Milford, NH (April, 2017)–The words “jazz festival” might bring to mind small jazz combos, belting vocalists and perhaps some big bands, but you can’t overlook choirs. In fact, jazz choirs are a key feature of the long-running DeMiero Jazz Festival in Edmonds, WA, now in its 41st year. Every March, the festival spans four venues, with 1,500 participants from 60 performing jazz choirs. For five years running, Wayne Pumphrey, producer and chief production officer of the festival and owner of Edmonds Pro Audio, has brought in Earthworks microphones to capture the performances.
For this year’s festival, Pumphrey brought in a pair of SR40V vocal microphones, a PM40 piano microphone, two FW730 FlexWands, a SR30, three SR30/HCs, two SR25s and a KP1 inline attenuator for kick.
“Most of our groups are individual mics averaging about 16 singers,” said Pumphrey. “About 10 of the choirs are on risers, which is always a challenge to get the voices over the band. There are no feedback issues using the FW730. Being able to close the lid on the grand with the PM40 allowing the audience to experience the true sound of the instrument while controlling stage volume is a win/win scenario.”
Pumphrey deployed the Earthworks microphones in three of the festival’s venues. “The main stage of the auditorium is where we had the choir riser groups during the daytime of the festival using a pair of the FW730s for groups up to 40 voices. The North Sound Center is a nice, fairly live room, which seats about 250 people and has a beautiful Boston Grand Piano where a permanent PM40 now resides. This room is one of the multi-mic rooms where, in addition to the 16 individual mics, we added a pair of SR40V mics as solo mics. The purpose was two-fold: (1) Provide students the opportunity to sing through one of the finest condenser mics available, and (2) to give educators a tangible example of upgrading their sound by adding a pair of premium vocal mics. The VIP Room is the third room using Earthworks. We used a pair of SR30/HCs as room mics for recordings we provide to the directors. For recording purposes we also used SR30 on snare, SR30/HC on guitar amp, SR25 for overheads and KP1 for kick.”
“All of the performance venues used Yamaha QL1, QL5 & M7CL digital consoles with Nexo speaker systems. For our backline gear, I focus on very high quality and compactness, as most of our groups are traveling school groups and space is always at a premium. This year we featured amps from Henriksen, Phil Jones and Matchless. Sonically and visually, the combination of FW730s on choir, the PM40 on piano and reinforced through a Nexo system is as good as it gets!”
Edmonds Pro Audio
DiMiero Jazz Festival