In two years, LA progressive metal band Sifting has done what many artists in the City of Angels take a decade to achieve. After releasing their full-length debut album, “Not From Here,” the band hit the road for a 30-day North American tour. We caught up with frontman Eduardo “Edu” Gil and bassist Winston Jarquin to talk with them about how Sifting moved from Caracas, Venezuela to LA’s rock music scene and why the band chooses Audix microphones on tour and in the studio.
How did you get your start as an artist?
In 2008, I [Eduardo “Edu” Gil, singer and guitarist], went through a really tough personal experience caused by the tragic loss of my family in a plane crash. I set my mind to retaking my lifetime dream called Sifting. While originally living in Caracas, Venezuela, I began writing original material and then gathered some friends from the local music scene and soon entered the studio to record our debut album. The band quickly gained popularity throughout Venezuela. That’s when I decided I wanted to get the band recognized on a worldwide level. I relocated to the United States of America and after three years looking for the right members, I invited founding member Abelardo Bolaño to rejoin the band along with two LA locals, Wins Jarquin on bass, and Richard Garcia on guitar, to complete the current line-up.
How did you hear about Audix?
Our bassist used to be chief engineer at a local studio in east Los Angeles, where they had a DP7 drum microphone pack in stock. That was his go-to mic set!
What Audix microphones are you using currently? For what applications?
We are currently using the OM3 for our backup vocals and our lead singer uses the OM11. Also, the DP7 for drums and i5 paired with an Audix CabGrabber™ to capture guitars.
What was the impetus for switching from the microphones you were using previously?
We liked our mics but felt we were missing out on more versatility. We needed something more specific to the vocal range of both our lead and backup vocals.
Any noticeable results?
Huge results. From the moment we plugged them in, we realized we made a smart choice. Less feedback, wider dynamic response, and clarity on our vocals. You could distinguish right away the difference, whether the vocals were normal or extreme!
What are your favorite features of the microphones you’re using?
To start with, they’re both vocal mics (hypercardioid), which makes a significant difference. But my personal favorite is the fact that the frequency response from these mics is from 50kHz to 19kHz, which makes a huge difference in bringing that “air” or “headroom” in the vocals; it makes it more in-your-face and accurate to the voice.
Have the Audix microphones helped solve and particular challenges for you?
Technically speaking, it has greatly reduced the amount of feedback we have in our rehearsal room, allowing us to bump up the gain on our mixer without feedback and being able to hear our vocals come through our PA clearly. In practice, it has allowed us to hear all of our voices, making it easier to tell where we might have to change something, practice, or experiment with harmonizing, allowing us more creative room.
Do you have any good Audix anecdotes?
I [Winston Jarquin, bassist] gave an intern a detailed input list to set up the drums. Trusting him, I proceeded to go straight to the board and start recording. As the session was ending, I happened to go to the drum room and check on the snare mic and realized this kid had put an OM3 along with the i5 side to side. As soon as I realized that, explained all the phasing issues I had with the snare, and I had to record the drums all over again. That reinforced, however, that the OM3 sounded great on the snare once in proper phase and place!
Any special tips to share on how to use the mics?
Word of advice… Try pairing an OM3 or OM5 with the i5 snare mic as a top or bottom and mix the signals, and you will for sure get a FAT snare sound! Or even trying the i5 on guitar cab along with the OM3 can also get a very versatile guitar tone when tracking!