Royer 121, is it worth it for me to get one?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by zygoat, Feb 14, 2009.


  1. zygoat

    zygoat Supporting Member

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA
    It it a waste of time spending that much on a mic, and then running it into an M-Box 2? I don't plan on putting a lot of money into expensive mic preamps but I've been lusting for a R121 for the longest. I'm just going to be using it for home recording, guitars specifically.
     
  2. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    What do you have now for mic's?
     
  3. zygoat

    zygoat Supporting Member

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA
    Actually all I have right now is an SM58. I sold all my mics when I was raising money for an Axe-FX but I'm back to mic'ing amps now instead of direct recording. I was using a 57 and e609 before.
     
  4. onemind

    onemind Member

    Messages:
    3,588
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Oceanside, NY
    It's a great Mic, I guess the important question is what are you doing with your tracks? Are you recording an album? Doing session work? Collaborating? The Royer with a good Pre into the mBox would be a very viable signal chain for any of those applications, but if you're just recording for friends/practice/etc. then save the dough.
     
  5. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx

    The 121 is a very specific sounding mic.......meaning it does one thing well....that dark and smooth sound. For electric though I find it a bit murky and lacking clarity by itself. Without a flexible mic pre your probably not going to get your moneys worth out of it either........

    I'd stick with more general purpose stuff at your point. Something like an MD421 would complement well with what you have......When you feel you'd like to spend that kind of money on a mic spend it on the mic pre as well then you're getting the best bang for buck.........
     
  6. JCM 800

    JCM 800 Member

    Messages:
    6,652
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Honestly, spending that kind of money on a mic and running it into a MBox would not be a good choice. You would be much better off getting better pre's and converters first. Those will then let a quality mic shine.
     
  7. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    Not sure if the Mbox 2 would be the best interface to gain it up, I would perhaps get something like a Heil PR30 or even a Shure SM7 to start your upgrade, those will have already a big improvement over a 58, though you can still get a nice track with a 57 type mic.
     
  8. zygoat

    zygoat Supporting Member

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA
    I think I'm going to hold off until I get more serious about recording, if that day comes. It's probably overkill, because I just record songs at home as a hobby. I do want to look into a nice condenser maybe. Something to run in combination with a dynamic mic. I've been meaning to get a 57 again because my 58 is old and abused from when I used to be in a band.

    gainiac, thanks for that tip about it kind of sounding dark. If anything, I want to have my guitars come out a little brighter.

    I've been doing a lot of laid back clean guitar stuff with lots of reverb and delay, I'm also trying to work on some of my heavier songs as well though.
     
  9. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    Actually I find that dynamic mikes are usually easier to get a good sound out of for a guitar amp over a condenser in most rooms, unless you are wanting to get some good room tone and back off a little bit. A dymanic is easy to place and get real close and capture a good sound off the speaker. Not that a condenser doesn't work, I just think that at least for me, Its usually easier to capture the sound with a dynamic (a ribbon isn't a condenser either). A 121 is a nice mic to have but perhaps just adding another good dynamic in the few hundred dollar range, I think you will notice an improvement. a heil PR30 has a very condenser like smooth top end, I also like a 421 and a SM7 does a very nice job too.
     
  10. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Location:
    apple valley, california
  11. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,259
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    On Your Mother's Couch
    If you want a ribbon for electric guitar, consider the fathead for $200 or so. This mic isn't gonna prevent you from getting good guitar tracks to tape/disk. Paired with a 57 you are in business.
     
  12. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,650
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    you might find me somewhere.
    ..... & paired with a 421, yer business is booming!
    well, it could be, anyways.
    ymmv.
    dt / spltrcl
     
  13. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,259
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    On Your Mother's Couch
    I have one of those too, but haven't paired it with my fathead yet. This is just me, but being a home recordist who loves the musical creative process dearly, yet is not pursuing it for a living, I could not come to grips with shelling out the $$$ for a Royer. Not to say I wouldn't jump at the opportunity to put one thru its paces at the ole home studio, if someone were to loan me one for a day or two.;)
     
  14. blueguitar322

    blueguitar322 Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Good choice to not get the Royer. For your needs, a cheap chinese ribbon (like the Fathead) will work perfect in combination with an SM57.

