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Producer Michael Beinhorn uses A-T’s condenser microphones in new ways to create compelling drum sounds

Nashville, TN 07-18-2003 NAMM SUMMER SESSION — Epic Records recording artists Fuel’s highly anticipated next LP, Natural Selection, is set for release on September 23, 2003. The album, a follow-up to their previous double-platinum LP Something Like Human, promises impressive performances, songs, and musicianship, and also features killer drum, bass, and guitar sounds — thanks in large part to Audio-Technica condenser microphones. Album co-producer Michael Beinhorn, who worked with engineers Frank Filipetti and Nathaniel Kunkel, was pleased with the choice of A-T microphones to create a sonic backdrop of rock music power that sets a standard for what a hard rock record can attain.

Recorded at both Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles and Standard Electrical Recorders, Beinhorn’s personal studio, Natural Selection is characterized by a drum sound the producer says represents a new approach to drum miking techniques for him. “We wanted to get the best sound and fastest transient response we could from the drum microphones, especially the snare drum,” explains Beinhorn, who has produced records for Ozzy Osbourne, Soundgarden, Marilyn Manson, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and co-produced Natural Selection with Fuel guitarist Carl Bell. “I’ve had a lot of experience working with dynamic microphones on the snare, but while they can sound good, they can’t give you that quick response critical to creating a real in-your-face drum sound. With the A-T microphones, we were able to try some new ideas that really made a difference.” These included using A-T’s AE3000 Side-address Cardioid Condenser Microphone as the top-snare microphone and the AE5100 End-fire Cardioid Condenser Microphone on the bottom of the snare. Both microphones are from Audio-Technica’s widely acclaimed Artist Elite® line. “It’s the first time I ever heard a snare sound that big and that good,” Beinhorn comments. “We got the fast transient response, yet the A-T microphones also proved capable of the very high SPL tolerance needed to use on drums. The snare track sounds great all on its own — big and fat — and it didn’t need much in the way of processing at all. It sits in the track perfectly, pretty much the way it was recorded, with lots of punch and presence.”

Project engineer Frank Filipetti (who has in the past worked with artists including James Taylor, Rod Stewart, KoRn, and Elton John) was especially pleased with the performance of the A-T AE2500 Dual-element Cardioid Kick Drum Microphone and AT4047 Cardioid Condenser Microphone. “I love the AE2500 on the kick drum,” Filipetti says. “For years, I’ve used a condenser and a dynamic microphone on kick drums because you get that great combination of the condenser’s transient response and sound, and the dynamic’s ability to handle high SPL. The hard part was keeping the capsules perfectly aligned; even a difference of a few millimeters is enough to induce phase anomalies. The AE2500 solves that issue easily and reliably. I’ve got nothing but great things to say about it.” Filipetti also likes the AT4047, which he calls his all-purpose microphone. “On Fuel, I used it on anything that was high SPL, like the bass and guitar amps,” he remarks. “In the past, I would use a dynamic microphone for those applications. With the AT4047, though, I can get a condenser sound along with the ability to handle high levels of sound pressure. I’ll use several microphones for a guitar amp, but the AT4047 invariably supplies the lion’s share of the sound.”

Celebrating over 40 years of audio excellence worldwide, Audio-Technica is a leading innovator in transducer technology, renowned for the design and manufacture of microphones, wireless microphones, headphones, mixers, and electronics for the audio industry.

For more information on the complete range of Audio-Technica products, contact Karen Emerson, Audio-Technica U.S., Inc., 1221 Commerce Drive, Stow, Ohio 44224. Tel: 330/686-2600; Fax: 330/688-3752.

Audio-Technica is exhibiting at Booth #1228 during the 2003 NAMM Summer Session in Nashville, TN.