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Neumann KMS 105 Delivers a Stellar Recording of Petula Clark On PBS

(July 10, 2001)
Living legend Petula Clark recently enjoyed the "studio sound" of Neumann's KMS 105 live vocal microphone at a PBS concert taping at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, Virginia. The Norfolk Symphony Orchestra joined the English superstar, and special guests Lou Rawls and Richard Carpenter augmented her stunning performance. New York-based recording engineer and producer Jim Anderson recorded the show for PBS, which will air in December 2001. With credits on over twenty Grammy-winning projects, Anderson's well-carved niche in the acoustic music realm of recording is unassailable.

Anderson required a microphone that not only sounded spectacular, but also dressed the part. A windsock wouldn't do! Moreover, nearby military operations prevented him from choosing a wireless microphone for fear of "Spinal-Tap-esque" interference. "Everything you hear is true," reported Anderson. "The KMS 105 really does bring Neumann's luscious studio sound to the stage with all of the specifications necessary to survive live sound reinforcement's rigors. That's about the best compliment you can give a live vocal microphone. We were under a lot of pressure to set up quickly, and as soon as we pulled the KMS 105 up, we knew we wouldn't have to mess around with it. We happily moved on without applying one iota of processing to her channel!"

Existing endorsements obligated Anderson to use other microphones with Lou Rawls and Richard Carpenter, all of which went through John Hardy M-1 preamplifiers before distribution to monitors, FOH, and the recording truck (as did the KMS 105). One of the microphones sat at the piano, and Clark briefly sang into it while at the keyboard. "The difference was night and day," recalled Anderson. "The KMS 105 possessed a wonderful body, while the other microphone sounded thin and overly hyped. It was as if the other microphone was trying to put something into her voice that wasn't there to begin with. In contrast, the KMS 105 simply revealed what was already there. It was actually a relief when she picked the KMS 105 back up. Unfortunately, we're going to have to try to Band-Aid that other microphone in post-production so that it comes closer to the KMS 105's beauty."

Neumann's KMS 150 (the KMS 105's predecessor) turned Anderson on to live Neumann microphones: "I was recording a session with the legendary Tony Bennett at the Blue Note for a program called 'Jazz Set'. He was wedded to his KMS 150 so we pulled it up to see if it deserved that affinity. I was impressed; the KMS 150 sounded spectacular. I jumped at the chance to use the KMS 105 with Petula."

"The KMS 105 will be my choice in future productions," continued Anderson. "Not only did it deliver a gorgeous recording, but Petula was more confident with it in hand as well. It was as if she picked it up and said 'I'm home!'"

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Related Keywords:live vocal microphone, PBS concert taping, Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, Petula Clark, studio sound


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