Heil PR30 - The Last Choir Microphone You’ll Ever Need?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

pr30_4Several years ago, one of our clients called with a challenge.  He needed to hear his choir without resorting to lots of signal processing and radical equalization.  What's a song without the words, right?!  So he asked, "We've tried lots of different condenser microphones; what about a large diaphragm dynamic microphone?" 

My first reaction was that a dynamic microphone couldn’t possibly be sensitive enough to pick up a choir well.  The benefit of a condenser microphone is that its diaphragm has a lower mass and is more responsive to sound.  He went on to say that his condenser microphones ($600 each) were too sensitive and that, even though they sounded great, he was having trouble with feedback and that he was picking up not only the choir, but everything from the third row of the congregation, to the drums, to the guitar amplifier along with the choir, and 6’ up the back wall where the monitors were being reflected.


In short, he had plenty of sensitivity, but no isolation – he was picking up every noise on the platform.  And when the choir ended an upbeat number, he had to make sure that the cutoff wasn’t marred by feedback.  Needless to say, that wasn’t what he wanted.


We discussed it a little bit more, decided that a large diaphragm dynamic microphone might work and started to look around.  Finding this hypothetical microphone took a little doing because the manufacturer doesn’t promote it that way.  They call it an instrument and broadcast microphone.  After hearing the rest of our story, they know it as a choir microphone, too. For years, other manufacturers have made large diaphragm dynamic microphones for radio broadcast, but they didn’t have the fidelity for much other than AM radio.  Do you want your choir to sound like AM radio – even if it is loud enough?  Of course not. 

Not 45 minutes from Saint Louis, in the little town of Fairview Heights, IL, Bob Heil (of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fame) has been making microphones quietly for over 30 years.  Bob is a good friend (actually the best friend) of Joe Walsh (of the rock group The Eagles) and Joe had been experimenting with Bob’s microphone for Amateur Radio (Ham).  They’re both avid Amateur Radio operators. 

One day, Joe said, “Bob have you ever tried your microphones on a guitar amplifier?”  Bob said, “No, of course not.”  To make a long story a little shorter, the Heil Pro Series of microphones was born and Joe Walsh has something like 30-35 Heil microphones on tour, and I think that I understand that the tour is using exclusively Heil microphones.  Best friends or not, Joe Walsh can use anything he chooses – and he had for years, until this discovery. 

Right now, Heil has several designs, many of which we’ll highlight over time, but the three I’ll start with are the mainstays – PR30, PR20, and PR40. 

After the first use of the PR30 on his choir, my Saint Louis client wrote the following:  “The PR30 is an incredible choir mic! Lots and lots of gain, sounds really good and pronounced on vocals.  Feedback issues are gone and I actually had to bring the fader down they were so loud!  I've never had to do that, it's always been the struggle to squeeze out any little bit more before feedback.  And did I mentioned, I’m not using any EQ on the microphones – they’re flat – totally flat!”

If you’re able to say that about your choir microphones, you’re doing something right.  Over the next couple weeks, the comments kept coming:  “Dave, I am now getting unsolicited compliments on the choir like ‘Hey, the choir’s getting better. They must be working hard.’ and ‘What are you doing different with the choir?’ and ‘Did we get new speakers? I can really hear the choir now!’ – all from people who wouldn’t normally notice or care. 

Having sat in this chair for 25 years, I don’t often hear comments like that.  And since then, we’ve sold a whole bunch more of the PR30 to clients who are equally pleased.  It’s truly fun for me to promote a product that has the ability in and of itself to make a major impact for less money than you might expect.  The Heil PR30 has incredible rear rejection so you hear only what you want to hear without all the other clutter, but also with perfect fidelity dues to Heil’s use of a little extra upper midrange in the microphone’s response curve for clear, smooth sound. 

Most choirs would need just 2-3 of these microphones on stands or suspended from the ceiling.   

Heil PR30 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone       $252  (List Price $299)
(Choir, drum overhead, guitar amplifier, horns, and more)

Heil PR20 Dynamic Cardioid Handheld Microphone       $155.00
(handheld vocals, snare drum, etc.)

Heil PR40 Dynamic Ultra Large Diaphragm Cardioid Microphone     $327.00
(broadcast, podcast, bass drum, and more)

Heil microphones come with a money-back guarantee from us, so you can buy with confidence.  In stock for immediate shipment!

All Heil microphones are assembled in the United States in Fairview Heights, IL