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Steve Vai Presents Ocean Way Microphone Locker App

Pictured during rehearsals for his world tour, Steve Vai holds his iPad showing the new Ocean Way Microphone Locker app.

Photo: David Goggin

Steve Vai has produced the new Ocean Way Microphone Locker app ($9.99), based on the renowned CD-ROM created in the 1990s, and long unavailable. Using Allen Sides’ microphone collection at Ocean Way Recording Studios in Hollywood, this new app is designed to show how to pair the right microphone with the right instrument with its optimum placement. It also contains a comprehensive list of microphones and instruments and gives diagrams and specs on each.

The Ocean Way Microphone Locker app features tests of 66 mics and 33 different instruments, including drums, cymbals, percussion, guitars, a Hammond B3 organ and a wide variety of brass, woodwinds and strings. The microphones include models from: AKG, Audix, Audio-Technica, B&K, Beyer, Coles, Crown, Electro-Voice, Groove Tubes, Milab, Neumann, RCA, Sanken, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony and Telefunken. Sort by microphone to check out the best instruments for each, or sort by instrument to see which mics work best.

David Schwartz, co-founder of Mix magazine, produced the original CD-ROM that this project was based on, and coordinated the conversion of the original recordings and media into the app format with Vai, Eric Theriault (with the rest of the app development team at Metal Sidecar) and Greg Wurth.

“When the app revolution hit, I remembered that great CD-ROM and knew it would make an extraordinary app,” Vai explains. “I acquired the rights for the Ocean Way Microphone Locker CD-ROM contents and worked with Allen Sides, who is a very good friend, and Metal Sidecar LLC to build an app from the material. Metal Sidecar did a fabulous job and the app is phenomenal. You can actually access Allen’s mic collection and match them with a complete range of musical instruments. You get tips on the best miking techniques and can listen to samples played by top session cats like Hal Blaine on drums.”

Sides is a leading authority on vintage and contemporary recording microphones and their uses and owns a premier microphone collection. He is also the owner of Ocean Way and Record One recording studios, is a legendary Grammy-winning engineer with close to 40 years of experience, and has worked with artists ranging from from Frank Sinatra to Green Day.

The Ocean Way Microphone Locker is available for sale from the iTunes Store.

For information about Ocean Way, visit