Clay Sheff, owner of Smash Studios in New York City
In mid-July, Manhattan’s Smash Studios hosted an open call and auditions for bands and solo artists hoping to appear on NBC’s new StarTomorrow interactive talent competition. The facility turned over one of its large showcase rooms to the production, miking up the steady succession of aspiring stars with the studio’s own collection of Sennheiser evolution Series microphones, as well as three Neumann KMS 105 wired vocal mics that were brought in especially for the event.
“The Neumann KMS 105s were used as a live mic to the P.A., but at the same time we were sending a split signal to a Pro Tools rig. That was then sent to the cameras,” explains Smash Studios’ owner, Clay Sheff (pictured). “We ended up using a couple of Sennheiser evolution e935 vocal mics, also.” Sheff says that in addition to using a large-diaphragm Neumann U 87 to capture room ambience, “We miked nearly everything with Sennheiser mics, including e609s on all the guitar amps.”
The Smash Studios recording/rehearsal complex hosted the New York auditions for nearly a week, according to Sheff. “They were here for five days. They did an open call, with people waiting on the street, which they also filmed. The showcase room was made up as a set and they used many of our other rooms for interviews with the bands before and after they performed.”
Sheff’s 10,000 square-foot facility is located in Chelsea and comprises more than a dozen showcase and rehearsal rooms, plus an extensive Pro Tools HD-equipped recording facility.