: >135dB @ 20 Hz
- Output Connector: Male XLR 3 pin (Pin 2 Hot)
- Dimensions: 156mm L, 25mm W (6.13" L, 1" W) Weight: 244g (8.6 oz) Finish: Dull Satin Nickel/Matte Black Chrome optional
- Electric Guitar Amps
- Brass Instruments
- Horn Sections
- Percussion Instruments
- Ribbon Microphone
- Recording / Live
- Solid State
- Active / Passive