GRAMMY Award-winning mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Muse, Bruce Springsteen), who’s kept a busy schedule during the lockdown in taking on projects from a range of artists, has also been tracking artist vocals utilizing an Audio-Technica AT5047 cardioid condenser microphone.
“In March, I devised a makeshift vocal booth at my facility that we were able to disinfect after every use, and everything could stay properly distanced to adhere to the health guidelines of the situation,” he explains. “Originally I set this up just as a temporary solution for a project or two. But nine months later, this setup is still in use, right where we assembled it.
“The AT5047 is a game-changing microphone in a lot of ways,” he continues. “For instance, I did some recent recording with Kiefer Sutherland. I’d mixed his records in the past but not recorded the vocals myself. But getting him on this AT5047 microphone – obviously I’d heard his voice before on recorded tracks, but he and I had never heard it sound this good just raw like that. It was so clear and in-your-face, and when I brought up the track on the desk to mix it, I barely had to do anything to it. I’m known for my processing techniques when I mix vocals, but I feel like the AT5047 gives me a head start.”
Lord-Alge’s also worked sessions with rock artists Tempt and Dorothy, with his AT5047 vocal chain including an Avantone Pro CLA-200 studio reference amplifier, a Heritage Audio HA73 mic preamp, and a Black Lion Audio CLA Bluey limiter.
He adds that he’s been using several different Audio-Technica products during the course of 2020, including ATH-M50x monitor headphones as his tracking headphones, AT4050 multi-pattern condenser mics for background vocals, an AT5045 large-diaphragm condenser mic for acoustic guitars, and multiple A-T turntables. Further, his selection of A-T drum mics were lent to Badflower drummer Anthony Sonetti to record his own tracks remotely (an experiment that yielded impressive results that surpassed Chris’s expectations); multiple A-T turntables; and several others.
Looping back to the AT5047, he cites the mic’s low-frequency response: “Another artist I’ve worked with is called Bald Man, and he has a very deep voice. Some of his vocals are narrated or speak-sung, and it’s important to pick up all the deep, low-end character of his voice. It’s unbelievable how much clarity you can get from the AT5047 in that situation. I can’t think of a better option for capturing Bald Man’s vocals.”