Los Angeles, CA (June 7, 2016)—Award-winning songwriter, guitarist, producer, and composer Blake Mills acquired a sizeable stash of microphones after stopping in at the Telefunken Elektroakustik factory while on tour recently.
"It was my first experience to see inside these mics and learn how intricate and delicate the manufacturing is," he recalls. "I got to meet the entire staff and it was immediately apparent how much care and devotion these guys put into their work, and how much it means to them to see how their microphones perform in the real world once they leave that Telefunken cocoon."
Mills produced the 2016 Grammy Award-winning sophomore album for Alabama Shakes, and has worked as a producer with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, John Legend, Sara Watkins, Conor Oberst, Sky Ferreira, Laura Marling, Dawes and Fiona Apple, with whom he toured. As a session player and sideman, he has worked with Beck, Lady Gaga, Frank Ocean, Band of Horses, Cass McCombs, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Moses Sumney and Neil Diamond, among others. His second solo album, Heigh Ho, was released in 2014.
Mills continues, "After visiting Telefunken, they set us up with a great package of microphones that we tested out on tour,” including M60, M81-SH and M82 models, and the DD5 drum package. Back in L.A. after the tour, he auditioned a number of high-end large diaphragm condenser mics. Telefunken technician Phil Feinman brought in various models, including the ELA M251 with an assortment of capsules, a C12 and a new model, the AR-70 stereo.
"I wanted to check out the subtle distinctions of microphones I would use in the studio," Mills continues. "We were able to compare a nice selection of new mics with some very old, very good classic mics. My favorite of that whole bunch was Telefunken's reproduction of the AKG C12. Everyone was amazed with that mic."