Audix Sound Engineer

Mike Richter

Cold War Kids

How’d you get your start as an engineer?

I got my start as an engineer interning at a local rock club in Seattle called El Corazon in 2010. I ran monitors as an intern, learning about proper gain structure as well as learning my frequencies. After a year I was hired as a house engineer, aiding touring engineers as well as mixing the opening acts. Cold War Kids were the first band to approach me and that wanted to take me out on tour. I’ve been their Front of House Engineer for three years now, and since then I’ve done tours running FOH for Touche Amore, mewithoutYou, Mary Lambert, and Coheed & Cambria.

How did you hear about Audix? What Audix mics are you using?

I heard about Audix when I was an intern. A touring engineer had a few Audix mics (D6, i5, D4) and I really liked the way that they sounded on drums. They have a much more warm tone than many of the other mics that I have used in the past. With Cold War Kids I use Audix mics on everything.  D6 for kick, MicroD for snare top as well as toms, i5 for snare bottom as well as all guitar/bass/keyboard amps. ADX51s on hats and overheads, and OM6s on all vocals.

What was the impetus for switching from what you were using previously?

I switched over to all Audix when I was on tour with Cold War Kids and we were opening for The Lumineers. A close friend of mine was running FOH for Lumineers and he used almost entirely Audix and I really liked the warm yet clear quality of the mics he was using.

Any noticeable results?

Mixing Cold War Kids, I want them to sound ‘dark and moody’ yet natural. The Audix mics I use have really allowed me to achieve this vision. The contrast of a MicroD on the snare top and an i5 on the bottom is really nice, it leaves a really natural, real-sounding snare full of character while still being nice and warm.

What are your favorite features of the mics you’re using?

The OM6 vocal mic has a pickup pattern that I like to describe as a “laser beam” – it rejects the most amount of feedback and stage noise of any other mic that I’ve ever used on vocals, which is a great thing because Cold War Kids have a massive stage sound that can be a challenge at times with other microphones.

Have the Audix mics help solve any particular challenges for you?

Lots of feedback issues especially on tour with hardcore bands. Their vocalists tend to cup the diaphragm of the microphone turning it omnidirectional and leading to huge feedback issues. The OM6 and OM7 both don’t seem to go omnidirectional when the mic is cupped.

Any special tips on how to use the mics?

Use your ears every day and turn the knobs until it sounds good. don’t get stuck in old habits, constantly learn, and constantly experiment with mic placement as well as mic choices. There is no wrong answer.

Photo: Sean M Flynn