Donations and Gear Foster Historic Annual Connecticut Music Festivals
Seen at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival is the band competition winner Colebrook Road and the TELEFUNKEN van, loaded with a selection of the company’s prized dynamic, FET and condenser microphones.
South Windsor, CT, August 2015 – TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik of South Windsor, Connecticut, recently sponsored two important and historic music festivals in their home state. The Litchfield Jazz Festival, a favorite of the public and critics alike, has been going for the past 20 years and the Podunk Bluegrass Festival has been a yearly success since 1996.
“We think it’s very important that Connecticut has these annual gatherings to support good music and education,” commented Alan Venitosh, TELEFUNKEN Director of Operations. “We are proud sponsors and gladly donated some of our mics to both festival organizations.”
Tracy Walton, Owner of On Deck Sound Studio, who handles FOH and stage production on the Americana Stage for Podunk Bluegrass commented, “Having 24 bands in three days with 10-minute turns, you need stuff to sound good with just a quick line check. Telefunken more than delivered. The M81 dynamic mics were killing on vocals. I am a huge fan of the FET M60’s on drum overheads, as we already use those in the studio. I’m happy to say they don’t disappoint in a live situation. They have quickly become one of my favorite stereo pairs. Are we quickly converting our mic arsenal over to being heavy on Telefunken? We sure are.”
Litchfield Jazz Festival FOH engineer Nick Joyce remarked, “Friday night opened with the Litchfield Jazz Orchestra, and the TELEFUNKEN M82 was the perfect fit for trombones and tuba — it’s warm deep tone and tight pattern allowed every nuance of both to sit in it’s place in the mix without interfering with the bass or any bleed despite the tuba mic being next to the trap kit.”
Saturday opened with Avery Sharpe’s Gospel Choir Salute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. “We had a 30+ voice choir along with a nine-foot Steinway piano, two bassists, drums and four horns, all in a space about 20’ x 32’ in a tent,” Nick Joyce continued. “Four TELEFUNKEN M60 FETs with cardioid capsules not only reproduced the choir voices well, but with minimal bleed from the drums, which were directly adjacent to them. Every voice was clearly heard with tons of headroom without edging, other than HP/LP filters. Wycliff Gordon’s trombone, with the M82 and no onboard filters, had the punch of a prizefighter. My new go to mic for brass.
“The M60 FET, with hypercardiod capsule and windscreen, again was the shining star on upright bass, which was always a challenge until now. The tight polar pattern and smooth fast transient response of the M60 is the ideal mic for this difficult to reproduce live instrument.
“My main focus this year was using the TELEFUNKEN AR-70 stereo mic on drums. My approach to the jazz kit is very simplistic — it’s all about the overheads. The AR70 was outstanding for this application, and for many of the festival acts it was the only mic I used to reproduce the subtle tones and vast dynamic range. Placed slightly behind and just over the drummers head, aimed as he would be hearing the kit, the AR-70 captured every sound from the slightest touch of a snare with brushes to the clangs and clatter of full throttle playing. It has the perfect blend of natural analog warmth and smooth high end, requiring almost no EQ. I would vary the HP filter depending on the kits low-end response and how much of the M82 kick mic I used, and a couple dB dip around 300hz to clean up the tone. I had more headroom than I would ever want for Jazz. Another AR-70 was placed on the downstage lighting truss for audience capture, along with a pair of M61’s with Omni capsules at the far left and right ends of the truss, with equally stunning results.
“Vocal mics were TELEFUNKEN M81’s, with M81-SH’s on reeds and snare, as well as both guitars for Sunday afternoons performance of Les Paul’s Trio, featuring Nicki Parrott and Bucky Pizzarelli. The M60 again captured Nicki Parrott’s bass with exquisite detail, as it did with Christian McBride, whose trio closed the show.
“This is my 16th year mixing the Litchfield Jazz Festival and the second time using mics so generously supplied by TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. The glowing praise from festival director Vita Muir seals the deal for me; she is one tough lady and has some of the best ears of anyone I have ever worked with. She was nothing but praise for the audio quality all weekend, as were the many happy attendees. Jazz audiences are particularly critical, and never shy about lending their opinion on what or how the mix should sound. All weekend it was nothing but smiles and compliments, all thanks to the M60 FET, M81, M82 and AR-70. Can’t wait till next year, thanks to all at Telefunken for their continued support and some amazing microphones.”
“Our newest mic, the M60 FETcondenser is ideal in a live environment,” added TLEFUNKEN’s Alan Venitosh. “It uses phantom power, and it fills a niche in our product line for a high quality condenser mic that is not tied to the vacuum tube circuit. For critical acoustic environments like a stage of musicians playing bluegrass or jazz the M60 FET is excellent.”
The Litchfield Performing Arts’ mission is to educate and inspire young people to be confident, creative, expressive individuals through challenging programs in jazz music and the performing arts and to share the passion and magic of the arts with the wider community. The undisputed centerpiece of the organization is The Litchfield Jazz Festival, which has had the honor of presenting jazz titans such as Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, Wayne Shorter and Toots Thielemans.
The Podunk Bluegrass Festival was established in 1996 and features local, regional, and national bluegrass musicians. Besides four days of music on the main stage, the festival hosts band and songwriting competitions, a kid’s bluegrass academy, workshops with headlining bands, and separate picking and quiet camping areas. TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik hosted the band competition filming and recording performances by Possum Haw, Michelle Canning & Rough Edges, Four Bridges and winners Colebrook Road from Harrisburg, PA. The audio from the band competition can be heard on TELEFUNKEN’s Soundcloud page here: