R-101/R-121 Comparisons

R-101/R-121 Comparisons

The R-101 is a more affordable Royer ribbon mic, hand-built in our Burbank, CA factory and with deep roots in the R-121. The R-101 and R-121 share the same ribbon element and custom-designed transformer, and the R-101’s larger size allowed us to include a shock mounted ribbon transducer and a 3-layer wind screen system for maximum ribbon element protection.

The R-101 is an excellent ribbon mic that can be used anywhere the R-121 is used. The performance of the two mics is similar, with the R-101 exhibiting less proximity effect (low end buildup) than the R-121 due to its wind screen system. Some engineers prefer the sound of one mic over the other – these sound samples let you hear both mics clearly.

Electric Guitar

Isolated rock guitar through an R-101, an R-121, and a Shure SM-57

Re-amped rock guitar through a 1X12 speaker cabinet. All mics recorded in the exact same position.








Isolated heavy-rock guitar through an R-101, an R-121, and a Shure SM-57

Re-amped guitar through a 1X12 speaker cabinet. All mics recorded in the exact same position.









Various instruments recorded at Capitol Studios.

These recordings were made one week before the R-101 was released. We compared R-101’s to R-121’s on a variety of instruments, with a number of LA engineers and musicians on hand to listen and give us their opinions. We were pretty happy with the R-101 when we walked out of there!


Acoustic Guitar






Keys Jangling























Electric Guitar Comparisons, recorded by Joe Barresi


R-101 Close miked Rhythm guitar



R-121 Close miked Rhythm guitar



R-101 6-inches from the speaker cabinet



R-121 6 inches from the speaker cabinet



R-101 6 inches from the speaker cabinet



R-121 6 inches from the speaker cabinet







Monster Magnet

Drums (Room) – 2 R-121’s
Electric Guitars – R-121

Engineer – Randy Staub. Producer – Matt Hyde
Recorded at Warehouse Studios – Vancouver, B.C.

R-121’s on electric guitars and two R-121’s as drum room mics.

“Heads Explode” (© Dave Wyndorf)

Fab Dupont / Will Knox

Acoustic Guitar – SF-1
Violin – R-121
Banjo – SF-2
Standup Bass – R-122
Drum Overhead – SF-24
Drums, Tom-Toms – R-122
Drums, Kick – R-122V
Drums, Hi-Hat – R-121

Producer: Fab Dupont.  Engineer: Meredith McCandless

When our friend Fab Dupont set out to record singer/songwriter Will Knox’s album “The Matador And The Acrobat” with engineer Meredith McCandless, they decided to track the album entirely with Royer ribbons (except for a condenser on Will’s vocal and a dynamic on the snare). Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process that Fab and company so kindly put together for us.



Vocals & Guitar: Will Knox
Violin: Clayton Mathews
Banjo: Kyle James Houser
Standup Bass: Chris Anderson
Drums: Timur Yusef

Visit Fab’s website at www.fabulousfab.com. Visit Flux Studios at www.fluxstudios.net.

Puremix.net is an educational website featuring a wide assortment of videos on recording, mixing, mastering and much more. Puremix.net was created by Fab Dupont; his partners in Puremix now include Ben Lindell and Ryan West.


Winona Zelenka

Cello – R-122

Engineer/Producer; Ron Searles

In these two videos, Ron Searles uses ribbon microphones to record cellist Winona Zelenka playing an extraordinary 1707 Joseph Guarnerius cello.

Recording chain: R-122’s into True Systems Precision 8 mic pres. Recorded to ProTools in 24/96.

“Six Suites for Solo Cello” (J.S. Bach)
This educational video shows three R-122 active ribbon microphones place in a modified Decca Tree configuration. Engineer Ron Searles discusses the importance of ribbons on bowed instruments, the usefulness of the figure-8 pattern in controlling room reflections, achieving natural sounding recordings using ribbons, and more.


“Intermezzo e Danza Finale” (Cassado)
Two R-122 active ribbon microphones positioned above the cello.

Robert Friedrich on Recording The San Diego Symphony

Pianos (dual) – R-122V, R-122
Woodwinds – SF-2
Strings – SF-2
Hall Ambience – SF-24

Recording Engineer: Robert Friedrich
Producer: Erica Brenner

In this video, Grammy-winning engineer Robert Friedrich talks about using ribbon microphones extensively while recording the San Diego Symphony playing “The Carnival Of The Animals.” Of particular interest is his microphone technique on the dual pianos, which were positioned side-by-side and recorded with a pair of R-122V’s and a pair of R-122’s.

Pianists: Jon Kimura Parker and Orli Shaham

Videographer and Photographer: R Chaney

“Carnival of the Animals” (Camille Saint-Saens)


Brian Setzer Live

Electric Guitar – R-121
Bass Amplifier – R-122
Drum Overhead – SF-24

FOH and Live Recording Engineer: Jimbo Neal

In this video, Jimbo Neal explains how he uses ribbons for sound reinforcement and recording Brian Setzer’s live performances.


Jonathan Merkel

Heavy Electric Guitar – R-122V

Producer/Engineer: Johathan Merkel

Guitarist/Producer/Engineer Jonathan Merkel shows how he records heavy electric guitar using an R-122V to capture his Mesa Boogie Uberschall amplifier. This song was recorded in Jonathan’s home studio, so the 1×12 Mesa cabinet was placed in a closet for isolation.

Jonathan shows complete signal paths for all phases of electric guitar recording and walks us through blending R-122V, SM-57 and DI tracks for his final guitar sound.

“Fuel the Fire” (Jonathan Merkel)


Johathan’s company Beat Chamber is a Contemporary Song Catalog and Production company which produces and licenses music for film, TV and multimedia projects. http://www.beatchamber.com

Lukas Rossi and Kenny Aronoff

Drum Overhead – SF-24
Drum Rooms – SF-24, R-122V, R-122
Electric Guitar – R-121

Recorded by Ross Hogarth
Recorded at Sweetwater Studios, Ft. Wayne IN

Grammy winning Producer/Engineer Ross Hogarth gives a seminar on his techniques for recording drums and electric guitars with ribbon mics, showing mic placements and letting us hear mixed and isolated ribbon-recorded tracks.

Drums – Kenny Aronoff
Full mix, conversation about drum mic placement, then isolated ribbon-recorded tracks.
“Dreamer” (Lukas Rossi)

Electric Guitar – Lukas Rossi
Full mix, conversation about electric guitar mic placement, then isolated ribbon-recorded tracks.
“Dreamer” (Lukas Rossi)


Larry David

B-3 organ – SF-12

Engineer: David Pearlman
Recorded at Rotund Rascal Studios, North Hollywood, CA

One SF-12 off the corner of a Leslie. Recorded direct to DAT.

1. Solo B-3 played by Larry David


2. Solo B-3 played by Larry David