A-T mics prized at renowned Aspen Music Festival

Staff engineers at Aspen Music Festival & School praise Audio-Technica studio and broadcast microphones.

‘The sonic character and image clarity far excels over any other micing technique I've tried’

Audio-Technica microphones helped capture the sounds of the 2005 Aspen Music Festival and School, an internationally renowned nine-week classical music Festival that comprises more than 200 events, including orchestral concerts, chamber music, opera, contemporary music, master classes, lectures, and kids' programs.

“I've been using the AT849 stereo boundary mics on-stage at our opera house for about three years,” reports Ronald D. Streicher, Audio Production Engineer at the Festival. Summer concerts took place daily June 22 through August 21 in Aspen, Colorado's Wheeler Opera House, the 2,050-seat Benedict Music Tent, the jewel-like Harris Concert Hall, and in churches and smaller halls around town.

“The sonic character and image clarity these provide me far excels over any other micing technique I've tried to capture the ‘sonic image’ of singing actors on stage,” Streicher says, adding: “They are clear and crisp and perform well under very difficult circumstances: they don't overload even when a soprano lets loose one of her best high notes; neither do they respond excessively to stage noises, such as footsteps or moving props or scenery. Finally, their very low profile renders them nearly invisible to the audience and — more importantly — to scenic designers and directors, to whom ANY microphones are unwelcome.”

Streicher notes the AT4051’s “bright sonic character proved beneficial when used to overcome a rather dull environment — particularly as spot mics to ‘liven-up’ a distant piano in a large ensemble.” He adds that “the AT4049 served as an excellent spot mic over the tympani, capturing the attack without overload and a clear sustain.”

He reports that one of his staff engineers was enthusiastic about the AT4040s, used as a stereo pair on the piano: “The frequency response was very good and served well to overcome the ‘barn-like’ environment of the Music Hall at the school campus.”

Streicher also appreciates A-T durability: “The A-T mics ... seem to be much more robust than their European counterparts, some of which need to be handled with more than casual care.”