Recording - April 2016 - 29

we've got more going on in our lives, it's
harder to get everyone together for one
giant recording. Things do have to be
worked from the foundation up, if you will.
Tim and I worked on a number of movie
soundtracks as well. We did the score to
the independent movie Thumbsucker with
the Polyphonic Spree in my apartment-in
the living room of my apartment, on a simple computer with just a few microphones.
We've done projects like that, a bit
more like home recording, but came out
with great vibey results. There's no single
formula for this band... we just have to
kind of roll with whatever we can do at
the time, whatever opportunities are presenting themselves.
Fantastic. Some of our readers will have
heard of you through our reviews of
products that you have actually
designed. Can you tell me about about
Placid Audio and how it relates to the
Polyphonic Spree?
I had a product before there was a
company! My main product, the
Copperphone, actually was designed for
our singer, Tim DeLaughter. He liked that
AM radio telephone effect; we had an
effect processor that would do it in the studio that was very convenient to use. But
when we tried to take it out into a live
arena, there were times when he would
want to use it and the sound man wouldn't
really know when to engage and disengage it. And I just thought, "Wouldn't it be
cool to have a microphone that did that?"
I built the very first Copperphone in
2001 and I gave it to Tim. With him
using it and the band touring so much, I
started to notice there was a lot of interest
in this microphone. Every time we would
finish the show, people would ask about
it. So I thought, "Oh, there might be a little market for this here," and I started
Placid Audio officially in 2003.
I started servicing demand on an "as
needed" basis. When somebody asked for
a microphone, I'd say, "Yeah, I can build
you one of those." I eventually got to the
point where I said, "Hey, I'm doing this a
lot, I should start ramping it up." And I started doing some small-batch production and
giving myself some breathing room since I
was still touring at the time. I'd come home
after a tour and I'd get busy in my shop,
produce thirty to fifty microphones, and that
would buy me some time until I had to do
another production run. There are thousands of Copperphones out there now. I've
been doing this for almost 15 years. I also
built the Copperphone Mini, which is the
same sort of design but in a small "bullet"
capsule suspended in a classic metal ring.
I recently reviewed the Carbonphone,
which is a carbon element microphone.
Yeah, that's my latest product. It had
been in the works for a number of years.

The tricky part was figuring out how to
power it properly and get the best sound
out of it. It uses a military spec carbon element and I had to design a power supply
for it; I also added some tone features and
created a product I call the Tone Box.
I got a little help from a friend of mine,
Travis Harris, from a company called
Revival Electric (revivalelectric.com). He's a
killer electrical engineer, and he got me to
take the concept and design to the next level
and from that I was able to actually put it
out as a product.
And Placid Audio has a couple of new
ones coming out soon, as I recall?
Yes, I have my Resonator Series, too, that
I would love to get you guys to hear pretty
soon. Those are dynamic mics that can be
used on anything, but I've designed them
as a blend microphone for more high SPL
audio sources. They can handle the sound
pressure without distorting or breaking up.
They have a unique character to them, too,
because they use mechanical filtering and
a resonant chamber.
Let's wrap up with a few words on the
Spree's next project... hopefully something beautiful out of a sad circumstance.
We've been invited to play an upcoming David Bowie tribute. It's going to be
April 1 at Radio City Music Hall, it's
called "The Music of David Bowie."
We're very honored to be part of this,
with The Pixies, Blondie, Michael Stipe,
Perry Farrell, The Roots, Mumford and
Sons, Cat Power, Bette Midler, and more.
There's another show going on, I think,
the night before at Carnegie Hall, and I
think that has a slightly different lineup.
David Bowie really gave us a leg up in
starting Polyphonic Spree's career. He was
one of the first people to help get the band
out of the state of Texas; the first place we
went to was London and we played his
Meltdown Festival. We were invited by him
to play there, and that kind of opened up
the doors to Europe-that's where we really
took off. In 2004, he asked us to be a part
of his Reality tour; we toured a few months
with him here in North America. That was a
real honor, because we ended up performing a song with him that we're going to
play when we do the tribute - a song called
"Slip Away." And then in 2007 we played
the Highline Festival in New York City.
We've had a very fortunate brush with
one of the great iconic singer/songwriter
rock and roll icons of our time. His passing is a very tragic and sad event, but
we're going to turn it into a very positive
thing by honoring and paying tribute to
the music he created.
To learn more, visit
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Pirro
and www.placidaudio.com
RECORDING April 2016

29


http://www.revivalelectric.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Pirro http://www.adam-audio.com http://www.placidaudio.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - April 2016

Contents
Recording - April 2016 - Intro
Recording - April 2016 - Cover1
Recording - April 2016 - Cover2
Recording - April 2016 - 1
Recording - April 2016 - 2
Recording - April 2016 - 3
Recording - April 2016 - 4
Recording - April 2016 - 5
Recording - April 2016 - Contents
Recording - April 2016 - 7
Recording - April 2016 - 8
Recording - April 2016 - 9
Recording - April 2016 - 10
Recording - April 2016 - 11
Recording - April 2016 - 12
Recording - April 2016 - 13
Recording - April 2016 - 14
Recording - April 2016 - 15
Recording - April 2016 - 16
Recording - April 2016 - 17
Recording - April 2016 - 18
Recording - April 2016 - 19
Recording - April 2016 - 20
Recording - April 2016 - 21
Recording - April 2016 - 22
Recording - April 2016 - 23
Recording - April 2016 - 24
Recording - April 2016 - 25
Recording - April 2016 - 26
Recording - April 2016 - 27
Recording - April 2016 - 28
Recording - April 2016 - 29
Recording - April 2016 - 30
Recording - April 2016 - 31
Recording - April 2016 - 32
Recording - April 2016 - 33
Recording - April 2016 - 34
Recording - April 2016 - 35
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Recording - April 2016 - Cover3
Recording - April 2016 - Cover4
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