Pictured in the Lolina Green studio are Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles and Matthew Sweet with a new Telefunken | USA Ela M 251F condenser tube microphone. Photo by David Goggin.
Los Angeles, CA, March, 2007 – Two of pop music’s all-time favorites, Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet have purchased a pair of Telefunken | USA Ela M 251F microphone systems. The new mics house vintage NOS tubes with dual membrane capsules and are meticulously engineered to provide the same extraordinary sonic performance and circuitry of the highly prized vintage tube originals.
“I helped Susanna set up a ProTools studio of her own like mine,” explains Sweet. “For our second album together, we are going back and forth, so it’s genius for us to have the 251 in both studios.”
Susanna Hoffs is famed as lead singer, rhythm guitarist and founding member of The Bangles. Sidney Matthew Sweet has been a mainstay of the pop scene since his smash 1991 debut, “Girlfriend.” The two are longtime fans of each others work, performing guest vocals at each others concerts over the years, and collaborating with comedian Mike Myers as members of Austin Powers on-screen band Ming Tea in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Austin Powers in Goldmember.
“The Telefunken | USA 251 has a rich harmonic quality in the midrange,” says singer/songwriter and prolific producer Sweet. “It’s just a creamy sound with a bright top, like a sheen. I love using it for harmonies because it gives something to the tops of the voices that is crystalline. But it also has a good, big bottom end, as well. I started using it on acoustic guitars and other instruments and now I use it for just about everything.”
As “Sid ‘n’ Susie,” Sweet and Hoffs explored the classic era of 60s pop music on their 2006 debut collaboration “Under The Covers.” The intricate yet intimate sound of the record reveals the ease of the sessions. Recorded entirely at Sweets home facility, Lolina Green, the album features “The Warmth Of The Sun” by The Beach Boys, Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl,” Pete Townsend’s “The Kids Are Alright,” John Phillips “Monday, Monday,” and The Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing.” Their second album for Shout! Factory will explore the pop music of the 70s.
“I first got interested in what Telefunken | USA was doing because I heard what Allen Sides had to say about their microphones,” remarked Sweet. “I know Allen and I’ve used his vintage mics at Ocean Way and he is the real deal. For Susanna, she heard her voice with the new 251 and immediately told me she had to have this mic.” Susanna adds, “It’s magnificent – such presence. Just big.”
“I was also very impressed with how this microphone can take sound pressure,” Sweets continues. “You can get close on the mic and it’s very intimate and sensitive. You can really pick out detail, perhaps because of the high-end bump it has. The magic is partly that high-end, but a large part is the tube sound that is hard to put your finger on. Maybe it’s a form of very subtle harmonic distortion, but it has a richness in the midrange that is really pleasing.”
Nearly a half-century after its introduction, hundreds of vintage Telefunken Ela M251/250’s are in use worldwide and are still prized by engineers for their smooth vocal reproduction and sparkling high-end response. Telefunken | USA is the current manufacturer of the prized microphones and is also handling all service and parts for the vintage units.
To hear Sid ‘n’ Susie, visit: http://www.myspace.com/sidnsusie