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Let’s start out by agreeing with one thing. The cardinal rule of music, musicians, and fans alike: Sound.
I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a very visually stimulated person. I believe the “look” is of the most important aspects of a live show, of a band, of an event. I believe the colors should be right, the grass should be cut, the car should be clean, forever, etc. Even then the greatest of these, the most important part of life and existence, is love and love is equal to sound.
As luck would have it, I’ve been blessed with a few special things in my short life. I was born to a caring, brilliant mother and a talented, determined father. From these two I inherited my musical talents. With these talents I was chosen to play in a band with “the sound of what’s happening now,” Young Buffalo. With a few emails and a good-time band, I was blessed to try out the Artist Series of mics from Audio-Technica by way of Performer Magazine and my new friend Benjamin Ricci [editor’s note: aww, shucks].
I’ll take you around our mic set-up piece by piece as if we were doing a sound check on our last tour supporting Little Hurricane. My 22” Mapex kick drum sported an ATM250, which provided a well-rounded tone. I personally prefer a little bit of attack with a fair amount of low end as well, but this just may be the mic for you. We also used this mic on Andy’s Ampeg SVT 6-10 bass cab in conjunction with a DI box, which gave us full range, hi and ultra-low with the DI and beautiful mid-low range and space with the mic.
My Pearl Chad Smith Signature Snare used an ATM 650 Hypercardioid Dynamic mic that allowed the true, fat with top end crack, sound of my snare blend well into its spot in the mix. The ATM650 was also used on Ben’s Fender 4×10 guitar cab and Jim’s Roland JC120 and Fender Hotrod Deluxe, allowing the same explosion of sound from the guitars, solid and supportive mid-low sound, beefy distortions, ambient delay and chorus, and clear solos over top the music.
The Zildjian hi-hats and cymbals I use were amplified by the ATM450 Cardioid Condenser mics: low profile, clean, with the sparkle you want from your cymbals and tambourines. My 13” and 15” Mapex toms used the super discreet ATM350 Cardioid Condenser clip-ons. The Young Buffalo sound is focused around very percussive beats, mainly on toms. This is certainly an area not to overlook and these mics gave us the robust, symmetrical tones we love in our tom sounds.
Pumping out the vocals for the band, Ben and Jim used the ATM410 Cardioid Dynamics in conjunction with Boss VE-20 vocal pedals, while I used the ATM610 Hypercardioid Dynamic. This combination of vocal mics not only helped keep our harmonies tight, but put the vocals in their precise place in the mix without bleeding into the EQs of the other sounds on stage, in the monitors, and out front. We plan to add a few percussion pieces to Will’s key world and I’m positive we’ll start with the Artist Series when choosing our mics. If you need a second opinion, ask tour FOH Engineer Ryan Hall or you can come see us for yourself. You’ll like the sound.
If it’s that (insert explosion emoticon here) your band is looking for, that new thing we’re all listening for, that tune that will stay in one’s head and transcend the atmosphere as we currently know it, if you’re ready to fully “go for it,” invest in yourself and practice, then invest in your sound. Try out these Artist Series mics from our friends at Audio-Technica and tell them Timothy sent you. Peace, Bud.
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And for more on Audio-Technica Artist Series Mics, visit this link.