Staff engineers at the Record Plant, one of the world’s leading music recording and mixing facilities, praise Audio-Technica’s line of studio microphones.
Shown (left-right) are Mike Eleopoulos, Jun Ishizeki, Anthony Kilhoffer, Rose Mann-Cherney, J.D. Andrew and Franny Graham at the Record Plant, which employs a wide array of Audio-Technica microphones. Photo by Maureen Droney. (This photo is property of Maureen Droney . Unauthorized use or alteration of this image is strictly prohibited.)
‘The sound was incredible, rich and full’
The Record Plant, now in its fourth decade as one of the world’s leading music recording and mixing facilities, is home to thousands of hit records, from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Nelly and Usher. Audio-Technica microphones continue to be instrumental in capturing the Record Plant sound. The exceptional staff of engineers at the Record Plant all find opportunities on an almost daily basis to match a great A-T microphone with a great artist’s performance. They recently chose A-T microphones for much of the recording of GRAMMY®-winner Kanye West’s phenomenally successful LP The College Dropout, as well as recordings by the Pussycat Dolls and keyboard genius John Legend.
“The AT4050 is what I used for most of Kanye’s vocals,” says Record Plant Staff Engineer Jun Ishizeki. “It has a slight but very effective bump in the upper-midrange that’s right where many engineers start to push, so it really enhances the vocal at that critical point. At the same time, the AT4050 is a very flat-response microphone, so you’re always getting the actual sound of the singer, not the curve of the microphone itself. I love that combination.”
Staff Engineer Mike Eleopoulos has found a favorite in the ATM25. “I will use that microphone on a kick drum, on toms, on electric guitar, on bass — it’s an amazing all-purpose microphone,” he remarks. “I used it on the Pussycat Dolls record, with Ron Fair producing and Tal Herzberg as Pro Tools® engineer. On the kick, I placed it inside the drum — it produces the perfect combination of attack and low end. With the ATM25, you get the full-range sound of the drum without having to resort to drastic EQ.” Eleopoulos says he was turned on to the ATM25 by engineer and producer Ed Cherney, who uses it on toms in conjunction with the ATM23HE on the snare. “He told me that he had finally found a microphone that he could just put up and go with, no massive tuning and EQ,” Eleopoulos adds. “In our world, word-of-mouth is the best recommendation a product can get, and the A-T microphones get plenty of comments.”
Anthony Kilhoffer, also a Staff Engineer at the Record Plant, says he’s a huge fan of the ATM25, as well. “It has a great-sounding bump at around 60 Hz that really suits low-frequency instruments like kick and bass,” he explains. “But I’ll use it on almost anything — I had it on acoustic guitars on one project and on the horns for the Black Eyed Peas record.” Kilhoffer also worked on the Kanye West recording, and found that vocals responded well to the AT4060, but he was ecstatic at the result he got when he used the phantom-powered AT3060 cardioid tube microphone on John Legend’s piano, both for West’s album and for Legend’s solo recording. The AT3060’s side-address configuration allowed him to position two of the mics as a stereo pair above the hammers, and another AT3060 underneath the piano to gather the resonant ambience. “The sound was incredible, rich and full,” Kilhoffer reports.
The Record Plant’s manager, Rose Mann-Cherney, concludes, “We always look to match the client’s needs and personality with the right engineer, and the engineer in turn chooses the mics that are the right match for the project.”