Nashville engineer and producer Bobby Bradley knows a thing or twoabout living up to, and leaving, your own legacy. The 30-plus-yearveteran of the Nashville recording scene has worked with a who’s who ofcountry music, building on that legacy started by his uncles Owen andHarold Bradley, widely considered to be founding fathers of moderncountry recording. Working in the best rooms in Nashville, in additionto the famed Bradley’s Barn, Bobby helps continue and create a newlegacy with Soundelux E47, ELUX 251 and IFET7 microphones along sideand often replacing vintage ELAM 251s, U67s and U47s first used duringthe era of his famed uncles.
Currently Bobby is dividing his time between Bradley’s Barn workingwith artists like Suzy Bogguss, Asleep at the Wheel, Mandy Barnett andothers, and his work with 3ABN (Three Angels Broadcasting Network)founder Danny Shelton. Based in Southern Illinois, 3ABN has grown fromhumble beginnings to the second largest Christian television and radiobroadcasting network in North America. The network beams its 24-hourprogramming to five satellites, which broadcast its messages of healingand hope to every inhabited continent in the world. Bradley and Sheltonhave worked together since the early ’80s with Bobby most recentlyworking out of 3ABN’s extensive recording and broadcast facilities.
Bradley’s first encounter with Soundelux was nearly six years agowith country recording artist Suzy Bogguss. Bogguss owned her ownSoundelux U95 and brought it to every session, preferring it overanything else. Since then, Soundelux has replaced the U95 with itsimproved U99. Bradley next encountered the ELUX 251 shortly after itsdevelopment with help from Soundelux product representative and friendof 25 years, John Downs of John L. Downs Associates. “The first time Iused the Soundelux ELUX 251 was on Mandy Barnett out at Bradley’s Barnafter using U67s on Mandy for years. She is a remarkable singer, soit’s hard not to make her sound good with a good mic, but I thought itsounded better than the U67 we’d been using,” said Bobby.
As a gospel artist in his own right along with his wife Linda anddaughter Melody, 3ABN president Danny Shelton had originally workedwith Bobby at Bradley’s Barn favoring a vintage Telefunken ELAM 251used by Eddie Arnold and other greats. According to Bobby, of the twoowned by the studio, Shelton chose the one with the most pronounced andwarm low end. Bobby went on to explain the course of events: “We hadjust started an album with Danny, and I encouraged him to try theSoundelux E47 rather than his favorite ELAM 251 on his own vocal and itsounded great. I thought the E47 sounded more like Danny’s favoritevintage 251 than the Soundelux E251. After he built a nice recordingstudio at the 3ABN complex, I did so many sessions there I startedleaving both the E251 and E47, which he eventually bought for 3ABN.Both of the Barn’s vintage ELAMs sound different but the Soundelux E47and ELUX 251 hold their own with all of them.”
While the ELUX 251 is meant to recreate the sonic beauty of theTelefunken ELAM 251, and the E47 that of the ’50s era tube 47s, Bobbynot only finds them to be wonderful vocal mics, but often more idealthan their counterparts on a number of instruments. “I use them all onvocal sessions but the EFET7 also gets used on kick drum positionedright outside the head,” explained Bobby. “I also use the ELUX 251 oncellos and in fact any 251 is my favorite cello mic.”
Like his uncle Owen, who may be best known for his work on thelandmark recordings of Patsy Cline, Bobby has cast his own shadow withnew artists using some of the same gear. Unfortunately according toBobby, when vintage can be found, it’s often more trouble than it’sworth. “I sometimes still buy vintage, but the Soundelux mics are muchquieter than the old mics, where you really have to stay on top of themaintenance so they don’t keep getting noisier and sound more brittle,”he said. John [Downs] tells me they’re now shipping the new SoundeluxE49 and I’m ready to give it a try-I’m sure I won’t bedisappointed.”
Soundelux Microphones, a division of Ascent Media, is the developerof the Soundelux ELUX 251, E45 IFET7, U99 and UI95 microphones. Themuch heralded line of professional microphones noted for their abilityto recreate the essence of the sonic signature and beauty of the mostsought after microphones of all time. Soundelux microphones are proudlymade in the USA.
Soundelux microphones are distributed by Transamerica Audio Group,founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde. This organization has quicklybecome the premier U.S. importer/distributor and U.S. sales andmarketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges onTransamerica providing dealers and end users with a higher standard ofproduct expertise and support far beyond the norm. Transamerica AG’sproduct lines include AEA (USA), Apex (Belgium), ATC (UK), Brauner(Germany), Daking (USA), Drawmer (UK), George Massenburg Labs (USA),Metric Halo (USA), Mission Pro (UK), Soundelux (USA), SoundField (UK)and Z-Systems (USA).
For more information about Soundelux Microphones, go to distributorTransamerica Audio Group, atwww.transaudiogroup.com