The Two Gallants are heading out on tour this spring in support of their latest album, We Are Undone. It’s the duo’s ninth year touring with their engineer and friend, Moses Mayo, who’s sort of the third Gallant. “Technically my job has changed little since I first started,” says Mayo. “We pull in, get the room tuned in as best we can, relax and then showtime. Personally, though, it’s changed quite a bit. Most touring personnel will tell you that family and bonds are made on the road—similar to road tripping with your best pals. Over the years we have become friends, confidants, brothers, lovers, fighters, manics, romantics, jewels and fools.”
Mayo and band carry a microphone package only, which the engineer says is “by no means a snappy, expensive gang of mics, but they stand up to the touring elements and don’t get sick often. I’ve collected an array of tested and mildly vintage soldiers, including older [Shure] Beta 57s, blackface [Sennheiser] 609s. I do have an old [Sennheiser] 421 with a West German ID plate and low serial number; they sound even, true and subtle around the edges,” he says.
“For Adam [Stephens’] guitars, I split-mic the guitar amp front and back, off center, and take them out of phase. This gives a desirable effect, lending the guitar tone a seemingly wider voice,” Mayo says. “It doesn’t sound so directional and gives the guitar a little more body.
“I mike the front of the guitar cab with a blackface Sennheiser 609, and the back mic is an old Shure Beta 57. For some of [Tyson Vogel’s] drum mics, I use the Audix D Series mics—D6 on the kick and D2s on the toms—and a Beta 57 on the snare top. I am a big fan of under-head mics for the cymbals; I believe you can get more out of them with a tighter response, not having to open them up as much as with overheads,” Mayo continues. “Tyson is a heavy hitter, and we spend a lot of time getting the drums working together internally, and together with the guitar as well.”
For Vogel’s vocals, Mayo uses an Audix OM7; he says the mic’s rejection works well for a powerful drummer. “On Adam’s lead vocal, I have usually used a Beta 58. It seems to work well with his vocal range, but for this tour, I got a Telefunken M80 for his vocals. Trying new things is always exciting!”