A weekend at Summer Sonic ‘09

Audio-Technica supplied more than 1100 microphones for the 10th anniversary of Japan’s wildly popular music festival, Summer Sonic, held in Tokyo and Osaka August 7-9.

Audio-Technica supplied more than 1100 microphones for the 10th anniversary of Japan’s wildly popular music festival, Summer Sonic, held in Tokyo and Osaka August 7-9. This is the eighth year that Audio-Technica has sponsored the festival, which attracts the world’s biggest international acts and a cumulative crowd count reaching 247,000 over the 3-day weekend. Two of the headliners this year are A-T endorsers: Linkin Park, back for their second appearance at Summer Sonic, and Hoobastank, making their fourth trip to the festival.

Summer Sonic is a launching point for many new acts in Japan performing on their home turf as well as a venue for worldwide bands to showcase their talents in Japan. Big-name bands perform on six Summer Sonic stages over the three-day show, stretched from its usual two days for the historic 10th anniversary. Day 2 in Tokyo (Saturday, August 8th) saw Linkin Park, Hoobastank, and other huge acts hit the stage.

Besides its amazing lineup, Summer Sonic offers exhibits, a movie and photo gallery, and an incredible variety of international foods to keep huge crowds fed between acts.

Linkin Park FOH & Monitor Engineers
On a busy Summer Sonic day, Linkin Park Front-of-House (FOH) engineer Ken “Pooch” Van Druten and Monitor Engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy took time to sit down with us for a talk.

Multi-platinum GRAMMY®-winning Linkin Park is an all-Audio-Techica band. “Every single mic on stage is an A-T product,” says Pooch. “Obviously we like it, otherwise we wouldn’t be using it. I think the real standout for me is the old-school AT4050—just a great large diaphragm microphone. I find I put it in front of anything and whatever’s coming out of it, I like: the electric signal is an exact match for the acoustic pickup.”

“I like the ATM450,” says Linkin Park Monitor Engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy. “It’s one of my newer favorite mics. Especially for the in-ears because sometimes the high end gets real splashy in the in-ears. And for placement, the side address is awesome.”

The band uses the AT4050 on guitars and overheads; ATM450 on hi-hat; AT4047 on guitar cabinets; AE2500 on kick; ATM350 on rack and floor tom; AE5100 on ride; and AT835ST for audience. Linkin Park vocalists Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda use the Audio-Technica Artist Elite® 5000 Series UHF True Diversity Wireless System, consisting of the AEW-R5200 true diversity frequency-agile dual receiver and AEW-T6100 hypercardioid dynamic microphone. AEW-T1000 UniPak transmitters are used for wireless guitars. Click for A-T Summer Sonic interview with Linkin Park’s Tater & Pooch.

Hoobastank Tour Manager/FOH
Brendon Brown took time out from his hectic schedule at Summer Sonic to talk to us. Tour manager and FOH mixer for alt-rock quartet Hoobastank, Brown says the AE2500 is his personal favorite. “I will not do a show without that thing,” Brown notes, adding that, “The 4050s I use for overheads and to get the real fat, booming guitar tone.”

Brown also likes to work with the AE3000 on toms and snare top. “I moved it over to the snare top too because there’s a lot of times I wasn’t getting that crack and that pop note.” He is impressed with the microphones’ durability: “If you look at my mics, they’re beaten [up]. You can do some field maintenance on them, you can take the windscreen off and pop them back out and they do fine. They can take a beating. I’ve had them for what, four or five years now. And they all still work.”

Hoobastank has used Audio-Technica mics to perform on stages throughout North America, Europe and Japan. Hoobastank’s lead vocalist Doug Robb is using the Audio-Technica Artist Elite® 5000 Series Wireless System with an AEW-T3300 capsule. Drummer Chris Hesse has a pair of Audio-Technica ATM63HE dynamics mics on the top and bottom of his snare, the dual-element AE2500 on his kick drum, an AE5100 on hi-hat and ride cymbals and the AE3000 on rack toms. The AT4050 microphones used on overheads are also employed by guitarist Dan Estrin on his guitar amps, while bassist Markku Lappalainen uses the AT4047. Click for A-T Summer Sonic interview with Hoobastank’s Brendon Brown.