Archive by Megan Clifford
Milford, NH – The prestigious London National Theatre has recently purchased the Earthworks PM40 PianoMic™.
Ed Furguson - National Theatre with the Earthworks PM40
Ed Furguson, the sound manager for the National Theatre and associate sound designer for the musical ‘The Light Princess’ in conjunction with Simon Baker purchased the PM40 after extensive tests as the musical written by singer-songwriter Tori Amos and playwright Samuel Adamson is centered around a grand piano, and in fact Tori’s personal grand piano was used for the production.
The Earthworks PM40 is quick and easy to use with a simple, yet ingenious extendable pole which rests inside the grand piano and has miniature omni capsules optimized for grand piano delivering the perfect piano sound, at full stick, half stick or even with the lid closed and without the use of unsightly microphone boom stands.
Distributed in the UK by Unity Audio Ltd.
Milford, NH – Earthworks, manufacturer of the revolutionary PM40 PianoMic™ System, and Mason & Hamlin, one of America’s oldest and most respected piano manufacturers, are teaming up at NAMM (Booth 6882).
The Pianodisc® equipped Mason & Hamlin Model A will be on display at the Earthworks booth for attendees to not only admire the handcrafted piano, but also to listen to the through the Earthworks PM40 PianoMic™ System.
At 5’8″, the Mason & Hamlin Model A grand is widely regarded as the biggest sounding piano under 6′ in the industry and a perfect piano to demonstrate the wide frequency response of Earthworks High Definition Microphones™. It is equipped with a PianoDisc iQ player system with new ProRecord optical key sensors. This player system features high-definition playback with 1024 levels of expression on each note. It interfaces with Apple iOS and Android devices and is operated wirelessly.
The Earthworks PianoMic™ System was engineered to revolutionize piano miking and achieve an incredible improvement in piano sound for live and recording applications with no mic stands or booms. This innovative design allows near-perfect closed lid piano miking. The PM40 combines breathtaking realism through two 40kHz random incidence omni microphones. It also provides more gain-before-feedback, significantly less leakage from surrounding instruments and the same pristine sound quality with the piano lid either up or down.
The Pianodisc® equipped Mason & Hamlin Model A miked with the Earthworks PM40 PianoMic™ System, along with the rest of the Earthworks product lineup, will be at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, January 23-26, Booth #6882. Visit Mason & Hamlin / PianoDisc at NAMM, Convention Center 3rd Floor, Booth #521.
Milford, NH – On December 5, a choir of over 5000 singers came together to sing Zach Sobiech’s “Clouds” at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota as a tribute to the singer-songwriter. A matched pair of Earthworks QTC40s was used to record the 5000-person choir on the first anniversary of the song’s release to benefit the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Veteran producer Karl Demer of Atomic K Records & Productions, a full service Audio/Video/Photography production company based in Minneapolis, MN, produced the original version of “Clouds” performed by Zach Sobiech.
“A year ago I was asked to produce a song for a teenager name Zach Sobiech who had terminal cancer and wrote a song to say goodbye to his family and girlfriend,” explains Demer. “A video was made of his experience recording the song. This video went viral on the internet; the song went to #1 on iTunes and Billboard and to this day, has raised nearly 1 million dollars for Children’s cancer research specifically to find a cure for the type of cancer that took his life.”
Being the producer of the original version of “Clouds,” Demer was asked by Dan Seeman, KS95 general manager and close friend of Zach Sobiech, to produce a recorded audio track and direct the choir for the 1 year anniversary event.
The hope for the event was to have 1000 singers, though that goal was quickly reached and a cap put on registration for participation knowing that many more would be there as spectators. “They wanted to ask several local choirs to sing the song at the Mall of America rotunda during their annual KS95 for Kids Radiothon sponsoring the Children’s cancer research fund,” says Demer. “They were hoping to get up to 1000 singers. Day 7 of promotion for the event, we had to stop registering singers at 3600 due to the capacity of the venue! The Mall of America estimates the number in attendance singing at 5000 people.”
