The Royer Labs R-122 MKII Live is a road-optimized version of the phantom powered R-122 MK-II ribbon microphone. The R-122 MKII Live's output is on par with phantom powered condenser mics, allowing for long cable runs and the occasional sub-par mic preamps, and it's switchable -15 dB pad and bass-cut filter deliver unprecedented flexibility on electric guitars, drum overheads, trumpets and other live instruments. Most importantly, it produces the warm, realistic sounds that only ribbon mics can deliver. Along with it's smooth, natural response, the R-122 MKII Live virtually eliminates the shrill high-end often encountered with live guitars, brass and drum cymbals. Push up the faders and there's the instrument in all its fullness, minus the peaky highs that FOH and Monitor engineers spend so much of their careers fighting.
The R-122 MKII’s switchable -15 dB pad is positioned before the microphone’s electronics and, when engaged, eliminates headroom-related distortion or preamplifier overload on even the loudest sound sources. Wide open electric guitars are no problem. With the pad in, the R-122 MKII’s output is actually 2 dB lower than our flagship R-121.
When switched in, the R-122 MKII’s bass cut starts filtering at 100 Hz, 6 dB per octave, effectively reducing the mic’s bass buildup due to proximity effect. This smooth filter is extremely useful on close-miked electric guitars when less bottom end is desired.
The R-122 MKII’s electronics are hand-wired in our Burbank, CA factory. The microphone utilizes a special Royer-designed toroidal transformer that delivers a faster transient response then traditional ribbons. This produces a tighter, more focused low end and a sense of more open highs than with traditional ribbons, making it a first call ribbon mic for drum overheads and percussion. The R-122 MKII Live can be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal RF interference and signal loss, and the ribbon element cannot be damaged by phantom power, mis-wired cables or electrical glitches.
The R-122 MKII Live is visually differentiated by its red logo. The ribbon element thickness is increased from 2.5-microns to 4-microns, giving the microphone greater durability and a slightly reduced high end response. Highs are often rolled off in live performances, but due to the R-122 MKII Live's smooth high frequency response, it needs less eq'ing than is usually required with condenser and dynamic microphones.
The R-122 MKII Live's pickup pattern is figure-8, which can be used to control stage bleed with great effect. Side rejection in the null points is strong – simply position the mics "ears" to face the offending instrument(s) and bleed will be virtually eliminated. The top and bottom of the microphone are also null points. If monitors are in close proximity to the rear side of the microphone, a positioning adjustment can place the monitors output in the mic's null, isolating the monitor from the mic's pickup areas.
The R-122 MKII Live'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 on high SPL applications. It's an integral piece of the magic of all Royer R-series microphones.