A-T supplies mics for Berklee’s anniversary concert

A-T supplies full complement of mics for Berklee College of Music’s 60th Anniversary Concert at the request of Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone.

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This photograph is the property of Casey Brefka. Unauthorized use of this image is strictly prohibited.

Phil Ramone requests A-T for star-studded event

Audio-Technica’s microphones paid a visit to Boston en route to the Grammys. The 200-+ mics A-T supplied for the live broadcast of the GRAMMY® Awards were delivered first to Berklee College of Music’s 60th Anniversary Concert.

Twelve-time Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone, who produced Berklee’s concert and would also supervise broadcast audio for the 48th Annual GRAMMY® Awards, selected Audio-Technica mics for the Jan. 28 Berklee celebration.

Front-of-house engineer David Morgan reports, “When Phil Ramone suggested A-T should be involved with the Berklee show, I hadn't had much experience with the mics—but I was very encouraged by the number of positive reviews on the products. Not only did I find a new batch of great-sounding mics, but a great group of people who were a pleasure to work with. The teamwork and positive attitude of the folks in Stow [Audio-Technica U.S. headquarters] really helped make the show a success.”

Morgan’s favorites: “The AE5400 on Paul Simon sounded fabulous. The ATM35 [rack, conga, strings], ATM25 [djembe, tambora, timbales], AE2500 [kick], and AT4041 [ride, agogo bells, percussion, clarinet, oboe, bassoon] mics were standouts. The AT4047 [trombone, trumpet, saxophone] has become my new favorite for brass miking; I love these mics. I used them on the Donald Fagen tour, and we’ll be using them on the next Paul Simon tour, as well as the AE2500 in Steve Gadd's kick drum.”

There was another A-T connection with the concert: Audio-Technica sales manager Tracy Brefka’s son Casey, a sophomore at Berklee, played trumpet in the Berklee 60th Anniversary Orchestra. “One of my professors called me a couple weeks beforehand and asked me if I wanted to play the concert,” Casey recalls. “It was pretty cool to be asked. I was playing with a lot of the faculty at Berklee and with a few of the guest artists, Gloria Estafan, Juan Luis Guerra, and pianist Michel Camilo.” The best part of the night for the budding musician? “I guess just the fact that I was able to be there. I had originally planned to buy a ticket to go see the show but I ended up in it. This is what I’ve always wanted to do, and now I’m doing it.”

The show honored Berklee's 60 years of innovative music education. Other guest performers included Berklee honorary doctorate recipients Paul Simon and Herbie Hancock, Gary Burton, and Chiara Civello. Bill Cosby, also an honorary doctorate recipient, hosted the evening. All concert proceeds benefitted the Berklee Presidential Scholarship Fund, established to bring the nation's best young musicians to study at Berklee for four years with all college tuition, housing, and fees covered at no charge.