Demer now had the task of figuring out how best to record a choir of 5000 in a less than ideal location. “I was doing pre-production research as to how I should go about recording 5000 singers on 4 levels in a full circle with reflective surfaces everywhere,” says Demer. “Earthworks mics kept coming up in my searches for realistic symphonic recordings from a stereo pair, so I reached out to Earthworks through their website and told them of my challenge. Later the next day, to my surprise, Craig Breckenridge responded with a very detailed description of how he suggested I go about placing mics for the recording. He apologized for the delay in response but wanted to get the input from his whole team at Earthworks! I was blown away by such personal service despite never meeting Craig.”
For the event, Demer ran the matched pair of QTC40s through Midas preamps and recorded directly off the preamps to his Macbook Pro running Cubase.
Though familiar with Earthworks High Definition Microphones™, this was the first time Demer had an opportunity to use them. He explains his experience using the QTC40s to record the 5000-person choir: “The QTC40s responded with superior clarity and frequency response. Basically what I heard with my headphones off is what I heard with my headphones on while soloing the QTC40s. The benefit of this stereo pair was that they gave me a beautiful true stereo image of 360 degrees on the x-axis and nearly 180 on the y-axis.” You can see and hear this impressive event on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLhUS_QjcZY
While the Largest Clouds Choir event was Demer’s first experience using Earthworks microphones, they have quickly found a home in his studio. “I’ve since used the stereo pair of QTC40s as room mics for a horn session,” explains Demer. “I was equally impressed by their natural response. I’ve never had an easier time integrating a horn section into a mix while retaining such detail in the instruments.”
“As I said earlier, I had never experienced such great personal service from a company that I had never done business with before,” Demer concludes. “The fact that they collaborated as a team to help me find the correct solution for my recording dilemma shows their true passion for audio excellence.”
To read Zach’s story or to donate to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, visit ChildrensCancer.org/Zach.
Atomic K Records & Productions
“Clouds” by Zach Sobiech
Highland Baptist Church utilizes 22 Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ for Singing Christmas Tree Performance
Milford, NH – Franklin Denham, Minister of Music at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, has been conducting Singing Christmas Tree performances since 1985. The history of singing trees goes back to the outdoor presentations in 1933 at Belhaven College, Jackson, MS, which is considered the first and oldest outdoor Singing Christmas Tree event in America. At the time, indoor performances were rare, as it required a rather large church to accommodate this type of performance. All of the tree performances at Highland Baptist Church have been continually held indoors and are performed 6 times each year. Over the past 29 years, there have been approximately 2,800 attendees per season. Depending upon the year, there will be from 65 to over 100 singers on the tree. It stands 35 feet high, with nine rows of singers and weighs 21,000 pounds fully loaded.
“Over the years we had used conventional condenser microphones for sound reinforcement on the tree,” explains Denham. “About four years ago we converted to Earthworks® and placed 16 SR30 High Definition Microphones™ on the tree. The Earthworks microphones make 60 singers sound more like a hundred. We are able to get more gain-before-feedback. This allows us to bring the choir sound up to a level that will balance well with our 21-piece orchestra and organ. An immediate bonus of the Earthworks microphones is a dramatic improvement in intelligibility. If a choir can be heard and understood, what can be better than that?”
The choir begins each program singing on risers directly behind the orchestra. For these selections, Denham utilizes 4 Earthworks FW730 Flexwands™. “The Flexwands provide us excellent coverage of the choir, more gain-before-feedback and more intelligibility,” says Denham. “The rear rejection of the Flexwands keeps the leakage of the orchestra into the choir microphones at a bare minimum. The Flexwands are almost invisible from the congregation when the house lights are up. When house lights are dimmed, the Flexwands become completely unnoticeable. One of my favorite features of the Flexwands is that the microphone connector is in the base and there are no visible wires above floor level. The Flexwands are light years ahead of our previous microphones.”
“I would also like to mention that we have an Earthworks PM40 PianoMic, which is just stellar. We use a few extra SR30s for solo instruments. The recent addition of an Earthworks podium microphone allows us to hear the spoken word with incredible detail and clarity either on, or off-axis. The use of Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ has made an incredible improvement in our church services and music performances.”
