Country music singer / songwriter Jim Lauderdale has a well-deserved reputation for his music, which ranges from hard country, slick pop, rock and roll, blues and R&B to folk and bluegrass.
In addition to his own record projects, his work has also been recorded by George Strait, Patty Loveless, Vince Gill, and other well-known artists. With a track record like this, it comes as no surprise that Lauderdale works with top tier production talent—and much of that success is attributable to producer/engineer/musician Randy Kohrs.
With Lauderdale’s forthcoming CD, titled Carolina Moonrise, scheduled for September release on the Sugar Hill Records label, there’s something for everyone; and much of the project was captured using a variety of microphones from Mojave Audio.
Randy Kohrs has served as producer/engineer/mixer on Lauderdale’s Could we Get Any Closer, Reason & Rhyme, and The Bluegrass Diaries, which won a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2007. Further, he played and sang harmony on these projects. For his studio work, he’s become a big fan of Mojave Audio microphones and regularly uses the company’s MA-201fet, MA-200, MA-100, and MA-300 models. He discussed his use of these microphones.
“Carolina Moonrise was recorded at my personal studio, known as Slack Key Studio, right here in Nashville,” Kohrs reports. “For the most part, the sessions took place during December 2011 and, during that time, I used the Mojave mics in a variety of ways.
“I found the MA-100—with its interchangeable cardioid and omnidirectional capsules—a great choice as the top mic on the upright bass and as the bottom mic on the mandolin. I also consider the MA-200 invaluable when positioned on the tailpiece side of the banjo.”
For vocal work, Kohrs says he’s had considerable success with Mojave Audio’s MA-201fet condenser microphone and the MA-300 multi-pattern vacuum tube condenser microphone.
“I used the MA-201fet to record harmony vocals that my wife, Ashley, and I performed,” he said. “Mojave mics have a nice output level, so the preamps get a very consistent signal. My wife’s voice tends to be very sibilant. After trying several vocal mics and having to make the best of it, I discovered the MA-201 kept the openness of her vocal while suppressing the sibilant factor that I used to struggle with in post.”
“Since acquiring the MA-300,” he continued, “I’ve been using it the most. I love being able to open a pattern up for harmony vocalists so they can step back a bit.
“Similarly, multiple vocalists can sing simultaneously and the mic captures the performance beautifully. The MA-300 delivers really impressive results.”
Since one never knows what challenges may arise during a recording session, the ability to obtain fast and accurate technical support is a vital issue to many producers. On that note, Kohrs considers Mojave Audio’s customer / technical support services first-rate.
“Dusty Wakeman is a hoss! Period,” he says. “The company’s support is fast and Dusty knows his stuff. He treats you like family.”
Before turning his attention back to the business of the day, Kohrs offered these parting thoughts about his experience with Mojave Audio.
“As is the case with all of the records that I’ve done with Jim, I’m extremely proud of the outcome on this latest effort. Jim Lauderdale is a first-rate artist, which is key to it all. We tracked the majority of Jim’s records in one day, which requires top-shelf players and top-shelf gear. There’s no time for breakdowns on either and Mojave Audio has proved itself on every single one of those records.”