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.