Former TELEFUNKEN microphone technician Brendan Morawski is now on the recording staff at Alicia Keys’ private studio in Jungle City Studios in Manhattan, where he employs a wide range of TELEFUNKEN mics, including the rare ELA M 270 large diaphragm stereo tube condenser mic, the ELA M 251E, TF11s, an M16 large diaphragm mic, and M81 dynamic mics.
Brendan Morawski is seen holding a TELEFUNKEN ELA M 251E and flanked by two large diaphragm TF11 FET microphones. Photos by Ramon Ravis.
“We use the large diaphragm ELA M 251E very regularly, which is a really great choice for Alicia because she has a very wide dynamic range, singing really low and then switching to falsetto. Another one of our favorite vocal mics is an early version of the AR-51, known as the M16, and we still use that quite a bit,” says Morawski.
Born in Hartford, CT, the son of two musicians, Morawski’s first instrument was the bassoon while studying classical performance at the University of Connecticut. He stayed active playing multiple instruments and performing in several ensembles around the Hartford area.
During his formative years, Morawski completed multiple recording studio internships, including a position with top mastering engineer Bob Katz. Morawski assisted Katz in mastering hundreds of albums for artists such as Cassandra Wilson and The Krugger Brothers.
In 2010, Morawski began working as a microphone technician at the TELEFUNKEN headquarters, where he was part of the team that developed the popular “Copperhead” condenser mic. He also began recording at the company’s in-house studio, recording artists such as Jessica Childress, Big Head Todd, and Max Creek.
He explains, “TELEFUNKEN founder Toni Fishman built a recording studio with a nice control room in the facility, so we started using the studio to do R&D on new products and we developed the M81 and the M82 while I was working there.”
Morawski mics a grand piano with a matched pair of TELEFUNKEN TF11 microphones.
In 2012, Morawski began working as an intern and then as a staff engineer at Alicia Keyes’ private studio in Jungle City Studios under co-owner/engineer Ann Mincieli. Some of the artists he has engineered for include Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, Santigold, Bleachers, and Jamie Foxx. Morawski contributed to engineering several of the biggest releases in the past few years, including Taylor Swift’s “1989,” Rhianna’s “Anti,” and Kanye West’s “The Life Of Pablo.” For his engineering work on Taylor Swift’s 1989, Brendan won a Grammy for “Album of the Year” at the 58th Grammys.
“For online performance content, Alicia uses the TELEFUNKEN M81 dynamic mic,” says Morawski, “The M81 is a very well-balanced mic and it captures her top end really well and still sounds like a nice high end studio mic when we pump it through a PA or when remixing a performance for video.”
Morawski also recently worked on Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake” and Ariana Grande’s “Thank You, Next,” for which he was nominated for Album and Record of the Year, and contributed as a mixer on Alicia Keys’ new Album “Alicia.”
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik strives for absolute perfection. By offering historic recreations of classic microphones alongside their own proprietary designs based around the distinctive tube mic sound, TELEFUNKEN has established a product line that expertly combines vintage style and sound with the reliability of a modern-day microphone design. TELEFUNKEN’s commitment to both the sonic excellence and quality of all of their products is rivaled only by their dedication to provide the best possible service to their customers. http://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com