Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios complex in Box Wiltshire, UK, recently purchased a range of sE Electronics microphones for its new Mill Side studio. “We wanted to offer a selection of microphones that would both fit the budget and be rugged enough to withstand the abuse they're typically subjected to, and also deliver the best performance for the money,” says senior sound engineer Marco Migliari (pictured).
“Real World owns a Gemini, an sE2200a and a pair of sE3s. I also own a z5600a,” states in-house engineer Dom Monks. “Bruno Ellingham [another producer and engineer at Real World] first put me on to sE mics. He had a few on demo and was getting really great results from them. The great thing about sE mics is their value for money. Because any producer or artist can afford their own sE mic, they're not restricted to where they record, so it's that much easier to maintain continuity. And compared to other low-cost mics on the market, they just sound more expensive.
“Whilst both the Gemini and the z5600a are both great work-horse mics,” continues Monks, “I have had experiences where they are just better suited to a certain singer than some high-end vintage valve mics. I've seen this happen on other people’s sessions, as well. They just suit some people’s voices better than any other mic.”
“They're easy to position and have all of the on-board options you'd need to do a good job, like roll-off filters, pads and changeable polar pattern,” concludes Migliari. “The package was just right: good quality mics, solid build, a selection of useful and lasting accessories, and a decent aluminum case for each mic or pair. Add this to a competitive price, and you've got an easy decision in your hands. I particularly like the tone of the SE2200a – it's hard to find another mic in the same price range that could deliver a better performance.”