Los Angeles, CA - USA
Brad Wood is a record producer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. He has produced and recorded hundreds of albums for artists including Liz Phair, Sunny Day Real Estate, Pete Yorn, The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Ben Lee, and many more.
"I fell in love with an alto saxophone when I was 9 and eventually studied jazz and classical music in college. After school I moved to Chicago and opened my first recording studio in 1989. I’ve been producing ever since.
sE was always on my radar as a studio owner, but it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles and built my current studio in 2004 that I demo’d a bunch of sE microphones… and bought a bunch! I’ve tried a lot of the sE mics since 2004 - and as good as the selection was then, it is even better now. Currently I am using an RNR1, a Voodoo VR2, a T2, an sE4 stereo pair, a Titan, a Z3300a and an original Reflexion Filter."
The VR2 is the best microphone I’ve ever encountered for mic’ing guitar cabinets.
In general, I prefer to use ribbon mics on guitar amps usually very close to the source, which is dangerous due to how ribbons can be damaged in high volume situations. The VR2 is really robust - I haven’t damaged it after 4 years of abuse - and it sounds like a classic ribbon on steroids. Hands down the best.
The RNR1 can also sit in front of a Marshall cabinet all day, but I find that I use it more often on strings (especially cello) and all brass or woodwinds. It also is a favorite for a mono drum mic placed very close to the kit and it’s quiet enough to be used for vocals too. Oh and don’t forget percussion! It sounds fantastic on tambourine or shakers - no harsh high end. A big, warm ribbon beast.
The T2 is my go-to bass amp mic (about 6 inches away) and is often my room mic of choice for guitars (in omni mode, 20 feet back).
I also have a Titan, which is the titanium predecessor to the T2. Both are crisp and accurate but not brittle-sounding.
The sE4’s are great as drum overheads but I use them primarily for high hats and mandolins. Clear and precise.
My Z3300a is no longer being manufactured, but it is my secret weapon mic. That is all I am willing to say - haha!
The Reflexion Filter gets used when I am doing voiceover work or an audio book. Even though I have a sound-proofed live room, there are times when I am hearing too much room in the vocalist’s mic (after compression) and the RF usually knocks that unwanted room sound down to manageable levels.
photos by Tristan Rhodes Photo
"Always make a pot of coffee the minute you enter the studio in the morning. Always."
"Use pizza as a reward."
"Don’t eat a heavy lunch when you are recording, even if someone else is buying."
"Beer-thirty is when the session is over for the day."
"No shorts, no open-toed shoes in the studio (at least in my studio)."
"Buy a turntable for your studio and set it up - you’re going to need to listen to test pressings a LOT more than you think you are."