Milford, NH – The Earthworks 521 ZDT Preamps for 500 series racks, are now in stock and shipping.
Based on the ZDT Preamp technology designed by David Blackmer, the Earthworks 521 brings the exacting standards of the ZDT Zero Distortion Preamplifiers™ to the convenient 500 series format, providing a pristine amplification option to the 500 series rack.
“Earthworks is continually developing precision audio products that elevate the audio chain,” says Heidi Blackmer Robichaud, President/CEO of Earthworks. “We are thrilled to introduce the new 521 preamp, our first ever 500 series preamp, giving recordists an Earthworks ZDT Preamp option for their 500 series racks.”
The solid state 521 features switchable phantom power, polarity invert, and peak amplitude clip detection, just as in the original ZDT Zero Distortion Preamplifiers™. The transformerless output stage of the 521 will easily drive long cable runs without loss of quality. Transparent gain is switchable from 5dB to 60dB in 5dB steps.
The Earthworks microphone preamplifier topology provides outstanding common mode rejection, excellent overload margin and an incredibly low noise floor, combined with the ultra-wide bandwidth of the ZDT Preamps (1Hz to 200kHz ±0.5dB) and distortion of less than 1 part per million (0.0001%). This exceptional level of performance is maintained over an extensive range of impedances applied to the input, making the 521 suitable for practically any microphone – ribbon, dynamic or condenser.
The Earthworks 521 has a MAP of $999.
The Earthworks 521, along with the rest of the Earthworks product lineup, will be at The 135th AES Convention at the Javits Center in New York, October 18-20, Booth #2739.
September 19, 2013, Milford, NH – On April 28, 2013, the Meridian Symphony Chorus and Orchestra recorded the Brahms’ Requiem at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, MS. This church was chosen for its’ outstanding acoustics. The entire performance was recorded using all Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ as follows: 4 FW730 Flexwands™ on choir, 2 QTC40s on the orchestra, 1 SR30 for solo mic, 1 SR30 for room ambience, and 1 PM40 PianoMic™ on piano. Dr. Bob Hermetz, Conductor, said “This recording sounds incredibly detailed, natural and real. I am very pleased with the results.”
Photo courtesy of Meridian Symphony Chorus and Orchestra ©2013
The Meridian Symphony Chorus has been conducted by Dr. Hermetz since 1971 utilizing singers from East Mississippi and West Alabama, dedicated to presenting the highest level of choral singing. Averaging three concerts a year, the chorus presents music ranging from contemporary styles, theater, oratorio, opera choruses, and other classical forms. In addition to local and regional performances, the Symphony Chorus has made three appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall through Mid America Productions. The chorus is a non-profit organization operating under the umbrella of the Meridian Symphony Association, Inc.
For information on this recording or a CD of this performance, call (601) 693-2224, and for information on Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ visit www.earthworksaudio.com.
September 3, 2013, Milford, NH – With nearly three and a half decades of singing under his belt, Kelly Hansen, lead vocalist of Foreigner, is no stranger to vocal microphones. As the band geared up for their latest tour, the Earthworks WL40V wireless capsule came along for the ride to deliver Hansen’s vocals to audiences around the globe.
Hansen explains, “Regarding microphones for live performance, I realized early on, that the natural profile of my voice didn’t really match with the Shure family of vocal mics. I started using an SM57, then moved on to an SM58. These Shure mics have a peak in the midrange which accentuated the midrange peak my own natural voice, resulting in a shrill sound. I needed a microphone with a smoother response that did not accentuate the midrange in my own voice. So I stopped using the Shure mics and started using a Sennheiser M421 and a variety of Beyerdynamic microphones from the M88 all the way up to their Opus line of wireless microphone systems, some of which had interchangeable mic capsules. As time went on, I was always looking for a better solution in a wireless handheld vocal microphone that would really make me happy and give me a condenser microphone sound on stage.”
After trying out several different wireless microphones capsules and wireless systems to no avail, Lorenzo Banda, monitor engineer for Foreigner, and Hansen were introduced to the Earthworks WL40V. Banda explains, “I had never used any Earthworks microphones until being endorsed by Lectrosonics, who introduced us to Earthworks and the WL40V microphone capsule. Earthworks sent us the WL40V, and when we tried it on the Lectrosonics wireless system we loved it.”
