The R-122 MKII Live Active Ribbon Microphones from Royer Labs are a matched pair of figure-8, electrodynamic ribbon microphones. The R-122 MKII Live is a road-optimized version of the phantom powered R-122 MKII 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 its switchable -15 dB pad and bass-cut filter deliver flexibility on electric guitars, drum overheads, trumpets, and other live instruments. It produces warm and realistic sounds that ribbon mics deliver. Along with its smooth, natural response, the R-122 MKII Live helps to eliminate the shrill high-end often encountered with live guitars, brass, and drum cymbals. With the faders up, the peaky highs are gone.
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.
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 useful on close-miked electric guitars when less bottom end is desired.
The microphone utilizes a 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 great for drum overheads and percussion. The R-122 MKII Live can be used on long cable runs with minimal RF interference and signal loss, and the ribbon element cannot be damaged by phantom power, miswired cables or electrical glitches.
The R-122 MKII Live features a 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 equalizing 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 mostly 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 positions 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.