Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
New Mic Day - Heil PR40 #3025610 01/24/20 10:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
Last night I picked up a used but excellent Heil PR40 dynamic cardiod mic with box and hard mount for $180.
It is within the realm of the EV RE20 or Shure SM7 but it's own beast.
Well reviewed, has an exceptional frequency response and pretty well controlled proximity effect.

I fired it up last night, tried it with and without my Blue pop filter. It's not as fast or overly "real" as most condenser mics, and not as euphonic and "big" sounding as my CAD D92 ribbon.
Very clear, defined highs. The lows are not over-emphasized but they are full and deep. It doesn't get muddy or smeared sounding.
Without the pop filter some distance is needed to prevent plosives and sibilance. One could also angle it and get closer. The noise rejection is good.

I would try it on anything and I am sure it would sound very good, if not exactly what you are dreaming of hearing. For a small home studio with a fairly humble mic "locker" like mine, it seems like a great addition.

Anybody else have or use one? Feedback? Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3025611 01/24/20 10:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Dave Bryce Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
I've not had a chance to work with one, but have heard nothing but good things about them. Looking forward to your feedback once you've had a chance to dig in and spend more time with it!

dB

Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3025878 01/26/20 05:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
I am planning a "test" for comparing a few mics, including some I've considered to be backups for live use.
I want to become familiar with what I have.

My sense of this is that these mics are all quite different. It is one thing to test a Neumann U87 and a clone of the same mic using identical testing procedures, that would be a fair" test for comparison since the mics are purported to resemble each other.

In my mind it is another thing entirely to test mics that are substantially different from each other - different proximity effect, different effectiveness of the built in pop and sibilance filters, different output, different magnets, intended purpose, etc. There is no "fair" test for these mics, any more than there is a fair test to compare a Strat with a Les Paul. They are what they are.

The real question is "What are these good for?"

So I am thinking more of creating a "catalog" of my mics. It is noted that I did not always choose what I currently own, some of these mics "chose" me. I have an EV PL95 that I like, it was a gift. My CAD D92 ribbon and CAD Equitek E100 (2) were the first sensible offer that arrived after months of listing a baglama saz that I wanted to sell/trade. So I ended up with them and I am not unhappy about it.

My plan is to take a mic, plug it into my best signal chain - Focusrite ISA One preamp with optional RNC insert run into the mic channel of a Presonus Quantum. I'm using the Focusrite as a Cloudlifter with more options. Using headphones I will experiment with each mic to find it's sweet spot and take notes. Pop filters will be in play if needed. Then I will record a vocal track on an existing project using each mic and label each track with the name of the mic.

Eventually I'll be able to listen and compare the different mics. This should inform other uses and workable combinations. It may very weill eliminate some mics as not what I want to record with. All of that will be useful to me.

Since the order is random, I'll use the Heil first and report back. Eventually I may post another thread with full results if they seem to have value for others. There won't be many who have exactly what I have but some may have one or two of them. Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3025929 01/26/20 09:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Dave Bryce Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'm using the Focusrite as a Cloudlifter with more options.

Not sure that's exactly correct. Sounds more to me like you're using the Focusrite as more of a pre-preamp.

The Cloudlifter isn't a preamp - it gets its power by direct coupling to the preamp with which it's being used. The Cloudlifter should be more transparent than just about any preamp - if nothing else, the CL has way less onboard electronics that can color the sound.

I'm not saying either solution is better, mind you - just different. At the end of the day, you should use whatever sounds best to you.

dB

Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: Dave Bryce] #3025937 01/26/20 10:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'm using the Focusrite as a Cloudlifter with more options.

Not sure that's exactly correct. Sounds more to me like you're using the Focusrite as more of a pre-preamp.

The Cloudlifter isn't a preamp - it gets its power by direct coupling to the preamp with which it's being used. The Cloudlifter should be more transparent than just about any preamp - if nothing else, the CL has way less onboard electronics that can color the sound.

