The Royer Labs R-121 is a passive ribbon microphone with a natural figure-8 polar pattern, that has been optimised for live use. Based on the classic and infamous Royer R-121, the R-121 Live has been manufactured to increase durability for a more rugged mic to take on the road. Looking identical, the Live version of the R-121 can be identified by its red logo. The tone of the R-121 is detailed and highly responsive to transients. It has a similar output to a dynamic microphone, but offers a much warmer and darker “ribbon” sound quality.
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.
The Sound: We’ve always said Royers “hear like your ears.” Put one up and you’ll know what we mean.
The R-121 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’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.
LOUD GUITARS! 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.