For James Arthur’s recent solo headline tour, front of house engineer Darren Mullis employed a variety of Audio-Technica microphones – including an AE5400 cardioid condenser, AE6100 hypercardioid dynamic, and AE2500 dual-element cardioid dynamic/condenser – on both vocals and backline.
“When we went into rehearsals with James we had numerous microphones to try for different applications,” Mullis explains, “and we quickly settled on an Audio-Technica AE5400 for James vocal and AE6100s for backing vocals. The AE5400 is a great fit for James and its top-end dips at about 5-6k, which helps get rid of sibilance. Rejection from those microphones is great, which really helps me because the band’s monitor wedge mix is fairly loud, and the crowds are incredibly loud. But we barely notice that noise down the vocal lines, so clarity is great and James’s vocal is very clean at FOH, which is obviously what people want to hear.”
Mullis started using Audio-Technica microphones in 2005 and still uses his first AT4050 large diaphragm condenser on snare alongside AE3000 cardioid condensers on toms. “James’ live shows are very much a ‘band’ gig with very little playback, so drums and guitars are very important. I’ve used the AE3000 for toms for a few years and they continue to serve me very well – I find I get everything I want out of the toms without having to manipulate my EQ very much at all. And the combination of both dynamic and condenser capsules in the AE2500 is fantastic on guitar and delivers both the bite and punch needed with no phase problems.”