I'm not saying either solution is better, mind you - just different. At the end of the day, you should use whatever sounds best to you.

dB


Yes, a pre-preamp would be the correct terminology. I also have a Cloudlifter CL-1, I like it and continue to use it for things that sound better with it. The Focusrite offers features that the CL-2 does not have. Phantom power, an effects loop, a great sounding DI with seperate I/O and gain control. I am not sure if it is the transformer that is coloring the sound but I like it. Since I have a couple of condenser mics I plan on using the Focusrite for all mics, learning the favored settings for each individual mic and recording a vocal with it. Vocals are my primary interest for the recording projects I have planned. I will be mic'ing up some acoustic instruments as well but I wanted to reduce the number of factors in the comparison so I've chosen a single signal chain and a single sound source to start with. The CL-1 will probably get used more for the guitars and percussion etc since as you've noted it doesn't color the signal.

Hopefully that all makes sense! Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3025944 01/26/20 11:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Dave Bryce Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am not sure if it is the transformer that is coloring the sound but I like it.

...and that's the entire point, of course. Ain't no such thing as "right", just what works for you and your music. thu

Quote
Since I have a couple of condenser mics I plan on using the Focusrite for all mics, learning the favored settings for each individual mic and recording a vocal with it. Vocals are my primary interest for the recording projects I have planned. I will be mic'ing up some acoustic instruments as well but I wanted to reduce the number of factors in the comparison so I've chosen a single signal chain and a single sound source to start with. The CL-1 will probably get used more for the guitars and percussion etc since as you've noted it doesn't color the signal.

Hopefully that all makes sense!

Completely. Sounds way flexible, and well thought out!

dB

Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: Dave Bryce] #3025966 01/27/20 01:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am not sure if it is the transformer that is coloring the sound but I like it.

...and that's the entire point, of course. Ain't no such thing as "right", just what works for you and your music. thu

Quote
Since I have a couple of condenser mics I plan on using the Focusrite for all mics, learning the favored settings for each individual mic and recording a vocal with it. Vocals are my primary interest for the recording projects I have planned. I will be mic'ing up some acoustic instruments as well but I wanted to reduce the number of factors in the comparison so I've chosen a single signal chain and a single sound source to start with. The CL-1 will probably get used more for the guitars and percussion etc since as you've noted it doesn't color the signal.

Hopefully that all makes sense!

Completely. Sounds way flexible, and well thought out!

dB


I will add that I plan on doing gain staging from back to front. So, I will turn the gain on the Focusrite all the way down first. Then I will set my headphones in my usual range, playing some tracks and listening. I don't like to listen too loud but I will tweak up just a bit after I find that spot. Then I will use the Universal Control software and turn up the channel the Focusrite is plugged into up until I hear noise, then back down a bit. I'll leave it there, have been planning on doing that in any case. At that point I'll start in with the microphone and adjusting the gain so peaks on the DAW meter show about -6db. My CAD D92 ribbon and my EV PL95 are both notably low gain, which is why I don't want to just use the Quantum preamps. I am wanting to avoid overloading the front end of the Quantum, which the Focusrite is certainly capable of doing.

And I suppose that is why Cloudlifter chose a 20db boost. It is enough but not too much.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3025977 01/27/20 02:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Dave Bryce Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,942
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
[I suppose that is why Cloudlifter chose a 20db boost. It is enough but not too much.

Closer to 25dB, usually. It varies a bit depending on the mic and the preamp being used.

The two Cloudlifters with variable impedance and HPF (CL-Z and CL-Zi) have a switch that dials the boost back by more than half.

dB

Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: Dave Bryce] #3025990 01/27/20 02:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
[I suppose that is why Cloudlifter chose a 20db boost. It is enough but not too much.

Closer to 25dB, usually. It varies a bit depending on the mic and the preamp being used.

The two Cloudlifters with variable impedance and HPF (CL-Z and CL-Zi) have a switch that dials the boost back by more than half.

dB



Nifty widgets!
I won't measure db but so far I haven't overdriven the Quantum, at least not to any audible degree. There are better ways to get distortion, I have lots of options if I want that - from analog to digital.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3026042 01/27/20 07:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 437
Dr Mike Metlay Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 437
I am really looking forward to this, Kuru, and think it will be a great resource. Perhaps it will inspire other forumites to do something similar with their lockers. Practical results and suggested use cases that come from careful tests and a musical ear are far too thin on the ground these days...


