Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon in his L.A. studio. Photo by David Goggin.
Matt Scannell—songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist for Vertical Horizon—has purchased the new Telefunken USA Ela M250 tube microphone for recording the band’s upcoming album.
“It’s the best mic I’ve ever sung through, and I’ve sung through original Telefunken microphones, which can cost $30,000,” says Scannell. “As far as the characteristics of the mic, it has great presence and a beautiful top end that speaks so well in the track. If you want the sound of those great classic rock ’n’ roll records, you need to get the great gear. Fortunately, Telefunken USA has done such a magnificent job on these mics that you don’t have to go and buy the old expensive ones.”
Vertical Horizon, formed in 1992, achieved double-Platinum sales for their major label debut, 1999’s Everything You Want. The album spawned numerous hit singles and was followed in 2003 with Go. Scannell recently set up his new recording studio in Los Angeles, which houses a Pro Tools HD Accel system as well as vintage guitars and guitar amplifiers.
“Another thing I love about this mic,” Scannell continues, “is that you can sing very aggressively and it doesn’t break up. It also takes EQ incredibly well. With other microphones, if I added some high-end shimmer, it would get abrasive and sibilant and nasty. The 250 has this quality that sounds right wherever you have it in the track.”
Originally marketed in 1959 by Telefunken of Germany, the Ela M250 is a two-pattern (cardioid and omni) version of the famous Ela M251, and shares the same sonic performance and circuitry of the vintage tube microphones.
“When I set this microphone up for the first time and started singing through it I was good to go,” Scannell concludes. “I actually had rented an original Telefunken at the time and the original sounded darker and kind of tired. You have to give those mics a break—they have been doing some great work for a long time. But this new one is a spectacular microphone.”
Telefunken USA will show its range of microphones at the 2006 AES show in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, booth #1433, on October 6, 7 and 8.