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Although it looks like a side-address condenser mic, the PR 40 is a front-address (end-firing) moving-coil dynamic. Its frequency response is from 28 Hz to 18 kHz (-3 dB), which is a wider range than your average dynamic mic's.

Even with its extended low range, the PR 40 has a marked lack of boominess. Heil Sound says this is due to the reduction of the proximity effect, despite the PR 40's having a supercardioid pattern, which typically yields an artificial-sounding low-frequency boost when a mic is placed too close to a sound source. As a result, the PR 40 is ideal for close-miking. In addition, the off-axis rejection of the tight polar pattern offers good isolation when, for instance, you are tracking a full band in one room or are miking drums and want to reduce the bleed from the cymbals and hi-hat.

I used the PR 40 and its sibling, the PR 30 , in my studio for a couple of months and was impressed with the performance of both. (The PR 30 has a 1.5-inch diaphragm, and the low end of its frequency response is measured at 40 Hz.) The PR 40 captured the sounds of drums, trumpet, trombone, electric guitar, electric bass, and vocals with flying colors and sounded particularly good in the low end when used on a kick drum. I even liked it as a room mic on drums and as an ambient mic on a 4-piece horn section.

The only time I wasn't totally sold on the mic was in front of a male vocalist with a high, reedy voice. The PR 40's presence rise between 2.5 and 8 kHz and its lack of proximity effect didn't flatter this particular singer's voice. For another male vocalist who was singing in a lower register, however, the PR 40 proved its mettle as a strong vocal mic.

Standout applications for me were on a large marching bass drum struck with a mallet and on electric bass through a 4 × 10 cabinet. The low end captured in those situations was large without being overwhelming. In both instances, the PR 40 yielded just the right amount of attack, making the instruments come to life in the control room monitors.

My lasting impression of the PR 40 is that it sounds a lot like my favorite large-diaphragm dynamic mics but with an unmatched presence and clarity. I feel certain this mic will find its way into many studio and live-sound setups.

With its rugged build, wide frequency response, and affordable price, the PR 40 is a solid deal for anyone looking to expand their dynamic mic collection. I, for one, plan to use the PR 40 for years to come.


Reproduced from http://emusician.com/mics/emusic_heil_sound/


Heil PR40 Review

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