RE 20 questions

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Genereaux, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Genereaux

    Genereaux Active Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Have poked in here for a while, hello everyone!

    Recently found a used (hopefully that's not the issue) RE20.

    So, I get it home and start experimenting. And I THINK it sounds a little 'crispy', for lack of a thesaurus. Like it's almost (but barely) breaking up.
    I first put it on a kick drum (24 inch Camco), then some voice. A little talking and I THINK I sang a little as well (go ahead- insert your jokes there).

    So, to phrase this closer to the form of a question;
    Is that normal for an RE20? Do they tend to be picky about their gain, with a narrow window between 'need more'(compared to, say a 58) and 'too much'?
    OR, do they not like phantom power on the line (I was running a condenser mic on the other channel)?

    In full disclosure, I was running an MBox2 (yes, I finally got THAT to work with Cubase/Vista) into a Vista 32 laptop (dual core) into Cubase LE.
    But I doubt it's much to do with the hardware and such, in that during that same session, I ran a 58 and a CAD E200 to 'tape' and neither of those wound up sounding 'crispy'

    I'll probly do some more messing around with it in a couple/few days, but I figure if there are any care and feeding tips/tricks for the RE20, I may as well know as many as I can BEFORE I have to go off and learn 'em for myself.
    And, as good an excuse as any to rear my ugly head back in the forum.


    (Yes, I am aware it wasn't 20 questions. I apologize for the inadvertent pun)
    (No, I take that back, I don't apologize- its a good pun. I'll stand behind it)
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The RE20 is a great mic-one of my favorite dynamics. It doesn't care a whit about P48. It should not sound "crispy" pretty much ever. It is possible you have a loose connection at the XLR connector or even at the capsule. Does sound "crispy" with all the various bass roll-off settings? (Or does only the RE27 have those?)

    Your condenser mic will be more "sensitive" at the trim pot but the RE20 shouldn't require you to max anything out. Perhaps you flipped the phase or something. Have you checked your cables etc?
  3. Genereaux

    Genereaux Active Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    The RE20 only has one selector switch- "Flat" and ONE roll off.
    The cable itself worked well enough with a different mic (the 58, I THINK), but I CAN cycle through more mic cables.
    Phase is un-flippable (unless I have some REAL 'oopsed' up cables) on the MBox2 HOWEVER!!!! I just looked over at it and remembered there IS a 'Mono' switch. VEDDDY interestink! That could possibly muck up stuff like 'phase'.
    I'll look into it.

    But if worse comes to worst, how do you open up an RE20 (to check capsule/xlr connections)?

  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    The RE 20 has the novel design of what Electro-Voice called their "backbone" design. This, in spite of the fact that it has a low-frequency role off switch, was designed to virtually eliminate the low-frequency buildup from proximity effect. It is however considered to be a very lovely sounding large diaphragm dynamic, known for its smooth almost condenser like quality. Great on announcers, singers, guitar amplifiers, bass drums, cellos, flutes, saxophones. The thin sound is most likely the lackluster/proprietary based crappy microphone preamps from the M-Box 2 has I have one of those also. I'm not impressed by the "neutral, transparent" crispy quality of a proprietary design that no one should be interested in. Sure you can make good recordings with Digi-design microphone preamps, if you like that kind of sound. I don't. I usually feed mine from API 3124 or Neve 3115 into the line input, which still is nothing to write home about an equally crappy. Just not as crappy. It's a hammer with a microphone capsule inside. But just like any microphones, it could've been dropped into a beer? That might account for your dismay in its sonic signature?

    I love mine
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. Genereaux

    Genereaux Active Member

    Dec 29, 2008

    After some more deliberate checking, I will officially determine that (again) Ms Remy is right and this is resultant of the MBox2 and it's pre amps.

    Listening again (to just voice), it sounds less crispy and simply 'thin'. Whatever 'crispy' is there, I attribute to the fact that it's taking SO much more gain than the 58 (the 58 does not display any 'crispy' but plenty of 'louder' under the same trim setting).
    The Mono switch AND phantom power did nothing for or against the RE20, so those are eliminated.

    So I blame the pre's. Sad. But maybe it's workable.

    The Mbox is not the keystone of recording junk, but the Presonus rig (Firestudio 2626, Digimax FS, Faderport) lives at the drummers house (if we remember THAT story). For my house, I'm just tracking demos for the rest of the band. I finally got the Mbox to work with Cubase/Vista and figured it would be better than nothing. Which MAY not be the case (at least w/the RE20). Later, I'll try the EV with the laptops native sound card and report back.


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