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
Wordsmith - Musician - Tech Freak - Amiable Zany
Everyone on this forum is a friend I haven't met yet
-- except for Bryce, who's, well, YOU know.
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: Dr Mike Metlay] #3026282 01/28/20 06:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by Dr Mike Metlay
I am really looking forward to this, Kuru, and think it will be a great resource. Perhaps it will inspire other forumites to do something similar with their lockers. Practical results and suggested use cases that come from careful tests and a musical ear are far too thin on the ground these days...


I've created my basic spec sheet with spaces for 12 mics, which is pretty much the extent of my humble accumulation.
I've already run into an "interesting" problem. Last night when I was getting to know the Heil there was a considerable noise floor. I swapped out the 2 cables, one at a time. I unplugged the FMR RNC from the effects loop (even though it was bypassed).I tried the Cloudlifter instead of the Focusrite, I went straight into the Quantum. The Heil in it's present position is quite noisy, more noise than I would want for some recordings. It also sounds great. It is not unusable but will need a louder source than me talking and singing softly.
There will be louder sources.

It is noted that they do not include noise specs in their specifications sheet. They do claim it has a humbucking coil to prevent noise. Perhaps it is not very well shielded.

I did compare it with other mics and none of them came close to the same signal to noise ratio, all of them were much quieter.

One thing I didn't try yet and thought of this morning is that it might be quieter if I move it as far away from the computer, interface etc. as possible. That works with my guitars and basses.
I will do that and if the results are an improvement I will do it with all the mics. It is slightly less convenient but not much trouble at all.

All that made me rethink my idea of using each mic at it's best potential and for the initial phase of getting familiar with the mics I will try them in my 3 different signal paths.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3026699 01/30/20 02:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
After further thought over the hum issue, I have new procedures planned.

My spare bedroom is farthest away from any potential EMI and the only adjoining structure is the ceiling above me, there is a condo there too.
I have a Fishman Loudbox Performer, the "big" one. 180 watts and a bi-amped 3 way speaker system with an 8", 5" and tweeter. We use it for a small PA system fairly often and are delighted with the clear, smooth sound it provides for vocal mics, and it's ability to fill a decent sized room with our singing.

It tilts back so I can aim it at my head/ears. It has Phantom power (24 volts at high current according to the specs) so I can test my condensor mics too. Probably not the best choice for my one omni due to feedback potential.
With it in one corner and me across the room in another I'll be about 12' away.
I've noticed the slight latency of using headphones does cause the sound I hear to be a bit "different", probably some phase cancellation. Makes it more difficult to do an intial assessment. This should also reduce EMI to a non-issue.

New plan is to leave the EQ flat, turn the Master volume up until I hear noise, then back down just a bit. I will leave it there and adjust the input gain, it should be more than enough for any of my mics, including the ribbon. The ribbon is a figure 8 pattern so I'll open the door (maybe I just leave it open anyway), and turn the mic sideways with the null facing the amp.

I'll be able to listen with open ears in real time for my initial evaluations.

I am also considering using my Tascam DR-40 for recording the dynamic mics. I've used it many times to record and the quality is very good. It does have phantom power but with only 3 AA batteries I am skeptical of it powering condensors properly. I can probably go ahead and test the CAD Equitek 100 (2) since it uses 2 rechargeable 9v batteries for phantom power and I can just turn it on and run it off the batteries. The Shure Beta 87a and AT omni will miss this one. I already know the Beta 87a well, will include an opinion when I put this all on a page.

Easy enough to announce the name of the mic at the beginning of each recording and transfer all files to my DAW for listening/evaluation with headphones and monitor speakers.

As I often say, for every solution - there is a problem!!!! Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3027148 02/01/20 07:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
I got some testing and writing done, here is the first part of the first installment of my personal "mic locker" (hmm.. can you say drawer?) test. This is close to half the mics in current possesion. I will test some more today.

I am finding this useful so far. It is incredibly difficult to provide "accurate" impressions of how things "sound" so no apologies for vagueness. Eventually, I plan to test and review some horrible mics too. There is a use for everything even if it isn't "pretty". Enjoy, Kuru

As posted above, I decided to to an initial test of my mics in a different way than orginally planned.
I set that up and did a brief test of each microphone running through my Fishman Loudbox Performer. The EQ was set to noon and left there, the anti-feedback was off, no effects. The tweeter attenuator was turned down a bit, it is more natural sounding that way. We set it and left it for live work. The only setting that was changed for each microphone was the Gain, some mics require phantom power, the Fishman supplies 24 volts at high current.

