Professional Sound - June 2017 - Page 23

Electro-Voice ND Series Microphone Collection By Jon Matthews F or me, the Electro-Voice brand is synonymous with quality, history, value, and performance. Their microphones first came to light in the broadcast world; watch just about any televised music perfor- mance or interview from the ‘60s or ‘70s and you’re likely to spot one. EV is also responsible for a bona fide classic in the venerable RE-20, a mainstay in radio and recording studios around the world. My own pair of EV 635as are frequently used on drums in the studio or as a hanging amp mic for live sound; therefore, I jumped at the chance to explore the company’s ND Series of mics. First Impressions When I flipped open the flight case, I was greeted by a very handsome family of mi- crophones. I was immediately struck by the satisfying weight of each of the eight models – the hefty die-cast zinc bodies seem reas- suringly well manufactured and the grilles look like they’d stand up to some serious bumps. The black polyurethane paint and grey accents make for a sleek, professional look that shouldn’t stand out onstage while exuding class up close. Off to a good start... In Use There are four vocal mics: the ND76 and ND76S (with on-off switch), ND86, and ND96. Like all of the models in the series, each of these was designed with a very specific use in mind. The ND76 and ND76S are considered “general purpose” – large-diaphragm dynam- ics with a cardioid polar pattern. Moving up to the ND86, you get a super-cardioid pattern designed for further rejection of off- axis sounds and feedback. The ND96 boasts a hyper-cardioid pattern that should prove useful on exceptionally loud stages, as well as a frequency scoop switch that further smooths out low-mid boxiness. Cleverly, each of these mics has a distinctly different grille design, making them easy to identify at a glance, which speaks to the attention to detail here. I tested these live on both male and fe- male voices on a small soft-seater show and was very pleased with the results. Each of- fered the shared characteristics of a smooth, detailed top end, plenty of mid punch, and big, round lows that sounded weighty without straying into boomy territory. I was particularly fond of the ND86, which seemed especially flattering to its male vocalist. Moving on to the instrument micro- phones, the ND44 and ND46 are both aimed at louder tasks such as drums, guitar amps, and horns, but different enough to stand apart from each other both in looks and application. The ND44 is the smaller unit, featuring a pivoting head that makes placement on drums a breeze, especially with the included rim-mount clip. Its flat grille and diminutive stature also make it a natural as a hanging mic for guitar cabs. I used this mic on a jazz guitarist and found it delivered a full, accu- rate reproduction of his amplified tone. On toms, it offers plenty of attack and more than enough bottom, and with the pivoting head, it’s a no-brainer for this particular assignment, either live or in-studio. The big brother ND46 cuts an impres- sive figure, and I believe it’s one of the gems of the ND line. Based on the rotating head design of the older N/D468, the ND46 ups the game by concealing the signal wire inside the yoke and adding an ingenious locking mechanism, allowing you to set the mic head in many positions, from straight to just past 90 degrees in either direction. The locking mechanism feels quite robust and can be released with one finger, v6W2FR֖2F6FFRCCn( 0&vW"F&vw2BF&V6FvvW"FFRCCBvRffW&r6ƖvFǐ6FW"FRBW7BfVBB7GVFwVF"6"B6&RGWFW2vW&RB6VFV@&6'&vBBVvFW6VVBfb0&VV7FbֆG2&VvW"f"&727G'VVG2FW&^( 2FRCc7WW&6&FBG֖22R֖vBWV7BFR6VBffW"26WvBF&VBF𦶖6G'V2vF6Rr֖B66@v֖B&7B'WBN( 2B2( &RU( N( 26FRVFCb֖vB&R&R6ƖVBFW6RF2֖7&R"&G27GP626VBF&6FVvvF6P67VFr( 7W&RBvVB7FFVƗfW"FPvG22N( 2vB&RFVVvFVFRCc6W6VVBf"FB&706"FVƗfW&rFWFVBgV&FVBg&WFW70&72FRFBW&fV7FǒfBFR֗fǒvRfRvB66FW"F&PFW"7F#FRCcb6F&vЦ6FV6W"&Vf&RWfVV&BB7Fv2&W76VB'G2fFrVBvF6rV666֖"FFRCCbगB6fVGW&W26VV7F&RD""#D BBv72fFW"sR"Sख6FWBWBF2֖2Wv7BЧ6W63C"Bv266VBBrvV@VBWfW&VBFRGv֖726VFV@fW'66R&F&fFrf7B7&ǒFWFVB&W&W6VFFbFRG'V0B7&2vFG&VVFW2GF6@gVW726W7F2wVF"FRFffW&V6W0&V6RƗGFR&R&VBvFFR3C.( 0v26VFrW&2ƗGFR7vVWFW"@FRCcb&W&W6VFrFR֖G&vR&PW7Fǒ( B7GVǒ&R&RFFW6RVFW"RB66FW&rFRCcb0bFR&6RBFG2FRv72@BfVGW&W2B2G'Vǒ7FVbFVf"FP&V6&F7B"ƗfR6VBVvVW"'VFvWB7V'גW7FFVVvB2FVƗGfBBf6&rVwVRW&f&6R@FvFV'F&6r6VBRVV7G&Хf6^( 2WrBƖR76fR7V66W72@( F&V6VBFVf"ƗfR@&V6&FrW6RBWfVB&Bvf FR6F&rG2FfW'6'rF7&6FRvw&B6W6RbFW6RW"F2f"ח6Vn( `GFWw2266VB&GV6W"@7GVFBƗfR6VBVvVW"&6VB6&GFWFvRR2FRvW"W&F"`FR6VB֖B2#rV7B67BW60v&B֖VRf"&GV6W"7GVFVvVW"BƗfR6VBVvVW"bFRV"f"&Pf&Ff6BwwrFW6VF֖6f6V&wwrf6V&6FW6VF֖GvGFW"b7Fw&Ӣ&VFVFW62 FW6VF֖$dU544TB#