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Heil Microphones
Old 14th September 2015
Here for the gear

Heil Microphones

Does anyone have a lot of experience with them?

I'm trying to find some new snare and tom mics.

I recently have been reading about the pr28 and pr30 microphones.

From what I've seen in the few samples I found they have some great sound qualities on the toms and the pr28 seems to sing pretty well as the top mic on the snare but I haven't found anything really in depth with the pr28 specifically.

I've used the 421 but i'm just not sold on the rack toms with it. I catch a lot of cymbal bleed and just don't enjoy them as much rack toms as opposed to floor toms.

I'm highly considering picking up a few PR28s but I don't want to take the plunge if it is mostly just hype (and they look pretty let's be honest.)

Could anyone offer their insight on these microphones and if they have any samples as well that would be wonderful. Thank you.
Old 14th September 2015
It's not hype, they make good quality mics that have a clear, detailed sound. Can't speak directly to your request though.

I like PR20 on snare, but have been favoring KM84s and an old AKG dynamic lately. PR30 is also cool, I haven't used it in a while (have lots of options at tracking) but have liked it on chugging half stacks, bass cabs, floor tom (I think, going back almost a decade) and bass drum in the past. In general, their mics perhaps sound slightly "harder" than the vintage stuff, but that's more of an impression than anything else.

Whether it will work for you is hard to say. I've been favoring KSM44s and Blue Dragonflies on toms the last few years. But I've been doing more and more Alt Country/Americana, so less cymbal bashing is happening.

For new dynamic microphones I would also recommend looking at the Beyer stuff.
Old 14th September 2015
Gear Maniac

I have owned all of the Heil mics and used them quite extensively. They definitely have a more modern sound to my ears, and I tend to prefer more classic sounding dynamic mics (sm57, re20, 421, etc).

The Heil mics, to me, have a sort of tubby-ness to the low end that always made me reach for the EQ a little too often.

That said, I know I lot of people that swear by them, but they aren't my cup of tea.

Speaking of toms, I've been a huge fan of the RE20. They can be a little difficult to position sometimes due to the size, but I find them to be clear and punchy without ever getting muddy. And, the off axis response is a lot more pleasing than mics like the 421.
Old 14th September 2015
Gear Head

We have in studio a pair of PR31, PR20 and PR35. I tried PR40 and PR40 in past, too. First of all, I have to say that I am a huge Heil fan. They are my new standards and I use them in applications that other people used to work with sm57, 58 and other famous mics.

About the PR28 now.They are not hype. They are as good as the other Heil microphones for what they are made for. I had the chance to be in a recording session, in which a pair of PR28s was used on floor and rack tom. Great sound! If the set is tuned properly you will not have any problem. PR31 sounds great on toms, too. And of course on snare!!

And some things to close this. I am fan of the 421 on toms. I have some 421-N and the new mkII. They sound great to my ears. Each mic has its character. If you have problem with the leakage you should try to isolate them. You should search about some tricks and techniques that will help you reduce leakage. There are softwares that could help you, too. Like Drumatom or classic gate plugins. I use the Fabfilter gate.

You should check Audix D6 on toms, too. Yes this mic is mainly designed for kick or bass, but I was really impressed when I heard a drum-set miced only with D6s (except snare and overheads).

You could find some samples in ZenProAudio site. Check the Clipalator.
Old 16th September 2015
Gear Addict

If you like the 421 sound but don't like the bleed have a listen to the Audix D2, tight pattern hypercard. D6 on Toms does work but doesn't fix the bleed. The Heil mics get their characteristic sound from the large diaphragms Bob Heil uses. Good sounding mics but again won't do much for the cymbal bleed.
Old 16th September 2015
Lives for gear

I like my Heil mics (PR35, PR22 but never tried the PR28) on snare top and bottom, toms, percussion, guitar cabinets, and vocals. As mentioned, the Heil mics don't have a very tight pattern.

I hear the tubby quality of the proximity effect, especially with the PR35. But they sound pretty amazing if you pull them back a couple of inches more than you would using an SM57. They're my favorite mic if I want to use a dynamic but want to be some distance from the source (background vocals, percussion).

They're also very quiet for a dynamic, and don't need a ton of gain. But they are prone to plosives and the PR35 has too much handling noise (but has two low cut filter options).

So, not perfect mics, but can sound excellent. Maybe not what you need, though.
Old 16th September 2015
Gear Maniac
Nico@SunnySide's Avatar

Good recommendations. Haven't used the PR28, only PR20. Love them on toms, more meat than SM57, but bite than MD421 if that helps. For jazz, acoustic, roots, pop mainly here. Sees a lot of uses on snare, guitar amps, live/pilot vocals in room, occasionally bass amps, conga/djembe, a few occasions bass drums as well, rarely disappoints. Curious to hear more about PR28.
Old 17th September 2015
Lives for gear
cavern's Avatar

I only have experience with one. The PR40. For me, it killed in a 20" bass drum.
Old 17th September 2015
Gear Addict

On a snare a Heil PR22 through a CAPI VP28 = Punch and Presence!
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