Versatile microphone proves invaluable for both voice and instrument capture
San Diego, CA… Featuring a delightful mix of Renaissance, Celtic, American, and classical melodies, Many-Strings is a musical collaboration that features Jamie Burns on hammered dulcimer and her husband, Chris, on guitar. Performing for over 15 years, listeners regularly praise their music as “magical” with “perfectly blended notes that float through the air.” The rich interaction between their instruments creates a sound that is simultaneously upbeat and melodic and, to ensure the audience hears every nuance, Jamie and Chris rely on the proven performance of ISOMAX 2 Instrument and E6 Earset microphones from Menlo Park, CA-based Countryman Associates.
Multi-instrumentalist Chris Burns has a rich background in the arts and has taught in a performing arts oriented classroom for over thirty years. Today, he continues teaching History through Music programs for OASIS (an educational program for adults 50+ who want to continue to learn and be productive) as well as The San Diego History Center. As an instructor, his E6 Earset microphone serves as an invaluable tool to ensure his presentations are heard clearly. As a musician, the versatile ISOMAX 2 Instrument microphones help capture the subtleties of his and Jamie’s instruments. He discussed his fondness for Countryman microphones.
“We perform at a variety of venues,” Burns explains, “some of which are quite large. It is important to us that we have the tools necessary to effectively share our music with a wide range of audiences and Countryman microphones make this possible. Jamie’s musical inspiration is derived from the traditions of folk and Irish music, including Turlough O’Carolan, while my contributions reflect the diversity of the classical world along with my love for instrumental music. We have two hammered dulcimers that are outfitted with ISOMAX 2 microphones. The mics are placed either inside the dulcimer or on the underside of the instrument. This positioning yields a very authentic and natural sound that faithfully captures the sonic complexities of the instrument.”
“We also use an ISOMAX 2 instrument mic on our banjo,” Burns continued. “This mic is placed on the inside of an open-back banjo and it produces a unique and warm organic sound. When miking our instruments, we use the ISOMAX 2 mics in a ‘cabled’ capacity. While teaching and while performing, freedom of movement is crucial for me, as it often enables me to accentuate a point or engage the audience. For this, I use the E6 Earset microphone with a Shure BLX4 wireless system so as not to be ‘tethered’ while I speak.”
When asked about those attributes that make the Countryman E6 Earset microphone so valuable to his creative efforts, Burns offered the following thoughts, “For starters, I love the ability to move freely between keyboard, guitar, banjo, hand-drums, and so forth. As a headset mic, it’s comfortable and secure fitting so as not to be distracting. This, in turn, enables me to focus on the material. Equally important, because the microphone is in a fixed position, I enjoy a consistent volume level—even while moving around.”
Burns reports that his Countryman microphones have proven to be very durable and that they are backed by some of the best customer support services he has ever encountered. “I’m not a professional sound specialist, but I am obsessed with sound quality,” he reports. “I’ve contacted Countryman multiple times to ask them about which type of microphone to use with this instrument or in that circumstance and the staff has always been super helpful. I don’t have to seek out ‘the expert;’ everyone I speak with knows their products.”
Reflecting on his years of experience with Countryman microphones, Burns offered these final comments, “We had our first ISOMAX installed into one of Jamie’s dulcimers. This instrument has seen many musical events on the shores of the Pacific Ocean or on the grassy Coast Boulevard Park above the ocean. Strings have rusted and moisture from either fog or mist from the waves has had to be wiped off and, through it all, the microphone still works perfectly. It has proven itself to be extremely reliable over time—even though it has endured a lot of environmental issues. This, combined with the experience of using the ISOMAX as an over-the-ear microphone at OASIS during my first presentations convinced me I could confidently invest in the three microphones we have purchased over the last 10 years. The sound quality, the build quality, and the reliability offered by these microphones has been exceptional. Thank you, Countryman, for such an excellent product and for such expert support.”
To learn more about Many-Strings, visit the Burns’ website at www.many-strings.com