Rob Macomber, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning chief engineer of the Music Studios at Jazz at Lincoln Center for SiriusXM Satellite Radio, regularly utilizes Sanken CUW-180 stereo microphones in his work.
The CUW-180 is comprised of two cardioid condenser mics combined in one compact body. Each of the two 180-degree capsules is independently adjustable with 15-degree detent, providing a versatile mic for a variety of stereo and surround recording applications.
“The CUW-180s perform wonderfully anywhere and everywhere,” says Macomber. “On a regular basis I use them as a pair over the stage for ambience. That’s my standard main stereo pickup over the stage. Eight feet up or so, at the lip of the stage angled at 45 degrees. I also use them for ensemble sections, like trombones and trumpets. As a section mic it is fabulous.”
In his 9-year tenure at SiriusXM, Macomber has worked with a who’s who of modern day musical artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Sting, Beyonce, Santana, Andrea Bocelli, Chic Corea, Dave Brubeck and Joshua Bell.
“The stereo Sanken mics give me the full frequency spectrum,” adds Macomber. “On the low end, the proximity effect is very minimal, although I’m primarily not in close-miking situations. The 180 is very flat throughout the frequency spectrum. No boominess, no having to roll off the low end, very smooth on the top end. Off-axis it’s very natural sounding.”
Macomber also likes the unique dual capsule design and the precise detente adjustment. “It’s a killer design in a fairly fast-paced environment, where I do get a sound check, but it’s still a live show. Each show is different and when it’s happening I can’t stop the show and say, ‘Hey, we need to reposition that mic.’ I can get that mic position spot-on and know that one click wider or one click narrower on both capsules will land me where I want to be.
“Then if need be, I can simply adjust the panning on the desk on the fly. The quick paced broadcast environment for a live show is quite a challenge—the Sanken is a great performer.”
Over the course of his prolific career, Macomber has recorded and/or mixed music for highly-rated television broadcasts such as the Tony Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Victoria Secret Fashion Show, Fashion Rocks, VH-1 Divas, VH-1 Storytellers, AOL Sessions, Live from Lincoln Center Series and numerous DVDs and concert films.