    I have a Royer, have three different types of chinese ribbons, and the differences between the two will be FAR less noticeable than other elements typical to home recording mixes (including, but not limited to, compression options, compression decisions, reverb selection, BFD/DFH midi-based drums or poorly recorded live drums, and biggest of all limitations in the monitoring environment, including monitor quality and acoustics).

    This isn't to discourage you from trying to get a great recorded sound...just to help you spend your $$$ in the right place! :AOK
     
  15. johnnyjellybean

    johnnyjellybean Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Hiel PR30 and PR40 are good choices but another "great bang for the buck" mic is the Fathead II which will do well on gtrs and vocals.
     
  16. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

    Messages:
    3,046
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Location:
    North SF Bay, CA
    You have to remember your recording chain is only as strong as the weakest link. In the most basic form, your chain is:

    instrument > mic > preamp > converter

    Every successive stage limits the potential of the preceding stage. It's pointless using the best mic in the world, if the preamps you're running into happens to be cutting everything above 500hz!

    So, I'd suggest you try to de-gas. Take the money and re-prioritize.

    Get some good converters. Get a half-decent preamp. Get a great mic.

    The Royer is well loved, but a 57 (or 58 with the pop-screen removed) is still the goto mic for 80% of studios – pro studios.

    The Audix i5 is becoming a modern classic (like a 57 but more "flat" with better off-axis response).

    The Cascades are becoming popular but you might out grow the budget ribbon thing fast.

    421's are used by some – they're a bit piercing for me on guitar. Not ideal.

    The SM7b is probably the single most useful mic you can buy. It works exceptionally well on male vocals, snare, kick, and of course guitar cabs.

    Bottom line: you can spend way less on a mic that you might actually like the sound of more (this is different than liking the idea of something), and get more out of it by investing in the rest of your signal path.
     
  17. blueguitar322

    blueguitar322 Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    :agree

    Won't quite get you the smoothness on electric guitar that a ribbon will, but sometimes a ribbon is too smooth by itself. I could be very content with a home studio and the SM7 as my only mic.
     
  18. aram

    aram Member

    Messages:
    2,863
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    if you're going to drop $1000 on a royer, i'd say save up and get an API A2d.

    You get two API mic pres and two converters. They sound awesome.

    That will take care of two of your weakest links.

    I used to HATE recording with my MBOX, but after getting this setup, I realized that it wasn't that I hated recording at home- it was that my pres and converters sucked.

    Now I use that setup with a Heil PR30, 57 and Rode NTV (Sleeper tube mic that sounds awesome!!!!) and I'm in tone heaven!!!
     
  19. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Location:
    apple valley, california
    I am not a fan of recording electric guitars with just a ribbon mic, unless you are just recording clean or slight breakup tones.

    the beauty of ribbon mics is how it fattens up the lows and adds depth.

    personally, I always recommend using a another mic like a dynamic and blend the two.

    that way you can get the nice top end attack of the dynamic with the smoothness of the ribbon.

    cheaper ribbons include the fatheads

    i also really like the trion 7000 you can get em used for 150.

    but remember that if you record at low volumes, your mic pre's need to have enough clean gain to get decent signal into your daw
     
  20. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,638
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Location:
    Burbank, Ca.
    I have a pair of 121's and they have hugely improved my guitar sounds. That being said I almost always add a 57 in for needed bite. The Royers by themselves are great sounding, but I always find that I have to add a substantial amount of high end when it comes time to mix. The one thing that I can't say enough about is that the Royers feel amazing. It's just a huge sound without any of that mid naselness that you get from a 57.

    Yes, you're dealing with some lower quality range pre's, but I still think the mic is the most important element after the source. In my experience which is from someone who spends every day in the studio, using the right mic makes way more difference than the mic pre or converters.

    Also, that SM7 recommendation is pretty good as well. I do sessions for a producer that always mics my amps with an SM7 and it always sounds great. I still prefer the 121/57 combo when A/Bing with the SM7, but the SM7 does sound really great. It's hard for me to just use a 57 by itself any more.
     

Share This Page