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Microphone Talk: Heil Sound PR40 Microphone

[April 2010] Picking the right microphone and getting just right sound is a very personal matter. John Lackness has found a new personal favorite.

Over the last couple of years, and after a lot of prodding by friends, I decided to get back into doing voiceover work. While the market is very saturated right now, it seemed like I should just go ahead and jump into the fray. So I did, although on a somewhat limited basis.

Obviously, to do the job right, I immediately focused on the two big things that I needed to purchase: a new microphone and a good microphone processor.

A New Favorite

I loved my ElectroVoice RE20 microphone. Really, I did. But, I always felt that after umpteen years, I was missing out on something. While at the NAB show about two years ago, I had a chance to stop and try some of the Heil Sound microphones.

The handhelds were nice microphones. But, it was not until I got a chance to get up close and personal with the PR40 that I really got interested.

Sure, the sound of the convention center was hindering a good tryout, but I was really impressed with its sound – to my ears it was nice and rich. Fast forward two years and two conversations with Bob Heil later, and I decided to go out on a limb and try the PR40. Simply put, I love it. My old EV hasn’t even seen the light of day since.

Why I Like It

At first glance, the microphone it looks a bit like the shortened version of the old RE20 because of the flat silver finish and similar cylindrical shape, but, really that is where the similarity ended.

It comes in a nice case (which will probably never get used again), has no roll off switches or anything like that. Overall, it is just a nice microphone. I loved the proximity effect I got when I got up real close to the microphone – something I never really could get satisfactorily from my old microphone. In fact, that was the big seller for me: nice reproduction of sound with a bit of the low end being brought up.

When I combined the PR40 with my new Vorsis M1 microphone processor, it just made me a bit giddy. Well, maybe not giddy, but darn happy I got it. No, it is not a condenser microphone, nor does it stand up to a good condenser. Maybe later I will look at one of those. But not for now.

And when you figure in a list price of just $375.00, well, that is a ton of moola less than my formerly favorite microphone. Put it together with their optional SM-2 shock mount and a Windtech 20/421, and you will find the new vocal love of your life.

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Based in San Antonio, Texas, John Lackness is the Southwest representative for SCMS, Inc. If you have questions, contact John at his office at 877-390-7267 or email him at

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