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BidirectionalRoyer Labs R-121 Live

Bidirectional Ribbon Microphone

The R-121 Live is a passive ribbon microphone, suitable for studio use but intended for stage use.

It is identical to the standard R-121 in every respect but two:

  • The ribbon element on the standard version is made of 2.5-micron aluminum. The “Live” version uses heavier 4-micron aluminum.
  • The Royer badge on the front of the microphone is red, rather than green.

Both mics use Royer’s patented “offset ribbon” design, and share sensitivity and frequency-response specifications.

Curiously, the max SPL rating for the R-121 Live is no higher than the standard R-121, despite the use of stronger ribbon material. Both are rated at “>135dB @ 20Hz.” Note that this spec is for the front side of the microphone only.

Royer Labs

[R]ecordings on the rear side should not exceed 115dB SPL. When tracking loud sounds on the front side, the R-121’s offset-ribbon design allows ample space for rearward excursions of the ribbon element. However, tracking on the back side causes the ribbon to move forward towards the front side of the microphone, where the internal dampening screen is much closer to the ribbon element. Rear-side recordings of loud, low-frequency sounds, or vocalists with no pop filter, can drive the ribbon into the front dampening screen, creating noise and possibly damaging the ribbon element. Limit back side recording on your R-121 to lower SPL sound sources.

Royer’s Live series won the 2008 TEC award in the “Microphone Technology/Sound Reinforcement” category.

Permalink: Royer Labs R-121-Live

The mic was released in 2008.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (3.16 mV/Pa; 30 - 15,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
4-micron, 3/16''x1.75'' offset aluminum ribbon 300 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 135 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
244g (8.61oz) 158mm (6.22'') 25mm (0.98'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications

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