Working alongside singer/songwriter Claude Kelly in New York City’s KMA studio in the historic Brill Building, two-time Grammy-nominated engineer, arranger and programmer Ben Chang uses AKG D12 dynamic and C451 condenser microphones as his go-to solutions for tracking.
With a client list ranging in artists such as David Cook, Steve Jordan, Jessie J, Lil Jon, Mya, Ne-Yo, Trey Songs, Tiësto and his Grammy-nominated work with Fantasia and Ledisi, Chang focuses on an “organic” sound with live drums and acoustic guitars.
The D12 dynamic instrument mic is on every drum record Chang produces, clipped inside the bass drum for a rich, intense beat. He also drops a D12 into pianos right above the strings for a soulful sound.
C451 condensers are utilized as room mics and are workhorses in Chang’s studio. “We use the C451 and crush the hell out of it through a distressor,” he said. “The C451’s on vocals and drums also adds more flavor to a track.”
Chang also keeps multiple C414 studio mics, a C12 VR and C1000 microphones in his collection for artists.
“Some engineers and producers think hits are made in the mixing sessions after recording. For me, choosing the perfect mic is the most important part in the process of recording a hit,” states Chang. “My clients crave perfection to their production, whether on guitars, drums, strings or vocals. I’ve even tracked a harmonica using the AKG D12 that was played by K’naan on one of a soon-to-be-released track. AKG mics are an important tool that helps capture that great tone, translating their vision into a complete project.“
“I love the brightness AKG adds to the flow of my work – the flow that many other mics just can’t help but miss,” continued Chang.