Drummer - Vinnie Colaiuta

RODE Microphones are a permanent fixture in my studio. Recently I tried NT2-A’s and K2’s on my drum overheads. They are simply amazing!"

The NT2-A's are so natural sounding and pleasant to the ear, eyebrow-raising successors to the amazing NT-2’s which have been permanent staples for me. And the K2's just gave me a giggling fit with the 'mojo' that they put on; the classic tube sound, but with tons of class and sass. And clean as a whistle!

If you don't know who Vinnie Colaiuta is, all we can say is "where have you been?" A few of his credits include Sting, Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, Quincy Jones, and Steely Dan. The following is a phone interview with Vinnie on his latest RODE RAGES.

I’ve been doing various projects here at my home studio, and when people hear what I do, and they find out that I have that kind of capability, it wets their appetite. Then when they come over and actually see what I’m doing and hear the sound that I’m getting, they can’t believe it. It’s really an amazing thing because regardless of all the other gear that I have, the microphone… for me being a drummer… the microphone picking up the source the way it does at the beginning of the chain is really, really important. What impresses me the most about these mics for example: I use the NT2s on the overheads, and because they’re a large diaphragm they tend to pickup toms, it’s not like using more of a pencil mic where you’re gonna get a certain kind of response, and then get the tone out of the toms with other close mics. You can do that. But what’s interesting about the RODE is not only the fact that they get all that tone, but it’s the kind of tone they have. It’s not a big fat tone that’s muddy where you can’t here the note of the drum. It’s almost like it has everything without me having to do anything. All the air… the thing that gets me the most is how the cymbals breathe. It’s staggering to me. It really is. The imaging is amazing. I like the drum set to breathe as one instrument. It’s a kind of a holistic kind of sound, it breathes. It has air, clarity, warmth, the whole spectrum is covered faithfully because of the way the mic sounds on overheads. It’s a very musical sound. If I want to go for a more focused kind of overhead thing I use the NT4 stereo mic. It’s already positioned in a way that’s advantageous and the small diaphragms are more focused in that way. It does that faithfully. I’ve got all that kind of versatility that I want.

I’m using the NT5 on the hat, and it sounds great. I like the way it sounds because a lot of times the hat mics others use sound too brittle to me. The NT5 doesn’t. It’s is more reminiscent of a KM84 then other mics I hear, which is the sound I prefer. This mic does the trick. I use the NT1000s on toms and sometimes on overheads. They have a little bit of a different characteristic on the overheads, and we’ve experimented before with swapping between the NT1000 and the NT2s on overheads with some interesting results. I find the NT2s have a slightly fatter characteristic on overheads, and the NT1000 is a cleaner characteristic. The ones that started it all for me are the NT2s, and I keep going back to those on the overheads, unless I want to get a more focused sound. The interesting thing about it is that the sound (of the NT2s) is not unfocused to me, it just has great imagery and it covers the entire spectrum in such a way that I couldn’t dial in any EQ to make it better than the natural curve of the mic. It’s just a matter of placing them either higher or lower for more or less room, and I kind of keep them on the low side.

I cut a track recently for Bette Midler at the house here. It was sent to me by Robbie Buchannan. When I sent the track back to them I asked what they thought, and they said it sounded great, that was it. This was something that normally I probably would have done in a studio.

RODE MICROPHONES have been such a faithful thing for me. I contribute it so much to the sound that I get out of here. When people hear the sound I’m getting it’s usually a mixture of shock and disbelief.