Heil Sound PR 31BW by neirbod
I wanted to pass on some info on a non-conventional option for a live vocal mic. My band recently auditioned a variety of live vocal mics as the SM58 mics we all were using just were not providing the vocal clarity we wanted. As a singing drummer, I had a particular interest in a mic that:
1) sounds good
2) has a super cardioid pattern
3) was small to better avoid my sticks
After loving the sound of the Heil PR35 on both our lead singer and me, I decided to try the PR31bw. Both mics are based on the PR30, and the spec sheet for the PR31-bw claims it has identical specs to the PR30 (I have never tried the latter, so I can't compare directly). While I did not do a careful side by side comparison, the PR31-bw sounds very similar to the PR35.
The verdict - it is a *great* live vocal mic! With just some rolloff on the the low end and no other EQ, it sounds great - clear and warm. It is very small, and the patter not only is tight, but the spill it does pick up from the drums sounds quite nice, unlike lots of other mics where the off axis response is not flattering to cymbals in particular. It is also quite light, so it can sit on the end of a long gooseneck and stay put.
While I know know a good mic one voice may not work well on other voices, we all found both Heil mics to sound wonderful on my baritone voice, my lead singer's raspy tenor, and my wife's powerful alto.
The only problem is that it is very susceptible to plosives as there is no internal pop filter. But, I used a generic wind screen (designed for an SM58) and that reduced the plosives considerably without any major change in sound quality. This is why "ease of use" is a 7.
At around $250 it is not cheap, but it also will serve many other duties in the studio, so it is still a great bang for the buck.