Recording - February 2018 - 24

Earthworks

SV33

A mic maker famed for its ultra-linear
mics takes a new direction for vocal tracking
REVIEW BY PAUL VNUK JR.

A

major attribute of the Earthworks lineage is consistency.
This is seen in the firm's design philosophy of crafting
what it terms "high-definition microphones," and in their
distinct look as well. The line is instantly recognizable from its
miniature capsules like those on measurement mics; even the new
DM20 drum mic featured in our January 2018 issue has such a
capsule, albeit on a gooseneck rather than on a tapered body.
As of the 2017 AES show in New York, this has all changed
with the launch of the new SV33 end-address studio vocal mic.
Looking rather like a modernized cousin of the Electro-Voice RE20
broadcast mic, the SV33 looks like nothing the company has ever
brought to market before... including the SR20 and SR40V
handheld stage vocal mics.

The SV33

The SV33 is an end-address design measuring 81/4" x
1 /8". Its broadcast-style look largely comes from its attached
side-mount swivel arm. The mic is internally shockmounted
and damped, so bumps, thumps, and handling noise are
minimal. The attached mounting arm can be unscrewed from
the end, and Earthworks will soon offer a custom Rycote shockmount, which should be available by the time you read this.
7

24

RECORDING February 2018

Gone is the shiny nickel and/or black look of previous
Earthworks mics in favor of a textured Nextel finish. While labeled "dark black," it is more of a deep matte gray finish that
has the look of suede. The black mesh windscreen is a special
multilayered design with metal mesh on the outside and taut
ultra-thin nylon screening on the inside. The end cap of the
screen is a full 1.5" above the capsule; taken all together, the
screen provides incredible plosive and breath protection without affecting the tone of the mic. If you unscrew and remove
the headbasket you can see the mic's capsule, which is 14mm
in diameter (a first for Earthworks) but otherwise looks like a
standard Earthworks miniature capsule, side vents and all.
The SV33 is a fixed cardioid pattern condenser that features
a familiar Earthworks extended frequency response of 30 Hz
to 33 kHz. It has a 145 dB maximum SPL, a sensitivity of
10mV/Pa (-40 dBV/Pa), a signal-to-noise ratio of 79 dBA,
and 15 dB SPL equivalent (A-weighted) of self-noise. It comes
with its attached mount in a beautiful form-cut sculpted and
felt-lined wooden box.

First impressions

With apologies to all the other vendors, the SV33 was the
product that impressed me the most at the recent AES
Convention. Everyone knows a noisy trade show floor is the
worst place to test a microphone, and yet the folks at Earthworks had jazz singer Candice Hoyes sing into the mic, not
just up close but at different distances and even off-center of
the mic, while showgoers listened on headphones.
In this demonstration, two things impressed me. First, despite
her distance or position, it always sounded like her-with
changes in volume, yet with little fluctuation in tone. Second,
even on the noisy show floor, her voice was nice and clear
with great room rejection.

In my room

I couldn't wait to get this mic into my studio! I was in the
middle of tracking lead vocals on a project, and had already
done a multi-mic shootout to find the best mic for the lead
singer's voice. As a result, he was a tad concerned when he
walked into that day's session to find that I had swapped out
his chosen mic for the SV33.
It didn't take long to win him over. When we listened to
playback, he and the vocal producer on hand both uttered
words that I have since heard
again and again: "It sounds just
like me!"
My next use of the SV33 was
for backing vocals and vocal
doubling. I decided to see if it
could do in my room what it did
on the AES show floor. I put the
mic about 4 feet back from the singers
to give some extra space and depth. Again, I was
impressed with the imaging and honest vocal capture of this
microphone on every take, male and female. I also used it for
some video voiceover work; it's a champ there too, thanks to
its smoothly controlled proximity effect.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - February 2018

Contents
Recording - February 2018 - Intro
Recording - February 2018 - Cover1
Recording - February 2018 - Cover2
Recording - February 2018 - 1
Recording - February 2018 - 2
Recording - February 2018 - 3
Recording - February 2018 - 4
Recording - February 2018 - 5
Recording - February 2018 - 6
Recording - February 2018 - 7
Recording - February 2018 - Contents
Recording - February 2018 - 9
Recording - February 2018 - 10
Recording - February 2018 - 11
Recording - February 2018 - 12
Recording - February 2018 - 13
Recording - February 2018 - 14
Recording - February 2018 - 15
Recording - February 2018 - 16
Recording - February 2018 - 17
Recording - February 2018 - 18
Recording - February 2018 - 19
Recording - February 2018 - 20
Recording - February 2018 - 21
Recording - February 2018 - 22
Recording - February 2018 - 23
Recording - February 2018 - 24
Recording - February 2018 - 25
Recording - February 2018 - 26
Recording - February 2018 - 27
Recording - February 2018 - 28
Recording - February 2018 - 29
Recording - February 2018 - 30
Recording - February 2018 - 31
Recording - February 2018 - 32
Recording - February 2018 - 33
Recording - February 2018 - 34
Recording - February 2018 - 35
Recording - February 2018 - 36
Recording - February 2018 - 37
Recording - February 2018 - 38
Recording - February 2018 - 39
Recording - February 2018 - 40
Recording - February 2018 - 41
Recording - February 2018 - 42
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Recording - February 2018 - 45
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Recording - February 2018 - 78
Recording - February 2018 - 79
Recording - February 2018 - 80
Recording - February 2018 - Cover3
Recording - February 2018 - Cover4
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