e 600/800: Within everyone’s budget – above the norm

At the end of the 1990s, the evolution series changed Sennheiser at all levels – from development through to sales and distribution. Whereas hitherto the German brand had been known for its – rather high-cost – broadcast and studio solutions, the engineers were now also developing microphones for live stages. How does one combine high standards, one’s own experience and the possibilities offered by automated production? The answer to this was demonstrated from 1998 onwards by the e 600-series instrument microphones and the vocal /speech microphones from the e 800 series. As a result, legendary but previously expensive prototypes from the MD series suddenly also became available at prices which – finally – was within the budget of a much wider group of the population. Here, “evolution” was not simply a name but a philosophy. Models whose performance people were not satisfied with were overhauled within a short space of time and reissued. Shortly afterwards the e 900 series arrived to crown the evolution range; these products provided workflow, sound and a robustness which also satisfied the very exacting demands of live performances.

You can shape the sound of the e 614 superbly simply through positioning – if you observe these two ground rules.

The e 614 – a small-diaphragm condenser microphone with a super-cardioid pickup pattern – is like a telescope in its focusing ability. It concentrates on one sound source and filters out everything else all around it. That makes it all the more important to find its sweet spot.

1. The direction has to be right

Naturally you have to align the e 614 precisely with the instrument (ideally its body) that it is supposed to be miking. Admittedly that is only half the battle, because all sound sources that are to be filtered out should be diagonally behind the e 614. At 135°, to be precise. There, the microphone hears almost nothing owing to its super-cardioid pick-up pattern. But don’t worry, you don’t need to use a protractor during positioning. The sensitivity only increases slowly towards the front, which means that “diagonally behind” is absolutely sufficient in most cases.

2. The distance determines the sound

This is due to the proximity effect, which means that low-range frequencies near the sound source are emphasized more strongly. You can make use of precisely this phenomenon when positioning the e 614. If an instrument happens to sound feeble and thin – just bring it closer! In this way you will get a signal with more volume and substance. But be careful with acoustic guitars whose bass sounds have a habit of ‘booming’ if the microphone is too close. If, however, you can only get your perfect sound with the microphone very close to the instrument, then the mixing desk will help you correct bass sounds that are too heavy. Specifically you can – depending on your requirements – activate the low cut function (which filters out unwanted low frequencies) or quite simply turn down the bass sounds. But as always with miking: with the e 614, too, testing and trying things out is crucial.