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Mojave Audio MA-200 Microphone Captures Lead Vocals On Billy Stokes’ New “Muscle & Blood”

Engineer/producer Jim Pavett deploys large-diaphragm tube condenser mic for Marc Storace of Krokus at Allusion Studios

By PSW Staff August 11, 2017

Marc Storace with the Mojave Audio MA-200, recording vocals for "Muscle & Blood" at Allusion Studios.

A new album by blues/rock guitarist Billy Stokes titled “Muscle & Blood,” recorded at Allusion Studios (Tucson, AZ) by engineer/producer and studio owner Jim Pavett, features lead vocals by Marc Storace of Krokus captured with a Mojave Audio MA-200 large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone.

Stokes and Storace were joined on the project by Frank Marino, Pat Travers, Les Dudek, Barry Sparks, and other noted players. Pavett is also an accomplished musician in his own right and has worked with numerous top artists, including Alicia Keys and Cyndi Lauper, in addition to operating operates Pure Wave Audio, a sales and consulting firm.

“I used the MA-200 on lead vocals exclusively to ensure the lead would stand out and remain distinct from the background vocals,” Pavett explains. “Interestingly, my challenge was to overcome the stereotype of recording a rock vocal with a popular dynamic mic. My whole career, I have always used large diaphragm condenser and tube mikes to record vocals and, after testing the dynamic mic and experiencing its bizarre comb-like filtering EQ curve, I just don’t get why someone would like that sound. I had to reassure Marc’s team that we were taking an audiophile approach to this album and that the Mojave MA-200 offered a much better solution compared to a dynamic mic.

He continues, “Recording Marc’s vocals was done toward the end of the tracking process for the entire album. All we had left was lead vocals, background vocals, and solos. Knowing I was producing a guitar oriented rock album that had a lot of Marshall guitar tones on it, I knew I needed to pick a mic capable of creating the presence necessary to rise above all the music and have the lead vocal front and center.

“Therefore, I chose the Mojave MA-200. With the MA-200, I can get the quality and character of a U 67 microphone, but with the added presence needed to pop through. Plus, the extra few dB of signal-to-noise ratio—compared to what a U 67 typically yields—doesn’t hurt either. Marc was a trooper and knocked out sixteen songs in eight days. His stance would be an attack position and just unleash his unique voice on that mic hours at a time.

“The MA-200 was a terrific choice for use on this project,” Pavett concludes. “The mic captured the energy and character of Marc Storace’s vocal beautifully. This was a much better solution than using a dynamic mic and everyone who has listened to the results has been impressed. The end result says it all.”

Mojave Audio
Allusion Studios

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