Taylor Hales / Electrical Audio

“The N8 sees use on nearly every session engineered by one of Electrical Audio’s staff, myself included. It is most commonly used on guitar amps, where it’s big, flattering bottom end pairs well with a dynamic or condenser mic that has a more present top. But it has also shone on anything where some girth and low-end and low-mid tilt were called for: small or nasal-sounding vocals; horns; drum overheads recording bright cymbals; tink-y percussion.

It should also be commended on its sheer utility. You get a great ribbon mic tone from an N8 without having to worry too much about blowing the ribbon, noise, overload, using your highest-gain preamp, humidity, &c.

I record mostly post-punk and freaky DIY scene bands, and one obstacle I face regularly is the Big Muff-distorted guitar. The high-end always sounds “fizzy” and unmusical. I’m convinced that pedal just generates pink noise above 1k. When I’ve used the N8 on a Muff-ed guitar, it’s helped tame what I find objectionable about that sound.

Finally, an anecdote:

Recently, a band that recorded here with Our Fair Captain Steve Albini came back to do a split single with some friends, I engineered. When it came time to setup for vocals, the band asked for the N8, and commented that they liked it much more than the “other mic” Steve used on the session, which was a coveted vintage Russian tube mic that’s been selling for thousands of dollars.”

– Taylor Hales

Taylor Hales is a recording and mixing engineer from Chicago. He’s a graduate of the University of Michigan and Berklee College of Music in Boston. He plays bass in the Arts of Life Band and Paper Mice, and is an in house engineer for Steve Albini’s Studio, Electrical Audio.
How To Record Electric Guitar With the N8
How To Record Drums With the N8
How To Record String, Wood, Brass Sections, and Orchestras With the N8