Unique & Powerful Sounds for Vocals, Guitar and Drums
South Windsor, CT, March 2017 –
Acclaimed folk ensemble The Wood Brothers are touring extensively with a choice selection of TELEFUNKEN microphones for vocals, drums and guitars. The group is comprised of brothers Chris on upright bass and Oliver Wood on acoustic and electric guitars, joined by drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. Daniel Ramirez is their FOH engineer.
Ramirez explains how he gets the well-known Wood Brothers drum sound: “I build my drum mix around a Telefunken M82 dynamic mic and a pair of M60 FET condensers in an X-Y configuration directly above the snare drum. The M82 is far and away my favorite kick drum mic. With its built-in filters and how well it takes equalization at the desk, it is versatile enough to use for warm, round vintage kick drum tones like we have one night, and very snappy, punchy modern rock tones the next night. The M60 FET overheads have such a transparent sound and a perfect pattern for picking up the full drum kit without a lot of extra bleed from the rest of the stage.”
Ramirez is quick to share his miking techniques. “I get asked about the M60s a lot by house engineers, and I love just pushing the two overheads up with no close mics so they can hear for themselves. With a well-tuned PA, the transition from acoustic stage sound to show volume is so transparent that it’s almost as if someone is just turning your ears up. The band uses high-end IEMs that give them an almost microscopic perception of every detail, and when I first demo’d the M60s with them they were astonished at how natural they sounded; the decision to switch over was immediate and unanimous.”
Ramirez elaborates on how he gets the distinctive guitar sound the Wood Brothers are known for: “I use a large diaphragm CU-29 Copperhead on Oliver’s main guitar amp, which is a cheap 4-watt tube amp from the early 1960’s with a 6-inch paper speaker. We often joke that the mic is worth several times as much as the amp. We run the amp at ’10’ and it breaks up in a really funky, distinctive way. The Copperhead excels here as it catches every detail of the rich saturated overtones with a pleasant smoothness and without the excessive high-mid ‘bite’ that many condenser microphones exhibit. The sturdy build of the mic, pre-amp, and cable gives me confidence touring it hard with a different house crew every day.”
Background vocals are a significant part of the Wood Brothers sound equation. “I’m using dynamic M81’s, with the M81-SH in the drum position. I find that they have a very rich sound, with a little bit of pleasant darkness that really helps smooth out the vocal blend. I know it’s a pretty abstract description, but there is a certain sturdiness and structure to the sound of these mics that I really like on male vocals. Plus Jano, the drummer, absolutely loves the small form-factor of the compact SH, especially when combined with a Telefunken 90-degree angle cable. He has a lot going on back there — he has the mouthpiece for his melodica strapped to it, he’s reaching over to his keyboards, and always grabbing different auxiliary percussion instruments, plus moving in and out of the drum position all night, and switching to this configuration was a life-changer for him.”
The Wood Brothers first studio album, Ways Not to Lose, was produced by John Medeski and released in 2006 on Blue Note Records. Following were four more studio albums and three live albums, the most recent being Live at the Barn in 2017.
“I’ve toured the Telefunken facility in Connecticut,” Ramirez adds, “and have met many of their staff members and technicians over the last decade, so I have seen first hand the care that gets put into manufacturing and quality control, and it’s easy for me to give Telefunken my full endorsement.”