On June 4-5th, I was invited to attend and perform at Audiority Day, an Audio-Technica, Focusrite, Roland and Genelec workshop in Bucharest. The event consisted of product presentations from each brand, Q & A sessions with their European representatives, hands-on sessions and mini-recitals to demonstrate the quality of the products in action.
I’ve been a proud Audio-Technica endorser since 2011 and their fabulous AE5400 is my go-to microphone. This time, I got to test their finest wireless condenser microphones, the whole thing being mixed on the new Roland M-5000 O.R.C.H.A. console. The preamp used was Focusrite ISA One, that I had used during studio recording sessions before, but never live – I was happy to see it adds the same warmth in a live mix and has a really quick response to every nuance of my voice.
This time I also discovered the AT4047 studio microphone, which I hadn’t paid much attention to before, as I was happy with the AT5040 and AT4040 I usually record on. AT4047 is different, more subtle, with a lower input volume and it kind of “smooths” out the sound. I don’t know if it’s the perfect fit for my voice, but it was surely a spot-on choice for my fellow singers Loulou and Lexie Shine – both their latest singles are recorded on it.
Also, I was fascinated by Dankmar Klein’s presentation of the innovative RedNet system, that uses Internet Cat5 cables for all audio transmissions, thus getting rid of the need for heavy, long and so-not-pretty snake cables. I really, really hate cable clutter, in the studio (they gather so much dust and occupy so much space!), as well as live (they’re a danger in combination with my high heels, always). Beyond the superficial reasons, it’s clearly a cheaper and more reliable solution in the long run and, if you’re worried about combining this system with your existing platforms, well… you should know it communicates with Pro Tools|HD and MADI. You can read more about RedNet here.
Zsolt Zöld from Audio-Technica Central Europe demonstrated the capabilities and differences between AT’s successful installation microphones in a very original and creative “ears-on” presentation. He basically simulated a conference scenario in an adjoining room, showing how each type of microphone captures speech from a certain distance, the level of noise, what happens when you turn the mic on and off repeatedly during a meeting and what kind of model is suitable for every business meeting situation. The funny thing was that the speeches, transmitted through exquisite Genelec monitors, were all in Japanese – “it’s better if you don’t understand“, said Zsolt, “it keeps you focused on the sound itself“.
Besides doing my part and performing a few of my songs for the lovely audiophile audience, I got to learn many interesting trivia info. For example, did you know that:
- AT2020 is the best-selling studio microphone in the world?
- The MIDI protocol was developed by Dave Smith and Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi and they decided to give it away for free when they realized the importance of having a worldwide standard protocol?
- in 1991, AUDIO-TECHNICA introduced the AT4033 cardioid condenser microphone, the first studio microphone costing less than $1000?
- Genelec speaker cabinets are built exclusively from recycled aluminium, that can be reused indefinitely?
All in all, it was an incredible event – a very special “Thank You” goes out to Simon Levente (Audio-Technica Romania) for making me part of it.