Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone
Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone, is the world's first phantom powered, active ribbon microphone.
Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone Details
The Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone takes a classic, first-of-it's-kind (active) ribbon microphone to a new and better place of functionality and performance - if that were even possible! In 2002, the Royer R-122, the world's first phantom powered, active ribbon microphone was introduced. It was a revolutionary development in ribbon mics, combining impedance matching circuitry with condenser-like output levels that allowed the R-122 to be used on even the quietest sound sources. It also allowed the mic to be paired to virtually any preamplifier.
The R-122 MKll takes the R-122 to a whole new level, delivering unprecedented flexibility for ribbons via the addition of a switchable -15 dB pad and a switchable bass-cut filter. The switches are completely out of the circuit when disengaged so when both are off, the microphone is for all purposes an original R-122. The switches are located on the back of the microphone and recessed to prevent accidental activation.
The Pad - NEW!!!
The R-122 MKllā??s switchable -15 dB pad is positioned before the microphoneā??s electronics and, when engaged, eliminates any potential for headroom-related distortion on even the loudest sound sources. Wide open electric guitars are no problem. With the pad in, the R-122 MKllā??s output is actually 2 dB lower than the flagship R-121.
The R-122 MKllā??s well-designed pad has no sonic imprint. Once levels are matched, the R-122 MKll reproduces sound exactly the same with the pad in as with the pad out.
The Bass Cut - NEW!!!
When switched in, the R-122 MKllā??s bass cut starts filtering at 100 Hz, 6 dB per octave, effectively reducing the micā??s bass buildup due to proximity effect. This smooth filter is extremely useful on vocals, many acoustic instruments, and close-miked electric guitars when less bottom end is desired.
The R-122 MKllā??s electronics are hand-wired in Royer's Burbank, CA factory. The microphone utilizes a special Royer-designed toroidal transformer that delivers a faster transient response then traditional ribbons, making it a first call ribbon mic for drum overheads, percussion and all acoustic instruments.
Conventional ribbon microphones need high-quality, high-gain microphone preamplifiers to record softer sound sources. The R-122 MKllā??s output level is much higher, allowing you to use practically any mic preamplifier or board pre's to record even the quietest sounds. The R-122 MKll contains a fully balanced, hand-wired, discrete head amplifier system utilizing a specially wound toroidal transformer and ultra-low noise FET's. This system is extremely quiet and brings the R-122 MKll's sensitivity to 37 dB, all while allowing for high SPL recording! Go ahead and plug a MKll into any preamp with average gain - you'll get full Royer performance and enough level to drive any recording medium.
There is no increase in self-noise in the R-122 MKll's higher sensitivity. All of the micā??s additional output comes from its large, specially wound toroidal transformer - that wonderful thing called "free gain." The phantom powered circuitry provides impedance conversion only, adding no noise of its own.
The R-122 MK's active electronics put a perfect load on the ribbon element at all times, allowing the microphone to deliver its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following pre. Due to its low-impedance output, R-122's can be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss. In addition, the ribbon element can't be damaged by phantom power, miswired cables or electrical glitches.
Patented Offset Ribbon Technology
The R-122 MKII's proprietary offset ribbon transducer (Patent # 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.
The R-122 MKII is every bit as tough as the R-121. It is a first-call mic for electric and acoustic guitars, drum overheads, brass, percussion, electric and acoustic bass, piano, strings, woodwinds, Foley, and many other applications.
The R-122 MKII is similar to the R-121, but the faster transient response and larger size of the R-122's audio transformer translates into more open highs and a tighter, more focused low end response. These characteristics make the R-122 MKII an exceptional choice for drum overheads, many acoustic instruments, percussion, strings, piano, stand up bass and vocals.
As with all Royers, pushing up the faders on your ribbon-recorded tracks at mixdown is a revelation. When your tracks sound natural and real, there's nothing to fight and they fit into the mix easily.
Should I Use An R-122 MKll or R-121?
Because of the R-122 MKII's faster transient response and tighter low end, engineers often choose them over R-121's for drum overheads, acoustic instruments and vocals. R-121's tend to edge out R-122 MKII's on electric guitars and brass, but it's a matter of taste. If you're recording mostly electric guitars and/or brass, we usually suggest going with the R-121. The R-122 MKII is just as good on these instruments, but you may not need (or want) the additional top-end openness (from the faster transient response) and you certainly won't need the R-122 MKIIs higher sensitivity on these high SPL applications. If you plan on using the mics primarily for drum overheads, vocals, piano, acoustic instruments, strings, classical music applications and so forth, we heartily recommend going with the R-122 MKII.
Two Mics in One
Due to Royer's patented offset ribbon transducer, the back of the R-122 MKII records slightly brighter than the front side at distances of three feet and closer. This can be extremely useful for recording acoustic guitars, vocals, drum overheads and other sound sources that you may want a slightly brighter response on.
Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone Features
- Phantom powered circuitry provides high output and impedance matching
- -15 dB pad before the micā??s electronics gives more headroom when activated.
