Joe Carrell, like many of us, has certain model numbers that he’s attached to—numbers like 47, 67, and 87 mean a lot to him. But sometimes, he realizes he might be holding onto these models too tightly. In the world of audio recording and production, these numbers often refer to specific microphone models known for their unique characteristics and sound qualities. However, Joe’s here to challenge the status quo and explore new possibilities.
Joe usually relies on vintage microphones from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, like the original Neumanns, AKGs, and others. These classics have stood the test of time for a reason—they’re exceptional. However, Joe wants to open his mind to new technologies and model numbers that break away from the past. He wants to see what new tools and technologies can offer, focusing on moving forward and achieving the best sound quality possible.
It’s a common challenge for many in the industry—getting comfortable with tried-and-true methods and equipment and being hesitant to embrace new technologies and models. But Joe’s ready to shake things up and explore a fresh way of thinking.
We’re taking some of our favourite modern microphones from Lauten Audio, Lewitt & Stager Microphones and putting them to the test.
Joe begins by discussing the drum recording. He used a combination of microphones from two brands: Lauten Audio and Lewitt Audio.
- LCT 640 TS: This condenser microphone from Le offers a natural and open sound. Joe used it as overheads.
- LA 120: These transformerless condenser mics were used on toms, providing a crisp and natural sound.
- LS 308: Joe raves about this condenser microphone for toms. Its unique positioning and features made it shine.
- LS 208: Joe used this condenser microphone for the snare drum, offering the best of both condenser and dynamic mics.
- Cascade Gomez: A ribbon microphone used on the bottom of the snare drum for added depth and resonance.
- LCT 840: This tube microphone was chosen for drum room mics, providing a unique flavor to the overall drum sound.
Recording Acoustic Guitar:
Joe demonstrates his approach to recording acoustic guitar, using a Lauten Audio LA 320 tube microphone. He emphasizes the importance of using stereo miking techniques to capture the instrument’s full tonal character.
Joe explains his preference for ribbon microphones on brass instruments like trumpets and trombones. He used Stager ribbon mics to capture the rich and round tones of the brass section.
For saxophone, Joe opted for an LCT 1040 condenser microphone to emulate the sound of classic tube mics like the U47 and U67.
Joe discusses the LCT 1040 condenser microphone as his choice for vocal recording. Its features, including a pop screen and tube technology, make it an excellent choice for vocals.
Recording Guitar Overdubs:
Joe showcases the recording of guitar overdubs using an SM57 for comparison, highlighting the familiar sound of the SM57 and its role as a reference point. He then discusses his use of various microphones and the treatment applied during mixing.
This project was a great opportunity to explore new microphone options and techniques, reminding us that sometimes stepping outside our comfort zones can lead to exciting and refreshing sonic discoveries.
The choice of microphones and the thoughtful application of processing played a crucial role in shaping the final mix of Maxwell and the Shakes’ EP. Each microphone brought its unique character to the table, contributing to a diverse and dynamic sonic palette. The end result is a collection of tracks that capture the raw energy of the band’s performance while delivering a polished and professional sound.