Prolific UK Engineer & Producer Dave Pemberton on his love of sE mics
Friday 11th July 2014
Dave Pemberton has been engineering and producing music since 1988. He played in various bands, and worked on live sound, before deciding a career in recording studios was what he really wanted to do.
Dave started at The Strongroom studios in London in 1990, after a brief spell at Jacob’s Studio, a residential in Surrey, first working as an assistant engineer before joining The Strongroom Management team and working as chief engineer there until 2007. He engineered and produced for a great number of projects over this time, including The Spice Girls, M People, Groove Armada, The Prodigy, Orbital, Manic Street Preachers, Supergrass, and many more.
“I have recently moved into a new studio at Mi7 headquarters in west London. I have three rooms; a pre-production studio, a control room, and a live room. I’ve just invested in an Avid C24 controller console, primarily use Pro Tools and mix in the box, but the great thing about the C24 is the 16 Focusrite mic preamps, and the eight channel analogue summing mixer. I also have a few analogue compressors that I use to record through, although once it’s in Pro Tools, I tend to keep it there and use plug-ins, mainly for ease of recall."
“I own a pair of sE4400a microphones and I use them on almost every recording session, for a wide range of instruments. They make great overheads for the drums; I use them on acoustic guitars, as room mics for electric guitars and for stereo miking strings. I think they have a great frequency response, and I can achieve great stereo imaging. I also occasionally have access to a Gemini II which I love to use on vocals. I’ve compared it to Neumann U67s and U87s on numerous occasions, and always pick the Gemini II as my vocal mic of choice."
“I’ve also used the sE ribbon mics on piano and strings, and found them incredibly detailed, and very smooth and natural sounding...also great for acoustic guitars and a range of other things such as stereo room mics for drum recording.”
“I’ve used sE mics on most of the projects I’ve worked on over the last five or six years such as The Prodigy, Kinobe, Killaflaw (on drum sessions with Paul Kodish, Pendulum/DJ Fresh), Bird to Beast, on acoustic guitars and mandolins. I’m currently recording a new band called YOU, and am using sE mics on the drums, guitars and vocals.”
“I first used the RNR1s at Strongroom doing a recording of Grand Piano for one of sE’s owners, James Young, for his own album and I've used them since for room mics on the drums and on strings. I used another pair of sE Ribbons on a session down in Brighton recording strings for a film called Dummy, with Phil Hartnol from Orbital - they were X1Rs."
“The bottom line, as an engineer and producer, is you have to have the best gear for the job. It’s a bonus when the best doesn’t also have to cost an arm and a leg! sE mics are quality products at great prices. I would choose them over more expensive options in most cases, not because of cost, but because of their superior performance and sound quality!”
Dave is currently working with Trampoline and Mi7 Records in London.
By Richard Poll