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Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

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Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby MarcusH » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:08 pm

Hi

I'm thinking of getting an Electro-Voice RE20 mic and so I was looking at an online 'Users' Reviews' page for the RE20. An owner wrote that in a small flat you can use the mic with a fair amount of gain and not hear the fridge or the people outside unlike a condenser. Can that be true?

First of all I thought that it was simply that dynamics don't put out as much signal as condensers, hence you don't hear the fridge - but the guy did say this was using high gain. Maybe he's comparing a condensor in omni mode or hyper-cardioid to an RE20 in cardioid.

If the RE20 is genuinely good at rejecting background noise in a poorly sound-proofed studio, then that would be a boon for me as my Mumbai flat is a lot noisier than the Singapore one was - but it sounds too good to be true.

Any thoughts?

Marcus
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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby Mixedup » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:43 pm

Well, like the AKG D19, the RE20 is designed to reduce (eliminate?) the proximity bass boost effect that's inherent in most cardioid designs. That means that you can use it closer to the source without unduly colouring the sound... which means you can position it to get a better source-sound:background-noise ratio. Maybe that's what your friend meant?
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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby Jack Ruston » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:40 pm

Well the problem is that once you crank that gain up all mics will increasingly pick up ambient noise, and also of course, noise from the mic amp with dynamics which need a lot of gain for certain parts. I can't say that I've found my RE20 to be immune from this and while it is really good very close, it's not a magic bullet for this problem. Just drink all the beer and then turn the fridge off.

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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby MarcusH » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:55 pm

Mixedup wrote:you can position it to get a better source-sound:background-noise ratio.

Yes that's probably what's happening.

Jack Ruston wrote: ...while it is really good very close, it's not a magic bullet for this problem.

I'm buying the mic for its own sake, so the noise issue is just out of curiosity.

Jack Ruston wrote: Just drink all the beer and then turn the fridge off.

:D

Yeah and also tell the 12m inhabitants of Mumbai to show a bit of consideration and keep it down ;)
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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:25 pm

Happy to stand corrected on this, but if the RE20 is like the SM7, then one reason it's not so susceptible to proximity effect is because the capsule is mounted someway into the body of the mic, which means you are not getting quite the benefits, in terms of source versus ambient sound as say working a 58 on the lips (along with its associated proximity effect). Don't get me wrong the SM7 is still better in this respect than your average condenser, but if you have a serious problem with ambient noise, you may be better off with something like an Audix OM7 which has the best feedback rejection (read ambient noise attenuation) I've come across. Unfortunately, I haven't tried it for recording, but I've been impressed with it live. You do have to eat it though........................

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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby MarcusH » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:06 am

I don't think it is just a case of them moving the capsule deeper into the body. Allegedly the nil proximity effect is down to Electro-Voice’s patented "Variable-D® technology", which also helps maintain a more consistent polar response with frequency. On their website Electro-Voice explain Variable-D :

" On the rear side of the diaphragm there is a perforated pipe (interference duct) with precise sonic slots at set distances. The duct provides maximum damping that is completely uncolored and undistorted at 180° off-axis, ensuring the same frequency response as if the source was nearly on-axis. "

Electro-Voice's full description

Personally, I'm always a bit suspicious of advertising blurb boasting of special patented technologies, not least because I don't have the technical expertise to judge if it's bull or not.

;)
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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby Darren Lynch » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:20 pm

Whatever the EV blurb, the RE20 is proven over time and is solidly 'pro choice' in many situations. I got one in pursuit of 'room killer' mic. I found it picked up a little bit more room sound than the SM7, although both were drier than most other mics. Working either of these on the mic grill means you are achieving a high ratio of direct to reflected sound, but also your head and body are also blocking out reflected sound. However, both of these are way more expensive than the Audix OM3, which I also found adept at taming the room. So I join Bob in suggesting that Audix is worth a look. (Lord knows where you try one out in Mumbai...). However, choosing a mic for what it doesn't do (pick up the room) rather than how it actually sounds doesn't address the actual sound of these mics! FWIW here are my comments on what these mics actually sound like -

RE20 - dry, neutral sound, a bit more ambient than a SM7b.

SM7b - Definitely has the 57/58 family sound, but a bit more polished. Does a good job of giving a dry vocal.

Audix OM series - A more 'produced' sound than the above models, it's brighter but not annoyingly so. Does a very good job of tightening up the low end - the proxmity boost sounds more controlled than the bloom if the SM7b.

Also, beware the not inconsiderable weight of the RE20 and the SM7b. A robust mic stand is essential!
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Re: Electro-Voice RE20 - Truth or Myth??

Postby MarcusH » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:11 pm

Thanks - indeed the sound of the mic is the main consideration and noise rejection secondary. Besides, there's still more work I can do in the studio to make things quieter.

I'm going on a trip to the UK and to the US soon, so I'll get the RE20 and/or the OM7 then.

The RE20s are considerably cheaper in the states. In fact the UK price is £184 more than the US price. That's 50% higher!!
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