— Company supplied over 1,000 wired and wireless microphones for urban festival in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan —
Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 45 years, had a significant presence at the 2010 Summer Sonic two-day music festival in Japan, which was headlined by Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder and also featured Taylor Swift, The Offspring, Nickelback, A Tribe Called Quest, NAS, Slash, Sum 41, Dream Theater and many others. This year, Audio-Technica, a major sponsor of Summer Sonic for the last nine consecutive years, supplied more than 1,000 microphones from across the company's wireless and wired ranges to the urban festival, which was held simultaneously in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, in August. This year Summer Sonic attracted a total of approximately 160,000 attendees, and Audio-Technica made its presence known with prominent banners and signage at all of the music venues. Additionally, in one of the festival's exhibition halls, the company had an interactive booth where attendees could test out Audio-Technica's extensive range of consumer headphones.
Summer Sonic, organized by promotion company Creativeman Productions, annually presents an eclectic selection of both high-profile and less well-known international acts, as well as homegrown talent, with each of two lineups playing first one city, then the other the following day. In Tokyo, artists performed on six main stages plus various smaller stages located at Chiba Marine baseball stadium, throughout the nearby Makuhari Messe convention center and on the Tokyo Bay beach. Osaka featured five main stages and several smaller stages. The tremendous array of Audio-Technica microphones – from the flagship Artist Elite® 5000 Seriesand 40 Series to the workhorse Artist Series – guaranteed audio consistency for engineers and artists as they performed their consecutive shows at the festival.
According to Ken “Pooch” Van Druten, FOH Engineer for Slash, “I think the all-time favorite for me is the AT4050 [Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone]. It's a microphone that I put in front of anything and it translates – guitars, basses, percussion; I've put it in the weirdest places and it just works.”
John “JK” Kerns, FOH Engineer for Sum 41, also appreciates the AT4050. He states, “You can use them on a lot of things, even though most of the time nowadays it's on overheads. I also love the AT4047/SV [Cardioid Condenser Microphone] on guitar. We use ATM650's [Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone] on guitar channels and snare. The ATM650s always sound fantastic. Everybody I know that I've turned them on to loves them as well.”
“I have yet to find an Audio-Technica product that does not perform as advertised,” reports Michael Graham, Monitor Engineer for Dream Theater, enumerating some of the A-T models on drummer Mike Portnoy's kit: “The AT4060 [Cardioid Tube Condenser Microphone] has become my favorite microphone. We use four of them as overhead microphones. Those mics are a piece of gear that I never want to do a show without again.”
Graham continues, “We use ATM450's [Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone] on the snare bottoms; I absolutely love the crack that mic is able to capture. We use ATM350's [Cardioid Condenser Clip-On Microphone] on all of Mike's smaller toms. The ability to easily deploy such a small microphone that sounds so big is really amazing. We use AE3000's [Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphones] on the larger toms. That is an extremely solid microphone that has a really tight, punchy low end and still gets the top-end slap of the floor toms.”
Andrea “Vito” Carena, Monitor Engineer for Taylor Swift, noted, “I'm a fan of the ATM450. We used it all last tour on snare bottom. It's also a really good solution for getting into tight spaces. And the 5000 Series wireless has been working great ever since we have had it. We haven't had any glitches with the system; it's rock solid. On this trip to Japan, honestly, all I brought was my flashlight, my Sharpies and the Audio-Technica mics.”
Audio-Technica additionally provided on-site support staff from their U.S. and Japan offices to the twin-city Summer Sonic festival, which demanded close attention to wireless frequency coordination due to the many North American and European artists performing. As Los Angeles-based Rob Kelso, a 16-year veteran with Creativeman, noted, “There are always frequency problems, depending on what people are bringing in, because there is so much wireless going around. Plus, the Japanese frequencies are different than the American frequencies. We're always glad to have Audio-Technica personnel on site to help with potential wireless issues. ”