Los Angeles, CA (September 8, 2015)—Engineer and producer Niko Bolas has been using a Reference Cardioid mic and CORE channel strip from Manley Labs on projects with Neil Young, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, LeeAnn Rimes and Demi Lovato.
"A buddy of mine was working next door at Capitol on the TV show Glee, and using a Manley cardioid that EveAnna [Manley] had lent them," recounts Bolas, who works mainly out of his own Surf Shack mix room in the Capitol Studios building. "When they were finished with it, they brought it over to me. I was working on a record for Richie Sambora and Orianthi, and I set it up next to one of Capitol's classic U47s. After a few minutes I called EveAnna and told her she couldn't have it back. I was buying it."
Bolas points to the Manley Reference Cardioid as the right choice for almost anything. "I'm using it on everything—vocals, acoustic guitars, amp cabs—it's just got a really nice midrange presence that doesn't hurt. I'm all about not using EQ if I don't have to—the closer I can get from mic to recording, the better. You get a really great mic, you put it in the right place, you're done."
He has since used the mic on projects ranging from recording a 90-piece orchestra for Neil Young's Storytone to Demi Lovato's vocals on "Let Me Go" for the soundtrack of Frozen.
Bolas also cites the Manley CORE as his channel strip of choice for remote tracking, including vocals for an upcoming release by LeeAnn Rimes. "I bought the CORE because it sounds great," he observes. "I can bring it with me if someone wants to finish a vocal at their house, or wherever. I set it up, plug in a mic, and I've got everything I need."