Published by guitarz on 6th December 2011
Royer R-121 Ribbon Mic
The R-121 cames boxed in a neat wooden box with an pouch to protect the mic.
What can I say... There is life before and after recording guitars with a Royer R-121 on the cabinet.
It really makes a huge difference. It sounds sweet and at the same time like it is capturing the full spectrum of your guitar sound.
Combine it with a SM57 and you are in guitar heaven.
The SM57 brings the clear and agressive mids and the Royer fills in the blanks completing the sound with a fullness I've never had before.
It supports 135db of SPL so its pretty safe to put it in front of a crancked guitar amp, nevertheless it is recomended that you angle the mic so that the sound waves dont hit the ribbon directly.
Since I bought it is our go to mic for recording guitars. Sometimes combined with a 57 for extra aggression and sometimes on its own for a beautifull full sound.
You cant live without one. Believe me!
Also tried it on acoustic guitar and it gives a roomy (due to the figure of 8 pattern maybe) and mellow sound, not suitable maybe for everything but it sure has its use.
Support from Royer Labs is great and they even offer you a free re-ribbon of the micro when you send the registration.
It is not a cheap mic, but I guess you dont want a cheap sound either
By buford on 6th December 2011
Lots of people love these mics but I really haven't learned to enjoy them. Every time I've used them the high-end sounded harsh and tinny and lacked body compared to other ribbons. I prefer the Cascade Fat Head II to this mic and it's 1/5 the price. I like a warm, fat tone from a ribbon mic and for me these fall short. On top of that, they're expensive for someone on a budget.
I gave features a 10 because it is what it is: a ribbon mic.
By IGive'nTakeInfo on 13th December 2011
A go-to for Room mics and Gtr Cabs.
I purchased two Royer Ribbon 121's a few months ago. They came in a brown wooden case with a black velvet like sock to house the mic when not in use. These 121's also come with a mic clip "for convenience" and Royer recommends not using the clip but rather purchasing a specific shock mount for the 121's. (this is why not 10 for features).
Royer 121's, Known for their magic on guitar cabs, prompted me to get out the Mesa 3Rec and Gibson SG. I miced the 4x12 mesa cab top left speaker just off center about 2 inches from the fabric. I went directly into an api 3124+ pre and through an AVID I/O 16x16 into PT.
The result? Amazing in your face mids. No sign of woffy low end, nothing short of a nice round representation of lows even when chugging. The high end is not harsh, not much top end presence and maybe even slightly dark? You could, if you wanted to, add some high end EQ to brighten up some cleaner gtr tones when needed. In general, the royer 121 captured my guitar cab sound as closely to how it sounds in my iso booth as any mic iv employed to date (many). I use the Royer 121 with a blend of a Shure SM57 on all by guitar cabs now.
On drum room mics (stereo pair of Royer 121's about six feet back from kit and 6-7 feet off ground) I run them through the Aurora Audio GTQ2. I find the cymbals melt together into an almost finished mix sound right off the bat, you will see why if you glance at the frequency response for the 121. It rolls off after 10k and thus its tough to ever get a harsh sounding product. The snare's crack is overly emphasized in the mids and I love it. the kick, even if boomy depending on the kit being used, still sounds tight. Blending these Royer 121's into the rest of the close-mic drum tracks really give a nice polished sound. I highly recommend the Royer 121.
I also sometimes use the royer 121 on vocals and acoustic instruments like guitar, viola, xylophone etc..
This is the ribbon mic to buy.
By mherrane on 13th December 2011
This is my goto guitar cab mic as well, especially for high gain stuff. I also use it regularly on bass cabs (with a pop killer or a wind screen) and drum rooms, sometimes overheads and other drum close mics.
Being a figure-8 pattern mic, the R121 has two sounds, quite different from each other, the front side and the back side...The front side is darker and "larger", the bac side is brighter. My goto guitar micing technique these days is to put 2 R121s on a guitar cab, the other turned 180 degrees so that the backside is facing the cabinet...I used to use 121+57 but not anymore...This combo gives me (9 times of 10) just what I want and is very tweakable and natural sounding.
There is some harshness in the upper mids (3,5K or so) which irritates me especially when using these mics on drum rooms but you can get rid of that very easily with an EQ. With a touch of EQ this mic offers "something special" I haven't been able to find on other ribbons EQed or not (tried Oktava, various Beyers, TBones, AEAs), it's a beast of it's own in good and bad.
The build quality of R121s is excellent. I've accidentally dropped one of mine two times hitting the floor quite hard but it still works like new.
All in all the R121s are great mics I couldn't live without...I think they are easily worth their price.
By barforama on 24th January 2012
I have had lot of different ribbon mics, including R84, SF1's and several BeyerDynamic models. None of the forementioned has ever knocked my socks off, but the Royer R121 really did! I used to use MD409, MD421's and SM57's for guitar cabs, and I still do, but now it is ALLWAYS in combination with at least one R121. It may be way more expensive than a SM57, but it gives so much more mid-range detail than the SM57 and it really is worth it for guitar amp recording alone, but there is a place where the R121 shines even more! Using the R121 as a FOK mic, 3 feet above the floor, 5-6 feet in front of the drum kit angled 30 degrees down, I have found myself searching for the unmuted track with the close miced kick drum, just to find out that the kick was HUUUGE sounding in the FOK mic. If I should record drums in one mic mono it would definately be in that position with that mic. It also shines as a ambience mic and it's even greater in a blumlein ambience setup. If I had to chose two dessert Island mics, then one of them would be a R121, and the other one would be a....R121 too :-)
The R121 is a figure-8 polar pattern and a cool feature is that the backside of the mic is slightly brighter sounding than the front. I allways use the backside as a default and then take it from there.
For female vocals it might just be the right thing too. Having recording a singer songwriter I used U87 on the western guitar and the R121 for vocals and hardly no proccessing was need afterwards. Just natural reproduction of the sources.
The bottom line is; I cannot reccommend this mic enough!
By S.J.Band on 25th January 2012
I could manage without it, but I own it, so I use it.
I use to mic up my amp with several mics when recording, I record it to individual tracks and blend them together in the end for the optimal tone and sound I want.
On days where I dont feel like wanting to mic up my amp that much, I just use this royer R121 alone and it sounds great.
The pricetag is pretty high, so you dont buy it unless you need it.
By djgizmo on 25th January 2012
Lot's of Awesome costs dough
This is probably one of my favorite mics. The sound is smooth, clean, and clear no matter what you record with this. It doesn't have a raspy sound to it like you might expect.
Build Quality - It's really hard to fault this mic at all. Everything is snug, well thought out, and doesn't come loose. Even the XLR input jack doesn't wear.
Cost - This mic does cost some money though. For the money, you could probably buy 3-4 decent mics. If you want awesome though... this is where it's at.