More New Mics

Yesterday I wrote about the new vocal mics we tried out this weekend, the PR-22 and the PR-35. Today, I'll recap the instrument mics we tried out. Again, all the mics were made by Heil Sound, and as a general rule, were very good.

pr20



PR-20

The PR-20 is billed as a replacement to the venerable SM-58. Like all Heil mics, it's a dynamic. Like the 58, it's cardioid. We used it on the top snare. Like legions of sound guys before me, I've often used an SM-57 on top snare. It works well enough, but the PR-20 is in a different league. The sound was full-bodied and rich yet still had plenty of crack. While I wouldn't want to give up our bottom snare mic, if channel count was limited, or if my mic budget was small, this would work really well by itself.

pr-30



PR-30

I've used the bigger brother to the 30 (PR-40) in the past, and have always been pleased. The 30 is a large diaphragm front-address dynamic. It's billed as the "ultimate guitar mic" on the Heil web site. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But it sounded really good. It's super-smooth with a response peak at about 4K that provides a nice edge to an electric guitar, helping it cut through the mix, but again, with no harshness. It also (along with the PR-40) makes an excellent studio recording mic for vocals. I used the PR-40 for doing voice-overs and was amazed. Leo Laporte of This Week in Tech is a user and a big fan of the 40, by the way.

pr-48


PR-48

This mic is part of the Drum Mic kits that Heil offers. I don't know if it's available separately or not; it's not listed as such on their website.  ** UPDATE: The PR-48 is available as a stand-alone product. Good news! Thanks to Greg from Heil for the clarification. **  We used the PR-40 on the kick at Upper Room and I really liked it. The 48 is a purpose-built Kick mic. It has a peak in the response around 60 and another one in the upper mid-range (I'm not sure where, I can't find specs online). What those peaks provide are a nice, rich kick sound that's not over-hyped at the low end, with a good amount of beater smack. We paired it with a Beta-91 inside the kick, and together they sounded great. Again, if you can use two do so. But if you only have room and budget for a single kick mic, the 48 would be a great choice.

These are just some preliminary impressions. As we get more time with the mics, I'll keep writing.