New York (July 16, 2004)–Howard Lindeman earned his engineer’s wings in New York City, working at both Record Plant and the Hit Factory, with artists ranging from John Lennon to Stevie Wonder to Kiss. He now resides in the FOH live mixing position for both Roberta Flack and Melissa Manchester. Lindeman’s vision of live sound has always been to reproduce the exact sound quality of the album, and Sennheiser has played a large role in that vision.
Lindeman explained, “I treat the stage setting like a recording studio with an audience. Whether live or in the studio, I strive for engineering excellence and microphone choice is extremely important. Since I engineered Roberta’s albums, going all the way back to the ‘Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway,’ she trusts me to make the audience hear what the record sounds like. In fact I’ve had audience members ask me during a show when was I going to turn off the CD and hear the live band.
“Sennheiser has been in my catalog of microphone choices for a long time going back to my early studio days when I used both the MD 421 II and MD 441 dynamics for snare drum and horns. I have always experimented trying every mic in the locker and, on snare, the 421 carries a bottom end you can feel. The Evolution 609 Silver wired dynamic mic on electric guitar cabinets can’t be beat because they are full range with a tight supercardioid pattern that picks up less stage leakage contributing to a clearer, overall live mix.” Lindeman also says the E 609 Silver’s unique shape and compact size lets him position the mic a little further away for capturing a more acoustical sound and yet still stay out of the way on a crowded stage.
From time to time, both Manchester and Flack use live orchestras on tour. A stage full of acoustic instruments presents a unique set of challenges for live sound mixers and Lindeman explains his mic choices. “I’ll request my Sennheiser favorites since most sound companies always have them all. Then I’ll go for Neumann U89s, U87s, KM 184s or U47 FETs for string sections, drum overheads or brass ensembles. In addition to guitars, the Sennheiser Evolution 609s come in handy for tom-toms and produce a great Rock ‘n Roll drum sound–I’ll put them above and not too close and still get good separation from the other drums in the kit.”
Lindeman also commented about the lack of time and the importance of speed or immediacy in both live and studio situations. “I don’t have a lot of time to change mics, try different mic distances and angles when getting sounds on a ‘Live’ record session in the studio or live on stage,” he described. “What I find with the entire Sennheiser family of mics is that, most of the time, I’ll run with them flat–I don’t have to do much of anything to them because they always sound great from the get-go.”
Howard Lindeman can be reached at [email protected]