Interview by Diane Gershuny
For many of our engineering brethren, the transition from bandstand to behind-the-scenes is often a right-time, right-place scenario—as necessity and situational realities come into play. Such is the story for Mike Rosenthal, currently on tour with Miami, Florida’s heavy metal outfit, Black Tide, whose debut, Light From Above, was released earlier this spring. He’s a tried-and-true Audix fanatic, with a ‘sweet spot’ for the D6 bass drum mic.
How’d you get your start as an engineer?
I am 23 years old and have been touring since I was 17. I started out playing bass and singing in the band Eight Fingers Down until our breakup in 2006. I had a lot of background in business management and accounting so it wasn't a hard transition to tour managing. On my first tour as a tour manager, I was out with the band The Confession. Upon arrival to our first gig, I asked them if I could attempt FOH. So I stepped up to the Yamaha PM5D and started turning knobs. I was addicted to sound engineering from that point on and haven't looked back. I've been with Black Tide for 8 months as tour manager and FOH engineer.
I didn't go to school, or have professional training. Every house engineer and other bands veteran engineers were my teachers. I have learned a little bit from everyone, I have the sound engineers across the world to thank for my knowledge.
What Audix mics are you using and for what applications?
The Audix drum package is amazing. I get a full, round sound out of my kit without any inserts. Other mics just don't compare. I have D2's for my rack toms, D4's for my floor toms, D6 on the kick and an i-5 on my top snare. The newest mic to my package is the CX-112 condenser I use it for my overheads and they give ma a super natural cymbal sound. I have my two singers on an OM6's and my backup gang vocals on an OM5.
What was the impetus for switching from what you were using previously?
I had a full variety of mics before I switch to Audix. I just couldn't get the full natural drum sound like I do with the Audix drum package. I had gone through a bunch of different vocal mics before settling with the OM's. The cardioid pattern helped me with my gain structure. So I could really boost up the volume with clarity and no feedback.
Any noticeable results?
Awesomness! I will use them on everything I touch. I freakin' love 'em!
What are your favorite features of the mics you’re using?
My favorite mic is by far the D6 I honestly don't think I could mix a kick drum without it. It just sounds amazing.
Have the Audix mics help solve any particular challenges for you?
The biggest challenge was my lead singer. He sings very quite and because of it, it made it difficult to get him over the mix. The OM6 helped me get over that hump. I got the volume boost I needed.
Any good Audix anecdotes?
Definitely! I take some low-mids out of the drum mics. I personally use 250kHz as a starting point, and start bringing it up until I find the sweet spot.
Any special tips on how to use the mics. This could involve mic placement, or any unusual or unconventional miking techniques that you’re using?
I try to point the D6 as direct to the beater as possible. I place my D3's on the outer ribbon of my guitar cabs.
The Black Tide are currently on the 2008 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour through end of August. For more info on the band, go to:www.blacktidemusic.com