Mojave and BAE Gear Showcase at CRAS

Dusty Wakeman has been in the audio engineering field for more than 20 years. He is now president at Mojave, which is a sister company of Royer.

You can never have too much gear! CRAS is always experimenting with the latest gear and technology that the music and audio industry has to offer. For example, last year we held the 2015 CRAS Gear Expo. We invited a number of gear manufacturers that we have worked with throughout our 20+ year history at CRAS. BAE and Mojave Audio were both there last year, and we were fortunate enough to have them visit us again this year!

Dusty has engineered at many top facilities, including Capitol Studios. Mojave takes pride in each model being a unique design rather than a clone. Designing a Mojave mic involves thinking about many aspects. The width and depth of the mic, as well as the placement of the capsule, can drastically affect how the audio is being picked up.

Colin Liebach has been engineering for the past 6 years, and now is representing BAE. BAE modules are all hand built, with genuine Neve components. He also operates the Plastic Dog Recording studio in Los Angeles.

We invited CRAS musicians to demo the Mojave mic and BAE preamps. We had Halle Fletcher and John Briggs on vocals, Fatima De La Cruz on flute, Kevin Strange on bass, and Brock Kent on electric guitar. CRAS student Nico R. was engineering the session. Student volunteers were able to continue their hands on education setting up and positioning the mics in the studio.

Dusty brought in a wide range of mic types – tube condenser, FET condenser, and active ribbon. Colin took out BAE preamps straight from his own desk into the session! There are several preamps with genuine Neve components. He invited the students to dial in the EQ to hear what they do and how well they work.

Halle and John tested out the vocal mics – a FET transformerless, and the two tube condenser mics. Halle and John sounded better on one of the two tube condensers. While the FET sounded good, we all agreed that the tubes sounded better on both of their vocals. U47-style FET is in front of a bass cab. The mic going through the preamp sounded great, but Colin also wanted to try directly plugging into the preamp, for a “classic” bass sound. Brock was on the electric guitar. Both active ribbon and small tube condenser mics were both pointed at the center cone. As expected, the ribbon sounded rounder, while the tube condenser picked up the higher end.

After the gear demo, we had a short Q & A session regarding product design, pricing, and personal experience in the field. Both BAE and Mojave will be at the NAMM conference, so a handful of AES members will be reconnecting with them in Anaheim. Many thanks to Dusty and Colin for the hands-on demo, and look forward to another gear showcase in the near future!