John Kurlander / Lord of the Rings, Beatles

“I have been a long-time advocate of “Blumlein” since the 1960’s, when it was often the favoured orchestral technique used by HMV / EMI Classics. Since those days, there have been very few bi-directional microphone options available that were entirely suitable for the task.

However, Wes and his team have now introduced the splendid AEA N8 which I enthusiastically endorse. The N8 has a fantastically full and natural tone, and when mounted on the lightweight AEA Blumlein stereo kit, it can easily and safely be hoisted above an orchestra. The N8 Blumlein Kit provides an extremely interesting alternative to the Decca Tree, especially in smaller and less opulent acoustic spaces.”


I have been a strong supporter of AEA microphones since purchasing a pair of R44C’s back in 2000…one of my all time favourite mics. Those mics were a contributing factor to the signature sound of the Lord of the Rings soundtracks and I have treasured them ever since!

“For the last 8 months I have been beta testing a new mic for the guys at AEA…the supercardioid ribbon KU5A. It is moderately heavy to carry around, but more than worth the effort as the sound is really quite special.

I’ve always found when trying to spot-mic a solo acoustic instrument inside of an orchestral setup, that a quality condenser mic is not really happy to be placed so close in, and often times, a dynamic is not too suitable either. This is where I’ve been extremely pleased with the new supercardioid, which delivers the great AEA sound at close proximity, and now, with separation.

So far, I’ve used the KU5A on solo instruments for WoW “Battle for Azeroth”, Overwatch, and a recent score session for Howard Shore.”

-John Kurlander

John Kurlander is an award-winning recording and mixing engineer known for his work on the three Lord of the Rings films. John joined the staff at Abbey Road when he turned 16 years old has been the engineer behind some of the most important movie scores of the last 20 years.
Behind The Scenes With John Kurlander

Darrell Thorp / Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney

“[The N8] has depth, detail, and bottom end for days. So much focus and tone from one phantom powered ribbon mic…”

Adam Granduciel / The War On Drugs

“The N8’s and the N22’s have become pretty much the standard for both the band’s touring set up and day to day recording in my studio.”

How To Record String, Wood, Brass Sections, and Orchestras With the N8