Recording engineer George Cowan was recently out with up-and-coming singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson, recording the artists on a series of dates for an upcoming CD. The engineer took along a compact, portable recording setup that included Neumann and Sennheiser microphones and TRUE Systems microphone preamplifiers to record vocals, piano and acoustic guitar.
"It's a live CD, recorded in Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago," says Cowan of Hutchinson's ...Before I Sold Out, a seven-song disc released last year. Available online at Hutchinson's Website or at his live shows, the disc will most likely be the last says, has signed to Maverick Records.
"I used the Neumann KMS 105 on Eric's vocals," Cowan continues, whose experience includes radio and television, as well as studio—he was formerly chief engineer at Bearsville, near Woodstock, N.Y.—and remote recording. He also tours as a front-of-house engineer and tour manager with artists such as Joe Jackson (with whom Hutchinson shares management), Natalie Merchant and Joan Baez. "On Eric's acoustic guitar, I used a Sennheiser Evolution Series e 614, which I was very happy with."
Four Evolution Series e 914 condenser microphones were used to capture the audience. "I also used the Neumann dummy head, 'Fritz.' That was interesting. We put Fritz in the audience, near the soundboard. I recorded from the stage, with a splitter. In only one of the three venues did I have a separate control room. At the other two venues, I was on the stage."
All eight microphones were recorded into Cowan's laptop via a TRUE Systems Precision 8.