Hansen continues, “When it comes to wireless microphone capsules, it is really all about the sound. And that is what is really great about the Earthworks capsule. It has an open top, a flatter response and a nice bottom end that really sounds like a studio condenser microphone on stage (in a wireless form). The WL40V isn’t rolled off in a weird place that doesn’t give you any bottom support and it’s not peaky in the midrange like a Shure. It just has that flat warm sound with a natural openness in the top.”
Banda also put the SR40V, the wired predecessor to the WL40V, through its paces at sound check. Banda says, “In most stage situations, you get cymbal bleed like crazy, especially when you have a drummer who plays fairly hard. Even though the vocal mics were about 18 feet away from the drums, cymbal leakage was a problem. As soon as we switched to the Earthworks SR40V and WL40V the cymbal leakage almost went away. The rear rejection capabilities of the Earthworks microphones, in addition to their excellent vocal quality and the rich sound, just floored me.”
While touring, Hansen requires a studio quality mix in his headphones while he performs. “If you have an in-ear monitor system, you need a microphone to be way more precise, way more accurate and way more user friendly as far as proximity goes,” Hansen explains.
“Because I have an in-ear system like this, it really makes me feel like I’m in the studio, even when I am on stage,” Hansen continues. “I get all of the expressiveness I desire. In addition, I can sing close to the microphone or back away from it without using any compression, because I can hear every detail and every nuance of the microphone. This is really important to me as a vocalist. I have been singing for a long time, and I know how to use a microphone. I know what to do to get what I want out of a good microphone. But if the microphone is not willing to give it to me, then I can’t use it.”
Banda explains how the WL40V works with Hansen’s vocal style. “The confidence Kelly has with the Earthworks WL40V capsule allows him to do whatever he requires of it, and the capsule just puts it out for him. It becomes effortless for him to sing into the microphone,” Banda says. “With most microphones, you have to work harder or project harder to get what you want to come out of the microphone. In comparison, with the WL40V or other Earthworks vocal mics, you can whisper and be able to clearly hear your breath. This capsule is airy and transparent and so natural sounding that it makes it effortless to sing. When Kelly goes into the lower registers, you can hear the soft low end and every breath he takes on songs like “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Going from the low-mids up into the midrange, it is just amazing how clean the transition is. The EQ we use with the WL40V is very subtle as the microphone doesn’t need much help with respect to signal processing. The WL40V is just a sweet sounding microphone.”
Another major concern when going wireless is contending with RFI rich environments. “The WL40V is excellent with the Lectrosonics HH wireless microphone system,” says Hansen. “We have a lot of wireless on stage, vocals, guitars, etc. and sometimes we play in places with very heavy media environments with all sorts of radio frequency interference and other types of interference. Even in these very trying environments with a lot of RFI floating around, the combination of the WL40V and the Lectrosonics wireless system has been flawless.”
“The microphone capsule has to be able to put up with high SPL and I have to be able to drop the mic a few times without knocking it out” Hansen said. “I don’t drop a microphone on purpose, but sometimes it happens and the WL40V seems to be pretty bullet-proof in this respect.”
Hansen describes his most recent experience with the WL40V on stage. “We just got back from Germany, where we did a live acoustic show, which we recorded for SWR2 in Germany. On this recording, I use my Earthworks WL40V capsule for my vocals. I could have used a Telefunken M251 for this recording, but instead, I chose to use my Earthworks WL40V microphone capsule. Maybe the sound would have been really cool on the M251, but when you put the Earthworks capsule on a good wireless system, that makes it portable. So even though we are sitting down, doing an acoustic show, I could stand up and walk to the audience and say, come on, everybody sing along. There is no way this could have happened if I was using a Telefunken M251 studio microphone. I want to thank Earthworks for giving me such a great mic to work with!”
Before getting back on the road, Banda offered this closing thought on his experience working with Earthworks. “Earthworks as a company, has been amazing to work with,” Banda says. “We are so appreciative of everything they do for us. Everyone there really bends over backwards for us in providing what we need, whenever we need it.”
