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February 12, 2019

Tech Tuesday – Can You Hear Me Now?

by Donna J. Flor

The first thing you notice about the Electro-Voice RE20 microphone is how large it is. It definitely stands out. This bad boy measures 8-1/2” long and more than 2” in diameter at its widest point.

RE20

But don’t let its size fool you, because an RE20 is amazingly versatile. For instance, when Assistant Production Manager Adrian Galindo mixed sound for shows here, he would sometimes select an RE20 to mic stand-up basses. Audio engineers often use them on kick drums, too.

Outside of live concert set-ups, the RE20 is used in a lot of radio stations and recording studios for broadcast and voice-over work. Its flat response and clarity are just what studio engineers are looking for. The mics are really warm-sounding and have good low end.

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The Mondavi Center owns two of these imposing large-diaphragm dynamic cardioid microphones. (“Cardioid” refers to a specific type of microphone pick-up pattern, which is basically the area from which a microphone picks up sound. This is also known as polar pattern. If you were holding a microphone and looking straight down at it, the cardioid polar pattern would be similar to a heart shape.)

The next time you come to a concert here, see if you can spot an RE20 in the stage set-up. And watch for future posts about other specialized mics in the MC inventory.

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Author Bio:  Donna J. Flor is the Production Manager at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis. Beginning as a freelance lighting designer, stage manager, and stagehand, she has since worked exclusively in production management of roadhouse theatres for the past 30 years. After assisting with the grand opening of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, in 1994, she spent 17 years there leading the Technical Production Department. In 2011, Donna helped open the acclaimed Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. She and her husband Kirk are most proud of Jake, their canine son.