Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ken Stringfellow on Lauten Audio Microphones

Ken Stringfellow hails from one of the most influential 90’s American underground bands, The Posies. Mr. Stringfellow has also played with REM as well as a slew of other projects, most recently The Disciplines who currently have a hit song in Norway “Oslo”.

I recently contacted Ken and sent him several microphones to demo while he was producing the new Red Jacket Mine record. Shortly after using them during the session I received an email stating “diggin' the mics (ST-221 and Horizon)...horizons are incredible on electric guitar, how much?”

I have been a big fan of The Posies as well as Ken Stringfellow’s solo and other projects for many years. Having the opportunity to share our creative tools in the form of Lauten Audio microphones was a great honor for me.

Having purchased and spent more time with the Lauten microphones, Ken sent us an email telling us more about his experiences.

Here is what Ken Stringfellow had to say about the Lauten Audio Horizon and ST-221 Torch microphones.


Just wrapping up a record with A Life A Song A Cigarette from Austria, recorded in a little town outside of Vienna with a nice old Neve console.

I got to try my Lauten Audio mics on the drums, specifically on the toms, and the Horizon LDC made the floor tom enormous! I would have used the other one on the rack but it was doing guitar duty.

I used the Horizons as my main go-to guitar amp mics; also mic'd the top of a Leslie cab with them. Mic'd cello, did some of the lead vocals and acoustic guitar too. I mentioned that I used a Horizon on the floor tom, and a Torch on the rack tom.

Torches were used as ambient mics (I almost always have an ambient mic when I record lead vocals), also as the 'dark' mic for guitar amps. I did a recording where the singer played acoustic, with a female singer sitting across, and they were performing outside the studio in the open air, in a little concrete passageway. I mic'd them with a stereo AKG mic (this is Austria, after all) but used the Torches as the ambient mics, and they performed beautifully. I also did a roomy cello part with a Torch in Omni.

All in all, they were extremely versatile, performed beautifully and were a huge contribution to the record. Thankfully they are packed well too. The Horizons had to travel in my suitcase; I carried the Torch case on the plane. The 221s (Torches) are excellent for applying in lieu of where one would use a ribbon mic--this is useful if ever one is working on a board that has global 48v needed to power other mics that are in use. But, they are also special and don't really sound like ribbons at all of course.

I can't say enough how great the Horizon was on the floor tom. And the guitar amp sounds with the two mics is....well, it's sick, really, how good it is.

So, thank you again for contacting me!



Ken you are quite welcome and thank you for providing your feedback. We will keep in touch, I assure you.

The pictures in this blog were taken by Dominique Stringfellow and sent courtesy of Ken Stringfellow.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The birthday of the United States of America

Today we will depart from our normal Lauten Audio related communications and provide a brief history of our upcoming holiday.

July 4th, The Forth of July or Independence Day, which ever you might call it, is the birthday of the United States of America. Independence Day is the only holiday that celebrates the United States. In 1941, the U.S. Congress made this a federal paid holiday, which means all non-essential federal institutions like postal service and federal courts are closed. It is associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues and other events celebrating the history, government and traditions of the United States. In more recent times this day is considered more of a summer festival separate from its original patriotic meaning.

A little history:

On July 4, 1776, the United States declared independence from what was formally known as the Kingdom of Great Britain.

The United States Declaration of Independence, declaring the Thirteen Colonies in North American “Free and Independent States” was officially adopted on this day. The only person to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th was John Hancock who was the elected President of Congress at the time. The remaining delegates didn’t begin to sign the document until August 2nd, 1776.

On November 19th, 1863, after the end of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln explained the importance of the Declaration of Independence in his Gettysburg Address. This is one of the most quoted speeches in the history of the United States which began with the sentence “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Some notable Independence Days

In 1777, thirteen guns were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island.

In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.

In 1791 was the first recorded use of the name "Independence Day".

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.[1]

In 1941, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

Some interesting events that have occurred on July 4th

1054 - A supernova is observed by the Chinese, the Arabs and possibly Amerindians near the star Tauri.

1634 - The city of Trois-Rivières is founded in New France, later to become the Canadian province of Quebec.

1837 - Grand Junction Railway, world's first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool.

1862 - Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.

1910 - African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match sparking race riots across the United States.

1950 - First broadcast by Radio Free Europe.

1997 - NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.

2004 - The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

2007 - Zaca Fire Starts in Santa Barbara, California becomes second largest fire in California history.

2008 – During this Forth of July, the state of California is experiencing more than 1400 wild fires, the worst in recorded history.

Notable Births

1694 - Louis-Claude Daquin, French composer (d. 1772) - Daquin was a musical child prodigy who performed for the court of King Louis XIV at the age of six.

1826 - Stephen Foster, American songwriter (d. 1864) - Known as the "father of American music," was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century.

1927 - Neil Simon, American playwright - He is one of the most reliable hit makers in Broadway history.

1938 - Bill Withers, American singer and songwriter - He performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s. Some of his best-known songs are "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me," "Lovely Day," "Lean on Me", "Grandma's Hands" and "Just the Two of Us".

1943 - Konrad "Conny" Bauer, German musician - A world-renowned free jazz trombonist.

1943 - Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson, American musician (d. 1970) - The leader, singer, and primary composer in the American blues band Canned Heat.

1948 - Tommy Körberg, Swedish singer, actor, and musician. In 1969, he won Swedish Recording Industry Award Grammis in a category Best Debut Performance.

1955 - John Waite, English singer - Best known as the lead vocalist for the bands The Babys and Bad English, and as a solo artist.

1963 - Matt Malley, American musician - An Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter, and he is most recognized for being a founding member and bass guitar player for the rock band, Counting Crows.

1964 - Mark Slaughter, American singer - An American musician and one of the founders of heavy metal band Slaughter.

1971 - Koko, sign-language gorilla - Born July 4, 1971, in San Francisco, California, Koko is a lowland gorilla who is able to understand more than 1,000 signs based on American Sign Language.