With latest album The Future is Medieval Kaiser Chiefs have made use of Audio-Technica’s ribbon microphones.
The band’s drummer and songwriter Nick Hodgson, who also produced several of the album’s tracks, employed Audio-Technica AT4080 and AT4081 ribbon microphones during the recording process.
With a background in studio engineering, Hodgson has his own studio in East London and knew that ribbon microphones would feature in his itinerary at some point. “I saw a review of the AT4080 and AT4081 microphones in a magazine,” he revealed, “and I thought they looked really good and affordable. It also helped that I saw Audio-Technica’s phone number had a Leeds code, which is where we’re from!
“The mics are so versatile, I’ll use them for almost anything. They’re now a vital part of my arsenal. I’ve used them on all sorts, I really have. They’ve close-mic’d acoustic guitars, I’ve stuck them on electric guitars and I’ll use them as room mics too. The AT4081 seems to be a particularly good ambient microphone.
“I was using some real rubbish on our guitars before I turned to the AT4080 and AT4081. I began placing them a fair distance from the amp and they sounded great. I’ll always keep them in the mix, whatever I’m recording. They just bring a nice little nuance to everything.”
Revered producers Tony Visconti (David Bowie) and Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon) were both involved in the recording of the album, yet Hodgson also utilised his studio and production skills with a couple of songs that feature the two Audio-Technica microphones.
“Two songs particularly stand out as containing some nice AT-inspired sounds,” he added. “One is ‘Things Change’ where I got one of the mics, stuck it in the middle of the live room and recorded the drums. It sounded brilliant – really nice and dirty. The other was ‘If You Will Have Me,’ which was a little more involved... but not much! With that, I used both as room mics to record acoustic guitar. Again, it sounded great.
“The way I record is very spontaneous,” Hodgson continued, “and always governed by the end result, ie, how does it sound? If it sounds good in the room, and it sounds good on the computer, and it sounds good in my car on the way home, then I’m happy. I genuinely wish I could put my finger on why the Audio-Technica stuff works so well and describe to you exactly why I like them. All I do is test a few microphones when I’m recording and see what works best on whichever instrument I’m recording at the time. I’m really not a technical engineer at all, I’m just hands-on and I know what sounds good.”
A full version of this interview can be found at http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/news/KaiserChiefs/