Hollywood, CA (July 1, 2005)–Matthew Sweet recently started work on his next solo album, and is busy with a collaboration with The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs at his Hollywood Hills home studio. Sweet’s Neumann and Sennheiser microphones have been in heavy rotation on his latest projects.
“I have an M49,” said Sweet. “But the 49’s been neglected since the M149 arrived. They really sound very similar, but as you would expect, the clarity and high-end on the newer mic is just night and day compared with the old mic.” Matthew Sweet is using the Neumann 149 in his home studio to record for a collaboration with Susanna Hoffs.
Vocal tracking for his collaboration with Hoffs started recently at his Hollywood studio. “I’ve used a lot of different mics, and they all have their sound, but the M149 really works well. I have kind of a reedy voice, so it makes sense that it would work well on me and on Sue as well,” he says. Adding, “The album is the two of us doing covers of ’60s songs that we like. Some are well known songs and a few are of our favorite lesser known groovy songs.”
Sweet also recorded the backing tracks for Hoffs’ album, due for release next spring, at his home. “It’s a free-form studio in part of my house with a pretty full-blown Pro Tools system and vintage keyboards and tons of amps and guitars. I have a room in the back where I can record drums. I love recording this way.”
Like his current solo project, and, indeed, a number of his previous records, he used mainly Sennheiser microphones. The new Evolution 900 series, and the e901 boundary mic in particular, are getting a lot of use, he says. “The 901 is a genius new invention. I had no idea how great it would be. I use the 902 and the 901 together. Those as a pair in the kick drum are magic. The 902 provides a big, warm fundamental. I put the 901 in the kick, flip the phase with the 902, and it gives so much clarity and attack without having to EQ it and make it artificial sounding,” he shared.
The e901 is also suited to recording piano, he added. “We have a 1929 Chickering that my wife has had since she was a kid. There’s an area of the frame where you can just set the mic. It sounds like the most amazing, real piano sound. I got another 901 and put them in stereo. It’s a glorious stereo piano sound. I have nothing else here I would use instead.”
“Mics usually color the piano sound,” he continued, “or you’re trying to bring out that edge. But this just gets the attack. It’s very true. It’s like having your head inside the piano, or the kick drum.”
Sennheiser’s new e906 has also proven versatile, he explained. “I use one on snare and one on guitars. They sound great. It just sounds more accurately tuned to the sound of a guitar amp, in particular. For the snare, I had a 57 on top and a [Sennheiser] 609 underneath. Now I have a 906 on top and a 609 underneath. The toms? I use 604s. Those sound fantastic. I’ve had those for about a year.”
And when it comes to monitoring, he concluded, Sennheiser has that covered, too. “I bought a couple more pairs of the HD280Pro headphones. Those are the standard here now.”
Sennheiser Electronic Corporation