Road Test: Reviews Of The CAD Audio CADLive 3000 Wireless System & D89/D90 Microphones

In-depth evaluations of a recently introduced UHF wireless system and two dynamic microphones -- one for vocals and the other for instruments

Diverse Functions

The first stop was a band playing at a large wedding. I used the D89 on snare, placed about 2 inches away from the top near the rim. It sounded quite good, and this was without a lot of EQ. Rejection of the tom next door was solid.

The D90 was provided to the lead singer, who had a wide dynamic style where he would sing softly and then really belt out the choruses. The mic handled this with ease, and the singer loved the way he sounded in his personal monitoring system.

CAD Audio microphones
What both mics look like under the windscreens.

That gig was followed by a corporate event where I mixed a medium-size general program. I was also asked to introduce all of the sessions and read some disclosures. (The moderator who was supposed to be there had missed his flight.)

So I placed the D90 on a desk stand next to the console and used it as my VOG (“Voice Of God”) announce mic. The channel EQ was flat, with everything below 100 Hz rolled off. The mic sounded outstanding.

This was followed by a two-day outdoor festival featuring several bands. Normally I try to put the same mic on vocalists who share monitor mixes; that way the EQ is the same for the mix and I have less feedback problems. So because I had only one of each CAD mic, I decided to use them both on instruments.

For day one, the D89 was placed on a trumpet/flugelhorn. Excellent result. I needed very little EQ to get a good tone. The D90 was pressed into service on hi-hat, and while I prefer small diaphragm condensers on cymbals, it did the job admirably.

Some of the band members were on wireless systems and would go out into the audience during songs to dance or play solos, and I received several positive comments from them on how great everything sounded. The mics were a big help.

For day two, the D90 moved to guitar amp duty. The guitarist had a small combo that sounded quite thin, but a little low-mid on the EQ made the amp sound pretty good. Because it’s a bit smaller, the D89 was applied for the singing drummer. It attained a solid, rich vocal signature, while the supercardioid pattern helped keep the drums out of the vocal channel.

And over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing several corporate meetings where the D90 has seen a lot of use. It’s served as a table mic for a moderator, as a stand-mounted audience mic, and as a podium mic in place of a larger, bulky wireless handheld. It’s admirably handled everything I’ve thrown at it.

In fact, both mics get very high marks in terms of performance in a wide range of applications, and with their ability to handle high sound pressure levels, they can be used all over the stage, not just with vocals or certain instruments. If you’re looking to add some versatile dynamic handheld mics to your inventory, I highly encourage you to check out the D89 and D90, as well as the entire CADLive Series.

MSRP: D89 – $119; D90 – $129. Find out more about the CAD Audio D89 here and the D90 here.

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