New Zealand band Crowded House are using 28 Earthworks High Definition microphones on its new tour, which coincides with the launch of new studio album Intriguer, writes Paul Watson. Headquartered in Milford, New Hampshire, Earthworks makes only hand-crafted microphones. From testing and measurement to the miking of the whole band, the Crowded House tour relies heavily on Earthworks' High Definition products.
FOH Engineer Angus Davidson first discovered the brand in 2008. One of his first purchases was a set of DK25/L drum mics, which on this tour are complemented with two DP25/C HD snare mics, four DP30/Cs, two SR40s and an SR30.
"The Earthworks mics are a great solution for drum miking," said Davidson, pictured here with CH drummer Matt Sherrod. "I use the 40kHz SR40s in a classic X-Y pattern for the overheads and they deliver extraordinary depth of field and stereo imaging; the new DP25/30s are spot-on when it comes to massive headroom and an uncanny openness that belies their proximity to the drums."
Davidson also uses Earthworks SR30s to mic the guitars and the Leslie cabinet on the organ, and for vocals, six 40kHz SR40HCs - which he describes as "the best, flattest and tightest sounding vocal mics ever." There is also a mic suited to taking acoustic sound measurements: the M50.
Each show is recorded through an Avid VENUE Profile console to Pro Tools HD, and Davidson says that the Earthworks mics provide a pristine signal that he can do anything with when it comes to the mixdown process. He is also adamant that never before has one brand been able to completely satisfy FOH and monitor engineers' needs: "It is a testament to the quality of these Earthworks mics that we can't find one chink in the armour. Are we happy with their performance? We're way beyond happy!"
Crowded House's new album, Intriguer, will be released next week. After UK/European dates, the tour goes across the pond on 12 July, starting in Ontario, Canada and finishing at Chicago's House of Blues on 5 September.