Producer Oliver Leiber Adds Soundelux Mics to Closet

Dec 29, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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On the advice from his engineer, producer and songwriter Oliver Leiber (Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl, guitarist for Rod Stewart while on tour, The Corrs, Fleetwood Mac's Dreams, BB Mak, Beth Hart, Jennifer Paige) recently purchased two Soundelux ELUX 251 microphones prior to production on new band Antigone Rising.

"With Silvertide and now Antigone Rising, I'm making much harder-sounding records than I've been known for in the past. Believe it or not, this has heightened my awareness of the sounds of the individual components of the recording chain—all starting with the mic," said Leiber. "The very first day in the studio, we did a vocal mic shootout with Cassidy, lead singer from Antigone. We put up an ELUX 251, a very good-condition vintage Telefunken ELAM 251 and a Neumann M 49 all using the same Neve 1081 input module. The thing about the Soundelux was that is was just really natural and open. The Tele 251 had this 'spikey' quality that worried me. I didn't know if I'd cut a whole record with it. The Tele might have worked on some songs where Cassidy wasn't belting out and not in her upper register, but I was really concerned on the rock songs where she is pushing and I knew the sound would be piercing with the Tele. The Soundelux had all the warmth and openness we wanted, but it didn't have that spike and it wasn't dull either. It has plenty of top end.

"When recording, I am looking for transparency and naturalness. If I close my eyes, I have to feel like that instrument or that singer is in front of me in as pure form as possible, and I've discovered the ELUX 251 gives me just that," Leiber continued. The ELUX 251 also was used for all of Chynna Phillips' vocals and her background parts. "Once again, on these demos, it was smooth sailing with this mic. Even stacking up loads of vocal backing tracks, I never had a stridency problem. It always sounded 'right!'"

During tracking sessions with Antigone Rising, Leiber used one of the ELUX 251s for live lead vocals and the other for all of the acoustic guitar parts. "For acoustic guitar, we just set it up in cardioid 10 to 14 inches in front of the sound hole and it was unbelievably woody. You could hear the warmth and feel the flesh on the strings—wow! Myself, my engineer and my Pro Tools operator all immediately agreed: Now that sounds like a record!"

For more information about the mics, visit Soundelux's distributor, Transamerica Audio Group, at

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