Greg Price with the sE T2 guitar mic
Los Angeles, CA (September 26, 2013)—Arguably the originators of heavy metal, Black Sabbath is back in action and in the middle of a world tour. Helping ensure that the metal remains heavy, FOH engineer Greg Price is once again behind the Avid Venue console at FOH, and he in turn has been using an sE Electronics T2 large diaphragm condenser to capture guitar legend Tony Iommi’s cataclysmic crunch.
“Over the last two years, I’ve used the sE4, sE4400a, T2, Voodoo VR1, and VR2,” recalls Price. “I love the sound of this group of microphones on guitars. The right mic for that certain guitar player’s amp is in this group. You really just need to set them up and give them a listen.” The sE T2 proved to be Price’s choice for Iommi. “I’m looking for a mid-range texture that the T2 gives me on guitar; I want that really punchy mid-range for guitar. I believe you set the right mic for the right guitar amp and you don’t need EQ or anything else; just bring the fader up and—bam—you have amazing guitar.”
Price, who has been at FOH on four world tours with Black Sabbath, started working with the band on its current Reunion Tour last year. He had previously toured with Ozzy Osbourne, making 2013 the eighteenth year of his working relationship with the Black Sabbath front man. The band, originally founded in 1968, first reformed back in 1997—releasing a live double-album, “Reunion,” recorded at the Birmingham NEC arena—and, following another long hiatus, is now on its second reunion tour.
In general, the heavy metal genre brings its own particular set of engineering and mixing challenges, according to Price, “not just with this band, but with most bands that prefer a high dB level onstage. Stage volume is always a problem; both in mixing and recording, the stage volume gets into the microphones. Total sound pressure level is a combination of instruments, monitors, room environment, and PA system volume. These elements always make the vocals a real issue. I want clear, clean, and articulate vocals in my ‘live’ master mix. This is hard work with high-pressure levels from the stage, but the sE mics help me overcome this.”
During his 38-year career in live and studio sound, Price has become the go-to guy for many hard rock artists, including Weezer, Foo Fighters, Van Halen, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Ted Nugent, Kiss, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, ZZ Top, and Them Crooked Vultures, as well as Black Sabbath. But don’t label Price as a metal obsessive: he’s also held down the FOH position with the Cheetah Girls/Hannah Montana and Glee’s The TV Show Tour.