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Capturing Tower of Power Live

Tower of Power has been laying down the funk for more than 50 years, and still hits the road to bring a good time to all.

Tower of Power
Tower of Power lays down the funk. Photo: Audix.

Reno, NV (March 3, 2023)—Embodying the funk for more than 50 years, Tower of Power continues to tour around the world, wowing audiences with its razor-sharp horn section and groovacious beats. Key to capturing all that in concert is a phalanx of Audix microphones.

Originally founded by alto saxophonist Emilio Castillo and baritone sax man Stephen “Doc” Kupka, Tower of Power today features two trumpets, three saxes, full rhythm section, bubbling Hammond organ, and six vocalists. Much of that is captured nightly with Audix microphones, ranging from the D6, D2, and D4 on drums to OM6 handhelds on vocals to yet another D6 paired with i5 instrument mics on the organ’s Leslie speaker.

“Just about everyone in the band uses Audix mics on something,” says drummer David Garibaldi. “My first set was a drum miking kit consisting of a D6 and I believe D2s and D4s on toms. I love them because they have a very low-profile way of attaching to the drums. They don’t get in the way, and the way my drums sound is phenomenal. I’m not an engineer, but I can say subjective things to the monitor and front-of-house guys like ‘more thud’ and they can always dial it in. Our sound has been more consistent than ever since we’ve used Audix.”

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“Doc’s baritone sax mic is an Audix D4,” adds Castillo. “On background vocals, Adolfo Acosta and Mike Bogart [trumpeters], and Roger Smith [keyboardist] each have an OM6. There are several on the drums as David described. I’m not a real technical wizard but I have a good ear. Because I’m concerned about the audience, I go to the front-of-house engineer, and they’ve all given me very positive feedback.”

Being a large outfit with a five-piece horn section and six members who sing, Tower of Power has quite a few open mics onstage at any given time. The band finds Audix mics to be the ultimate safeguard against related pitfalls. “With mixes, people think that the more you put in, the bigger it sounds,” Castillo explains. “In fact, everything gets more crowded and can sound boxier. Audix mics help us to avoid all that and achieve a high-quality mix with clarity.”

“Our front-of-house guy Andrew Gilchrist has worked with Maceo Parker and Dumpstaphunk and a bunch of New Orleans bands,” adds Garibaldi. “Whatever it is the Audix mics deliver, he gets that times ten with us. That classic R&B sound with the nice bass but a lot of clarity on top. People who come to see us comment that they can distinctly hear every instrument in the mix with a lot of separation.”