For over six decades, Doug Weston’s The Troubadour has been a flagship venue of the American music industry.
The famous club on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood has been the site of legendary performances by top artists through rock history, including James Taylor, the Eagles, Elton John, Metallica, Franz Ferdinand, the Strokes and Guns N’ Roses, who, like many classic artists, got their careers going as a result of performances there.
The Troubadour continues to be a vital link in the evolving American music industry and culture, and microphones from Audio-Technica have played a key role in keeping it that way.
Bobby Crown, the FOH Mixer, Production Manager and System Engineer for The Troubadour for the last seven years, brought an all-A-T package of microphones into The Troubadour in 2008, and ever since they’ve been the first line of great sound every night for each artist.
Crown, who at one point was simultaneously an engineer at four of L.A.’s leading venues, including the Whisky a Go Go and the Viper Room before settling in at The Troubadour in 2003 for what he calls its “magical positive energy,” has found the ideal A-T microphone for every application at the club.
Electric guitars and basses benefit from ATM650 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphones, ATM250 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphones (on the rear of the amp cabinet) and ATM250DE Dual-Element Instrument Microphones; acoustic guitars get great sound and pickup from AE5100 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone; vocals are captured using the ATM610 Hypercardioid Dynamic Handheld Microphone.
Crown has found that the Audio-Technica PRO 35 Cardioid Condenser Clip-on Instrument Microphone, which excels in high-SPL applications and is ideal for active stage performance, has become his all-round go-to microphone for drums and other percussive applications.
“I tried it out on the kick now and it’s an amazing sound, so I’ve started using it on the toms, and the whole kit sounds fantastic,” he says. “The PRO 35 is a small condenser mic so it has a lot of headroom for the pre-amp and a lot of bottom-end roundness. You can just bring up the gain and it sounds great. It’s a flat-sounding microphone that lets the drums sound very natural and takes advantage of the great sound of the wood ambience of the room. In terms of overall functionality, it’s the best multi-purpose microphone I’ve ever used.”
Crown also uses the ATM650, ATM450 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone and AE5100 on the snare and the ATM450 and ATM650 on the high-hat. The ATM450 also works superbly in pairs as a room microphone, capturing the essence of The Troubadour’s warm, intimate sound even as the room itself has evolved, with recently added balconies and an upstairs bar area.
“Every night we have a different artist, and over time the room will adjust as the size of the crowd changes, but the A-T microphones remain the consistent thing about the sound,” says Crown, who estimates that he’s mixed over 5,000 bands at the Troubadour.
“We get a lot of guest engineers in here and I’ve found that they really appreciate the comfort zone they feel when they find out we’re using the same Audio-Technica microphones that a lot of them already use on the road.”
“The A-T mics help in so many ways.”