Singer/songwriter Ian Moore (pictured) selected the Soundelux ELUX 251 tube condenser microphone for his project studio in Vashon Island, Wash. Moore is currently working on his seventh solo album, which is slated for release in the spring of 2007.
“I’m always looking for a microphone that serves a purpose,” Moore says. “I’m not interested in transparency; I’m looking for amazing character, and the ELUX 251 is a brilliant mic for my voice. It works really well in capturing the soul of my voice, the power and the nuance—realistic yet mysterious. The upper mid frequencies capture that space right below the sibilant ‘S’ sound that makes the voice sound really intimate when sung quietly and really present when opened up. To me, the sound is very similar to the vocal sound on a lot of [Daniel] Lanois’ ’90s productions, where the vocal seems to be at the very front of the mix with the music creating an impressionistic background.”
Moore engineers his own sessions in his studio, which is based around a Digidesign Digi 002 software/hardware system running Pro Tools LE. “I can really nail it if I sing hard,” he says, “especially when paired with a Universal Audio LA-610 mic pre and an LA-2A compressor going to the 002 rig. It sounds terrific. You get this amazing transformer distortion, like a tube amp. When you hear a singer do that, it’s got emotion and urgency, and I like the recordings where I can hear that.
“I’ve used it as a mono room mic for a very haunting drum sound,” he continues. “It’s also really beautiful on acoustic guitar, with a lot of nice top-end that brings out the delicate qualities of my 1943 Gibson GI guitar, as well as the low end. It’s a really nice balance. Generally, I mic it right around the 12th fret with the ELUX 251, and I get a very full effect. I can do what I want to do.”