Canadian melodic punk rock band Billy Talent has released five albums to enormous acclaim in Canada, Europe, and Australia. Since their beginning in 1993, they have achieved double-platinum sales, garnered seven Juno Awards, and set a record for MuchMusic Video Award nominations with 29, winning nine. Translating from Canadian to American, that’s a lot of album sales, Grammy and MTV Awards!
Audix caught up with Billy Talent’s front of house engineer Bob Strakele on an off day in Paris near the end of their current Dead Silence tour. Bob explained why he chose Audix mics for lead singer Ben Kowalewicz and Aaron Solowoniuk’s drums:
“Ben had been using the standard vocal mic forever, and I always struggled with it. Between his singing style and stage volume, the mic just couldn’t handle it. I had to work hard to get a good vocal sound while the mic picked up the drum kit and everything else. So a couple of years ago we started trying out all types of mics, and Audix came out on top. First and foremost, Ben’s a performer and Audix had the feeling that he liked – it just felt right to him.”
“The tighter coverage pattern in Audix mics don’t pick up the whole stage,” Bob continues. “The off-axis rejection on Ben’s mic is much better than what he had been using. Ben didn’t have the best mic technique so I always struggled with the mix. He’s a lot better now! With Audix I really have much more control.”
Ben and Bob collaboratively selected the OM6 dynamic vocal mic. “The OM7’s pattern was a bit too tight for Ben’s physical, dynamic performance style,” says Bob. “The OM6’s broader pattern and frequency response best suited his style and voice. He needed a mic with a bit more low end. The OM6 works great and he loves it!”
Bob also chose Audix mics for Aaron’s drums. He uses the D6 on the kick drum. “Ideally, I want to use just one mic on the kick, and the D6 sounds great! It is already voiced the way I want it to sound, it’s solid and reliable, and Aaron loves it. The D4s work great on the rack and floor toms. but I’m going to try a D6 on the floor tom because I heard somebody use one and it sounded awesome.”
Bob has toured with Billy Talent for over seven years. “When the band leaves the studio and hits the road, they go pretty hard for a year and a half,” says Bob. They log well over a hundred shows a year. Although Billy Talent tours mostly in Canada, Europe, and Australia, they will play some US dates this summer with the Van’s Warped Tour.
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