EV microphone with dual purpose usefulness - plus no proximity effect!
UK Beachboys, 04.04.2015
I was recommended this microphone because I needed a radio style mic, and noticed it also was useful on kick drum.
I did a bit of research and discovered the EV Variable-D system - where the usual cardioid bass tip-up when you get close to the mic doesn't happen. The usual base proximity effect is hardly there at all, and it sounds like an omni, but with a useful cardioid response. At about 150mm you can go off to each side of the mic without the sound changing in tone - the thin sound you usually get as you move off is nowhere near so obvious. It's a BIG microphone - the Variable-D system means the capsule itself is quite big so the housing is bigger still. So for the job I had in mind, I'm very happy. Then I tried it on the kick drum. My band is a tribute band - the Beach Boys, and we try to sound as authentic as we can, so a kick drum that goes BOOOOOM is not on the list. I quite like the AKG112 which we use, but that is maybe a little too light. Selecting the kick position on the EV 320 works really well, and the shape allows it to sit closer to the head than the 112. Using a stand is a bit tricky because the hole in the front head is quite low, so the longer reach of the 320 helps. If you use it without the kick position being selected, you DO get the bigger boomy sound, which I guess some people might like.
The mic clamp supplied fits over the XLR socket tube, and is pretty sturdy and well made, and there is a small grub screw that prevents the thing sliding off. For radio station use there is a suspension mount to stick it on an anglepoise type arm, but for me, I don't need that.
There are lots of comments on the net about the dire effects of covering up the side vents, which some people feel the need to do, but I tried it with hardly any impact at all. It certainly didn't make the mic more prone to feedback, which is what I expected.
It's not a bad price and does two jobs - a shame I didn't discover it earlier!
I got this primarily for use recording bass drums as I didn't want to buy a specific "tailored bass drum mic", which to me often sound too "scooped" by default. This mic, having the option of a "flat" or "scooped" preset eliminates that problem. If money were no object, I would have an RE20 as well as one or the more bass drum specific mic's on the market (D112, D6, 52A etc), but seeing as budget is a real factor, this has been perfect for me. I cannot fault the sound it gives me.
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