Mike “Metal” Goldberg
South Windsor, CT (December 18, 2013)—Recording engineer Mike “Metal” Goldberg used Telefunken’s M80 dynamic mic on Leslie West’s Blackstar amps when tracking the recently releasedStill Climbing album by the former Mountain man.
West, co-founder of the Woodstock highlight group Mountain, is back with his massive riff-propelled guitar on Still Climbing. “This record is a sequel to the one where I had my friends Slash, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa and Billy Gibbons come to the studio and play,” says West. This time, West’s guest include Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Alter Bridge/Creed’s Mark Tremonti.
“I knew right away that Telefunken’s M80 dynamic mic was perfect for capturing Leslie’s signature guitar sound,” commented Goldberg, who co-produced the new project. “The M80’s punchy-but-accurate mid-range, clarity on the top, and the rich lows gave me the exact perspective I was looking for.”
West has been performing since 1965, when he fronted the soul-fired Vagrants in his native New York City. After that group opened for Cream and The Who, West was inspired to begin his lifelong devotion to perfecting the big guitar riffs that are the framework of his songs, which earned him the #66 slot on Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists.”
“What’s different on Still Climbing is that I wanted my guitars to sound as big as I look,” says West. “I used four of my Dean signature model guitars with my Mountain of Tone humbucking pickups. I plugged them into my Blackstar amps—no pedals—and turned them up loud and raw. I played one of the early tracks we recorded for Slash, and he said, ‘That is as heavy as it gets.'”
“You know you have the right mic for the job when no EQ is needed to capture the sound that you’re going for,” continues Goldberg. “It’s just Leslie’s guitar through his amp with an M80 on the cabinet.”