Product Reviews

Electro-Voice RE320 Reviewed

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by Mike Sessler, Coast Hills Community Church

The ElectroVoice RE20 has been from it's introduction a favorite of broadcasters and announcers. Somewhere along the line, someone stuck it in front of a bass cabinet and discovered it rocks as a bass mic. Then someone else put it in a kick drum and found it works wonders there, too. In fact, the RE20 is great on a lot of things. And while it's not super-expensive (at least by premium microphone standards), at $400-ish, it's not a budget mic either.

EV realized there was a market for a more cost-conscious version of the RE20. In January, 2011 at NAMM in Anaheim, they introduced the RE320. Priced at $299.

When I saw it at NAMM, I knew I had to try it. I've used the RE20 in the past, and always liked it. But I have a hard time justifying the price tag when I have so many other things that need attention.

The week before Easter, a box arrived; it was my demo RE320. We were re-setting the stage anyway, so I pulled the PR-48 out of the kick and stuck the RE320 in. I think it was the second or third kick during line check that I knew this mic was not going back.

I've tried a lot of different mics in the kick, and have only really ever been happy with one; the Heil PR-40. I'd love a PR-40, but at $325, it's a tougher sell. The PR-48 was okay, but I never felt we could get it positioned to give us both the punch and the clarity I wanted from the kick. We could get one or the other, but not both.

When I arrived at Coast, we had the "classic" combination of a Beta 91 inside and a Beta 52 in the hole. I know a lot of guys who like the dual mic technique in the kick, and I respect that. My preference however, is to use one. There are a lot of reasons for that which I won't detail here. But know that it's preference thing and I don't think dual mic'ing is wrong. I'd just rather not.

Read more: Electro-Voice RE320 Reviewed


Heil PR22UT - pro audio's best kept secret

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Quietly about a year ago, Heil Sound did something remarkable.  Not so much in a technical way, but in a practical way. 

The microphone business is tough.  Certain models have dominated the music scene for years, and it's darn hard for people to change their habits.  At the time, the Heil PR22 microphone was selling for $165, and was quickly increased to $182. 

When the world's most popular microphones sell for $99.95 (and there are 3-4 good ones right at that price point), I had to admit that I was disappointed.  $99.95 is a magic price point.  Pastors and tech directors don't need approval to spend $99.95, $99.95 seems like the "right" price for a mic, and the list goes on.  $99.95 just works in the same way that gasoline at $3.999 is somehow cheaper than gas at $4.00. 

So what did Heil Sound do?  The people there decided to package the PR22 without the fancy carrying case and without the extra black and extra gold windscreens and called it the PR22UT.

UT stands for utility.  It has a nickel colored windscreen and comes in a simple vinyl bag with a mic clip.  The price?

Read more: Heil PR22UT - pro audio's best kept secret


EV LiveX vs. QSC K-Series Shootout

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by Mike Sessler,

Speaker shootout

Our setup for speaker testing

One of the most interesting (at least to me) announcements at NAMM was EV’s new line of self- and un-powered speakers, the LiveX. They were a direct shot at QSC’s K-Series, and come in at a compelling price point; roughly $200 a box less than a comparable K-speaker. Based on the demo we heard in their small demo room, I was very interested. This was a timely announcement as we are in the process of upgrading our PA in our student room. The existing JBL Eons are just not doing it, and it’s time to make a change. Though we were told the speakers were in stock and ready to ship, that turned out to be marketing-speak. It took a few months of wrangling, but the truck finally delivered two palates of speakers to my dock. It was an exciting day.

Since the K-series is sort of the new standard in this category, it seemed fitting to compare the LiveX to those.

Read more: EV LiveX vs. QSC K-Series Shootout


Control StudioLive mixers with multiple iPads!

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With their new free iPad app, "front of house" can be anywhere in your church!  Up to 10 praise band musicians can control their own monitor mixes.  

Introducing StudioLive Remote, the free iPad app that works with any PreSonus digital mixer.  It gives you hands-on control of channel levels, mutes, panning, EQ and more for multiple channels at once.  Click for a closeup Fat Channel view.  Tweak monitor mix levels, panning and processing.  Adjust the graphic EQ's, well...graphically.  

Combine Studio Live Remote with Capture (2-click multitrack recording program), VSL, plus Studio One artist DAW, and your church has the most versatile, affordable live mixing/recording solution ever.  

Get the whole story here. 

And then get a StudioLive.  We've got them in stock for immediate shipment!

Imagine allowing your sound technicians and your individual musicians to have control of your StudioLive anywhere in the room. Think of it as a "free" personal monitor mixer with no wires required. 


What's an Underhead Drum Microphone?

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An overhead drum microphone?  Sure.  Ever heard of an "underhead" microphone?  From what some would tell, Bob Workman (the Front of House engineer for Charlie Daniels) invented the concept.  

For visual reasons, people have tried to pick up cymbal sounds for years from below the cymbals themselves, but the technique never worked well since most microphones don't have good rear and side rejection.  In short, most microphones, if placed in the underhead position pick up the toms, and too much of the rest of the drum kit. 

The Heil PR 31 BW came as a result of a suggestion from Bob Workman. Bob uses the Heil PR30 for for many applications, but found it too long, so Bob Workman asked Bob Heil whether he could cut one in half.  Bob Heil said yes, and from that discussion, the PR 31 BW was born - a 4" PR 30.  Both the PR30 and PR31 BW feature 40 dB of rear and side rejection, so you hear only what the microphone is pointed toward and not what's behind or around it.  That creates better isolation, more gain before feedback and a tighter mix.  

I haven't tried the PR31 BW for choir yet, but I think that it could make a wonderful choir microphone.  It's only 4" in length, so it would be less conspicuous than the PR30 which works really well for choir.

Flip the PR31 BW over and by using a right angle connector and the HH-1 rim mount, the PR 31BW is the perfect low profile answer for toms, too. Like the PR30, the PR 31BW is fabulous in front of a guitar cabinet, horns and saxophones, inside a Leslie speaker and I've heard rumor of acoustic piano.  I haven't tried that yet either. 

The Heil PR31 BW is a heck of an all-purpose mic.  If you think that it might be for you, let us know.  We'd be glad to have you try it to see what you think.  Heil PR31 BW is $270.00.  Click here to order yours right now.  


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