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The Electrovoice RE-20 Microphone Is Still A Good Choice For Your Studio

  1. Ayron Thelen

    Ayron Thelen

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    What's good IllMuzik? I'm sure most of you have heard of the RE-20 or might have even used one, but I wanted to do a review on it because I feel like a lot of people look past older gear and set their sites on the newest / most popular thing out.


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    The Electrovoice RE-20 Microphone was released in the the late 60's. 60's? Yeah, 1960's. The amazing thing is that after 50+ years this design is still one of the industry standards for broadcasting. All my recording veterans out there know that recording equipment changes and improves constantly but the technology for microphones has hardly changed in the past couple decades. "If it ain't broke don't fix it" definitely applies when it comes to this mic, and I'm about to tell you why this thing has been around longer than I've been alive.

    So what are some typical recording issues regarding microphones? The first things to p-p-pop into my mind are "pops" from your p's, off-axis coloration, and unwanted sound being picked up. There are obviously a lot of other problems you can run into but these seem to be very common.

    How do you normally take care of these problems? Well you get a pop filter to prevent... pops. You try to be more conscious of mic placement to take care of off-axis coloration. And you slam your head into the wall to take care of unwanted noise being picked up in the "almost" perfect verse you just recorded. What do people recording with an RE-20 Mic do to take care of these issues? Nothing. You almost never have to worry about these things if you're using a RE-20.

    The RE-20 has a built in filter covering its acoustic openings as well as a shock mount protecting the internal elements from vibrations. You can also buy the Electrovoice 309A shock mount for additional protection from vibrations, but it's not required. This mic also has awesome pattern control that prevents virtually all noise from behind it from getting in, while still being able to pick up everything in front of it regardless of the angle of the sound source. You don't have to worry about the placement of the mic as much as your typical cardioid. If you're somewhere in front of it, it's going to hear you and you won't lose a lot of frequency response from changing angles. I also noticed there's no issues with "proximity effect" either, you can get right up in its grill and not lose any clarity.

    You are going to need quite a bit of gain to get decent levels with this mic. If you have a decent preamp you should be fine, but I did notice I had to use a significantly higher amount of gain with my RE20 than most of my other mics. The nice thing about it is that once I did get it up (don't be a pervert) to a decent level, I heard almost no room noise even in an untreated room.

    So overall I'd rate this mic a 10/10 for the price range. I can't really think of a con, besides the huge amount of gain required. Most of the sites selling it say typical applications for it are vocals, bass drum (a lot of people use it for just BD's), and acoustic guitar. I've only used it for vocals personally. If you're looking for a good dynamic mic I'd definitely recommend the Electrovoice RE20.

    Read the reviews on Amazon.

     
  2. Fade

    Fade

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    Nice review. It's true - gear is changing all the time and improving greatly but sometimes the old gear gets the job done too.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest

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    I use the RE20 when I'm doing vocals too but didn't know it was from the 60s! DOOM and Wu-Tang apparently use it too
     
  4. Ayron Thelen

    Ayron Thelen

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    Ay I just realized that guy from sweetwater's name is "aaron", i promise thats not me lmao.
     
  5. Relic

    Relic

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    I bought this mic as a direct result of reading this article. I really like it especially for my podcast. It is excellent for recording vocals as well. It is a heavy mic though, I have trouble keeping my mic stand staying straight and not flopping over because I have a old heavy reflextion filter on there already weighing it down like crazy !