Los Angeles, CA (May 15, 2014)—Theron Feemster, aka Neff-U, started playing drums at the age of two, but these days he’s as likely to reach for the Focusrite Red 1 500 mic preamp as his drumsticks.
"It's important to have a good preamp, because when you have a good preamp that can translate how you sound, it gives you a sound with integrity," said Feemster.
Theron fell in love with the sound of the Red 1 500 during a tracking session with vocalist Sarah West. "It kept her voice warm and crisp, and it gave her clarity," he says.
Feemster’s love for music took him to Berklee College of Music, where his talent didn't go unnoticed. Soon, his friend and guitar player Erick Walls invited him to a production session in California, and before long he was being mentored by legendary rap producer Dr. Dre. In 2002, he co-wrote and played keyboards on four tracks on The Eminem Show, which won Best Rap Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards. Subsequent work with 50 Cent, Ne-Yo, Nelly, Mary J. Blige and countless others cemented his position in the R&B scene. From there, Theron joined the production team for Michael Jackson and produced tracks on the King of Pop’s posthumous albums Michael and Immortal.
Also during the session with West, Feemster recorded a drum track to add some natural vibe to his programmed drums. The engineer, Bob Horn, fed one overhead mic through the Red 1 500 for the recording, and the outcome shocked Feemster: "It's expected to be used on vocals, but to actually know that you can use it on the entire drum set, that's incredible. One mic and one preamp gave me such a big, dynamic sound."