Steve Bentley-Klein talks Microphones with sE

Tuesday 8th November 2011

Steve Bentley-Klein has an incredibly eclectic musical career… what mics does he use to cope with these demanding needs? sE of course…

Steve Bentley-Klein has an outstanding career as a ‘Concert Master’ with legends such as Dame Shirley Bassey, Barry White, The Moody Blues, Rod Stewart, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mathis and many others.

Steve's album collaborations (of which there are many) include Morcheeba (Who Can You Trust?), Big Calm, Fragments of Freedom, Jon Roth (Prelude, Transcendental Sky Guitar, Metamorphosis) and performing / touring the No.1 Paolo Nutini album ‘Sunny Side Up’. Currently, Steve has joined Deep Purple on the 'The Songs That Built Rock Tour' which features a full orchestra. Steve is a very busy man but has made time to talk microphones with sE's James Ishmaev-Young.

  • sE Endorsee: Steve Bentley-Klein
  • Occupation: Composer, Arranger, Producer, Conductor, Multi-Instrumentalist
  • Artists: Barry White, Deep Purple, The Moody Blues, Rod Stewart, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mathis, Michael Bolton, Morcheeba and many more…
  • Mics/gear: Gemini II, sE4 pair, sE Rupert Neve RNR1

Key Quotes:                      

The Gemini II has superb clarity in the top end, coupled with the kind of full bodied sound you’d expect from a world class tube mic… stunning!

 My mics do a lot of touring and need to be able to withstand heavy use and abuse and still perform to the highest standards in situations where you simply have to get it right first time… sE mics do exactly that

Steve Bentley-Klein Interview with sE Electronics's James Ishmaev-Young (Nov 2011)

Steve Bentley-Klein's dad was a jazz sax player, so music was bound to be in Steve's blood. As a youngster, living in London, Steve would sleep next to a record player constantly playing Stan Getz records. Steve started early as a musician, taking piano, violin and tenor horn lessons from a young age, and quickly started exploring Indian ragas and jazz as well as his usual classical lessons.

He went on to study violin and composition at the Guildhall School in London and at the Manhattan School in New York with the great Heifetz protégé Erik Friedman. For the past two years, Steve has been the Musical Director for the ‘International Sam Mendes / Kevin Spacey Bridge Project’ and has performed extensively at the National Theatre with Sir Trevor Nunn, Sir Nicholas Hytner and Michael Neiman.

Steve’s studio in Vyner Street, East London is where he does nearly all of his recording these days. He has a vocal booth and is wired in to the adjacent live room with a piano and room for a full band. The studio is Logic based with an Apogee Ensemble together with API mic pre’s, sE4 pair, sE Gemini II, Neumann, AKG and sE Rupert Neve RNR1 mics. All of Steve’s mixing is done ‘in the box’ (Mac) and routed through a Mackie mixer.

I was very impressed with the Gemini II in blind tests posted on the net, and several colleagues had raved about it so I really wanted to use one in anger. I had wanted to get hold of an old U47 but once I got the Gemini II and played with it I was really happy… I’ve been using it a lot. Recently for vocals, Alto Sax… all sorts, it’s become one of my favourite mics”.

I did a hugely important orchestral recording recently in the gallery with ‘Celebration’ by Olga Thomas as a special gift from ‘Cruise’ charity to Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family to mark the recent royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and used the sE4 pair for this on the string section… they were perfect mics for the stereo room sound, and are also great when tracking violins up with different mic pre’s to build a section sound in the studio. The Gemini II was used on the Cello solo on this recording as well.”

In fact Steve’s sE mics are getting a lot of use on a host of different projects; his sE Rupert Neve RNR1 ribbon mic was recently used on Nick Franglen’s (Lemon Jelly) album for violin and trumpet, the sE Gemini II on Mark Feathers' album for violin and viola, the sE4 stereo pair and Gemini II on Deep Purple’s arrangements for the "Songs that built Rock" tour 2011… the list goes on and on!

The sound of course is the most important part of a mics function, and arguably the most important piece of your recording chain since it’s the first ‘point of entry’ into your recording system... but Steve is clear on the importance of build quality too…

The sE mics give me the kind of ‘warm’ and yet crystal clear sound that I want and need in my recordings. They’re a great blend of unique character and faithful reproduction. The extremely solid build quality and reliability, which I put down to the fact that all sE’s mics are hand built to the kind of standards you’d expect to get from the old school European manufacturers of 20 years ago, is incredibly important too. My mics do a lot of touring and need to be able to withstand heavy use and abuse and still perform to the highest standards in situations where you simply have to get it right first time… sE mics do exactly that