Milford, NH – The Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin drew a crowd of nearly 22,000 this August. The Wisconsin festival, organized by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dresser, works closely with local AV company Camera Corner Connecting Point for the event. With several acts using a piano on stage, CCCP brought in the Earthworks PM40 PianoMic to mike the pianos.
Xandy Whitesel, who works as Bon Iver’s front of house, had the opportunity to use a PM40 PianoMic earlier this year for the first time. “In Sydney a few months ago a PM40 / Helpinstill combo on the 2 grands worked splendidly for our “mostly-not-rocking-volume” shows.”
“At Eaux Claires a PM40 / Helpinstill combo on the upright worked splendidly for our “definitely-rocking-volume” show, with gain to spare,” says Whitesel. “The PM40s sounded very natural, worked fine inside a closed piano body, and in a quick shootout against 414s during rehearsal the PM40s sounded better and had more gain before feedback. It is also worth mentioning is that the PM40 proved extremely fast and easy to install and uninstall into any piano.”
Brandon Reid, who was on hand at the festival to mix Eighth Blackbird and Day of the Dead, shares his experience with the PM40. “While setting up to mix Day of the Dead at the Eaux Claire’s festival, Justin Vernon generously allowed Bruce Hornsby to use the Bon Iver upright piano for his additions to the Day of the Dead performance. Any concern I had about an acoustic piano in close proximity to two rock drummers was quickly dismissed when I was told that Justin’s team had installed an Earthworks PM40. This system enables precision mic placement and an unparalleled level of clean gain. The result is a piano image that requires little EQ with headroom that supports a prominently placed piano in the mix, which is something I love.”
Reid has found the Earthworks PM40 is equally at home on stage with a variety of performers. “Whether mic-ing an upright or grand piano for alternative indie rock band The National, contemporary classical ensemble Eighth Blackbird, or composer Nico Muhly…the PM40 is always my first choice.”