Los Angeles, CA… Grammy® Award winning rock, folk, blues, and country music singer / songwriter Lucinda Williams has established an enviable track record during her musical career. She has garnered considerable success for her album releases and, in 2002, was named ‘America’s Best Songwriter’ by Time magazine. She recently released her latest album, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, and during the recording sessions, several microphones from the catalog of Burbank, CA-based Mojave Audio were deployed.
Los Angeles, CA-based producer / engineer / mixer and songwriter David Bianco, who has been actively involved in music projects as well as the recording of music for TV and film for the past 35 years, mixed and engineered Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone. On this particular project, he used several Mojave microphones, including the MA-301fet, MA-201fet, MA-200, MA-101SP, and MA-100. Bianco discussed the project and his fondness for Mojave microphones.
“Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, which was a joint venture between Lucinda’s record label Highway 20 Records and the artist management firm Thirty Tigers, was released last September,” Bianco explained. We recorded and mixed the project at my studio—known as Dave’s Room—here in North Hollywood. For this project, I used a Mojave MA-301fet on the kick drum, two MA-201fet mics for drum overheads, an MA-200 on Lucinda’s vocals, a pair of MA-101SP’s on the Leslie cabinet’s rotary speaker for the Hammond organ, and an MA-100 on acoustic guitar.”
“One challenge,” he continued, “was getting Lucinda’s vocal and acoustic guitar recorded well. The MA-200 provided a very full and present vocal sound and was relatively isolated from the guitar. The combination of the MA-200 and the MA-100 (positioned around the 12th fret of Lucinda’s acoustic guitar) provided a sonorous sound. The MA-200 was a spectacular vocal microphone that worked particularly well for Lucinda’s voice.”
Bianco was also very complimentary of the performance of the Mojave MA-301fet on the kick drum and the two MA-201fet’s he used for drum overheads. “The MA-301fet was used on the outside of the kick drum,” he explained. “The mic was able to hold up really well under the drum’s heavy SPL. It was positioned about 6 inches off the center of the drum and was used with a small pop filter. The MA-201fet’s sounded very clear and full for the drum overheads. These two mics were spaced over the drums—with one over the ride and crash and the other on the high hat /crash side. These mics provided me a bright top down sound that didn’t conflict phase-wise with the rest of the drum microphones.”
In addition to choosing the ‘right tool for the job’ in any given recording situation, knowing that you can count on the equipment manufacturer should any questions arise is equally important. Here too, Bianco was very complimentary of Mojave Audio. “Both Mojave Audio and their sibling company, Royer Labs, make excellent mics and the support provided by the companies is first rate. Should I have any questions, I know I’m going to be able to get answers quickly.”
In summarizing his experience with his Mojave Audio microphones, Bianco offered the following, “Mojave microphones are reliable and give you way more than a leg up on getting great sounds. I have found, particularly in regards to the vocal sounds, that very little processing is needed in post. I’ve also observed that, with perhaps a little high pass filtering to minimize leakage or other noise, I’ve been achieving very natural, present sounding vocal recordings with very little equalization. There’s no doubt in my mind that that you can pretty much record anything with a complement of Mojave and Royer microphones.”
For additional information about David Bianco, he can be contacted through McDonough Management, LLC at http://www.mcdman.com.
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. For additional information on all Mojave Audio products, visit the company online at www.mojaveaudio.com.