Stow, OH (April 13, 2017)—Live and studio engineer David Reitzas—Barbra Streisand’s go-to engineer since 1993—has been using Audio-Technica microphones to record the artist’s performances, including her recent tour, The Music, The Mem’ries, The Magic.
“Sometime around the mid-2000s, we tried out the Audio-Technica AE5400 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Microphone on her lead vocal, and it was a revelation, both in terms of the live sound and the recording,” Reitzas recalled. “It was great on her voice, and the channel isolation was a mixer’s dream. That mic, or the wireless iteration AEW-T5400a paired with A-T’s 5000 Series wireless, has been the rig of choice ever since, including for the recent tour,”
Streisand’s mic technique helps make Reitzas’s job easier. He notes, “She is such a pro at naturally using a microphone. She knows when she belts out to hold the microphone out a bit in the right position, and when she’s singing more intimately she brings it up closer to her mouth. With the AE5400, the proximity effect is just perfect. Her range is incredible, so you need a microphone that can pick up the subtleties of when she’s like singing in a lyrical, personal style, and then her signature high, long notes where she’s belting it out needs to also be able to be handled properly. Studio work and live performance are obviously very different, but one of the goals is to bring the fidelity and warmth of the studio experience to a live concert hall, and that involves using microphones that capture the nuances of her voice. I couldn’t be happier with the AE5400 for the whole range – it’s just perfect for her.”
Just as crucial to a live recording is the audience, and Streisand’s was captured also with Audio-Technica, said Reitzas: “Barbra and her audiences have a deep mutual respect, so she interacts with them quite a bit. And they love her, so they freak out! It’s been an ongoing goal of mine to capture those audience reactions as precisely as possible. On this recent tour, I used an A-T mic that I hadn’t used before: the BP4025 X/Y Stereo Field Recording Microphone. It was exactly what I had been looking for.”
Other Audio-Technica mics on-hand included AT4060a Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone on the overheads of the drums; an AT4050 Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone for the bass cabinet; and the AT4081 Phantom-powered Bidirectional Ribbon Mic on percussion, with additional AT4050s on tympani and horns. “We also use AT4041 Cardioid Condenser Microphones to capture the overall sound of the stage,” said Reitzas, “so many of these mics end up back with us in the studio too, when we’re working on the studio productions. And I love my ATH-M50x and ATH-M70x Professional Monitor Headphones. I use the M50s all the time, and so does Barbra.”