Gareth Johnson (pictured) has been producing Natalie Imbruglia and Goldfrapp, as well as recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and writing theme tunes for Alan Partridge of Norwich, England. Two years ago, Johnson launched his own studio, Stand Alone Productions, and has since been writing music for TV and film, as well as producing 5.1 sound for DVD.
For his latest projects, Johnson has relied extensively on the sE Electronics GM10 condenser microphone optimized for acoustic guitar, Gemini II dual-tube microphone and Reflexion Filter.
“I’m often recording acoustic guitars, and let’s be totally honest here: It’s a pain! Guitarists, myself included, move around a lot, so getting a consistent level and tone can be tricky,” Johnson says. “But the GM10 boom-clips onto the body of the guitar itself, so the guitarist could be jumping around the room or even standing on their head and the mic stays in place, positioned in the right place on the guitar body. And it gives a full, rich tone. I really wasn’t sure what results I’d get with the GM10, but I was totally shocked by how good it sounds. It’ll make a cheap guitar sound expensive and an expensive one sound even better!
“Because I work on such a diverse range of projects, I travel around a lot and record in different locations, so sE’s Reflexion Filter is an essential for me,” Johnson continues. “It makes doing vocals in the control room a reality, and it also means that I’m guaranteed a useful recording environment whenever I hit the road with my portable recording setup.
“The Gemini became my favorite vocal mic from the day I plugged it in,” Gareth explains. “It’s simply hands-down the best mic in my collection for many jobs around the studio, especially vocals. It’s warm, crisp and clear and seems to add more detail than anything I’d used previously. It seems to make vocals sound fatter. And the results need less processing because Gemini captures all of the nuances from a performance. That also makes it a great choice as a room mic in the drum room, or for miking up guitar cabinets, too. It used to be a secret weapon, but these days the Gemini is sneaking its way into all sorts of places!”
“Ultimately sE gear is stress free,” Johnson concludes. “There’s enough to worry about when you’re in session, but I know that sE gear will give me the results I want without having to work really hard to get the best out of it. And if I’m worrying less about results, I can relax more in the studio.”