The random element is that I turned the mics up to a reasonable volume, where I could hear them well. This was not calibrated, just by guess and by gosh. So, sue me!!! :- D
I intend to get closer using the meters in the DAW when I record the mics. When I say "No noise" that simply means I didn't experience any in this particular circumstance. It doesn't follow that these mics are absolutely silent, they aren't.

I used a Blue pop filter placed about 1.5” away from the business end of the mic. I positioned my pie hole about 2” away from the pop filter. I have two side address mics with inexpensive but effective pop filters that strap onto the mics with rubber bands, I like these since they are effective and efficient. Mine were “branded” as Mudder but you can get them all day long on ebay under different “brands”.
There were no problems with plosives or sibilence under normal singing (for me) conditions.

For what it is worth, I am very open-minded regarding what mic goes where and what combinations might be “interesting”. Since I feel vocals are paramount to my songwriting projects I decided to give these a comparison run first. Where possible, I will link manufacturer specs.

Here are my first impressions.

Heil PR40
https://heilsound.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/PR-40.pdf
This mic was the reason I changed the intial test, it was very noisy in the convenient location I began testing mics in my studio space. My studio rig is simple, very few components. Apparently it radiates considerable EMI. I've had some noise issues with EMG guitar pickups, which are very quiet in other contexts (gigging all over the place).

With the Fishman, the Heil was silent. It is a great sounding mic for vocals. The bottom end was huge but smooth and clear. The high frequencies were extended for what I am used to with a dynamic mic and not “peaky” to any annoying degree. I like it very much, it makes me feel good about singing and the sound I make.

Peavey 520i
https://assets.peavey.com/literature/manuals/80301951.pdf
One of the great under-rated mics. This mic is another large diaphragm dynamic with a neodymium magnet structure. It is more “hyped” in the mids but still has a natural sound for vocals. The output is lower than the Heil, I turned the gain up more to get the same volume. No noise.

CAD D82
https://cadaudio.com/products/cad-live/d82#specs
This is a side address ribbon mic, I used the attachable pop filter described above. Pattern is Figure 8 so I turned this mic sideways to point the null at the speaker. This mic has a huge, glorious low frequency response. The highs are there but attenuated somewhat. Overall it sounds clear to me, not muddy or boomy. This will make a thin voice sound full and rich. No noise.

CAD Equitek E100 (2)
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1016977/Cad-Equitek-E100-2.html
Medium diaphragm hypercardioid condensor mic. Attached pop filter described above. The pattern makes it more important to stay centered and sing to the element than with some of the other mics. The mids and highs are noticeably more present than with dynamic or ribbon mics. The output is higher as well. A full, clear sounding mic, probably good on all sorts of things. A good choice for vocals but I would advise caution if somebody has a thinner sounding voice.
No noise.

Audio Technica MB4000C
https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/resource_library/literature/466fb537601283f5/mb4000c.pdf
Small diaphragm cardioid condensor mic. The low frequencies are attenuated. The high frequencies are very smooth and clear. I didn't feel the need for a pop filter with this mic unless the singer tends to get very close. I'm thinking this mic would combine very well with the CAD D82 and intend to try that as one configuration. It sounds very good if a bit thin. In practice we may not want too much low frequency information in the vocals so it could sit very well in a mix. I would not use this for recording bass or kick. No noise.

Last edited by KuruPrionz; 02/01/20 07:40 PM.

There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: KuruPrionz] #3028133 02/09/20 12:22 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 437
Dr Mike Metlay Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 437
Awesome work so far, Kuru! Can't wait to read about what's next.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
Wordsmith - Musician - Tech Freak - Amiable Zany
Everyone on this forum is a friend I haven't met yet
-- except for Bryce, who's, well, YOU know.
Re: New Mic Day - Heil PR40 [Re: Dr Mike Metlay] #3028136 02/09/20 12:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
KuruPrionz Online Content OP
Gold Member
OP Online Content
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by Dr Mike Metlay
Awesome work so far, Kuru! Can't wait to read about what's next.


Thanks Dr Mike! I've moved it all here in hopes of getting other forumites to contribute. I wanna know about cool mics!

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3027793/mics-you-i-own-whats-good#Post3027793


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...

Moderated by  Dr Mike Metlay 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3