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Los Angeles, CA … For anyone who has ever recorded drums in the studio, they know firsthand how difficult the process can be. No other instrument has the potential to sound cheesy quite like the drums. With the wrong mics and less than solid engineering skills, attack transients can overwhelm and distort the sound, cymbal decay can sound brittle and, before you know it, there’s somebody beating on trash cans in the background of what is, otherwise, a terrific track. No wonder samplers have proven so popular in home studios! But samplers simply don’t have the feel and spontaneity of a real player. So for Producer/Mixer/Engineer Joe Barresi, capturing a big, rockin’ drum sound is essential—and for this, he relies on his Mojave Audio MA-200 condenser microphones.

Joe Barresi has produced, engineered and mixed some of the most important hard rock, metal, and

punk bands of the last 15 years, including Tool, Queens of The Stone Age, Bad Religion, The Melvins, Skunk Anansie, Turbonegro, and Clutch. Working out of his his private studio, JHOC (Joe’s House of Compression), he’s recently been hard at work on the forthcoming Columbia Records album for the Nyack, New York-based progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria.

To further ensure he is able to capture exactly the drum sound he wants, Barresi recently purchased a second Mojave Audio MA-200 condenser microphone. Armed with a stereo pair, Barresi finds he has more flexibility than ever—whether he’s using them as drum overheads or individually for spot microphones on select instruments.

“Prior to the MA-200,�notes Barresi, “I was unhappy with the sound of the cymbals I was getting. While I was recording a track with the rock band One Day As A Lion, I had the opportunity to experiment with several different pairs of microphones for overheads. When I heard the sound of the MA-200’s, I really liked it, so I just recently purchased a second mic so that I’d have a pair to work with.�

“While making A-B comparisons with a variety of mics,� Barresi continued, “I found that the MA-200 sounded a lot warmer and thicker than the competition. The snare sound in the overheads was a lot fuller and the MA-200 was never overly aggressive, nor bright. Not only do these mics handle the attack transients of percussion instruments really well, they don’t lose any of the detail as the cymbal sound decays.�

“When I had just one MA-200,� said Barresi, “I used it as a mono spot mic to reinforce the sound of the drums. I’d frequently place a single MA-200 anywhere between a foot and 6 feet in front of the kick drum to pick up the body of the kick. I’d also use it closer to the drum kit between the kick and snare. Either way, I’d get this incredible presence that just made the drum sound that much bigger and fuller.�

Barresi was quick to point out that in addition to his fondness of the MA-200; he has become a real Mojave Audio enthusiast. “I’ve been involved as a beta tester for some of the company’s designs,� Barresi reports, “and I can tell you from experience, David Royer makes some great mics. I’m very fond of both the Mojave microphones and the ribbon mics from Royer Labs, their sister company. I frequently use both companies’ products. Mojave Audio and Royer Labs are like family to me. They’re always friendly and easy to get a hold of and their customer and technical support is far ahead of the support offered by many competing companies. They’re a pleasure to deal with.�

Before turning his attention back to the business of the day, Barresi offered this final comment about Mojave Audio and his MA-200 condenser microphones. “The MA-200’s are great all-around microphones for numerous applications,� said Barresi. “I’ve known David Royer for 15 years or more. He has a real talent for designing mics that capture the true character of a sound. They’re extremely musical and his passion for audio is inspiring.�

For additional information about Joe Barresi, visit him online at

About the Mojave Audio MA-200 Condenser Microphone
The MA-200 is a large diaphragm, vacuum tube condenser microphone with a fixed cardioid pattern. Born to a lineage of fine microphone designs by David Royer, the MA-200 gives warm, full-bodied reproductions of vocals and instruments, with none of the shrillness and high frequency distortion artifacts that are often encountered with modern condenser microphones.

About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of high quality microphones for the recording professional. For additional information on Mojave Audio and all of the company’s product offerings, visit them online at


Photo info: Image of Joe Barresi and his studio mascot, “Bullet.