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Matty Mullins Tests The Limits Of Telefunken

Memphis May Fire frontman/singer/screamer chooses AK-47 MkII condenser microphone for the studio and M80 dynamic for the live stage.

Known for his vocal range and stage presence, Matty Mullins is the frontman for metalcore band Memphis May Fire from Nashville, Tennessee and currently signed to Rise Records.

After working with a wide selection of studio and stage microphones, Mullins has settled on his Telefunken AK-47 MkII large diaphragm tube mic for his studio vocals and the M80 dynamic mic for his live performances.

“I’ve used a lot of different mics over the last few years live,” says Mullins. “The toughest thing for me is that I do both singing and screaming. Being that I sing and scream at different volumes, we always had to smash my microphone with compression out at front of house. When you do that, you run into a bunch of feedback issues, and I get a ton of cymbal bleed, and all that kind of stuff. I was previously using a popular condenser capsule, which was great because it had a really nice top end, but it just caused too many issues at front of the house with cymbal bleed and feedback.”

Matty Mullins onstage with his Telefunken M80 dynamic microphone.

A friend of Mullins suggested that he give the Telefunken M80 dynamic mic a try. “The first day that I used that capsule, I knew that I was never going to use any other mic ever again. Not only did it eliminate all of the feedback problems that we were having, we got barely any cymbal bleed and I haven’t had any feedback issues.”

Especially beneficial to Mullins’ stage work was his ability to work with an in-ear mix onstage.

“More than anything, it just opened up my in-ear mix like crazy. I had had a lot of problems with my vocals trying to stand out in my mix. I was just pushing my vocal way too far and had it way too loud in my mix just to get the clarity that I needed. When I switched to that M80, I had no issues whatsoever. My vocal stood out perfectly. It was just dead center, crisp and clear. I had all my other instruments separated out, and easy to hear. Yeah, the M80 live has been a life-changing capsule for me. I’ll definitely never use anything else unless Telefunken decides to make that one even better.”

Memphis May Fire is comprised of vocalist Matty Mullins, lead guitarist Kellen McGregor, bass guitarist Cory Elder, and drummer Jake Garland. Formed in 2006, they have released five studio albums and two EPs to date. Their fourth album, “Unconditional,” debuted at No. 4 on the US Billboard 200 and atop the Alternative Albums chart.

Shortly after Mullins discovered the M80, he contacted Telefunken about a vocal mic for his personal recording studio, and the AK-47 large diaphragm tube microphone was provided.

“I was just really curious about what Telefunken could do for my vocals in the studio. What I was looking for was a mic that gives me almost exactly what I want before I even go into post-production. With the natural EQ of the AK-47, I have done way less in post than I have had to do with any other mic that I have ever used. It just naturally sounds great with my voice. I have a very specific kind of tone to my voice, and the AK-47 works great with both singing and screaming. The tube in it is very warm, but it’s got a very nice defined mid range and high end, and the low end is wonderful too. All around, it is just a very versatile microphone for someone like me who does two completely different styles of vocals.”

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Memphis May Fire are veterans of the modern Vans Warped Tour, and have become a defining act in the metalcore genre. The band has headlined the charity-driven Take Action! Tour, co-headlined with Platinum-certified screamo/pop-punk merchants Yellowcard, and earned spots at major rock radio festivals like Rock on the Range and international events like Download, Slam Dunk and Heavy Montreal.

“Broken” is the sixth studio album by Memphis May Fire, released on Rise Records. The album was produced by Kane Churko, the band’s guitarist Kellen McGregor, and Drew Fulk, and was recorded at The Hideout Studios.

“As far as microphones go, I’ve never met anyone as picky as I am,” says Mullins. “I’m never going to use another brand, and I’m serious about that.”


Memphis May Fire

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