Johnny Gill, one of the lead vocalists for the R&B group New Edition, hit the road in support of his latest solo album, and veteran Front of House Engineer Rick Camp brought along a suite of Earthworks microphones for Melvin Baldwin's drum set for the tour.
The set up includes microphones from the Earthworks Sound Reinforcement and Drum Periscope series, which were selected for their accuracy and performance. "I really like the accuracy and full frequency range of the Earthworks drum mics," explains Camp. "We are using SR30s for overheads, SR30/HCs for hi-hat and ride cymbal. The SR30/HCs allow me to zoom right in on the hi-hat and ride cymbal with very little spill into the rest of the drum set. For toms, we are using the gooseneck DP30/Cs on rack and floor toms, in addition to DP30/Cs on snares. We are using two snares and have DP30/Cs on top and bottom of both snares."
"There are no phase issues using Earthworks drum mics due to the extreme accuracy of their polar patterns," says Camp. "In addition, the 32dB of rear rejection of these mics provides me with total rejection from each drum and I love that. When I position the DP30/C tom and snare mics in the right place, I don't hear the drum beside it at all. The gooseneck on the DP30/Cs is very rigid, unlike other clip-on drum mics on the market."
"I hear way more detail from the Earthworks drum mics because of the extended frequency response from 30Hz to 30kHz and their extremely fast rise time and fast diaphragm settling time," explains Camp. "I get a big, full, deep sound out of the toms and snare without having to do hardly any EQ at all. The Earthworks drum mics do not splatter when getting them close to the cymbals. I place the overhead mics close to the drums, and the ride cymbal mic only is about 2 inches above the bell of the cymbal and the sound is perfectly clean."
Camp adds that with Earthworks microphones he is able to achieve studio sound "on stage." "The overall drum sound is big and rich and sounds like the drum sound I could get in a studio. I would say out of all the mics I have used on drums there is nothing even close to the Earthworks drum mics with regard to sound, accuracy, pickup polar pattern and durability. I am sure the drummer has whacked these mics a few times and still they sound like they are brand new."
While Front of House Engineer for Jennifer Lopez in 2014, Camp used the Earthworks WL40V capsule on Jennifer's vocals and plans to bring WL40V capsules back on the road this fall when New Edition goes on a world tour. "I just love this wireless capsule. New Edition is going out on a major world tour this October, and I am going to use the WL40Vs on all of their vocals. The WL40Vs have incredible rear rejection, can handle high sound pressure levels without overloading and they also have a very tight polar pattern which makes this capsule wonderful for front of house. The sound of the WL40V is incredible. It sounds like a studio vocal microphone on stage and it requires very little EQ, if any."
"I love working with the staff at Earthworks, they are tops on my list," concludes Camp. "We are like a family and they really take care of me. Due to my great love of Earthworks and their microphones, I have turned them on to countless other front of house engineers. I am a huge fan of Earthworks microphones."