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Phish Reunites – With TELEFUNKEN USA M 80 Stage Mics

Jam Band Fans See First Shows in 4 1/2 Years.

Phish is pictured at Virginia’s Hampton Coliseum. Photo by Yuki Fishman.

For the first time in 4 1/2 years, America’s all time jam band Phish reunited for three concerts at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. On stage with Phish were the new M 80 dynamic microphones from TELEFUNKEN USA. The dynamic stage and studio mics are new models from the company renowned for its classic re-creations of the most valued vintage microphones in the music industry.

“We got the M 80s in rehearsal for the Hampton shows,” explained FOH mixer Garry Brown. “First thing we noticed was that we had an additional 8-10dB of gain in the monitor system over the previous stage mics we had been using. Vocals became very focused and basically just punched right through the mix.”

Phish is known for its musical improvisation, extended jam sessions, exploration of music among diverse genres, and its ardently loyal fans. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983, the band’s four members performed together for over 20 years before disbanding in August 2004. For the reunion shows and the upcoming Summer tour, Phish makes multi-track recordings of every show, releasing stereo mixes on the band’s website.

Brown continues, “The focus of the M 80 and the rejection from the mic was amazing. For me at FOH, Trey Anastasio’s guitar tone was a 50/50 combination of his vocal & guitar mics. This drastically changed. Obviously the vocal is going to have some presence in the guitar tone, but now I’m free to create the guitar tone that I need for the mix.”

Designed for both stage and studio use, the M 80 offers exceptional performance in a rugged package capable of withstanding the rigors of the road. Superior feedback rejection, detailed and balanced frequency response, and a smooth and present sound combine for a mic that is excellent for vocals, electric guitars, drums and virtually any other signal sources.

“The band members are very dynamic on their vocals,” says Brown, “and they blend themselves within the context of what they are hearing, which means that they either sing quiet or they back off the mic. Getting a good consistent sound, can be hard, but I think after doing the first 3 shows after their reunion, we have made the right decision with choosing the M 80. Bruno, our monitor mixer, is so much more comfortable with the available headroom the mic has given him, plus the rejection that they have given, has helped in tightening the sound up.”

Monitor mixer Mark “Bruno” Bradley added, “The M 80 is loud, smooth, tight, and in your face. They seem pretty hefty and durable, maybe agricultural, like a tractor. It’s great to see Telefunken put out a real working man’s microphone -I love this mic!”

The M 80 directional pickup pattern and wide frequency response yield a microphone that provides an ideal blend of functionality, isolation, and a distinctively pleasing tone. The mic is sonically open, requiring little or no EQ to fit into a live or recorded mix. Minimal proximity effect gives the microphone a smooth, balanced presence that is neither boomy nor overpowering.

The M 80 combines a low-mass voice coil with an extremely thin Mylar membrane and a high quality step-up output transformer. Its extremely rugged design is built to withstand severe performance abuse, while its black rubberized finish, recessed Telefunken badge, and chromed head grill give it the classic Telefunken look.

Garry Brown summed up his evaluation of the M 80: “On the song ‘Lawnboy,’ when Page comes forward with his mic, using it as a handheld, I didn’t notice any handling noise, but the biggest thing was how amazing his vocal sounded. It was thick and rich, very tight sounding, no proximity effect – it was just stellar. Needless to say we have now bought eight of them.”

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