As a guitarist/singer/songwriter who has performed as a sideman for the likes of Kanye West, Christina Aguilera and Kid Cudi, and has recorded with Jason Nelson, Ben O’Neill relies on Harman’s AKG microphones for his own rock/alternative country acts, home recordings, and guitar recording classes at the University of Arts in Philadelphia.
O’Neill is a jack-of-all-trades, having been nominated for a Grammy Award and fulfilling numerous roles in the music industry. His pursuit of clean, organic-sounding tones within the music that he makes or teaches has never changed, which is why he says he continues to use AKG microphones, including the AKG C414 XLS for recording, the 415 B in the classroom, and the D5 on stage.
“Unlike simulated sounds on a lot of records you heard on the radio, I try to make real guitar tones that are super-clean,” says O’Neill. “Whether I’m playing Bakersfield country or contemporary R&B, I’m looking for compelling sounds that are beautiful and organic. That’s why I love the C414 XLS microphone, because it gives the vocals and the guitars a level of clarity that you just can’t get from a dynamic microphone.”
While affordable, AKG microphones are also designed to remain consistent throughout the years, capable of taking abuse that would leave other microphones faulty. “When teaching, I try to incorporate a technology element in my lessons,” O’Neill notes. “We look at amps, guitars, microphones and how they work in conjunction. AKG microphones are great for this purpose, and it’s always a blessing to be able to work with them. I really appreciate the support that I’ve received from the company, and the service has been great.”