After extensive A/B testing, CAD Microphones were chosen by Production Manager Maceo Price to handle several key mic’ing functions on Lil’ Wayne’s 2009 I AM MUSIC tour.
Lil’ Wayne’s dynamic stage presentation involves a “three dimensional” approach with each band member on an 8- by 8-foot moving deck with video panels and surrounds weaving around and between them, dramatic pyro effects and Wayne moving all over a 60 x 48 foot “rolling” stage below.
Price, who notes that he “loves CAD mics for drums,” has chosen CAD TSM411s for snare tops and bottoms and rack toms, CAD M179 on overheads and floor toms, and his “favorite CAD (Equitek) e60” on hi-hat.
“The drums are monstrous,” Price adds. “It’s toms and snares all day, and the snare cuts glass. You get a lot of pressure out of them without the mics cracking up.”
On the warmer side of the spectrum, Price opted for CAD Trion 7000 ribbon mics on bass and guitar amps. Prerecorded string parts were recorded right off the bow of the cello with the 7000, put in Pro Tools and blended together for a “thicker” sound.
“The ribbon mic is really warm, and because of its rejection, you can isolate it and get every nuance out of the microphone,” Price states. “CAD mics are nice and sensitive. I have a lot of hi hat coming into my snare because of the way the kit is set up with the two snares surrounding the hi hat. So you’ve got to play with the gates a bit to make sure there’s no bleed through. But when you need it, it’s there.
“We also used CAD D189s for talkback. These are really important for our show because of the expanded space our guys work in. They play from 55 feet up down to 0 feet, and each one passes through side arrays, front fills and wedges on the upper decks. The CAD talkback mics keep working for us because their rejection characteristics are so effective.
“In critical situations I can always hear everyone crystal clear no matter what’s going on,” he recounts. “Musicians talking to the monitor engineer, or me eavesdropping on the music director talking to the ProTools operator, letting him know when to skip a song or start one late—what we call ‘audibles’. With CAD, I hear only what I want to hear.”