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A bi-directional ribbon mic with high sensitivity and warm realistic tone.
The R-121 is Royer's flagship microphone and the world's first radically redesigned ribbon microphone. Royer did away with the large, heavy, fragile, "classic" approach to ribbon microphones and went in a completely new direction. The R-121 gives all of the warm, natural tonal response for which top engineers have always loved ribbon mics, but in a compact, lightweight, higher output, tough-as-nails package that was unheard of in a ribbon mic before the Royer R-121.
Like many of the best-loved classic ribbon mics, the R-121 has a figure-8 pattern, sensitivity in the dynamic mic range, and a warm, realistic tone and flat frequency response. But that's where the similarities end. By using advanced materials and a blend of cutting edge and old-school hand-build construction techniques, the R-121 is a far more versatile and user-friendly ribbon mic that can stand up to the most demanding tasks, including live stage use. It's built solid enough for Royer to give it a lifetime warranty. The R-121 redefined ribbon microphones so thoroughly that Recording magazine wrote "...the Royer R-121 is destined to become one of the classic microphones of the 21st century".
Patented Offset Ribbon Technology
The R-121's proprietary offset ribbon transducer (Patent Number: 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 during high SPL recordings. It's an integral piece of the magic of all Royer R-series microphones.
Recording With The R-121
Tonally, the Royer R-121 microphone hears things the way your ears hear them. Most microphones add their own characteristics to your recordings; some have a hyped high- and low-end response with scooped out mids; some are super sizzly in the highs; some accent midrange and give very little upper- and lower-end frequency response; and some respond to nothing but low end. They all serve a purpose and have their place in recording and live work. But if you've ever heard something brilliant — an unbelievable electric guitar, an inspiring trumpet, a sweet flute, an amazing kit — and found that getting that sound to tape or hard drive was impossible, you owe it to yourself to try a Royer ribbon. The R-121's response is flat and well balanced; low end is deep and full without being boomy; mids are well defined and realistic; and the high-end response is sweet and natural sounding, never edgy or sibilant.
On playback you'll find the sound is natural and alive, with a panoramic, ambient feel much like what you heard when you were standing in the room with the instruments(s) you were recording.
Need to record at insane levels? No problem! The R-121's maximum SPL rating is 135dB at 20Hz and it can handle that for years. In practical terms, that means you can put your R-121 directly in front of a souped up 100-watt Marshall and open it up without microphone distortion or damage to the ribbon. Royer doesn't recommend trying this with other ribbon mics, but the R-121 was built to take it.
Two Mics In One
At distances of three feet and closer, the back of the Royer R-121 records slightly brighter than the front side. This can be extremely useful when recording acoustic guitars, vocals, and other sound sources that you may need a slightly brighter response on.
What the pros are saying about the R-121
I'm using R-121's all over my guitars and drums - it's really an amazing mic." Noel Golden (Engineer - Matt Serletic, Matchbox 20, Willie Nelson, Edwin McCain)
"The R-121 blew me away in 1999 and now I'm blown away again. The increased gain and the clarity of the R-122 is ridiculous - this is an amazing development in ribbon microphones!" Ross Hogarth (Grammy winner - Jewel, Roger Waters, Keb Mo, Coal Chamber, Black Crowes, REM, Shawn Colvin)
"God, I love these (expletive deleted) things!!!" Ed Cherney (Grammy Award winner, Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton)
"I've been using my 121's on electric guitar, electric bass, acoustic guitar, drum overheads - they've been brilliant on everything. It's definitely the best mic I've ever used for recording electric guitar." Sean Beavan (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Megadeth, Pantera)
"I use Royer ribbons every day I record. They're like the AC-30 of the microphone world. They just have this desirable thing that works so well and gives a truly analog vibe to digital recordings." Steve Kempster (Scoring Engineer - Trevor Rabin, Mark Mancina)
"I love my Royers!! The R121 may well be the ultimate electric guitar mic! I've been using the Royers extensively on recent projects (David Mead Verve Pipe, Brian Setzer), also the Stereo model for overheads on Bernie Dresel (drummer with Setzer). Thanks for a great recording tool"! John Holbrook (The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Verve Pipe, LeAnn Rimes)
"These are the first mics I've ever used on guitars that give me exactly what I want. Huge low end with no eq." Jerry Finn (Green Day, Rancid, Blink-182, Pennywise)
"I first used my pair of R-121 's on every song on Jewels 'Joy' album. Since than I've used them on everything from main orchestra mic's to the outside mic of kick drum's (great bottom end for free). Basically, I'm using them on everything I can." Michael O'Reilly (Mixer/ Engineer - Jewel, Whitney Houston, Smashing Pumpkins, Bette Midler)
"Great sounding natural room ambient mics. And they won't blow up - we tried!" Andrew Scheps (Rolling Stones, Robbie Robertson)
"Extremely smooth upper midrange, perfect for solo electric guitar." John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani, George Lynch, Dead Kennedys, Neville Brothers)
"Whenever I need a ribbon microphone, I use Royers."
