Duke to Take Earthworks’ High Definition Microphones™ on the Road in 2010, Citing Depth of Response and Gain Before Feedback Characteristics
December 22, 2009 — Earthworks, manufacturer of High Definition Microphones™, announced that storied jazz and pop pianist George Duke is the latest artist to sponsor its groundbreaking PianoMic™ system. Duke, a highly accomplished session player and versatile touring musician, has performed with a diverse range of artists including Frank Zappa, Anita Baker, Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, and many others.
Duke has always found accurate sonic reproduction of the piano challenging, given the instrument’s wide frequency range and complex harmonic characteristics. This has been true particularly in live settings: “I wanted a microphone that could consistently reproduce the quality of the piano, while producing an acceptable amount of gain at the same time,” says Duke. “This is important when considering the variable levels of other instruments on stage and the different acoustic characteristics of the venues we play.”
During his search for a suitable microphone, Duke was introduced to Earthworks’ PianoMic™ by fellow jazz great Chick Corea, who arranged a mic audition for him during a studio session. “We A/B’d the PianoMic™ in many situations—with a closed lid, partially opened lid and open lid,” recalls Duke. “I found that the unit maintained the depth of the instrument while at the same time giving me the level that I needed to compete with the other electric instruments around me.” Impressed with the Piano Mic’s ™ responsiveness and natural sound, he brought it out on the road and hasn’t looked back since.
“If you are playing in a situation where you need level with quality, you’re talking about the PianoMic,” continued Duke. “No matter at what level you are playing, it still feels like you are getting the depth and full dynamic range of the instrument. It’s a relief to know that my piano is being reproduced as it should and that I can just play without worrying about it.”
Michael Hurwitz, National Sales Director of Earthworks, commented: “We are very pleased to count George Duke among our sponsored artists, especially considering the massive influence he’s had on so many musicians from multiple generations. We believe the PianoMic™ is sonically superior to competing microphones and will be a great complement to George’s many diverse international performances.”
George Duke recently finished a tour with recording artist Anita Baker in November. In January, his tour schedule continues with dates in Guadeloupe and Martinique, before he begins a European tour in April, 2010.
The PianoMic™, which was last year’s winner of the Mix Foundation’s TEC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the Microphone/Recording Technology category, makes it nearly effortless to achieve extremely high quality results while miking a piano–one of the more technically demanding instruments to capture given its vast frequency range and complex acoustical nature. It easily mounts inside with no stands or booms, utilizing two specially designed random incidence omni microphones which have a near perfect frequency and polar response compared to conventional microphones.