How did you get your start as an engineer?
I first started doing studio work in the early 90’s in Glasgow, Scotland. The studio I worked in at the time moved to a building that had its own small live venue, so I kind of got dropped into it from there. Being from Glasgow, it’s not hard to make friends and meet tons of bands, so I ended up going on tour with Glasgow “indie legends” the Delgados, Bis, and the Pastels, then later on Teenage Fanclub and Idlewild. I still work with Idlewild from time to time, all of 15 years later.
How did you hear about Audix?
I first heard of Audix a long time ago when doing sound for the Pastels. The drummer used an OM2 or OM3 (I think) for vocals. I never really got to investigate them more until I started working with Of Monsters and Men. In 2012, their monitor guy at the time introduced me to the i5, which I love for snare in particular. I also use a D2 on occasion for the kick drum.
What Audix mics are you using and for what applications?
We began this current album cycle in April 2015, and at rehearsals in Iceland, we decided on a wee change of vocal mic from the ones we had been using. They’d grown a little tired so a fresh start and something new seemed like a good idea. I am using the Audix OM7 on all vocals and the i5 on snare top.
What was the impetus for switching from what you were using previously?
Well, as I said previously, we just thought it was time for a change-freshen things up a bit. I think we tried about 5 or 6 different kinds and brands. The OM7 seemed to work well for the band, particularly for Nanna and Raggi. If they’re happy, then I’m happy.
Any noticeable results?
Most definitely. The vocals are much more crisp and fuller sounding. The sound in the band’s in-ear monitors are a major factor as well and they are very happy with what they are hearing each night. Of course, we do have a very good monitor engineer as well.
What are your favorite features of the mics you’re using?
Quite simply, I just really like the way they sound. They’re pretty unforgiving which I think is great. I think that also helps the performance. They also look cool, which is obviously very important!
Have the Audix mics helped solve any particular challenges for you?
Well, with Of Monsters and Men I have 9 vocal mics onstage and they are always on. With a particularly loud drummer on the stage, this would usually be a problem. With the OM7 there is very little bleed from them. What little bleed there is actually adds to the mix I think. Makes it sound that wee bit more lively.
Any good Audix anecdotes?
I am currently trying to lose weight so I can fit into my Audix Microphones t-shirt. It’s going quite well so far but I’ve got a wee bit to go. It’s just a pity that you can’t get low fat/diet Guinness!!! Oh well…
Any special tips on how to use the mics?
Due to its extreme hypercardioid pattern, you really want to be “on the mic” to get the best results. Thankfully all our vocalists in OMAM sing in this way, which makes the OM7 the perfect mic for us.