I am a great fan of manuals. I have said this many times.
My favourite is still the original Word for Windows hardbound book that had about 300 pages and was great to sit with on a rainy Sunday afternoon and just browse through learning all the commands available, most of which probably you’d never use.
Which leads me nicely to the new PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone.
How so, I hear you ask.
Well, most people consider a microphone is something you talk into, and the only thing you need to understand – apart from speech obviously – is that the little switch turns it on and off. Simple really.
Well stop right there, as the manual for the PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone has no less than 106 pages!
As you see, the PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone is no ordinary microphone.
To be more succinct though, to get the best out of the PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone you need to download the Universal Control program, and the majority of the manual is related to this in conjunction with the mic.
The PreSonus Revelator Dynamic is a dynamic mic – duh! – that has a cardoid polar pattern and it is designed for vocals. This means it is equally at home for podcasting, singing, narration and so on.
PreSonus place the Presonus Revelator Dynamic microphone alongside the venerable PD-70 mic they make and say it has the same “clarity and warmth” but with the added benefit of custom presets. It actually shares the same capsule of the PD-70 I am told hence this similarity.
The company supplies a nifty desk stand for it, but I bolted it to an Elgato Multi Mount system for more flexibility in my studio.
One thing that impressed me greatly was its ability to remove reverb along with background noise. In my studio due to the acoustics and overall environment, I have tried just about everything to reduce the reverb when speaking. But every mic I have tried to date – and we have reviewed a few – still gets that slight echo-ey tinge to the spoken word.
Hurrah! The PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone does not, and this alone ticks a big box in my book. Similarly, annoying background noises that are part and partial to domestic recordings such as a car going past, air-conditioning hum and the like are minimised.
The mic is connected to your PC via USB-C on the unit to USB-A on the PC. There is also a headphone jack letting you monitor your recording in real time. I used a pair of Sennheiser Pro 400s for this purpose.
A volume control on the main body of the mic has a multiple role. It is used to set the mic level and the headphone level as well as blend in a mix from the input and computer playback when using the Universal Control application.
You switch between modes by simply pressing the monitor button.
Also on the main body is a Preset button and PreSonus engineers have thoughtfully included 4 separate presets directly in the mic and these are accessed via this button.
Again, add in the Universal Control software and this is expanded greatly to a maximum of 16, including 8 you can create yourself and store.
The mic is beautifully built and solid without being overly heavy and has a foam sock to minimise popping. Mine was a smidgin loose when the mic was on the Elgato Multi Stand and therefore upside down, so if you didn’t push it up it did tend to slip off. A bit of blue tack would stop that.
So extensive is the Universal Control software it almost warrants a review all by itself.
Windows (or MacOS) can be configured so that the Revelator Dynamic becomes your default sound device thus all audio will be routed through it. This means you don’t have to continually change devices if using say Skype and then switching to Audacity to record a voice over.
One of the chapters of the manual goes through setting up your system (for Mac and PC) for Skype, Zoom, Chromebook, iOS devices, and more.
The rest of the manual is designated to using and creating the alternate presets, creating and saving “scenes”, using various effects, filters, noise gates, equalizers, limiters and so on. In fact if you know nothing at all, it is also a good tutorial system for getting you up to speed with the technology of audio processing.
It is safe to say the possibilities of all the options inside the Universal Control Deck are huge and should satisfy all but the pickiest. I’d venture Alan Parsons would be quite at home!
Studio One Artist
Also available as a free download is Studio One Artist music production software. This is a “lite” version of PreSonus’ flagship Studio One DAW (digital audio workstation) and quite a capable bit of software in its own right. You can plug a MIDI keyboard into it to make your own music, and the last 20 odd pages of the manual are dedicated to its use.
At AUD$299, the PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone is damn fine value in my opinion. The audio quality is excellent, and easily the best of the units I have tested of late. The flexibility afforded is a major bonus, and with the addition of the Universal Control package – and once you have mastered its usage – then you could not do better for a mic that covers podcasting, vocals and narration at this price point.
The only downside I found, and the PreSonus people are working on this, is that on my desktop, a Dell Tower, for some reason, randomly the PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone takes over the system and makes itself default, despatching the normally default RealTek audio drivers / card and Logitech surround system to oblivion and I have to reboot to get it back.
A way around this, if this is a quirk of RealTek / Dell is of course simply to use the output of the PreSonus Revelator Dynamic microphone to route audio into the Logitech system.
For more information, see the PreSonus website at https://www.presonus.com/products/Revelator-Dynamic/