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2005 Grammy Winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Tours With Neumann KM 184Group depends exclusively on Neumann KM 184 microphones while on tour (February 14, 2006)
The 2005 Grammy award-winning, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) uses Neumann KM 184s on tour.
With a new album coming out in the spring of 2006 to follow up on the success of 2004's "Guitar Heroes," LAGQ will be hitting the road with four compact Neumann KM 184 cardioid microphones on hand. "The KM 184s have really worked well for us," LAGQ member, William Kanengiser reports. "We tour a lot, and we've found that they're really portable and really durable. The sound engineers at the venue always have a big smile on their face when they see our mics. They usually just set the EQ flat and it sounds great."
With their heritage stemming from the proven performance of the classic Neumann KM 84 microphones, the KM 184's pressure gradient transducers enable a very smooth frequency response with no colorization of sound over a wide pickup angle. Featuring a gentle rise at around 9kHz, the KM 184 delivers a fresh, lively tonal balance perfect for delivering the LAGQ's vision intact to the audience.
"The guitar is a notoriously difficult instrument to mic," says Kanengiser. "It's very quiet, and the sound source on a classical guitar is pretty small. On top of that, guitars are unbalanced in terms of their frequency response. They have wolf tones in the low range, spikes in the middle, the body itself has its own resonant frequency, and you've got to deal with the squawk factor on the strings that can create an unwanted upper-high-end sound.
"We had a lot of problems in the past when we didn't have the right mics in front of our guitars, but the KM 184 evens things out. It's a no-brainer for us. We have the spot. We place the mics. And even with different halls, sound setups and engineers, these mics work extremely smoothly. There's a richness of the wood from a nylon string guitar that is hard to capture and the wrong mic will make it sound plastic and flat, but with the Neumann we get the depth and that intangible thing called the 'natural sound.' The result is what we think of as 'stealth amplification,' where people aren't even aware that sound reinforcement is taking place. They just hear the full picture of what we're doing."
At every tour stop, LAGQ's members understand how to turn heads by harnessing the diverse beauty of the acoustic guitar. "Four guitars together is a pretty unusual group," acknowledges Kanengiser. "Since we've got four of essentially the exact same instruments, we're constantly looking for ways to vary their tones, break up their textures and shift the roles of the individual members.
"What surprises people is the variety of tone colors that can come out of the guitars. It's not just the different ways that you pluck or muffle. We explore percussive effects by banging on the guitar, and there's even a piece that imitates Indonesian music by putting metal clips on the strings to imitate gongs and xylophones. No matter what direction we take, the point is always to challenge people's perception of the guitar."
The LAGQ may have a lot more surprises in store for its listeners in the next 25 years, but when it comes to the microphones that they take on the road, they're happy to keep things predictable. "It's really nice for us to know we've found our microphone," Kanengiser concludes. "The fact that we can travel with our Neumann KM 184s in our guitar cases, give them to our sound engineer, and know they're going to be good to go helps make touring that much easier."
LAGQ TOUR DATES Visit lagq.com for more info.
March 10 Desert Hills Presbyterian Church Carefree, AZ
March 25 PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
March 26 Long Island Guitar Festival Brookville, NY
March 29 Fontana Chamber Arts Kalamazoo, MI
March 31 College of DuPage Arts Center Glen Ellyn, IL
April 1 8 PM Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL
April 2 University of Michigan Rackham Hall Ann Arbor, MI
April 10 Knoxville, TN
April 22 Chan Center of the Arts Vancouver, BC, Canada
April 29 Dunn School Los Olivos, CA
May 5 Fairbanks Concert Association Fairbanks, AK
May 6 Anchorage Concert Association Anchorage, AK
May 9 Da Camera Society, Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, CA
May 13 92nd Street Y New York, NY
June 9-11 Ojai Music Festival w/ Atlanta Symphony Ojai, CA
August 4 Iserlohn Guitar Festival Iserlohn, Germany
August 12 Nurtingen Guitar Festival Nurtingen, Germany
September 15 Kalamazoo Symphony Kalamazoo, MI
September 29-30 Delaware Symphony Wilmington, DE
Neumann's award winning line of microphones has set the standard in the industry since 1928. In 1999, Neumann received the prestigious Technical Grammy(r) for their 70 years of innovation in microphone design and contribution to the music industry. A continuing commitment to provide innovative, technically refined products and engineering solutions of proven quality ensures that Neumann's stature will remain unassailable.
For more information visit www.neumannusa.com.
Related Keywords:Neumann, KM 184, microphones, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, cardioid microphones, sound engineers, sound reinforcement,