With an original sound that is equal parts indie rock and hip-hop, duo Chester French has been on the fast track to fame ever since their first hit single â€œShe Loves Everybodyâ€? debuted on Nov. 18, 2008.
After months of shows and TV appearances, the release of their first album, â€œLove the Future,â€? and a US tour with Lady Sovereign, the pair of Harvard alumni will embark for Europe, returning home in July to begin opening for punk rockers Blink-182 on their North American summer tour. For every performance Chester French will perform through Electro-Voice microphones, enthusiastically mixed by Tour Manager/FOH Engineer Sean Peel.
Peel, a longtime Electro-Voice user, is a busy freelance tour manager and FOH Engineer who trusts his EV mics to stand up to the rigors of touring. For years, EVâ€™s first generation PL80 mics set the world standard for live performance microphones. The new PL80â€™s sound, along with its rugged, natural-feeling design, has made it Peelâ€™s go-to vocal mic.
â€œI love the PL80,â€? says Peel. â€œItâ€™s awesome â€” Iâ€™m glad itâ€™s back with a vengeance! The PL80c (with classic finish) is just like it was back in the day, but with all the advantages of state-of-the-art materials. And not only is it a great live microphone, it even works great when weâ€™re recording TV and doing in-studio stuff like that. But it still makes its real mark in live sound because it does what other mics canâ€™t. To me, a lot of vocal mics start to have problems when they get to high-frequencies and the sound gets really weak and brittle, but the PL80 has a very warm-sounding high end â€“ you get all the top end you want without any shrillness. Itâ€™s especially good in louder live rooms. For these reasons itâ€™s just a cut above the other standard-issue vocal mics out there. Plus it looks really cool!"
And not only does the PL80â€™s sound impress, its design is also encourages users to hold the mic correctly for optimal effect. Peel explains: â€œSingers tend to cup the mic with their hands around the element with other mics; with the PL80 they grab the handle of the microphone, and hold it right. When you hold it better youâ€™re going to sound better, too.â€?
â€œThe N/D468 is basically the best standard drum mic there is,â€? says Peel. â€œYou canâ€™t get any more standard than the 468. Itâ€™s been on drum kits forever. Because of its design, it can stick in really tight places â€“ you canâ€™t get any better than that. And on top of everything itâ€™s got that incredible sound that EV mics have always had â€“ a great combination of warmth and definition. I put 468s everywhere on drums and RE200s on cymbals. I think The RE200 is the best cymbal mic out there. It really captures that swishy sound that I always want out of a cymbal. And of course the 868 on the kick is another industry standard mic from EV. I like the 868 because a lot of times itâ€™s not about the click, itâ€™s about what the drum sounds like, and the 868 delivers that.â€?
Chester French were recently featured as musical guests on NBCâ€™s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on April 21, 2009, the same day as the release of â€œLove the Future.â€? Peel brought his PL80 vocal mics to the Late Night studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the performance:
â€œOf course I wanted to use these PL80s on the show because I knew they would sound better. But, understandably, the NBC engineers were used to their own mics and were hesitant. When I took one of the PL80s out, one of the older engineers said, â€˜Hey I remember those mics from when I was a kid!â€™ Long story short: I convinced them to use my mics, we did the show, and they said, â€˜Wow! This is a great microphone! It sounds great, has great rejection around it, and it sounds awesome on television.â€™ Everyone was very impressed.â€?
Peel also reports that even before their appearance on Late Night, the band was sold on performing with EV microphones.
â€œThe band loves the mics, too,â€? says Peel. â€œTheyâ€™re holding up on the road, they sound great, and our lead singer can hear his in-ears really well â€“ thatâ€™s another thing about the PL80 â€“ people can actually hear their vocal mic and it doesnâ€™t sound distorted in your ear. And the mics are holding up really well, night after night; theyâ€™re solid, theyâ€™re metal, theyâ€™re tough â€“ you canâ€™t bust them. Even when your singer decides to drop the microphone.
â€œElectro-Voice rocks my world,â€? adds Peel. â€œThese are my tools of the trade. EV puts out a great microphone â€“ when it comes to mics, EV has more that are warmer sounding than any other mic manufacturer out there. And thatâ€™s what counts when youâ€™re doing a live show and youâ€™re trying to capture a recording sound at a live performance. Itâ€™s all about warmth at EV, and thatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about for me.â€?
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