A matched ribbon microphone pair for warm, realistic stereo imaging.
The R-121 is Royer's flagship microphone and the worlds first radically redesigned ribbon microphone. 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 us 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 microphone'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, an Royer R-121 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, 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 mic'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 20 Hz and it can handle that for years. In practical terms, that means you can put your R-121 ribbon mic 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.