- Bass cut filter reduces proximity effect and bass below 100 Hz when activated
- High SPL Capabilities
- No distortion up to maximum SPL rating
- Extremely low residual noise
- Ribbon element is not affected by heat or humidity
- Absence of high frequency phase distortion
- Equal sensitivity from front or back of element
- Consistent frequency response regardless of distance
- Rear side of mic records slightly brighter when three feet or closer to sound source
Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone Specifications
- Acoustic Operating Principle: Electrodynamic pressure gradient with active electronics.
- Polar Pattern: Figure-8
- Generating Element: 2.5-micron aluminum ribbon
- Magnets: Rare Earth Neodymium
- Frequency Response: 30 - 15,000 Hz Ā±3 dB
- Sensitivity: -36 dB (re. 1v/pa Ā±1 dB)
- Switchable Pad: -15 dB
- Switchable Bass Cut: 100 Hz (6 dB per octave)
- Self-Noise: < 18 dB
- Output Impedance: 200 Ohms, balanced
- Output Connector: Male XLR 3-pin (Pin 2 Hot)
- Rated Load Impedance: 1K-Ohm minimum
- Maximum SPL: 135 dB @ 30 Hz
- Power Requirements: 48-Volt Phantom Only
- Supply Current: 4 mA
- Dimensions: 206mm L X 25mm W (8 1/8ā? L X 1ā? W)
- Weight: 309 grams (10.9 oz)
- Finish: Burnished Satin Nickel / Matte Black / Chrome (optional)
- Accessories: Protective wood case, mic sock
- Optional Accessories: Wind screen, shock mount
- Microphone Warranty: Lifetime to original owner (repair or replace at Royerā??s option)
- Ribbon Element Warranty: One Year
Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone Applications
- Electric Guitar Amps
- Acoustic Guitar
- Drum Overheads
- Percussion Instruments
- Brass and Woodwinds
- Horn Sections
- Acoustic Piano
- Acoustic Guitar
- Solo Strings & String Sections
- Choirs and Orchestras
- Commercial Broadcast
- Voice Over
Royer R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone Downloads
Reviews (Many are reviews of the original R-122)
What We Think
"The Royer R-122 is truly a jewel of a microphone and has become one of my favorite tools in the studio. The phantom-powered impedance matching preamplifier takes the already legendary performance of the Royer R-121 to a whole new place of sonic luscious definition in the realm of ribbon microphones. The R-122's preamplifier (still requires a traditional microphone preamplifier) boosts the signal up to roughly the equivalent level of a high quality small diaphragm condenser. But the impedance matching is what improves the clarity and definition afforded by this mic. It still retains the ' focused-weight' in the mid-range but the top-end has a little extra something while the lows come out with a more clearly defined edge on the notes.
"In the studio I have found that this microphone works exceptionally well for a wide variety of applications, be it for drums, cymbals such as high hats and rides, electric guitar cabinets, acoustic guitars, bowed stringed instruments, and even bass guitar cabinets. I've been a fan of ribbon microphones for hi-hat mic-ing and the R-122 is excellent in this regard. The figure-8 pattern is choice for canceling the bleed from the left crash cymbal.
"Acoustic guitars sound natural with a tight mid-range. The thicker ribbon which is characteristic of the Royer microphones really helps to maintain this incredible focus and the aforementioned 'weight' to the mid-range. Royers are perfect for finding their spot in a dense mix, which is why they are so popular with rock engineers.
"Plus, they just love being close in on loud sources. I mean, just get one right in on the grille of a guitar amp. It won't complain. However, the output may be a little hot and you may be better served by a R-121 in this case. But, you will be just fine with a standard Inline-PAD attenuator. The Royers can even go in on the outside of kick drums - *** Just make sure that you angle the ribbon downward by 45-degrees so that the sound pressure gradually goes across the ribbon instead of smacking it flat. The benefit is that you get good rejection of the cymbals and other drums off the top of the mic. And as drum room mics in a small room, I sometimes like to angle the R-122 back so that the sound of the kit goes across the length of the ribbon somewhat. This gives a good natural ambient sound that does not compete with the overheads - it's a good natural spacial-reverb in a way instead of adding more energy into the drum mix which can overly cloud your drum mix. But you can always distance mic the drums (or strings, ensembles, whatever...) with these as your primaries and you should be pretty happy.
"And as is the case with the Royers (and many other ribbon mics), the R-122 can be turned around and you'll experience a slightly lifted high frequency response by recording into the rear of the mic. Though the sound off of the front is not dull, this is still a great option for eking a little more top-end out of the sound.
"When measured up, the Royer R-122 is a no-brainer. She ain't cheap, but what woman worth taking home to mama is? But when it comes time for what she's made for, well, then she's easy - a true master of her craft. A matched stereo pair will be your studio's faithful workhorse for years. There is a reason why Royers have a host of first-call, top-rate, and legendary engineers using them. Isn't it time you find out for yourself what it is that these mics do for them? Trust me; you'll know why right away."
Alan Moon - Front End Audio
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