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Here at The Live Sessions we come from an audio background and so high quality audio is a very high priority. In and out of The Live Sessions we have used RØDE Microphones to record 90% of what we do for the last 12 years. Previously we would use an NT1-A to record lead vocals but were limited by the cardioid polar pattern and in environments where other musicians would be performing at the same time in the same space, spillage would sometime be an issue.
RØDE very generously sent over one of their NT2-A mics that specifically features three polar patterns; cardioid (regular, picking up from the front only), figure of eight (picking up from the front and back with almost complete sound rejection at the sides) and omni-directional (picking up sound in a complete 360 degrees).
The first time we got to use the mic was with Irish brothers Hudson Taylor in a performance centered around a stained glass window. We used the mic in the figure of eight pattern and positioned it between them both so that we could frame up the wide shot showing the two of them singing into the same mic under the stained glass window. This gave us great flexibility as film-makers that we wouldn't have had if we were using a straight up cardioid microphone.
Hudson Taylor using the 'figure of eight' polar pattern of the NT2-A for The Live Sessions
The second time we used the mic was with world record holding loop station champion Shlomo and his vocal orchestra at their sound check at the prestigious Ronnie Scott's in Soho. We filmed them performing in a circle with the mic in omni mode (picking up from a full 360 degrees) and so they moved closer or further away to affect their volume.
Shlomo and The Vocal Orchestra using the NT2-A in omni-directional mode for The Live Sessions
In the third clip we used the mic with Kristina Maria in our most common scenario for acoustic sessions (and the main reason we contacted RØDE); where the singer and accompanist are sitting very close to each other. The NT2-A allows us to use it in ‘figure of eight’ pattern where it picks up from the front and back but most importantly, has almost complete side rejection. So all we have to do is position the other sound source at a complete 90 degrees to the mic and we have lovely isolated vocals when we come to mix the track.
Kristina Maria utilising the off axis rejection of the NT2-A for The Live Sessions
Dan Coffey co-founded The Live Sessions in 2012 after working extensively as a musician and composer obsessing over that perfect vocal sound and a balanced and punchy mix. As well as directing and filming half of The Live Sessions' videos, Dan handles all audio engineering, mixing and mastering.