Quebe Sisters and the Ear Trumpet Labs Microphone
I recently attended the National Folk Festival, which is in its 2nd of a 3-year run in our hometown of Greensboro, NC. This Festival is 3-day event with acts and players from around the globe showing their local styles. On this kick-off Friday evening, one of the acts I wanted to see was the Quebe Sisters. I saw the Quebes a couple of years ago at MerleFest on the Cabin stage. This is a Texas based fiddle group with a stand up Bass and arch top Guitar. The sisters’ vocals sound like a Texas version of the Andrews Sisters. At this year’s Folk Festival they hit the stage with the same excitement as I remembered, playing Texas fiddle tunes and singing tight 3-part harmonies.
What really impressed me that evening was the front mic they were using. It was the new Ear Trumpet Labs mic named “Louise”. It is a vintage design made to look like something out of the ‘30’s or ‘40’s. The sounds from this microphone were incredible. All three sisters were singing out of this one mic. Positioned in the center, they would move back and forth, much like the Grand Ole Opry style. This mic had very little fall off. With each sister singing about a foot from the capsule, it was very even. The high-end was impressive. It was about as full range as I have every heard from a group mic. Between songs, one of the sisters would talk to the crowd and it was clear as a bell. I could not believe how good that mic sounded. “Louise” is a large diaphragm condenser mic, spring suspended with a cardioid pattern.
This was not the first time I have heard the microphone. It was used on the Watson stage at MerleFest 2016. All the acts using this mic at MerleFest sounded great, but that is what I expect from the festival. SE Systems does all the production for MerleFest and the audio is always superb. It wasn’t until I heard this mic being used at another festival, and by another audio provider, which made it really stand out. The big ah-ha moment was after the Qubay sisters set. The next act on-stage used a reliable, go-to mic for vocals. It sounded like it was still in the box. There was no presence and it was hard to understand when talking to the crowd. It was a day and night difference. Although there are many unknown tech factors, my take away was this Ear Trumpet mic really woke my ears up.
Any band or vocal group that shares a single mic should consider the Ear Trumpet line. Bluegrass acts should have this mic in their toolbox. Solo acts and duos would benefit from having this top-notch microphone on stage. Did I mention how cool it looks? The springs and brass features make this look like a vintage find. A mic that sounds as good as it looks is rare. These mics check both boxes, but are not rare. Test one today at SE Systems.
Bonus shots of the Ear Trumpet Labs Microphone at MerleFest 2016
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