Milford, NH – With a career spanning 30 years and a roster that includes Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Burt Bacharach, The Isley Brothers, Baby Face, Anita Baker, and Kelly Clarkson, FOH Engineer Rick Camp has certainly been around the block. And in 2011, Camp added Jennifer Lopez to his impressive roster. Now Camp is taking the Earthworks WL40V capsule on the road with Jennifer as she tours the globe.
Camp first learned about the Earthworks WL40V capsule from a friend, Tim Kidwell, who does sound for Frankie Beverly and Maze. “Tim showed me how well the WL40V rejected sound.” recalls Camp. “During a performance Frankie would always turn around and walk straight toward the drum set, and his stage volume was always incredibly loud. The Earthworks capsule just rejected all of the sound from the drums.”
About a year later, Camp had an opportunity to use the WL40V capsule himself on Jennifer’s Sony DWX Digital Wireless. “I am an endorser of Sony wireless microphones, and in talking with my rep from Sony, he told me how the new Sony DWX series wireless mics were designed to use interchangeable mic capsules,” explains Camp. “He mentioned that one of the interchangeable capsules was the Earthworks WL40V. I told him that I had actually heard one of the Earthworks mic capsules in action, and that I wanted to try it.”
“The thing that impresses me with the WL40V is that the pickup pattern is really tight, which rejects all the stage noise coming in from the rear and sides,” explains Camp. “When a singer turns toward a drum set or guitar amp, it rejects all of that. The rear rejection is just great!”
“I also love the sound of the Earthworks capsule,” says Camp. “It is crystal clear and sounds like a studio mic on stage. The WL40V has a very smooth response and I love that, especially when Jennifer is on a ramp, 50 feet out in front of the PA speakers.”
Camp explains how the WL40V has improved Jennifer’s performance. “The WL40V capsule is incredible and there is nothing that I don’t like about it. It has made a world of difference for me, and especially with Jennifer, because she likes to work in front of the PA speakers for about half of the show, and I have no acoustic feedback problems,” explains Camp. “When she walks down the 50 foot ramp, when she faces the audience, her body blocks the speakers and when she turns around toward the stage, with the rear of the mic facing the speakers, it all works flawlessly. No matter which way she turns, I have no feedback problems when using the WL40V mic capsule. This capsule improved the performance by fifty percent, just by the rejection of all the outside elements such as side fills or wedges.”
Another challenge Camp faced during the performance? “There is a part of Jennifer’s show where she is doing a tango with some of her dancers,” says Camp. “One of the dancers holds Jennifer’s mic up to her, and she says a few words as she is spinning around and twirling. I could never dig out this little vocal, as it was so soft. However, when using the WL40V capsule, I have no trouble picking this up. It sounds just like she was standing still, singing into the microphone.”
Having had such a stellar experience with the WL40V on Jennifer’s tour, Camp is spreading the word. “I have already recommended the Earthworks WL40V capsule to other engineers,” says Camp. “I tell them that the WL40V has incredible rear rejection and a very impressive sound quality. It sounds like a studio mic on stage.”
“I have found Earthworks and its people wonderful to work with. When I needed something, they were right there to help me out,” concluded Camp. “I have been very favorably impressed with the WL40V wireless microphone capsule, so much so, that I am now looking forward to trying out the Earthworks High Definition drum mics and the PianoMic™.”
Veteran FOH Engineer Rick Camp has developed Master Mix Live, a Las Vegas, NV-based school devoted to training people in the art and science of live sound. For more info about Master Mix Live, go to mastermixlive.com.