Matt Weston and Swamp Songs
Matt Weston is a Canadian audio engineer and educator based near London, Ontario. After graduating Western University with a Bachelor of Music, he pursued his hobby of audio engineering at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology, earning his diploma with honours in 2005. Since then, he has kept very busy recording in his home studio Swamp Songs, freelancing in many areas of audio engineering, and teaching high school music and communications technology.
As a studio engineer, Matt Weston has recorded and mixed artists from a wide variety of genres including folk, rock, metal, jazz, classical, and country. Some notable projects include The Marrieds, Josh Geddis, The Cedar Sisters, The Dyadics, Goodnight Sunrise, Ivan Rivers, Baddest Big Band, Brent Jones, Cabin Fever, and The Walkervilles. He has also collaborated on sessions from Revolution Recording, Real World Studios, and Sound Foundry Studios.
As a live sound engineer, Matt has worked for Canterbury Folk Festival, National Music Camp, Interprovincial Music Camp, The Cultural Collective, and Splash ‘N Boots. He is also currently in charge of a state of the art Dante equipped sound system in his school featuring an Allen and Heath SQ-6, as well as a lighting system using the ETC Eos software and Ion Xe controller and an array of moving head fixtures.
Matt’s home studio, Swamp Songs, is a 26 input studio featuring some of the best audio equipment from API, Rupert Neve Designs, Universal Audio, Focusrite, Burl, Grace Design, Custom Audio Germany, and of course, Peluso Microphone Lab. It features a large live room, overdub booth, and control room, as well as a variety of amplifiers and instruments, including a Yamaha baby grand piano, Hammond organ and Leslie, and a Rhodes electric piano.
How I use my Peluso’s
I have both the cardioid and omni capsules for this pair of mics, and I have used them for all kinds of things over the years. I’ll use them as a stereo pair for large ensembles, for hi hat and ride on a drum kit, alternatively as omni room mics on a drum kit, or for plenty of different instruments including hand drums, acoustic guitars, and mandolin. Most recently I wrapped one in a dark blanket and hid it in the tailpiece of a double bass for a live recording of a folk trio. It always delivers realistic results that I can count on.
I love using ribbons and I’ll use these anywhere that I might want a little less transient and high frequency than a condenser, while still capturing a lot of detail. I find that these are great on guitar cabs, drum room, bowed instruments like violin, piano, Hammond organ (on the Leslie), and I’ve even used them on vocals. They take EQ really well and never sound harsh.
I bought a pair of these mics simply based on the fact that they were the closest in getting me a John Bonham-esque drum sound when used as overheads (especially in the Glyn Johns technique). Bob Breen at Canadian Audio Distributors let me try out a bunch of Peluso’s when they were new to Canada and these are the ones that got me really excited for drums. They’re clear and present and sound fantastic on anything. They get used as drum overheads and room mics, kick front, acoustic guitar, ensemble mic’ing as an MS pair in concert halls (really cool!), and of course vocals.
This is, hands down, my favourite mic! Every time I use this mic on lead vocals I am just so happy with the result. I run this through a Rupert Neve Designs Shelford Channel, and with just a little EQ and compression on the way in, I end up with a finished sounding vocal. Just add reverb. I only have one of these so it doesn’t often get used where I would need a stereo pair, but it also works great as a mono drum room, acoustic guitar mic, or anywhere else you might want to put the best mic in the world! This is my desert island mic.
As always, Peluso mics played a big role in the drum sound. I have switched around the way I do things since the last record though. On this one I used a 2247LE on kick outside, as well as the other 2247LE as a mono kit sound just above the kick. And the CEMC6 pair are used in cardioid as room mics. No drum samples were used on the record.