Skip to main content
forums, blogs, song critique, support & more...

EV RE20 vs Heil PR40?

The reason Im asking is because people speak highly of the RE20, but I see it mostly associated with micing drums rather than vocals, though Ive heard/seen examples of what it sounds lik with vocals. I like the fact that it has the high pass/low cut switch.

Ive also heard a lot of people speak highly of the Heil PR40, so Im wondering which you guys think is better?

When I say better, I mean better at capturing clean, clear vocals, in my case, rap/hip hop. Im looking to get the Studio Projects C1 for the home studio I record in now, but I plan on putting my own together too. Mine isnt acoustically treated to handle a very detailed condensor in my opinion, so Im lookin to get a few dynamics first. Ive heard some great recordings with dynamics so I dont look at them as a stepping stone at all, especially in my situation. Im getting the Shure Beta 58 first.

I suppose what Im looking for is a dynamic mic, that can emulate the sound of a condensor, the detail and crisp qualities, without picking up the unwanted background noise and room, which WILL be treated. Im also purchasing a FocusRite ISA One preamp to make sure I get a better sound with these mics. Im sure the Beta 58 will give me a sound that I like, but I dont see anything wrong with slowly building a collection, especially if Ill be recording other people at some point.

Comments

Member for

15 years 1 month
Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Tue, 01/24/2012 - 09:46

I think using the RE20 as a drum microphone is something that has gained a lot of credence in these circles, simply because it is excellent on kick. It's my go-to mic for that.

However, outside the shed that is R.O., the RE20 is an announcers' mic, and this is where it finds the most usage. Look at pictures of almost anyone in a pro radio studio and there's an RE20 on a crane boom, maybe with a sock on it. It's excellent on sung vocals as well. It has a minimal presence lift, so voices do not get boomy when close.

I've never used the Heil PR40 on vocals, so can't give you a comparison. It's a good value mic for drums, although I prefer the sound I get from an RE20.

Member for

16 years 3 months
Profile picture for user moonbaby

moonbaby Tue, 01/24/2012 - 11:42

I own and use both mics. Hands down, the RE-20 is a better mic for your situation. It will not get "muddy" when you eat it and it has an excellent resale value should you decide to sell it down the road (but why would ANYONE want to sell their RE-20? LOL!!!!). Great on all sorts of sources, and rapping is certainly one of those apps.
The PR-40 was touted as an announcer's mic, but it is much more senstitive to plosives and it has a good bit of proximity effect when eaten - it gets muddy in that situation. It DOES make a killer "cannon" of a kick drum mic, so I keep it for that.
I bought an ISA One for a project I did with the RE-20, and it squeaked by with enough gain for the mic, but barely. This is not really a bad thing because it made it next to impossible to overload the recording chain. I just traded it in at the Orlando Guitar Show this past weekend for a vintage Oahu lap steel guitar, couldn't help myself.......:)

Member for

9 years 7 months

Maverick87 Tue, 01/24/2012 - 12:00

That's good to hear moonbaby because I was starting to have doubts since the RE20 is a 'broadcast' Mic, didn't know if it would be appropriate for rap/hip hop. Do you think the RE20 would be better for rap than a studio projects c1? That's the condensor I'm looking at, and ive heard it has low noise and won't be as sensitive as other condensors with background noise. I'll be using treated gobos, prosoundfoam, and homemade bass traps but Idk if it'll give me enough when it comes to reducing outside noise, which is why I'm lookin at dynamics in the first place. Plus the c1 has ball rolloff switch and -10 n -20db switches. What do u guys think

Member for

15 years 2 months
Profile picture for user BobRogers

BobRogers Tue, 01/24/2012 - 15:58

I'm another one who hasn't used the Heil, but I'm an enthusiastic owner of the RE20. I think it would be a great mic for rap/hip hop. Its broacast heritage should tell you that. Look at ESPN daytime shows (where they telecast radio shows like Mike and Mike) and you will see a ton of them. Think of how the range of vocal expression that sportscasters use is similar to that used in hip hop. This mic is great at keeping fast, emotional talk clear and articulate. It handles sibalants and plotives very well. Never gets either muddy or screachy and harsh. I'm really against buying a cheap condenser for a limited mic locker. If you already have a bunch of decent dynamics you can add a C1 and it will work out best some of the time. But when a cheap condenser (or any condenser) fails it does so pretty spectacularly (think nails on chalkboard).

Member for

9 years 7 months

Maverick87 Tue, 01/24/2012 - 17:52

Thanks for all the input, I'm lookin forward to the beta 58 and RE20 when the moneys right. Now I gotta find a good external pre that's affordable n I'm good to go.

Member for

10 years 2 months
Profile picture for user Paul999

Paul999 Tue, 01/24/2012 - 22:42

I owned a PR-40 and couldn't get into it. I couldn't get that upfront direct sound out of guitars, bass etc. I recorded a piano with it once that I thought sounded pretty good in a pop tune but I was underwhelmed by this mic.

The re-20 on the other hand is something special. It is really nice on some vocals. I mostly use it on vocals that need good isolation from a guitar the singer may be playing or if a band is in a live setting etc. I LOVE it through API pre's. I've found that my re-20 through an API pre is as good as my wunder cm7(gt) in a lot of instances. It is a world class vocal chain for sure.

I'm not a fan on kick personally. It is good on toms and snare but I tend to favor sm-81's on toms and 57 on snare.

x