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Phish Reunites - With TELEFUNKEN M 80 Stage Mics

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Photo: Phish ( Click To Enlarge Photo )

For the first time in 4 1/2 years, America's all time jam band Phish reunited for three concerts at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, in March 2009. On stage with Phish were the new M 80 dynamic microphones from TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik.

"We got the M 80s in rehearsal for the Hampton shows," explained FOH mixer Garry Brown. "First thing we noticed was that we had an additional 8-10dB of gain in the monitor system over the previous stage mics we had been using. Vocals became very focused and basically just punched right through the mix."

Brown continues, "The focus of the M 80 and the rejection from the mic was amazing. For me at FOH, Trey Anastasio's guitar tone was a 50/50 combination of his vocal & guitar mics. This drastically changed. Obviously the vocal is going to have some presence in the guitar tone, but now I'm free to create the guitar tone that I need for the mix."

Phish is known for its musical improvisation, extended jam sessions, exploration of music among diverse genres, and its ardently loyal fans. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983, the band's four members performed together for over 20 years before disbanding in August 2004. For the reunion shows and 2009 Summer tour, Phish made multi-track recordings of every show, releasing stereo mixes on the band's website.


Photo: Phish ( Click To Enlarge Photo )

Melding elements of a wide variety of genres, including rock, jazz, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, funk, folk, bluegrass, reggae, country, blues, avant garde, and classical, Phish are dynamic performers whose concerts are always unique by way of the songs performed, the order they appear in, and in the way they are performed. Like their earlier role models, the Grateful Dead, Phish have encouraged phans to trade live concert tapes and other materials with other phans, thereby building their loyal phan base and going against the common grain of strict material control.

In an experiment known as "The Rotation Jam," each member would switch instruments with the musician on his left. On occasion, a performance of "You Enjoy Myself" involved Gordon and Anastasio performing synchronized maneuvers on mini-trampolines while playing their instruments.

"The band members are very dynamic on their vocals," says Brown, "and they blend themselves within the context of what they are hearing, which means that they either sing quiet or they back off the mic. Getting a good consistent sound, can be hard, but I think after doing the first 3 shows after their reunion, we have made the right decision with choosing the M 80. Bruno, our monitor mixer, is so much more comfortable with the available headroom the mic has given him, plus the rejection that they have given, has helped in tightening the sound up."

Monitor mixer Mark "Bruno" Bradley added, "The M 80 is loud, smooth, tight, and in your face. They seem pretty hefty and durable, maybe agricultural, like a tractor. It's great to see Telefunken put out a real working man's microphone — I love this mic!"

Garry Brown summed up his evaluation of the M 80: "On the song 'Lawnboy,' when Page comes forward with his mic, using it as a handheld, I didn't notice any handling noise, but the biggest thing was how amazing his vocal sounded. It was thick and rich, very tight sounding, no proximity effect — it was just stellar. Needless to say we have now bought eight of them."

M80

Featuring a wider frequency response and higher SPL capabilities the M80 delivers condenser-l...

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