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The Electro-Voice RE20: An Iconic Microphone Turns 50

When the Electro-Voice RE20 debuted in 1969, it was introduced as a "condenser killer" for film‑sound and recording applications, but it quickly became a favorite microphone for capturing broadcast announcers, thanks to its heavy-duty internal pop filter, Variable-D technology that mitigates the proximity effect, and true cardioid pattern without coloration at 180 degrees off-axis.

The large-diaphragm dynamic mic soon found a home in studios and on stages everywhere, excelling at capturing low-frequency instruments such as kick drum and double bass and effortlessly reproducing high-SPL sources.

Today, this affordable, versatile microphone is a favorite of musicians, recording engineers, live sound engineers, broadcasters, and podcasters alike. Scroll through a few historical highlights.

Sarah Jones is a writer, editor, and content producer with more than 20 years' experience in pro audio, including as editor-in-chief of three leading audio magazines: MixEQ, and Electronic Musician. She is a lifelong musician and committed to arts advocacy and learning, including acting as education chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, where she helps develop event programming that cultivates the careers of Bay Area music makers.

TAGS: Sound
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