Los Angeles, CA â€¦ When a new recording hits the Billboard Top 200 at #9, itâ€™s a strong statement about the artist and everything else associated with that project. Such is the case for Lucinda Williamsâ€™ latest CD Little Honey, on the Lost Highway Records label. Produced by Eric Liljestrand and Tom Overby, Williamsâ€™ latest musical offering consists of thirteen tracks and includes a duet with Elvis Costello. Capturing the true essence of a performance is always a challenge, but the task was made that much easierâ€”thanks to the performance attributes of the MA-100 and MA-200 condenser microphones from Mojave Audio.
LA-based Producer/Engineer Eric Liljestrand, whose credits include work with U2, Elvis Costello, Corinne Bailey Rae, and jazz guitarist/composer Bill Frisell, whose Unspeakable won a GrammyÂ® Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2005, engineered Little Honey. With credits like these, Liljestrand can certainly use whatever microphones he pleases, so his choice of Mojave Audio speaks volumes about the quality of the MA-100 and MA-200 microphones.
When queried about those qualities that make the Mojave Audio MA-100 and MA-200 so appealing, Liljestrand offered the following thoughts. â€œBoth mics offer a really fat and open, yet un-hyped sound,â€? notes Liljestrand. â€œThereâ€™s no exaggerated high or low endâ€”just a really nice, big round sound. Many people seem to have a preference for compressors and microphones that color the sound. I tend to prefer keeping it as true to the source as possible, and thatâ€™s a big part of my attraction to the Mojave mics.â€?
Liljestrand used the Mojave Audio MA-100 and MA-200 extensively on Williamsâ€™ latest recording and was particularly impressed with the MA-100â€™s performance on the snare drum. â€œI used the MA-100 quite a bit on drummer Butch Nortonâ€™s snare drum,â€? explains Liljestrand. â€œBy positioning the mic about an inch over the rim and pointed at the area where the stick makes contact with the head, the sound was immediate and full, yet still clear and open.â€?
For the drum and percussion breakdown section on â€œHoney Bee,â€? Norton played a hip-hop beat on a cocktail drum kit for some additional spice that augmented the drum track. Here, Liljestrand used the MA-200 as an overhead mic, a Brauner Valvet to the side, while the MA-100 was pointed up at the underside of the drum, which was being played with a reverse kick pedal. According to Liljestrand, â€œThe sound was crazyâ€”in your face and down your throat! I was shocked at how good this sounded.â€?
In addition to using the Mojave Audio microphones for drums and percussion on several tracks of Little Honey, Liljestrand also used the MA-200 for backing vocals on â€œIt’s a Long Way to the Topâ€? and â€œKnowing.â€? â€œEveryone involved in these recordings responded very favorably to the Mojave mics,â€? says Liljestrand. â€œWe did quite a bit of experimenting with the mics and everyone was very impressed with their sound quality.â€?
In addition to the Mojave Audio microphones, Liljestrand also used an R-121ribbon microphone from Mojave Audioâ€™s sister company, Royer Labs, to mic guitarist Chet Lyster’s guitar sound on â€œTears of Joy.â€? â€œI have an early 60â€™s Silvertone guitar that was sold with a 5-watt tube amp built into the case,â€? said Liljestrand. â€œIt barely reaches â€˜talkingâ€™ level when itâ€™s turned all the way up, but it has a very big sound. I miked this with the Royer R-121 and that guitar part is very present in this particular track. Chet played a very distinct, yet subtle part and it made the track breath in a beautiful way.â€?
Before turning his attention back to his current projects, Liljestrand offered this parting thought about the Mojave Audio microphones. â€œEveryone who has been exposed to these mics has been very positive about them,â€? he said. â€œThese microphones sound every bit as good as other mics costing twice as much. The Mojave MA-100 and MA-200 are a really great value.â€?
For more information about Eric Liljestrand, visit him online at www.ericliljestrand.com.
About the Mojave Audio MA-100 and MA-200 Microphones
The MA-100 is a small diaphragm, vacuum tube condenser microphone with interchangeable cardioid and omnidirectional capsules. The MA-200 is a large diaphragm, vacuum tube condenser microphone with a fixed cardioid pattern. Both microphones are designed by David Royer.
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. For additional information on the MA-100, MA-200, and all Mojave Audio products, visit the company online at www.mojaveaudio.com.