Burbank, CA… Country music icon Billy Ray Cyrus’ latest recording endeavor—titled Change My Mind—will hit stores on October 23rd. Already, the first single from the album—also called Change My Mind—has received critical acclaim. Grammy® nominated and multi-Juno Award winning producer/mixer/engineer Brandon Friesen is the man responsible for bringing the new record to life. To ensure the best possible recordings, Friesen relied extensively on his arsenal of microphones from Burbank, CA-based Mojave Audio.
Based in Los Angeles, Brandon Friesen is not only a well-known music producer; he is also involved in television production. His current companies include record label Blue Cadillac Music (with partner Billy Ray Cyrus), Arbor Television, and Arbor Records (represented by major distributors around the world). With this type of track record, Friesen can use any microphone he wants. After carefully evaluating a lot of mics from numerous manufacturers, he finds the Mojave MA-300 Multi Pattern Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone, the MA-200 Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone, and the MA-101fet Condenser Microphone provide him with seemingly limitless creative opportunities.
“I have two of each,” Friesen reports, “and I’m a big fan of all three models. “The MA-300 has become my ‘go to’ mic for a lot of our work. I use it to capture room sound for the drums and I love the way it sounds with string instruments like violin and cello. But it’s the versatility this mic offers that really makes it a stand-out product. I also used the MA-300 for a quite a bit of vocal tracking on Change My Mind. A lot of Billy’s vocal performances were captured with this mic and it was used for virtually all of the female vocal tracking. The MA-300 has a warmth to it that compliments the recording process—especially for female vocals. This mic has just the right curve for vocals. A lot of large diaphragm condenser mics can be harsh in the upper mid frequencies, but not the MA-300.”
“The MA-300 is very versatile,” Friesen added. “If I had only one condenser mic to work with, this would be it. I can place the MA-300 in front of a really loud guitar amp, in front of a quiet dobro (a stringed instrument similar in nature to the guitar), or in front of a female vocalist, and this mic just warms up the sound beautifully.”
“If I have to zero in on one particular task the MA-300 does really well, I’d have to point to recording electric guitar,” Friesen continued. “On Hillbilly Heart—the second single from the record—the song starts with a really ripping guitar riff. This part was played through a small Fender Combo amp and I took the MA-300 and placed it right smack in front of the amp when the volume was cranked all the way up. I still can’t get over how well it performed. The MA-300 handles high SPL’s incredibly well. It didn’t break up like a lot of condenser mics typically would at that level. It was absolutely perfect.”
Friesen notes that for capturing the drum kit, Mojave Audio’s MA-200 and MA-101fet do a terrific job. “We used the MA-200 as the center ‘crush’ mic for those heavily compressed drum sounds that we wanted,” he said. “I also used the MA-200 for the outer mic on the kick drum. The MA-101fet was used for capturing the hi-hat and ride cymbal. Together, these two microphones did a great job on the drum tracks. Kenny Aronoff was the drummer for these sessions and he, too, was very impressed with the drum sound.”
When you’re in the heat of a session and you need a question answered, quality technical support is important and, here too, Friesen says Mojave Audio excels, “The Company is just fantastic to deal with. Dusty Wakeman is a terrific producer, engineer and musician, so he gets it. He understands what people like I struggle with in the studio and has a lot of knowledge to share.” Wakeman also plays bass on Change My Mind.
Before shifting his attention back to the business of the day, Friesen offered this final thought, “My Mojave mics performed phenomenally for this record. It’s important to note that the instruments I recorded with the Mojave mics received the least amount of EQ in the final mix. They captured the sound so accurately; they sit perfectly as they are. The Mojave mics offer tremendous sound at a very reasonable price. You just can’t go wrong with Mojave Audio.”
To learn more about Brandon Friesen, visit him online at www.brandonfriesen.com.
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. Additional information on the MA-300, MA-200, MA-101fet and all Mojave Audio products, visit the company online at www.mojaveaudio.com.