Los Angeles, CA USA
Stevens, who has also recorded with Michael Jackson, Ric Ocasek, Robert Palmer and many others over the years, reports that fellow guitarist Pete Thorn, a self-styled “guitar nerd,” initially recommended the VR1 microphone to him.
"Pete’s got impeccable ears, and if he says you should check something out, chances are it’s going to be really, really good," he says. "sE were totally helpful in recommending the right microphone for my needs. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the microphone and the company."
I have other ribbon microphones, and they require - for me, at least - exact placement. Pete said a selling point of the VR1 was that you could put it anywhere on any speaker and it would sound really, really good. I thought, that sounds exactly like what I need!"
He continues, "I’m a songwriter, not an engineer, and whatever gets me there the quickest is what I’m going to use. That’s why I like this microphone - it’s a no-brainer!"
When recording in his project studio, Stevens typically uses a combination of two microphones on his guitar cabinet - a dynamic mic and the VR1, positioned in the center of the loudspeaker cone. The VR1 is brighter in tone than other ribbons with which he has recorded, reports Stevens, and as a result more of the track recorded using the VR1 tends to end up in the mix.
"That other ribbon mic is really dark. Usually you record it in combination with a 57 and only end up using about 25 percent of the ribbon to 75 percent of the 57. But with the VR1, sometimes I end up really favoring it in the mix. It’s a bit more forgiving than that other mic."
"After trying so many different microphones for my live guitar rig with Billy Idol, I thought, why not try my sE VR1? This is a mic that i use all the time in my studio. Well, it has worked like a charm in the live situation as well. I have a three cabinet system, so now I don’t leave home without my sE collection."
Stevens first came to the public’s attention with his guitar playing and songwriting on Billy Idol’s breakthrough hits of the early 1980s, which included “White Wedding,” “Hot in the City,” Rebel Yell” and “Eyes Without a Face.” He later played on “Dirty Diana,” on Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album, also appearing in the music video; recorded several solo albums; played and co-wrote songs on the debut solo album by Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, “Exposed;” and recorded two albums with super-group Bozzio Levin Stevens, alongside drummer Terry Bozzio and bass player Tony Levin.