Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Playing With Some New Mics

This past weekend at Coast Hills, we had a great opportunity to play around with some new mics. I admit to being somewhat addicted to microphones. I’m fascinated by how different they can sound, the designs, and finding the best mic for the application. And while I’ve played with a lot of them, my experience is certainly not exhaustive. This weekend, however, the list of mics I’ve not tried shrunk by 5. That’s a good weekend! So here’s what we played around with (they’re all made by Heil, by the way).

Heil RC-22 replacement vocal capsule. Heil RC-22 replacement vocal capsule.PR-22 and RC-22

We actually used this mic last week on a vocal. We all were quite impressed and used it again. The RC-22 is basically a PR-22 capsule that you can put on a Shure wireless transmitter. Our worship leader normally sings into a Sennheiser wireless with a Neuman KMS 105. Now, it’s hard to fault that combo, but unfortunately, it’s in the shop. Our alternative was a Shure UHF with a Beta 87. That’s not been a good set up for us. So we swapped the 87 for the RC-22. What a difference! Honestly, it sounded fantastic. Again, it was rich and smooth but best of all, had plenty of presence and clarity. We had 10 other vocalists on stage this week and a full band. Even when everyone was going full-bore, our worship leader’s voice still cut through with clear articulation. It was never harsh or shrill, but it kept him right where he should be in the mix. If you have any Shure wireless sticks with removable heads, I strongly recommend this capsule.

Heil RC-35 replacement capsule. Heil RC-35 replacement capsule.PR-35 and RC-35

Again, we used the 35 last week. Our worship leader is from New Zealand and has a rich yet soft voice. The 35 sounded great, but perhaps a little too rich. The mic had good clarity, but the proximity effect was too pronounced for his voice. So this week, we tried them on female vocals. Oh my… It was so smooth. In fact, that’s a trait that can be applied to all the Heil mics I’ve used this far–smooth. We loved the richness of the mic on both female voices. Again, it was clear without being harsh.

These are some initial impressions on the vocal mics. We also tried out several instrument mics on snare, kick and guitar; I’ll have some thoughts on them tomorrow.

3 Comments

  1. Church Tech Arts » More

    […] 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 […]

  2. bill.whitt@wadecenter.com

    I used to use a Beta 87 on my voice, but it was a little harsh, so I moved to a KSM9. Over the years, we’ve also used AE5400, KMS-105, SM58, and other mics with our band. I’ve finally landed on a Beta 58, which seems to fit my voice best on most songs (and oddly enough sounds even better than the KSM9 on our Pro Tools recordings). But I’ll be the first to admit I still dream of the ol’ SKM5200 + KK104 combo, which is way out of budget. More realistic is the new e965 dual-diaphragm on a 2000 series or 500 series transmitter. But I have to remind myself that affecting the quality is more a function of working with what’s in front of the mic rather than the mic itself (unless you use a $15 Radio Shack mic, in which case, ignore what I just said and invest in a better mic).

    Anyway, good to know I’m not the only mic addict out there! I’ve never tried or even heard Heil before. But I’d be really curious to hear an A/B comparison with them.

  3. bill.whitt@wadecenter.com

    I used to use a Beta 87 on my voice, but it was a little harsh, so I moved to a KSM9. Over the years, we’ve also used AE5400, KMS-105, SM58, and other mics with our band. I’ve finally landed on a Beta 58, which seems to fit my voice best on most songs (and oddly enough sounds even better than the KSM9 on our Pro Tools recordings). But I’ll be the first to admit I still dream of the ol’ SKM5200 + KK104 combo, which is way out of budget. More realistic is the new e965 dual-diaphragm on a 2000 series or 500 series transmitter. But I have to remind myself that affecting the quality is more a function of working with what’s in front of the mic rather than the mic itself (unless you use a $15 Radio Shack mic, in which case, ignore what I just said and invest in a better mic).

    Anyway, good to know I’m not the only mic addict out there! I’ve never tried or even heard Heil before. But I’d be really curious to hear an A/B comparison with them.

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