More Than Puppy Love For Lauten
Snarky Puppy uses 26 Lauten Audio mics on new album “Empire Central”.
Snarky Puppy’s upcoming album “Empire Central” is a return-to-roots masterpiece tracked live in front of a studio audience and slated for release in the Fall. Tasked with capturing 19 musicians simultaneously, recording and mix engineer Nic Hard employed 26 Lauten Audio microphones for use on the group’s 14th album. “I really believe that without these mics, the record wouldn’t sound the same. Lauten Audio mics are now an important part of my arsenal,” said Hard.
Looking back on the 8-night live recording session at the Deep Ellum Art Company in Dallas, Texas, Nic Hard reveals, “What stood out to me the most was Lauten’s functionality and manipulability. I loved having all of the filters on the mics, and I loved the control of bleed I could get with the LS-208s, as well as being able to change the sonic character of the Atlantis.”
“Trinity” is the first single from Empire Central currently available on YouTube, where many of the 26 Lauten Audio mics can be seen on-screen. “Every Lauten mic seen in the video, and those not seen, is used in the mix,” stated Hard. “They worked out perfectly.”
The list of Lauten Audio microphones used on the Empire Central sessions includes four LA-120, ten LA-220, five Atlantis FC-387, three Clarion FC-357, and four LS-208. The session setup included three complete drum kits, where each tom was recorded with its own LA-220. Hi-hats were captured with LA-120, and a Clarion was used for the outside kick drum. The Atlantis mics were chosen for percussion overheads and solo trumpet. “I find the extensive filters/roll-offs extremely useful for drums, and I had no EQs available to process sound on the way in, so I was taking advantage of the options available on the Lauten mics,” explains Hard. “I used a Clarion on a kick, and it sounded great!”
Lauten Audio’s innovative LS-208 also offered unexpected performance in this live recording environment. “I chose the 208s for horns because it was necessary to have as much isolation as possible. The surprise for me was how tight the pickup pattern is on the LS-208s — an incredibly useful tool! Honestly, I could’ve used about 20 more of the 208s for percussion. The 208 for talk-box is amazing [too]! The talk-box became much more vibrant while still having manageable amounts of bleed,” added Hard.
Michael League (Snarky Puppy band leader/composer/bassist) is also a Lauten Audio enthusiast. In a recent video testimonial, he said, “What I love most about the Lauten Atlantis and the LA-120s is that I can bring them to any recording session with any instruments, anywhere in the world, and get the sounds that I need to make a beautiful sounding record.”