Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Ellis Hall converts to Neumann after guitar center training
Ellis Hall is a multi-instrumentalist with a prolific career in music, television and film. Hall has opened for the Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire and Herbie Hancock; performed with Kenny G., Tower of Power and Stevie Wonder; recorded songs for "The Wonder Years," "New York Undercover" and "NYPD Blue;” and made musical appearances in "Big Momma's House," "Catch Me If You Can" and "Bruce Almighty."
Hall also sang with saxophonist Brandon Fields' Jazz Group at a Neumann Guitar Center training session at Capitol Records earlier this year. Hall's voice is hard to peg. At the training, Hall’s voice was used to highlight the differences among half a dozen of Neumann's most amazing contemporary and vintage microphones, including a U 87 Ai, M 149 Tube, TLM 170 R, TLM 49, TLM 103 and Capitol's "Frank" — the U 47 that Sinatra used to record many of his hits at the studio. After the training, Wolfgang Fraissinet, president of marketing and sales of Neumann Berlin, sent Hall home with a large diaphragm M 149 Tube and a KMS 105 live condenser mic to audition.
"I took the KMS 105 back to my studio, just to try it out," Hall said. "I flipped on the phantom power, started test singing and said to myself, 'Wait a minute. I thought this was supposed to be a live mic, but it sounds like a high-end studio condenser!' It was amazing.”
Hall used the M 149 Tube to record a single, "Just Dance." "A lot of times when engineers are working with my voice, I don't like that they end up squashing it with too much compression. The highs and lows of my voice don't go for that,” he said. “The M 149 Tube captured all my low-end with smoothness that cut through without too much compression. I record to a Roland 2480 hard disk recorder, which has nice pre amps, but the digital format can sound brittle. The high-end on the M 149 was perfect – not brittle at all."
For more information, visit www.neumannusa.com.