HOT NEW CAJUN BAND, L'ANGELUS, DISCOVERS TRUE PRECISION 8
L'Angelus, a family band from Louisiana, writes and performs Cajun music with intelligence, spirit, and skill that would be remarkable even in a band twice their age. Managed by father John Rees and mother Linda, L'Angelus is comprised of their four children: Katie on guitar, Paige on bass, John on drums, and Stephen on saxophone, fiddle, harmonica, pennywhistle and mandolin. In addition to a well-received studio album, the band maintains an ambitious schedule of live shows that grows by word of mouth. Since L'Angelus never fails to captivate an audience, they decided to record their second CD on the road with the help of a TRUE Systems Precision 8 mic preamp and the effortless musicianship and spontaneity that develops after playing shows back-to-back for weeks on end.
Because the band had so long ago fine-tuned their live sound, their setup was relatively simple. The trick was getting that sound into a recently-purchased Alesis HD24. On the recommendation of four-time Grammy winning engineer Tony Daigle, who was slated to mix the project, John and Katie (the "recording engineer" and "ears" of the operation, respectively) investigated high-end, but still affordable preamps. Given that the preamp would travel, the duo were attracted to the Precision 8, which delivers eight channels of crystal-clear preamplification with an astoundingly flat frequency response spanning 1.5Hz to 500kHz in a single rack space.
"After trying a number of different microphone/preamp combinations, we quickly came to the realization that the preamp was making more of a difference than the mic," commented John, who, prior to devoting all his energies to the band, had been a corporate pilot. "Despite my 52 year-old cockpit-damaged ears, there's a clear difference with the Precision 8."
His 23 year-old daughter elaborated: "When we added the Precision 8 to the rack, we immediately noticed a clarity and fullness that had not been there before. The recordings sounded less like recordings and more like us just playing together in the living room."
For his part, Daigle, a dyed-in-the-wool studio engineer, was skeptical about how successful the L'Angelus live recording project would be. Daigle won three of his Grammys for work with B. B. King and his fourth for work with Beausoleil. Beyond that, the veteran engineer has worked with Junior Wells, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and many other legendary musicians. Daigle warmed up to the project after hearing some of the early recordings. "Beyond the fact that those kids are obviously at their best on stage, the recording really benefited from the TRUE Systems Precision 8," Daigle commented. "It has a nice bottom-end and is perfectly transparent through the top. I was able to use the unit at their house a few times and thought it was fun work with. It's got a durability to it - those knobs are solid!"
Over the course of the project, the band got tighter and tighter and the recordings got better and better. When they were finally satisfied, the family scrutinized their many hours of recordings to pick the best performances for Daigle to mix. Now finished, "Live From The Dance" sells at a brisk pace online and wherever the band plays.