I’ve long been a fan of the Electro-Voice RE20. This rugged mic is a staple for recording kick drum, bass guitar, sax and vocals as well as a host of other instruments (and it’s the closest thing to a ‘standard’ in the radio broadcast industry). The RE20 was introduced in the 1960s and has remained virtually unchanged through the decades. A few years ago, E/V released an updated version of the RE20, the RE27N/D ($840). Not unlike its predecessor, this dynamic cardioid microphone has found a welcome home in today’s audio industry.
The Electro-Voice RE27N/D is 8.53 inches long and has a diameter of 2.14 inches. It weighs 1 lb. 9 oz. and has an attractive satin nickel finish. The mic’s rated impedance is 150 ohms and its fixed cardioid polar pattern has a frequency response of 45 Hz – 20 kHz. The mic’s open circuit voltage sensitivity is 3.1 mV/Pascal at 1 kHz and the power level sensitivity is -51 dB at 1 kHz (0 dB equals 1 mW/Pa). The dynamic mic was designed to work well in a wide variety of broadcast, recording and sound reinforcement applications. The RE27N/D makes use of a neodymium alloy magnet and a reinforced diaphragm dome resulting in increased output (6 dB more than the RE20), minimal distortion at high output levels and an extended high-frequency response. The RE27’s sensitivity, excellent transient response and low noise help ensure an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The mic’s use of a humbucking coil, resulting in a hum sensitivity of -130 dBm at 60 Hz in a 1 millioersted field, reduces noise even more.
The RE27 is equipped with two bass rolloff switches. The first offers a sharp low-frequency cut at 200 Hz dropping the low-frequency response 6 dB from 250 Hz to 100 Hz. The second offers a gentle rolloff of 12 dB from 1,000 Hz to 100 Hz. A third switch reduces the high-frequency treble boost which is normally a 6 dB increase from 2 kHz to 16 kHz. The mic’s cardioid polar pattern offers its greatest rejection at 180 degrees off axis, insuring excellent gain-before feedback. A blast and wind filter covers each acoustic opening on the mic. This helps eliminate pops, breath sounds and excessive sibilance when recording vocals. Part of the filter also shock-mounts the internal microphone transducer.
I was anxious to put the EV RE27N/D to work and after two weeks of constant use, I confess, I’m sold. I found the RE27 to be everything I like about the RE20 and more. My first opportunity to put the mic to work was recording kick drum during a tracking session. The microphone, along with a Gordon Mic Pre and a GML 8200 EQ, yielded the perfect sound. On another tracking date, I put the mic (through a Daking mic pre/EQ) to work on the drum kit’s floor tom and again had exceptional results.
The RE20 has long been my favorite bass cabinet mic and like its predecessor, the RE27 fills this role perfectly. The mic, along with the Daking mic pre/EQ, did a wonderful job of capturing the sound of the bass guitar through a 4-12 SVT rig.
I spent two days recording electric guitars using the RE27 and ended up with some killer tracks. The microphone has a nice, big, tight bottom end and a clean, smooth top that perfectly captures the sparkle of a Vox AC-30 without ever sounding edgy or harsh. I went on to use the mic to record tenor and alto sax and in both instances had good results.
I found the mic to work well with both male and female vocals, although it seems to be generally better suited for the male voice. The RE20 often didn’t work well with softer voices but the extra 6 dB inherent with the RE27 solves that problem.
The RE20 has long been known as one of the premier voice over/radio broadcast microphones and in this field the RE27 truly shines. The mic’s continuously variable-D design decreases the proximity effect resulting in a uniform low-frequency response, up-close or at a distance. I had great results using the mic to record both male and female dialog.
Like a handful of mics out there, the EV RE27N/D is one of those workhorse microphones that can easily adapt to nearly any situation but unlike many of those mics (which often cost $750 or more) the EV RE27N/D is extremely affordable. This makes it the perfect choice for smaller project studios only equipped with two or three mics or the perfect compliment to a larger studio’s mic closet.
Contact: Electro-Voice at 952-884-4051, www.electrovoice.com.