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If you have a studio, then I’m sure you’re familiar with the standard microphones that have been used for decades, and that are well known for their respective applications. The new Electro-Voice RE320 is one you’ll want to get familiar with.
It incorporates their “Variable D” technology, which in laypersons terms means when you move the microphone further away from the source that you’re recording, you don’t loose low end. It’s also very quiet – no noise, hiss or hum, thanks to an integrated humbucking coil.
The only control it has is a small switch that gives you a choice of a flat frequency response, which is designed for use with vocals and instruments. The other selection is a “notched” frequency response that’s optimized for drums – specifically kick drums.
Close micing was good on the simple Fender guitar amp setup we used for testing, but we found the “flat” setting a bit harsh in the midrange areas. We then changed it to the “notched” setting where it really opened up, providing it a fuller overall sound while really diminishing the harsh midrange frequencies. Placing the mic about a foot away opened it up even more. If you’re into double tracking guitars, do a track close mic’ed and another about a foot away. We were amazed at the clarity of each track on their own, and blending the two was really an eye-opener, especially when we realized there was no EQ or any outboard processing on any of the tracks.
Using it on a kick drum yielded great results. It gave a really nice and tight kick sound that was easy to get, with no futzing around with mic placement. Placing the RE320 on a floor tom was good – not as mind blowing as using it on the kick, and the difference between the two settings was negligible.
Vocal-wise it was super crisp, causing no problems with those pesky popping “P” sounds. While tracking with the “notched” setting sounded good on its own, after comparing it to a take on “flat,” the latter seemed more suitable for an actual mixing situation.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. The owner of our test studio really liked what this microphone could do, saying, “I’ve been looking for a reason to get one of these, and now that I’ve heard it. I’ve got to get one.”
PROS: Extremely easy to get great tones quickly for guitars and kick drums.