Al Schmitt (20-time Grammy Award winner, Barbra Streisand, George Benson, Diana Krall, Amy Grant)
"I just had seven R-121's up on the Academy Awards, then used them all on a Quincy Jones big band session - Royer mics are one of the very best things to happen to recording in years."
Tommy Vicari (Grammy & Emmy Award winner, Quincy Jones, George Duke, Gino Vannelli)
"Royer microphones bring back to digital recording what was lost in the process of going from analog tape to digital formats."
Bryan Carlstrom (Producer/Engineer - The Offspring, Alice In Chains, White/Rob Zombie, Social Distortion, Anthrax, PIL, Project 86)
"Royer has come up with a unique design that allows me to record guitar amps at full volume without compromising the sound. I love the way it allows me to put all the low end warmth onto tape."
Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Mott the Hoople, Traffic, Anthrax, Derek & the Dominos, Peter Frampton, John McLaughlin, John Mayall, Carly Simon, Johnny Winter)
"I'm using Royer's on organs, guitars, everything. I love using a mic that I don't need to make EQ adjustments to - with Royers I just record flat and get amazing tracks."
Matt Hyde (No Doubt, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Soul Asylum, Porno For Pyros)
"Royer ribbons are amazing! Big, big drums, and great bottom on guitars."
Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion, Melvins, L7, Weezer)
*First engineer to test (and test and test...) the R-121 in its prototype days - invaluable help!
"At last - a ribbon microphone that reproduces the low end of a guitar amp without blowing the ribbon, even in close proximity. The R-121 gives a perfect natural reproduction of string instruments."
Eddie DeLena (Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mellencamp)
"I have to say these are the clearest most punchy sounding mic's I've ever used period."
Gary Tole (David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Jimmie Vaughn, Melissa Etheridge)
"A stellar microphone! During the Thin Red Line recordings and a number of Herb Alpert sessions, Royer ribbons were indispensable."
Alan Meyerson (Hans Zimmer, Bryan Ferry, Herb Alpert, Eurythemics)
"Royer mics give you the closest thing to the natural sound source on tape as any mics I have ever used before."
John Jorgenson (Hellecastors, Elton John)
Record with the go-to mic of the elite audio professionals. Order today!
R-121 Ribbon Microphone
Review Snapshot®by PowerReviews
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about Royer R-121 Ribbon Microphone:
This R-121 is incredibly versatile for a ribbon microphone - I never fear putting it in front of guitar cabs, raucous horn players, even drums. The sound is incredibly clear and true to what my ears are hearing (a little less abrasive top end). Without a doubt worth having in my microphone closet... or out of it which usually the case.
A great microphone investment!Excellent microphone - I will be purchasing more.
Worth every penny I paid for this - it is a go to microphone in most every session I do these days... which is to say it is paying for itself. My clients dig the sounds = my gear pays for itself.
Comments about Royer R-121 Ribbon Microphone:
I heard this mic used outside a bass drum to capture low-end used in conjunction with a dynamic mic placed inside the drum to capture attack. This mic was placed at a 45 degree angle a few inches from the drum. The sound was amazing. Michael Wagener was the engineer.