To learn more about Foreigner and their current tour, visit the band online at www.foreigneronline.com.
July 30, 2013, Milford, NH – Earthworks Inc., manufacturer of High Definition Microphones™ and Zero Distortion Technology preamplifiers, is pleased to announce Peavey Electronics® as its Asia Pacific Master Distributor.
As exclusive Master Distributor, Peavey Electronics® will oversee all sales, marketing and technical support for Earthworks audio products along with their local distributors in the Pacific Rim region which includes People’s Republic of China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Oceania.
Heidi Blackmer Robichaud, president and CEO of Earthworks added, “We are very excited about the appointment of Peavey Electronics®. Their experience, background and expertise will make them excellent partners in promoting Earthworks’ technically advance products throughout this region of the world.”
Brent Beery, Managing Director APAC of Peavey Electronics® said, “We love the design and build quality of Earthworks products and think they are a great complement to the Peavey line. Our dealers in APAC are going to win more projects because they are selling Earthworks and Peavey together.”
About Peavey Electronics®
Founded in 1965, Peavey® is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment. Peavey has earned more than 180 patents and distributes to more than 130 countries. Peavey and its MediaMatrix®, Architectural Acoustics®, Crest Audio®, Composite Acoustics® and Trace Elliot® brands and affiliates can be found on concert stages and in airports, stadiums, theme parks and other venues around the world. To find out more, visit www.peavey.com.
June 25, 2013, Milford, NH – Florida-based audio, lighting and AV production company Sound Media deployed two Earthworks FMR500 podium microphones at Florida Governor Rick Scott’s April press conference in Riveria Beach, Florida.
Lennox Foster, President of Sound Media, selected two FMR500 19 inch podium microphones for the press conference, his go-to choice for podium miking.
“Speakers tend to shift from side to side when speaking, turn their heads, speak softly or too loud and back away from the mic. The FMR500 helps us to combat these issues,” Foster explains. “The response is consistent and clear during the entire presentation.”
Lennox also noted the response of the press conference’s organizers to the FMR500s. “Organizers of the press conference were amazed at the quality and gain of the microphones. This press conference was conducted in a manufacturing facility with a high ambient noise.”
For this particular event, Foster utlized two Meyer Sound UPA-1P loudspeakers on stands, a Presonus Live 24.4.2 console and two Earthworks FMR500 podium microphones.
“A typical setup range from 8 – 12 Turbosound Flex line array loudspeakers per side in larger venues like ballrooms and arenas to 2 Meyer Sound UPA-1P on stands. Consoles choices are Yamaha PM5D, Yamaha M7CL, Presonus live or Allen and Heath analog consoles. Our podium choice is always 2 Earthworks FMR500.”
“It is great working with Earthworks as a company. Craig Breckenridge was able to listen to our request, recommend the correct product, sent samples for evaluation, then followed up to verify we found the solution,” concludes Lennox.
For more information on the Earthworks FlexMics or other High Definition Microphones, please contact Earthworks at 603-654-2433 ext.114 or by email at email@example.com.
May 29, 2013, Milford, NH – Earthworks has expanded its Installation Series to include the IM12-W, a 12 inch gooseneck cardioid condenser microphone designed for fixed installations. The Series previously offered a 3 inch and 6 inch model. The primary applications for the IM Series include ceiling mounted teleconferencing, distance learning, surveillance, boardrooms, government facilities, and ambient room miking.
The IM12-W provides an ultra-low profile microphone solution with pristine sound and a 30Hz-30kHz flat frequency response. Patented near-perfect polar technology prevents the loss of high frequencies on or off-axis to the microphone.
The microphone’s slim gooseneck and small microphone head allow quick and easy positioning, while nearly disappearing into the ceiling. And like the rest of the Earthworks product line of microphones and preamplifiers, the IM12-W is manufactured in the USA and comes with a 15 year warranty.
The Installation Series, along with the rest of the Earthworks line up, will be at InfoComm in Orlando June 12-14, 2013 in Booth 323. Visitors to the Earthworks booth will have the opportunity to win an Earthworks installation microphone of their choice.
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