Austrian Audio impresses on Sam Smith tour
Friday, 27 March 2020
jim-ebdonJim Ebdon describes working with the Austrian Audio OC818 at NAMM 2020
Europe - Austrian Audio OC818 microphones were recently put to use on British singer-songwriter, Sam Smith’s tour as overheads. Smith’s profile raised significantly in 2014 after debut album release, In the Lonely Hour. 2015 saw Smith awarded with four Grammy Awards.
Smith’s FOH engineer, Jim Ebdon started his career in audio straight out of school whilst working at Surrey Sound Studios, where The Police recorded their first two albums. He later progressed to working as a studio engineer, then as a live sound engineer for high profile artists such as Maroon 5, Annie Lennox, Sting and Aerosmith.
“I’ve had a very colourful career,” he says. “I started as a tape op assistant in the studio and I quickly learned mic techniques, how to cut tape, and how to operate a mixing console. That put me in good stead to become a live sound engineer a few years later, which is a whole different process and discipline compared to being a studio engineer.”
Ebdon states that while he has always been a fan of what he calls “the other brand of microphone,” he thinks that Austrian Audio has the upper hand: “This [OC818] is just that one step ahead,” he enthuses.
Although Ebdon is familiar with Austrian Audio’s free PolarPilot app, which facilitates real-time wireless control over analogue patterns, high-pass, and pad-in real time via Bluetooth, he admits that he has never had to make use of it yet: “I’ve got to be honest with you – I haven’t used it because the microphone sounds so good, I don’t need to use it! I don’t want to interfere with something that is great off the bench.”
Commenting on the Sam Smith tour, Ebdon is full of praise for the OC818: “We’ve been using them on the Sam Smith tour as overheads, and we have had great results. It just works; I can knock those overheads out of phase and the fatness that comes into the drum sound is incredible.”
(Jim Evans)

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